The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Cable Phone Packages

One option most cable companies will offer you is the option of combining your telephone with your cable and your internet.

Combining your cable and your internet has both advantages and disadvantages. In some ways, these advantages and disadvantages are a part of exactly the same process. By including your phone in your cable package, you effectively sever your ties with the telephone company, and put all of your television, internet and phone with your cable company. On the one hand, this can create a great deal of convenience and get great package deals by combining all of your services like this. On the other hand, you put a great deal of power in the hands of your cable company.

Convenience: Winner – Cable

Cable phone packages can provide a number of types of forms of convenience over traditional telephone. For example, you can even integrate your phone with your television set, so that your television set tells you who is calling. It has the convenience of putting all of your information on a single bill, so that you can easily see all of your charges up front. Bringing everything together can also really save you on cost. Many cable companies will include telephone along with television and internet for a very low price, since, at the end of the day, it’s a very inexpensive service for them to offer you, since the amount of information transferred on a telephone is extremely small compared to that on cable television. So, if it is convenience you are after, a cable telephone package is quite often the best choice.

Flexibility: Winner – Traditional Telephone

On the other hand, putting all of your eggs in one basket can really hurt your flexibility. Telephone companies and cable companies are competitors after all, and they have a tendency to miscommunicate some of the complexities of keeping a phone number when you move from one type of service to another. If you decide you are unhappy with your cable service, you will need to move your telephone number back to the telephone company, and the rules about when you are and are not allowed to do this can be a little mysterious. Keeping your phone separate gives you the freedom to switch your cable internet to telephone internet without needing to switch any companies at all. Further, be careful when looking for information about specials. Some specials only last a limited amount of time, and then changing will require changing all of your phone, internet and television. In addition, if you tie your phone to your cable and internet, and decide you want less channels or less bandwidth, you may not be able to change only one part of your package. A combined package is convenience, but often inflexible.

Long Distance Cost: Winner – Cable

Cable phone packages are a great way of saving on long distance, especially if you make a large number of long-distance phone calls. Most cable companies offer unlimited long distance, because they are basically running your phone calls through the internet. It can be difficult to find such good deals with traditional phone companies. On the other hand, if you make almost no long distance calls, traditional telephone may actually be cheaper than cable telephone, as you have no added expense over the basic rate. In effect, cable tends to have a moderate, static rate while traditional telephone has a low, but easily increased rate. Have a look both at the flat rates from the cable companies, and any flat rate plans that telephone companies offer.

Reliability: Winner – Traditional Telephone

Cable internet tends to be more reliable than telephone internet, but for telephone service, the exact opposite is true. Telephone service is far more reliable than cable when it comes to your phone. The reason is that cable goes out when the power goes out, but telephone does not. This, of course, is usually a convenience, but can actually be a matter of safety. If you ever need to make an emergency call during a blackout and you have cable telephone service, you’re out of luck. Cable telephone service is no more stable than cable internet or television service, and if you’ve had either, you know that they can go down from time to time. Telephone service, on the other hand is more reliable.