Confessions of an Ex Cord Cutter: Why I Spliced The Cord and Changed My Ways

cord cutter cord splicer larry press

Larry Press was an early cord cutter. Recently, he decided to splice it back together. Here’s why he did it, and why you should, too …

aNewDomain — As readers of this publication may know, I’ve been a cord cutter since it was even possible to cut the cord. It saves you money.

Even the threat of cord-cutting will save you money, of course. Just threaten to cancel your service and you’ll see: The ISP will renegotiate the price.

I recently repeated the process, but with a twist.
Here’s what happened and why it’ll matter to most anyone in my situation.

Why I spliced the cord

I was an early cord-cutter — getting my local TV with a rabbit ears antenna and streaming the rest from the Internet. That worked fairly well, but I could not get local content in some of the rooms of my house and even in the best room, there would be an occasional glitch and I had to play around with the antenna orientation. I tried amplified antennas, but none were better than my rabbit ears and I am too lazy to install a rooftop antenna. (The local TV transmitters are on a mountain 24.5 miles as the crow flies from my home).

My monopoly ISP bill crept up over time, as monopoly ISP bills do, and my old monopoly ISP, time-Warner Cable (TWC), had sold to a new monopoly ISP, Spectrum.

Spectrum started sending out flyers offering good deals to new subscribers — Internet, phone and cable-TV service for a little less than I had been paying TWC. I called and offered to switch to the introductory offer and they accepted.

To put it another way: I spliced the cord.

Happily ever after

I now get rock-solid local TV and a DVR for less than I was paying before. That is an improvement, but nothing like I could get by moving to place with a competitive Internet service market like Riga, Stockholm or South Korea.

Are you hoping new wireless technology like 5G mobile or PCell technology from Google will provide ISP competition? The technology remains to be seen in the field but, if it turns out to be a threat, the ISPs will work hard to fight competition, for example, by outlawing the sharing of public infrastructure.

In spite of periodic renegotiation with my ISP, the cost is drifting up and I pay for streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, but I seldom go out to a movie these days. It looks like the long-run losers will be movie theaters and the public.

About the author

Larry Press

Based in Los Angeles, Larry Press is a professor of information systems at California State University at Dominguez Hills and a senior editor covering tech issues here at aNewDomain.net. Check his Google+ profile to contact him or see what else he is up to: http://bit.ly/viXqr4.

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