Moving? Maybe time to cut the cord
Moving certainly isn’t cheap, and the project of transplanting your family will require you to take a long look at your expenses. A new home and new environment might be the perfect opportunity to make adjustments to your family’s spending, streamline your budget and live more affordably. Where to start?
Many Americans have begun to look to alternatives to their expensive cable bill as a way to cut into their budget – Hub Entertainment Research reported that over 30 percent of Americans would be willing to cut the cord, or at least settle for an “unbundled” subscription from their provider, if the option were available at the right price, according to MediaPost. With more ways to cut the cord on the market than ever before, you may want to explore canceling your cable bill as a means of reducing costs before and after you move into your new home.
“Surcharges like sports-fees make cable feel more and more like a luxury.”
Cable bills are expected to grow even more expensive
You may want to reconsider your current cable package, even if you and your family weren’t preparing to make a move this year. Bloomberg reported that cable subscriptions across the board are expected to see a price hike before the end of the 2015, and the surging rates may push even more families into the cord-cutter’s camp. Cable costs have been on the rise for the past two decades, averaging an annual 6 percent jump each year since 1995, and now average $64 a month per household.
Recent cable negotiations between sports leagues and television networks, like the recent landmark deal between the National Basketball Association, ESPN and Turner, have lead to extra costs passed directly to the consumers. The resource noted that Time Warner Cable, for instance, will be adding a $2.75 sports fee to all cable customers. Now that more customers are aware of how the cable companies package channels to sell them for channels they (and few others) will ever watch, surcharges like sports-fees make cable feel more and more like a luxury. Thankfully, homeowners have dozens of options to choose besides cable now that the cost-effective alternatives are plentiful.
Cutting the cord has never been more appetizing
Recognizing the unprecedented success of Netflix, several companies have moved to follow in the wake of the OTT leader and tap into the slow but growing number of consumers with no interest in cable television. That means you’ll have a plethora of choices for replacing cable television if you cut the cord after your move.
Several OTT services are evolving in 2015 as companies devote more time and energy to online streaming, according to eWeek. Networks like HBO and CBS have created their own stand-alone streaming channels, Amazon and Hulu have continued to expand their services and archives and media dongles like Google’s Chromecast can even turn legacy screens into smart TVs.
For those who don’t want to sacrifice their sports access, Internet TV services like Sony Vue and Dish’s Sling TV will deliver live games over-the-top. Sony’s Vue line-up includes Fox Sports, while Dish’s service boasts access to the coveted ESPN and its affiliates.
Your Internet is (slowly but surely) getting faster
While there’s a good chance your TV bill is only going to get more frustrating after you move, the same can not be said of your high-sped Internet. In fact, Internet and cable providers may soon be in a position where they are legally obligated to offer more Internet for their customer’s buck.
According to The Guardian, a 3-2 vote in early January by the Federal Communications Commission updated the definition of “broadband” from 4 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps uploads to 25 Mbps and 3 Mbps, respectively. As a result, cable providers will soon have to redefine their service offerings to meet the new legal definition – this market shift could lead to cable companies offering speeds tiers that are more realistically priced to meet needs of modern Internet users.
Regardless of how the cable companies respond to the FCC’s latest regulatory tactics, the quality of Internet is already starting to see signs of improvement. Citing Internet research firm Akami, The Consumerist pointed out that Internet speeds in states across the country saw marginal improvements during 2014. You may even have that your new neighborhood has access to speedier connections than your old one. In cases like these, cutting the cord seems like a no-brainer solution for dropping costly cable bills.