Internet Connectivity

Back at the house, long ago, I thought phone service cost too much. We went through a phase where we purchased minutes for something like a penny a minute and got rid of long distance. Yes, folks, things were different. When cellphones began to be a reality for regular folks, all of a sudden wired telephone service was dirt cheap. I eventually got roped into getting a cellphone. I complained that we were now paying two phone bills. We then got caught up in the insidious bundling that Comcast had for some time where we still had a landline, but supposedly it was a toss-in for cable service. Try to extricate oneself from that deal and the prices were sky high.

Even the bundle had creep. We eventually topped out at $225 per month. Wtf? For entertainment. Sure, everyone blamed me, but that is ridiculous. I actually canceled our service. Comcast got right back in touch with me and negotiated a far more reasonable rate.

Technology has changed. The divorce was fabulous for me in this regard. I canceled cable minutes after I was told we were divorcing. The cellphone plan was immediately after that. When I moved into the apartment, I had a cellphone plan and an Internet connectivity plan. Both have changed since then.

I originally was with T-Mobile for my cellphone. While it was fine (and inexpensive at $50 per month), when I traveled, it was useless. I could never connect anywhere we went geocaching. I was constantly tethering off of someone’s iPhone. I justified sticking with them for I received MLB.tv for free. And frankly, in my area, T-Mobile was fine.

Advance forward to earlier this year, the cellphone I was using, now more than five years old was not keeping up in some regards. I decided to take a flyer and change to an iPhone. I also changed carriers. AT&T was what others used as they traveled and seldom had issues. I was able to get an all-inclusive plan with a break for being a teacher. It is $62 per month. I lose MLB.tv but gain HBO Max. That fits in with my interest in DC Comics, so I thought it was okay.

The phone is fine; the ecosystem is different and not one I particularly care for. As the year has progressed, I began thinking of ways to break free of the phone by the end of the year. My thinking was I could give it to one of my children and just do all e-mail and texting from home. To that end, I removed those apps from the phone to begin training for that. Easy peasy. My expectation has been that once school resumes in September, I’ll travel to and from work without the cellphone. I loathe being tracked. It seemed like a reasonable plan, but I knew there would be bumps along the road.

That bump happened.

Yesterday, I picked up my mail. Only one thing in the box: my Comcast bill. I have auto-pay, but with the change in debit card last month, it would not have surprised me if there had been a glitch and the bill not paid. When I opened the envelope there was a bill. And then news that my service now costs more.

When I signed up for Xfinity (Comcast, the evil company) two years ago, I paid $39.99 per month if I agreed to auto-pay. I don’t like auto-pay, particularly for Comcast and Verizon. But it saved me $10 per month. I agreed. Last July Comcast raised the price to $60 per month. Now it was going to $90. Wtf?

Just so we’re clear, this is merely for Internet service. There is no television with this. There are no streaming services. This is so my laptop can connect to the Internet. In addition, I watch You Tube videos. Lots of ads with that. $90!

I tried calling Xfinity. No phone number to be found. No online chat assistant. Only some things to click on, none that addressed my issue. I drove to the Comcast office. I waited. I explained my situation. Well, you have equipment rentals, streaming, etc. No, I do not. Oh, was the response.

I explained that I thought $90 for the pipe to the Internet was too much. The guy then said, “Comcast raises the price every year.” Okay, but that doesn’t solve that I am not paying this.

He looked into things. He offered $80. I refused. He kept asking if I had any government assistance. Perplexed, I said I didn’t. I explained that I work for a living, but I refuse to spend $90 for this service. He kept coming back to government assistance.

I had worked my game plan before I entered. I told myself no to lose my cool. Ultimately, I can walk away from this service. And I did.

I have no home Internet at this point. From my initial set up here, I don’t expect I will. I will be able to offload a few items I hadn’t expected, like the modem.

I am tethering my service from my cellphone. Looks like I won’t be getting rid of it after all. In fact, I loaded a couple apps onto it to facilitate my technology. I gather I will be playing around with things for a while as I adjust.

There are a few considerations. I have unlimited data with my plan, but I know it can be throttled at certain thresholds. I don’t think I have ever been near those thresholds. We shall see if that happens now.

And there are two other areas that will be affected: my file server and my sous vide.

The sous vide connected to the wifi that I could then control with an app. I controlled everything via the app. I can connect the sous vide to the phone for similar service, but it will be unable to be controlled remotely (away from the apartment). Just last evening I shut down a cook when my plans changed and I went out to dinner with Beetle. I will not be able to do that or start cooks from work, etc. now. This isn’t life shattering, but it will change things.

The bigger inconvenience is the file server. The new cellphone necessitated changes and I have just begun getting comfortable with those. Now I have a quandary. I had decided not to set up the file server for wifi access for security issues. It was wired in and I had to tunnel in to get access. Now, I can’t do that. I could open this thing up, but there will be security issues with that. I don’t think I really want to tether it to a cellphone. That means I will have to manually tether my laptop to the file server to transfer files. It also means that my ultimate goal of redundancy to a second file server at a different location isn’t going to happen with this set-up. I am not concerned now with that as I wasn’t at that point in the process, but it will need to be considered.

Anyhow, I am down $60 per month in spending. I will be able to get rid of a few more things. I am mildly inconvenienced, but I will probably be able to work things out. As long as my unlimited plan is as unlimited as I need it to be, I should be fine. We shall see . . .

Hey, it looks like I had already considered this option a few months ago.

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