Cutting the Cord

Cutting the cord. That’s a buzzword or uh, buzz phrase nowadays isn’t it? Cutting the cord usually means to drop cable TV service and or phone service to your house. And it makes total sense.

In the age of relatively good internet plans (if you shop around and not just give in to the big communications companies like Telus, Bell, Rogers and Cogeco) would you bother having a cable television service? Cable television is a dinosaur. They come from an era where they still expect you to “DVR” a show you want to watch later just because you aren’t home at the time it airs on TV. I mean seriously, how backwards is that? And on top of that those recordings will only store as long as the content providers allow it on your box. Stupid.

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Cutting the cable service cord should be easy for all Canadians. Netflix Canada has become a pretty good service over the last year or so and you also have CraveTV to bounce back to if there’s something else you want to watch. I mourn over the loss of Shomi though. They didn’t stay in the game long enough. Their service was fantastic. I mean yes we still don’t have access to a lot of what the United States gets like Hulu or other services but Netflix and CraveTV have everything pretty well covered.

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The best thing is if you pick up an unlimited data plan from a company like Teksavvy you can watch to your heart’s content the same episode of Doctor Who as many times as you want. No DVR needed.

Of course less can be said about cutting the phone cord here in Canada. Our cellular coverage is mediocre at best but our land line network is state of the art. Cutting that cord can be difficult initially but then you realize that you can easily get a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connection if you have an unlimited data connection.

We’ve done just that at home. We recently dropped cable do to a poorer and poorer channel arrangement from Cogeco. My family was subscribing to their basic digital package that included 100 channels of absolutely nothing to watch. The only channel my dad kept watching was a business network but as a last straw Cogeco announced they were moving that network to a premium package and in place we would receive another Disney network and at the same time raise the cable rates. Again. What the heck, Cogeco?

So we dropped Cogeco. They had it coming for a while. So I now have them hooked up to a Roku with Netflix and CraveTV on board. While dad still can’t watch his business network he can still watch shows on those services.

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We cut the phone cord not long after we moved to Teksavvy’s cable internet service (which ironically is back-boned on Cogeco’s network) and moved to Teksavvy’s VoIP service. I won’t lie, initially it was not a good experience. Often calls would sound tinny or drop altogether. I figured it was because we were using all these streaming services at the same time as calls so I recommended to mom and dad that we upgrade to a faster service. Today we are on a 60mbit down and 10mbit up connection that very rarely goes down and on the positive side the VoIP connection seems to be incredibly stable.

There are a few things to note on moving to VoIP though. You can call 911 but you will have to inform them of your location as that is not transmitted to the 911 call centre from your VoIP box. Also if the power goes out so does your internet and thusly your phone as well. I have installed a hefty battery back up for emergency use though even that will only last a couple hours of use.

Thing is nowadays most people have cellular phones and even though where we live it’s signal is weakly served (even with two towers around our town) we can still use our cell phone’s in an emergency as well.

It’s time we start telling these cable companies to offer services we want or we’ll move. We have. Have you?

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