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View Full Version : Dumping your home phone system ???



Ken Salisbury
10-19-2006, 5:48 PM
The only reason I have a home phone is because I need it to get my DSL line. I never use the phone for anything else. I rely on my cell phone which has free long distance and more hours than I ever come close to iusing. My home phone is only good for receiving requests for charitable donations and political campaigns which we all know are a pain.

At the present time my phone bill is $50/mo and my DSl is $55/mo. It seems to me that I am flushing at least $50/mo down the toilet.

I am considering dumping my home phone, discontinuing my DSL service and switching to satellite internet service. Does anyone use Hughes Internet Service. What has been your experience.

Joe Pelonio
10-19-2006, 6:13 PM
When I looked into it there were two plans, one required several hundred up front to buy equipment, the other with renting was about $100/month.
Unfortunately we found out from the neighbors that neither satellite TV nor internet will work, they have tried and had terrible results because we are totally surrounded by 100+ foot fir trees that block access to the signal. You need a direct shot at the satellite.

We also looked at cable dsl and phone. That too was about $100/mo for TV, Broadband, and Phone. We don't trust them to put "all our eggs in one basket" because of problems with their cable TV equipment and service over the years. So we still have a land line and dsl through the phone co.
and like you get mainly political calls and surveys since each of us has a cell.

Doug Jones from Oregon
10-19-2006, 6:24 PM
Ken...I can't help you with the Hughes Internet service, but, I can tell you that I recently went to a Verizon cellular service for my internet fix.

It is a little bit slower than my DSL line was (but my dsl line pretty much sucked) but it is working fine. I do like the $125 combination bill for phone and dsl that I got rid of and I've enjoyed the freedom of taking my notebook and the net on the road...could not do that before.

Of course, you do have to be within a cell site.

At the old homestead where I don't live anymore, we dumped the home phone lines years ago when cable net became avail...and was very happy with that.

Doug

Matt Warfield
10-19-2006, 6:31 PM
Ken,

You may want to inquire with ISP's in your area about providing access over dry copper. You should be able to get a dry copper line from your phone company for 5~15 bucks per month(last time I checked in my area it was $4/mth). Dry copper is essentially a security system circuit where you're using the phone company's lines but not their circuits. Worth looking into as it's more reliable and consistent than satellite, IMHO. But on the other hand, if you're mostly doing SMC and email, then the extra lag time of satellite probably wouldn't bother you much.

Best of luck,

Kent Fitzgerald
10-19-2006, 6:41 PM
Can you get cable service? A lot of cable providers are offering pacakge deals with phone, TV, and internet (faster than DSL) for under $100 / month.

I looked into Hughes net a bit, and I wouldn't consider it unless you really don't have any other options. It's expensive, not that fast, and subject to outages. When I checked, they were advertising "better 99% than reliability." Sounds pretty good, until you consider that 99% reliability could mean up to 15 minutes of down time per day. :rolleyes:

If you end up sticking with the phone co., getting a new, unlisted number should eliminate most of the unwanted calls.

Ken Garlock
10-19-2006, 6:57 PM
Ken, while you are in the market, take a look at Wild Blue (http://www.wildblue.com/)satellite service. I think they may be a less expensive than Huges Net in the long run.

Jim Tobias
10-19-2006, 7:07 PM
Ken,
I dumped my regular home phone service andf the long distance carrier and added Digital phone to my cable service, Time Warner Roadrunner DSL (which is also my internet service provider. The digital phone service is less expensive than the regular home phone service and the long distance carrier.
I have a DirecTV satellite for TV and love it. I've had it for 12 years and I can count on 1 and 1/2 hands the number of times the serivce has been out. If the weather is so severe as to impact the service, the TV should be turned off anyway.
I have thought that the Hughes satellite service (which is with DirecTV in our area is mostly for people way out that have no other choices. Why else would anyone pay the $100 plus bucks /month for internet service?

Jim

Ken Salisbury
10-19-2006, 7:08 PM
Can you get cable service? A lot of cable providers are offering pacakge deals with phone, TV, and internet (faster than DSL) for under $100 / month.


