I got a thing in the mail that AT&T Uverse is now available in my neighborhood. I’m reasonably happy with Dish Network’s TV lineup, though they went up recently and are now costing me $53 per month. My very slow high speed internet connection (1.5 Mbps) is through AT&T’s DSL line for $26 per month, but for a limited time. So I’m paying $79 per month for TV and internet. Uverse said they have a TV and Internet plan for $49 per month. But there are a few catches. One is that the price is only good for 12 months and then it goes way up. But there are even more catches. If you want internet, you will need a modem which you can rent from AT&T for $7 per month. And if you want HDTV, you need to pay $10 per month extra (which is ridiculous, this is like selling hamburgers without the bun and charging a bun surcharge). I also have a second TV near the elliptical machine that I watch when I exercise. This is connected to my Dish receiver and costs nothing, but for Uverse I will be charged an extra $8 per month for a second TV. Also the channel package included in the $49/month plan includes local broadcast networks, some garbage, and a few decent additional channels like Animal Planet, Discovery, Disney, HGTV, History, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, and the Weather Channel, but not CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, Learning Channel, MTV, TBS, TNT, USA, or VH1. I would like CNN and TBS and need Comedy Central so I can watch The Daily Show. Upgrading the package from Ufamily to U200 is $15 per month. So now the plan is $49 per month + $7 + $10 + $8 + $15 and I’m up to $89 per month, and that’s just the introductory rate.
With U200 I do get some nice additional channels that I don’t have on Dish like AMC, BBC, Bravo, E!, IFC, and Sundance (in addition to Animal Planet and National Geographic, which I don’t get now). And the internet speed of the $89 “$49” package is 3 Mbps which is twice as fast as what I have now (still pretty slow). Eric says he will pay whatever it takes to get higher speed internet and for $15 per month he can get our connection up from 3 Mbps to 18 Mbps. That doesn’t matter that much to me, though sometimes the slow connection can be frustrating. Of course, not only does this cost more than I am paying now by $10 per month, but it is only for 12 months. After 12 months Uverse’s $43 per month savings on the TV plan and the $16 per month savings on internet goes away. Now the $89 (plus taxes and possibly other fees I don’t know about) goes up to $149 per month.
I could probably switch back to Dish in a year, but I kind of wonder what the point is. So what I will probably do is stick with Dish for TV despite the rate increase and look into Uverse for internet when my current plan runs out. Eventually Google Fiber might show up. They offer the Gigabit connection (1,000 Mbps, hundreds of times faster than what I have now) for $70 per month and you can add TV for another $50 per month for $120 per month total. Better yet, they will give you 5 Mbps internet for free (you pay $300 for installation). Their free plan is 3 times as fast as what I’m paying $26 per month for now.