Full transition off of Comcast

I had a lot of issues with Comcast and their customer service. The last straw came 3 weeks ago when I got a bill indicating that they wanted money for a service I had cancelled on January 5, 2009. I had spent a total of 22 hours on the phone or going to their offices in person to explain that I only wanted Comcast Internet service-no phone, no TV. Their billing system was beyond repair and I just don’t have the time to fix my bill every month that they f*ck it up. I’m using AT&T Internet only (no land line) DSL service. Hook up was painless. Speed is well in the land of good enough-I can watch TV shows on Hulu and listen to online radio stations just like before. Real big downloads (think downloading an MSDN copy of Visual Studio 2008) only moves at 275-300KB/second. Comcast used to give me 1500KB/second.

Oh yeah, AT&T is also 33% cheaper (or Comcast is 50% more expensive). Since the start of the year, my monthly home communication bill has gone for $390/month to $238 month as of this last switch. Please note that I could be doing better if I didn’t feel the need to be a mobile computer geek:

  • 4 Cell phones on a 1400 minute/month plan. (1 phone is also the house phone, hooked up to the internal wiring.): $89.99 + 2 * $9.99 = $109.97 * 0.8 (standard deal offered if you belong to an organization that has a discount setup with AT&T Wireless).
  • Unlimited texting on all phones. $30.
  • Tethering/data plan on one phone for mobility (3 Mbps 3G connection for when I’m not at home but still need to work). $65
  • Pro DSL Plan from AT&T: $40
  • 11.3% Tax on everything but DSL:$15.26

This represents a 40% reduction in communication costs. I purchased a fair amount of equipment to drop cable and move to cheaper alternatives:

  • $100 for a bluetooth cell phone->home line connector.
  • $129 for a new dual digital tuner for my HTPC.
  • $100 for a new HDTV roof antenna and two signal boosters.
  • $100 for a 1 TB Hard Drive to hold the larger HD content.

Total cost for the update was $429. I’m saving $152/month, putting payback at 3 months. The HD spectrum in my area has enough good TV to keep us happy, so we have lost nothing of importance in this switch.

The point: I won’t miss Comcast and I’m saving a bunch of cash by eliminating things I didn’t need. Also, my home phone number is now full portable.

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