Friday, June 21, 2019

I cut the cord

Well, one of the cords. For a little over three years we have had a FIOS bundle at the house – basic TV with a DVR, digital phone and internet. There were a handful of things that I could do to lower the monthly bill. Buying my own router would knock $12 bucks off the bill and the savings would cover the cost of the router in a little over a year. I started with renting the router so that is was their problem if something went wrong. Nothing ever did. Swapping the router out for one I bought always seemed like a hassle and lately by the time 9, 10 o’clock rolls around I pretty much don’t want to do anything

A little over a month ago, I got a notice that my FIOS plan was no longer available, I was being switched to another plan and the price was going up from the already probably too much $145 to the way too much $210. Yeah…no.

So I called. They would be able to get the $210 down to $160. This was just the motivation I needed to take on the hassle. Time to investigate other options. I had heard about OOMA as a phone alternative from a friend who had it for years. It is basically owning your own digital phone. I picked one up at Best Buy for about $70. For $40 more, I ported my current phone number and had it switched from Verizon to OOMA. The monthly fee is supposed to be about $5 an it is just taxes and fees. I ordered the same router I have off Amazon ($175) because by my count I had already paid for it two and a half times. When the new router came in, it was easy to swap out. Unclick one wire, reclick it in the same spot on the new router. Easy peasy.

I signed up for HULU with all the bells and whistles but no pay channels like HBO. That’s about $65 a month. I dropped the rest of my FIOS plan except the internet which will come to $55 a month. Turns out my Smart TV isn’t very smart and cannot handle newer versions of HULU. Judging by what I saw online, Samsung has pissed off a lot of people with their not very smart TVs. Not sure last years models would get new updates. I went back to Best Buy and bought a Roku stick for about $60. With that installed, everything on the TV works.

In the end, I spent about $350 on gear. Everything hasn’t shaken out yet but I expect my total monthly cost to be in the $125 range, $35 a month ($420/year) less than sticking with the best FIOS could offer me.

It’s early yet, but I think I like this set up better. The phone also has an option to block calls. Once you call with your “SPAM Telemarketer” caller ID, you are promptly moved to the shit list and blocked. There seems to be a noticeable decrease in the amount of phantom calls we had been getting. Hopefully it all works out. If not, I’ll just have to cancel everything and then I’ll probably end up reading something that isn’t the pizza forum.


  1. Congrats on cutting the cord! We did about 2 years ago and we love it. We have Roku and only a couple apps we pay for. We went from a bill high of $225 to $110 total monthly now.

    1. So far, so good. All the bills should settle out in July and then I'll have a definite number. Pretty sure it will be less than I was paying. Definitely less than $160 and I think I like it more.