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Cheap Internet Access
Old 09-02-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Cheap Internet Access

Hello frugalistas,

right now MIL pays about $45 a month + taxes for a DSL connection which is both slow and unreliable. She doesn't really use the internet that much except for ordering stuff and checking her bank account online. So she doesn't need super fast connection speeds or a large bandwidth. She is also thinking about dropping her landline and use exclusively her new, supercheap prepaid T-mobile plan (another great ER.org tip).

No, she doesn't want to tap into the neighbors' unprotected wifi networks. And there are no businesses around her house offering free wifi access.

So I count on you guys to find her another great deal!

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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location?
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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location?
Huntsville, AL
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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The List: The Definitive Internet Services Buyer's Guide
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #5
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We have DSL at home. We recently called to ask about an extra $1.50 charge for mailing statements and make sure we were not charged that. In the same conversation, they said they could (1) discount our DSL by $9 a month and (2) switch the phone from unlimited local to metered outgoing local (50 cents a call) and unlimited incoming. This latter thing might be called a "SafeLine" in your area.

Since we use our cell phones all the time and are never home, we did both (1) & (2) which allows us to keep our home phone number. It looks like our bill dropped from $55 to about $20 a month by doing this (including taxes). If the phone company hadn't tried to jack us for $1.50, we would still be paying $55 a month.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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One thing to keep in mind is that ISP rates may actually be negotiable. I called to cancel an AT&T Uverse installation appointment and they offered to lower the monthly rates in order to try to keep us from sticking with cable.

I should really call the cable place to see what they would be willing to do to keep us from switching to Uverse.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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One thing to keep in mind is that ISP rates may actually be negotiable. I called to cancel an AT&T Uverse installation appointment and they offered to lower the monthly rates in order to try to keep us from sticking with cable.

I should really call the cable place to see what they would be willing to do to keep us from switching to Uverse.
I agree. Call your ISP. I assume its Bell South or ATT and tell them you are going to drop dsl and all phone services and go cable/cell phone if they cannot offer a better deal.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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FD, we pay about $20/month for 6 Mbps down DSL. That's a special rate for 12 months, after 12 months it goes up $35 I believe. I've had DSL for almost 5 years with very few problems. In some areas, there seems to be multiple DSL providers. As others have mentioned, a quick call is all that is necessary to lower the rate. I've also never had to sign a contract; the $20/month is month-to-month.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:40 PM   #9
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...........switch the phone from unlimited local to metered outgoing local (50 cents a call) and unlimited incoming. This latter thing might be called a "SafeLine" in your area..............
I just checked and in my area you have to be certifiably poor - on food stamps, 150% of poverty, etc to get Lifeline service. Drat!
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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She is also thinking about dropping her landline and use exclusively her new, supercheap prepaid T-mobile plan (another great ER.org tip).
Careful - that super-cheap plan gets expensive quickly if you use a lot of minutes. It's great for low minute users, a $100 refill gets you a 1000 min good for a year and 'Gold Status'. After that $10 refills (35 minutes) are good for a year.

Does she really use her landline so little that this will work? A couple half-hour chats a week add up quick. Plus you have to find Internet that is cheap w/o a bundles phone service.

-ERD50
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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Check with your cable company. Where I live they offer different levels of internet service, the cheapest is $19/month and the speed is pretty decent.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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I have naked DSL (what a name) for $19.95 a month from Bellsouth/ATT in rural SC. I don't think we can get cable out here, but I am not sure as we don't have TV.
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:52 AM   #13
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Hot Spotting! Our internet service is f r e e. A wireless provider was expanding in our area. I offered free roof space for their small antenna in exchange for free access. Now entering year three with no problems.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:59 PM   #14
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check out virgin mobiles new mifi plans. the unlimited plan is $40/mo no contract. and if your mom really doesnt use the internet much maybe she will be good with their $10/mo plan. MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot | Virgin Mobile
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:12 AM   #15
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My internet is also expensive. There is no competition. I'm too far from a telco to get DSL so only cable, satellite and dial up are available. Satellite has too high of a latency and dial up is too slow!
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:31 AM   #16
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check out virgin mobiles new mifi plans. the unlimited plan is $40/mo no contract. and if your mom really doesnt use the internet much maybe she will be good with their $10/mo plan. MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot | Virgin Mobile

This is really a good deal for travelers. The only downside I see is having to use the Sprint network (no roaming on other peoples networks). I don't know how good their coverage is out in the boonies.

To emphasize what you said above, the service is unlimited, you can have I believe up to four users on the "hotspot."
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #17
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For the past three years I've been using a Sprint 3G aircard but they yanked the rug from under those of us who originally had a grandfathered unlimited plan. I said goodbye to Sprint and went to another source for internet at the house but recently purchased a Virgin Mobile aircard for our RV trips. As Martha points out, it does have limits as it uses only the Sprint network and won't allow roaming.

My first real test of how it works for me will start tomorrow when we head out on a trip.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #18
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I just checked the At&T/BellSouth website and they offer a low end DSL plan whose regular price is $20 a month. But they do have plans with regular pricing of $43 per month for 6Mbps service. Suspect your mom is on one of the higher priced plans and, if desired to cut cost, drop down to a lower speed/priced plan.

Though now in NW PA, lived in Huntsville for over 20 years. It's a great place to live.

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:49 PM   #19
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Start with the lower speed--she'll never notice the difference! I have it, called DSL lite, and it is just fine for $19.95 a month.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #20
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Consider this...she can leverage the broadband connection cost with a VOIP telephone service.

The wife calls her aging mother in Sweden 2x per week for 1-1.5 hours at a clip for a flat fee of $10/month.
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