I don't need a package with TV. I have Direct TV with Tivo and HDTV and would not swap it for unlimited Bud Light:) . I just can't see having to pay >$100/mo just for internet service. Hughes advertises home package internet at $59.99/mo.

Sam Howe
10-19-2006, 7:48 PM
Before I went back to Hughes satellite internet. Expensive, lousy customer service, prone to trouble, unreachable customer service, a real pain to sweep the snow off the dish to get it going again, and the customer service is horrible. Also, the customer service stinks.

We dumped it a few months ago and went with cable internet. Cheaper, faster, and a LOT more reliable.

By the way, don't try to get an answer out of customer service, they never reply

Sam

Mark Rios
10-19-2006, 8:01 PM
Ken, I didn't read that you had checked with Direct TV for net access. Here's a brand new deal that I found on their home page. You can enter your phone number to see if they have a deal in your area. It's the box on the right. Sounds like a good deal and would be perfect for you if available in your area.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=2700001&CMP=KNC-PG-Google&HBX_PK=direct%20tv&HBX_OU=50


hth


BTW Ken, I'd reccomemd NOT going with the semaphore flag thing. It takes WAY too long to download video; the flags are just too wavy.

:D

Jason Roehl
10-19-2006, 8:11 PM
Ken, I've never heard anything good about satellite internet. I'd go cable if it's available in your area. You can get all the features you have on satellite generally, even non-regional sports if the cable provider is good. Right now, I pay <$90/mo for digital cable (70ish channels) and internet, with a dual tuner, 40-hour DVR (similar to TiVo--but I can record 2 shows at once and watch a third that's already recorded, or off the VCR's or TV's tuner). If I had a hi-def TV (maybe soon), HD would be included. And my cable speeds blow DSL out of the water (3-4 Mbps). I'd look into the cable option a little closer. Consider your satellite + DSL vs. comparable cable w/internet.

Mark Pruitt
10-19-2006, 8:32 PM
Ken,
Before you make that kind of a move, check to see if uploads can be accomplished as quickly as downloads. If you listen to the TV commercial, you hear the gal say "faster surfing, faster downloads" which leads the unsuspecting consumer to believe that uploads are equally fast. I have heard HughesNet users say that this is not the case. IIRC, Dennis Peacock is a HughesNet customer. Get in touch with him for a first hand report. (I think Matt Meiser is also a HN customer.) The other reservation I have about that service is the price. Over $500 just to hook you up, and too much a month IMHO. Some people who live in the boonies where DSL is unavailable seem to like the service, but in that kind of situation your only other option is dial-up (which in rural areas can be even more painfully slow--DAMHIKT.)

Have you looked at the option of using your cell phone for Internet access? I don't know if you can get high speed access that way or not.

Good luck

Mark

John Shuk
10-19-2006, 9:11 PM
Ken,
I believe some of the telcos have relaxed the rules about requiring you to have dial tone to get DSL on the line. Might want to check. $55 a month seems a bit high for DSL as well. I know it varies state by state and company by company. Call and see if there is a lower price available. If you aren't using the home phone to make alot of calls I would think you could bring that cost down a bit too by changing the service.
I hate the idea of folks disconnecting from the telco system.
It's how I make my living.
Disclaimer: Verizon employee.

Matt Meiser
10-19-2006, 9:12 PM
The only good thing about satellite internet is that its available where nothing else is. Sprint is building out a high speed cellular internet service in our area. As soon as its available we'll dump Hughesnet. The lag is annoying, but HTTPS is painfully slow--takes me about 30-45s to log into Paypal or Ebay. It also doesn't work with my VPN at work (but strangely works great with one of my client's VPN's) Mark is right--uploads are painfully slow. Downloads of large files are quick though. Just last night I downloaded iTunes (35MB) in a couple minutes.

Lee DeRaud
10-19-2006, 9:50 PM
If you aren't using the home phone to make alot of calls I would think you could bring that cost down a bit too by changing the service.Second that. That $50/mo number sounds like it includes some kind of long-distance service, which, as you say, is unnecessary with the cellphone. My landline cost is only $28 (PacBell/SBC/AT&T or whatever they're calling themselves this week)...and $7 of that is for the voice-mail.

