The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Cable One Packages

Cable One packages specialize in providing affordable cable packages to the rural United States.

Cable One is different from many other cable companies. Unlike the big names, like Time Warner, who have focussed on cities and then expanded elsewhere, or the local networks, like Bright House Cable, who have focussed on providing cable in a localized area, Cable One focuses on providing cable to rural areas in the United States. They currently provide packages to nineteen different U.S. states, in each case, providing that cable to areas where there might not otherwise be cable service.

This makes their services different in a number of respects:

  • Lack of Cable Competition: Unlike other companies that directly target the largest markets in the hopes that they will grab enough customers that they will grab enough of their market share to profit, Cable One targets areas with little or no competition. This “niche selling” allows them to provide service to areas where they can be guaranteed the entire market.
  • Satellite Competition: Rural areas are accustomed to satellite as their primary source of television packages. As a result, Cable One’s primary competition is actually satellite, not other cable companies. When comparing Cable One to your other options, satellite is often the best thing to compare, as it is its only real competition.

Available Cable One Packages

Cable One has recently introduced a triple play package that offers all of telephone, internet and television on a single package. This package includes their standard internet, so you won’t need to worry as much about going over your usage cap (see below). Because Cable One provides service to so many different areas, prices are not completely standard, but they have put some effort into making this package as widely available as possible.

This triple play package includes all three services for $75 per month. Included in it are 142 different cable channels, though not any high definition television (which would strain their system). It also includes 5 Mbps of internet up to a cap of 50 Mbps from 8 a.m. to midnight. Most attractively, this service includes unlimited telephone to the continental United States (i.e. excluding Hawaii and Alaska). As a cable package goes, this is quite a bargain.

Cable One also offers an array of double play packages including only two services. However, these services tend to run about $70 per month, depending on your area, so they really are not usually worth getting. Nonetheless, you should check your local services to see if there are any bargains available.

Service Issues

Because Cable One functions by expanding the existing cable hardware, that hardware is often a little…threadbare. This is generally fine for standard internet usage and for watching television. However, Cable One high speed internet packages are not very high speed at all (unfortunately, “high speed” was a termed coined so long ago that just about any internet service that currently exists can be considered “high speed” and the term has become effectively meaningless).

Their fastest internet speed is 5 Mbps, which is actually not bad for a lot of uses. Their economy is just 1.5 Mbps. However, there are two important issues to be aware of when using their internet services:

  • Peak Time Slowdowns: At peak times, internet speed is cut in half. “Peak time” is defined as any time between noon and midnight. As a result, you will only receive half of the internet speed you might be accustomed to for half of the day.
  • Usage Caps: Usage is also capped heavily because of the limitations of the hardware. Usage for their economy plan is only 1 GB per month, and then you will be charged additional fees for each additional gigabyte. For the standard plan, the plan is capped at 5 GB per 8 a.m – midnight period and 50 GB total per month.

Cable One isn’t trying to scam anyone here. It’s simply that they are only currently able to provide a limited amount of service to the areas that they cover. As a result, heavy usage of their internet slows down the entire network, and they need to put caps in place to account for this. However, there are some things you should do to avoid any penalties:

  • Don’t Watch Movies: Don’t watch movies on Cable One. Even a single movie can put you over the cap, especially if you watch in high definition. Use your local video store instead.
  • Don’t Download Games: Always buy your games in hardcopy and install them manually. For games with heavy patching, like World of Warcraft, be sure to patch them after midnight.


While they provide limited internet service, Cable One is still a quality service for rural America. Without it, many areas would simply be unable to get cable. Be sure, however, to only use their internet within their Acceptable Usage Policy to avoid additional costs.

More information is available on their official website.

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