Sutton Massachusetts Charter Cable TV


For the longest time, Charter was the only operator in Sutton to provide television service. We held off on signing up with them for the longest time. We rarely watched TV and did not think the expense was worth it. However, in 1999 we were both in the tech industry and really needed to follow the progression of the "Y2K bug" around the world in real time. We explicitly got cable so that we'd be kept up to date with news and events as that happened.

Luckily as we all know Y2K was a non-issue, but we've kept cable since then. Our bill back then was maybe $50/mo. We used Verizon for our phone service, and Earthlink to dial-up into the internet.

I desperately needed high speed internet. In fact, I remember emailing Charter monthly asking them when they'd finally bring high speed into town - and signed up IMMEDIATELY the day they did. I run websites from my home so doing that via dial-up was painfully slow.

Charter kept hounding us to sign up for their phone service too, from the moment they offered it. They gave us great introductory deals, so we gave in and switched over.

Over time, the Charter fees have gone from slightly high to outrageously high. By March 2008 our bill was:

TV with a few movie channels: $119/mo
High speed internet: $50/mo
Unlimited phone: $40/mo
Fees: $10/mo
Total: $220/mo

Now on one hand you could say that people used to pay MUCH more than $40/mo if they called all over the US. And certainly that is true, just as all telecomm related fees have been coming down in general. I remember back in the late 80s when the internet was still "new" and I was paying $1/hour for internet access - think of how quickly that adds up!! I was also having to pay long distance fees just to call in to my nearest access point. So yes, $40/mo is cheap in that sense. However, you can get $25/mo unlimited US service from Vonage, and keep the same phone number.

When our bills skyrocketed, we immediately began looking to get rid of Charter completely.

In terms of cable TV service, you can go with a satellite system if you have tree clearance. Fortunately or unfortunately, Sutton is a "tree city USA" and we have a LOT of trees around here. It can be very challenging for an average house here to have a spot of clear satellite signal. Given our $119/mo fee, though, we are investigating the options and will report back here.

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