Monday, September 26, 2005

Telecomm "Bundle" Explained

A commenter made a good point on my previous post that "bundles" don't always save you money. I indeed found that the bundle I had been paying for at the time of my layoff included several services I never or rarely used. It was at that time I discovered the company's "anti-bundle" so now I basically pay for their services "a la carte"...only the ones I want and use.

My use of "bundle" may have been confusing because I meant that I have one provider for all of my telecomm services (except long distance). But by paying a la carte here is my current breakdown:

Basic Services (CPI):
($42) for broadband (includes $5 cable modem rental fee)*
($39) basic cable tv
($16) basic local phone
Add-Ons, etc:
($10) accelerated broadband speed*
($12) "digital channels"**
($5) cable box rental
($7) caller ID
($3.50) distinctive ring***
($12) taxes & fees
($13 x 3) showtime for 3 months****

* My company reimburses me for broadband access because I do a lot of work from home, so these charges and respective taxes net out for me

** I have been thinking about re-evaluating the "digital channels tier". I know it includes BBCA but not sure what else, this may be worth cutting (potential savings $144/yr)

*** The distinctive ring is a cheaper alternative to having a physical dedicated fax line. It has a double ring and the fax can be setup to ignore our normal line, but answer double rings. This was mainly for my partner's business. It really just means we get fax spam. Thought we were being so clever about an additional fax line. We'll be thinking of cutting this as well (potential savings $42/yr)

**** There is one show on pay channels that we really want to watch when they air. This show lasts for about 12 episodes each year so we only pay for Showtime while that show is running new episodes, then we cancel again. $39/yr to watch that show without waiting is worth it to us. Call us crazy, but we all have our gazingus pins.

And one final word about the cable modem rental: I know better. I know that I can buy a cable modem once for about $40 or so instead of paying $5 month after month to rent one. I really don't know what to do here....I should take the plunge, but once we get into the realm of MAC addresses, I kinda freeze up. You know?


  1. If it were me, I would drop the digital channels ($12), buy the cable modem ($5), and ditch the caller ID ($7). We stopped caller ID a couple years ago and at first I thought I was going to die, but it doesn't even bother me now. That would save you $24/month, which would pay for the cable modem in about two months.

  2. Hmmmm, I too have one Showtime program that I would like to watch for 3 months, and it never occurred to me that you could just get the channel for 3 months and then cancel-- that's brilliant! Of course, my problem is that I would have to sign up for even basic cable for 3 months. And rent a TV for 3 months.


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