The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Bundle Packages

Subscribing to bundle packages instead of buing services individually can save you a lot of time, and provide a lot of convenience.

If you are considering getting two or more of phone, internet and television, a bundle package might be the best route to take, simply because of the price and convenience that comes with combining your various plans into a single bill. Because cable companies make more money the more services that they provide you, bundle packages will provide you with better cost per service.

Nonetheless, not all bundle packages are created equal. Aside from the difficulties which certain cable companies that I have discussed elsewhere, there are different types of bundles that can provide better or worse service, depending on what you are actually looking for.

The primary thing to watch out for is overselling. When you are purchasing a cable package, you want to find one that is just right for you. However, some plans will provide you the right amount of one service but far more of another service than you might actually need.

(Note that the below advice applies to dsl internet, telephone and television packages as well).

Types of Bundle Packages

In general, bundle packages will come with two or three of high speed internet, bundled phone packages and television packages. Packages that come with three services are called “triple play packages”, while those which come with two are called “double play packages” (I’m not sure who came up with those terms, but whoever did forgot to trade mark them and now they have become standard.

In additional, there are different kinds of offers. Some will offer you a bonus for signing up, providing a savings for the first year or two. These savings will go away after the first year, and it is often difficult to find out your long-term costs, so please make sure you know how much your cable package will cost you in the long run.

Advantages of Cable Bundle Packages


By far the greatest advtantage of cable bundles is in terms of cost. Because the companies are trying to attract your business, they are willing to provide additional services at no profit, provided that they make money from you on the first service that you purchase. The additional services are therefore available at a much lower price than if you were going to purchase them individually.

In addition, there are other savings. For instance, you might have the activation fee waived, or you might have your equipment installation for free. This provides not only savings per month, but also savings on your upfront costs. This can save you time and hassles, if installing your own ready digital receiver or wireless internet sounds like the kind of hassle that might cost you time.


Having all of your charges on a single bill can be quite convenient, especially if you have a dozen or so other bills to pay. They will all appear on your bill at the same time of the month (which might be different if you were to use different companies).

Be aware that there are some companies that now provide cable television along with traditional telephone packages. They may or may not include fiber optic internet (some will still run on DSL). This is the result of some cable companies who were originally phone companies, and who want to use their telephone hardware while using the extra bandwidth that fiber optic cable provides.


Believe it or not, bundled cable packages can actually be more flexible than purchasing elements individually. Because many cable companies do not actually want you to purchase their components separately, they work more options into their bundles than they do into their

Thinking About Flexibility

Usually, there are two types of bundle packages. First, there are the bundle packages that all scale up in price together. For example, there might be a first tier, with no long distance plan, the slowest internet and a basic digital cable package. On the final tier might be unlimited phone to half of the planet, 50 Mbps of internet speed and a full HBO/Cinemax television package with every sports channel.

However, this might not be something that you want. For instance, if you don’t really do a lot of calling to Europe, you are basically leaving money on the table when you order their big internet package. Similarly, if you watch television on Netflix, you might not need the big television package with all of the channels.

Unless you are trying to save as much money as possible or unless money is no object, you are probably best off with some combination of services that serves your needs. However, many cable companies don’t provide this sort of flexibility.

The best plan in terms of flexibility is often one that starts with a basic plan and then allows you to scale upwards from there. So, for isntance, you could add a long distance plan to your phone service without increasing the cost of your internet service. That way, you can tier the various parts of your cable services yourself precisely to your needs.


Bundle packages are a great way to save money. They are good for you because they save money, and they are good for the cable companies because they still make a profit. Just be sure that you purchase a package that fits your individual needs and that you find out how much the package will cost after the initial savings period.