Kent Fitzgerald
10-19-2006, 9:57 PM
Just one question, Sam - how's the customer service? :D

Welcome to SMC!

Travis Porter
10-19-2006, 10:12 PM
$50 a month for local service is high IMO. I do not believe you will like Satellite Internet though. 3 second lag times, delay, latency. Requires a minimum 1 year contract, professional installation, and it used to be several hundred dollars installation costs.

You should be able to just do the DSL without home phone. It may be a bit more, but you should be able to do it. If you have cable, you should be able to get a cable modem on it's own for about $50 a month as well.

Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular are building out high speed wireless networks, but coreage is not available in all areas so before I went that route I would verify you can get coverage in your area if you go that way.

The only benefits to wireline phone is it is more reliable than cellular, and it provides definitive location information for 911 services.

Jim Becker
10-19-2006, 10:18 PM
You should be able to get "naked" DSL if your carrier is like most of them these days...that's DSL without the associated phone number. But I agree also that your phone service presently sounds like it includes "extras" that are not necessary for a simple, incoming only/emergency land-line setup. Turn off the features you don't need and keep it purely for a copper link to the outside world.

You should also ask your DSL provider if they offer a better rate for a year commitment. My Verizon DSL with 3mb down and 768Kbps up runs me $29.95 a month with a one-year commitment in place. ($39 for month to month)

Tim Morton
10-20-2006, 8:20 AM
Ken, I would tread very carefully into satellite internet. I think you will find it is a HUGE pain in the butt and not worth the savings. I'm pretty sure you should be able to get the local cable provider to come hook you up to a broadband line only for alot less than the money you are paying now. I had Adelphia hook us up at work last year for $49 a month.

Rob Russell
10-20-2006, 8:35 AM
For us, the SBC landline is around $25/month. We could save a bit by going to digital phone over cable, but there is a price that we'd pay. When the power goes out, the SBC phone still works but the cable stuff dies.

J. Scott Chambers
10-20-2006, 8:51 AM
Our cable company will sell internet service (or at least they did, haven't checked lately) without being a TV subscriber, it just cost about $10 more per month.

I've considered dropping our phone service as well, and using cellular, except we have small children in the house, and true 911 service is a must.

Matt Meiser
10-20-2006, 9:15 AM
One other thing--if you drop the land line, how is your DirecTV going to "phone home"? You could probably get that working over VoIP, but VoIP will not work with Hughesnet.

Dennis Peacock
10-20-2006, 10:07 AM
Just one question, Sam - how's the customer service? :D

Welcome to SMC!

LOL!!!!! :D

My question exactly Kent. Hey Sam? Don't hold back so much buddy, tell us how you really feel. :p :p :D

Ken,

Get Cable Internet service or see if Ma'Bell offers DSL without phone. Only go with Hughes if that's all you can get.

Brent Dowell
10-20-2006, 10:59 AM
Well,

I agree with most of the posters here. Satellite is broadband of the last resort. If you can get anything else, it will be faster and cheaper than Satellite.

That being said, I'm moving to an area where I am unable to get broadband in any other way than satellite, and since I work from home, I need something better than dial-up.

I recently signed up for the Hughesnet Small office package. Many hundreds of dollars to setup, and about a 100 bucks a month.

The VPN my company uses worked on it, and from a surfing/web use perspective, I really haven't noticed much of a difference from my current DSL.

Telnet'ing in to my companies boxes, however, exposes the one flaw in Satellite connectivity, the dreaded 'latency'. Physics dictates that sending a radio wave to a satellite in geo-synchronus orbit and back takes about a second. So, when I'm working in a terminal session and hit a key, it takes about a second for me to see what I've typed. Fortunately, most of the commands I type have developed into muscle memory in my fingers, so I'm able to type ahead quite a bit and see the results. If you play any real time games, it wouldn't work very well. I haven't tried VOIP yet, but I have tried google talk, and while it worked, there is a bit of delay to overcome in the conversation.

