WhiteSites Blog
Unplugging from Cable and Phone but keeping internet

Unplugging from Cable and Phone but keeping internet

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 by Paul White

My last bill from Comcast was $141.95.  Even though our household is doing OK,  I am always looking for ways to save money.  So I decided to get ride of Cable and Phone, and just keep internet.  The end result was $80 / month in savings.  Lets take a little journey through my Comcast bill and figure out what I am really paying for.

Xfinity Bundled Services

  • $119.00 Triple Play Package
  • 16Mbit Internet
  • Digital Starter Cable with two boxes
  • Unlimited voice with long distance

Additional Xfinity voice services / month

  • $7.00 EMTA lease Fee
  • $1.20 Fed universal Service fee
  • $1.06 Texas universal Service fee
  • $0.85 Municipal ROW fee

Taxes Surcharges & Fees

  • $2.73 Franchise Tax
  • $3.52 State and Local Sales Tax
  • $0.08 FCC Regulatory Fee
  • $1.22 State and Local Sales Tax
  • $3.78 State and Local Sales Tax
  • $0.11 911 Equalization Fee
  • $0.50 911 Fee(s)
Total Other Charges and Credits
  • $0.90 State cost recovery charge

Why stick with just internet?

If you notice above any of the services have very specific taxes and fees that are applied to them.  Rather than including these fees into the cost of the product, Comcast would rather hit you with them after the fact.  So what is supposed to be a $119 / month Cable bill ends up being $141.95  However If I just get Internet and ditch everything else my total bill is around $75.

Why would I want to get rid of cable?

I am a fact and knowledge kind of guy. I enjoy shows that teach me something.  Which means I like history channel, discovery and the news.  However in the past 10 years quality educational shows are being replaced with highly dramatic reality TV shows that teach me nothing, or they are politically biased news channels ( Fox News, CNN, ) which server no other purpose than to sell fear by spinning facts and only telling one side of the story.  When was the last time you heard something positive on the news?  Never,  the news keeps people watching by feeding them a constant stream of negativity and fear.  Now how productive do you think a person is when they are living in fear?  I have too my work that needs to get done, and it makes no sense to pay an extra $80 /month for a service that will distract my mind, and cause me to be less productive.  So easy solution disconnect cable.

Why would I want to get rid of my home phone?

Most people today have a cell phone, with many on unlimited talk plans.  However cell phones don't always get the best reception indoors.  But I am with Tmobile and they support talk through your WIFI router.  So part of my other plans are to move my WIFI router closer to my office giving me better signal.  Even though I did use our home phone a lot, my accountant told me that I can't write it off on my business, because it was not a decicated line for my business.  So getting rid of the home was a logical solution.

What is the EMTA Lease Fee?

When I first saw this on my bill I assumed that maybe it was a fee I was paying for my phone number. Its not.  Its a monthly rental fee for your cable / phone modem.  But here is what comcast doesn't tell you.  If you already have a cable modem that you bought via newegg.com, amazon.com.  Then you don't have to rent their cable modem and this will save you $7 / month.  So I went on Amazon and bought a Motorola SB6120 Surfboard DOCSIS 3.0 Extreme Broadband Cable Modem for $76.37 with free shipping.  Once it arrives you call comcast and give them some numbers off the modem, and it works.  Then I no longer have to pay their rental fee.  I have already read online that by upgrading your modem to a DOCSIS 3.0 one, that people are getting faster transfer speeds than they used to.  If you are paying for 16 Mbits, don't be surprized if all the sudden you start getting 25 Mbits or faster, even when you are only paying for 16 Mbits.


So by getting rid of Cable and Phone, and buying my own DOCSIS 3.0 Modem, I have lowered my comcast bill from $141.95 to $63.47 ( including taxes and fees ).  I also signed up for Netflix streaming $7.99 / month, which will allow me to stream movies via my PS3, or my Android Cell Phone.  This takes care of my entertainment needs. 

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