I have had to call tech support once, and it was an offshore company. I could tell the tech was reading directly from a script, but they did manage to solve my issue.

Hal Peeler
10-20-2006, 11:00 AM
Say Hughes is your only choice other that dial-up. How much better is it than dial-up? Are there any other options? Thanks
Hal

Cliff Rohrabacher
10-20-2006, 11:22 AM
My Land line Phone is $18.00 monthly from Sprint.
Sprint is also the carrier for my DSL Earthlink is my Main page I pay about $75.00 for that.
I have a VOIP phone for which I pay $25.00 monthly. It does all the toll and long distance calls for no additional fee.

I use the Sprint land line as my dedicated FAX. It is unlisted as is my VOIP.

My wife and I have Cell phones with something like 900 minutes non-carry-over @ month.

And I have that xxxxxxx TV cable that keeps getting more expensive. I am soooooooooooo close to getting sattilite.

Peter Stahl
10-20-2006, 3:37 PM
I don't need a package with TV. I have Direct TV with Tivo and HDTV and would not swap it for unlimited Bud Light:) . I just can't see having to pay >$100/mo just for internet service. Hughes advertises home package internet at $59.99/mo.


Wow Ken, I didn't know Direct TV/Tivo/HDTV was that good!!! My daughter is in the Navy and went to Verizon Cellular DSL like Doug did and she loves it. She's had it for about 7 month's now and haven't heard any complaints.

Eddie Watkins
10-22-2006, 12:50 AM
Ken,
I have a land line for the internet and can only achieve 26-28k speed. I have looked into satellite (wildblue.com, directwav.com) as well as wireless ( sprintbroadband.com). The broadband looked like a better deal but required a 2 year commitment. It is a line-of-sight hookup and wouldn't work for me. There is no DSL or cable access available. Like you, my home phone is more of a nuisance than an asset but because we have a monitored alarm system we need the land line for it. A wireless connection for the alarm is about $35/ month. Our home insurance gives us a $20/ month discount for having a monitored alarm system but it costs us $20 a month for the monitoring plus $35+ for the phone line. Still, I like having the security of the alarm system. Just something else to think about. I have no answers just wanted to be sure if you have an alarm you remembered to check its cost.:confused: I have thought about taking out all my phones except an old one in the garage that requires no electricity for emergencies.
Eddie

Reed Wells
10-24-2006, 4:39 PM
Ken, I have the direcway 4000, which is the older Hughes model. On speed tests I am getting about 800-900 KB/S down and around 50-75 up. I pay $67.95/ mo. Its a four year old system and if I remember right it was around $900.00 installed. I am in Northern Wisconsin so the only problem I have had with it going out is brooming a foot of snow off the dish, but that is mounted on a six foot pipe so its no problem. Where I live there is no cable, cell phones are blocked by distance and trees and the phone system is an antique copper line ( rotery ). I had no other way to go, but I must say I have been very happy with mine.

Scott Coffelt
10-24-2006, 6:44 PM
Can I throw in one often missed but exteremely important fact..... 911, not reliable on a cellphone, keep that in mind as you make decisions dumping a phone line and moving to full wireless. Should be OK with cable provided and others, but I'd ask to be sure.

Nothing like realizing that is an issue, when you need to get to 911 and them find you fast.

Scott Coffelt
10-24-2006, 6:46 PM
May I add, check into the phone company and see if they offer an emergency type phone service only. No frills, can't make or receive calls, etc. You can also remove all features like Caller ID, 3-way, etc. if you have that on there and also ask to go to no toll for long distance, all of these are fees you do not need.

Michael Morgan
10-24-2006, 7:36 PM
A few months ago I did what you are doing, we never used the land line and we have a cable modem through the cable company. Anyway I wanted to keep the home number so I transferred that number to another cell phone and saved about $35.00 per month, sounds smart right? Well as Paul Harvey would say, "Now for the rest of the story" after the land line was shut off I noticed the next day that our alarm system was showing an error code:( yea thats right, I forgot about the alarm system working with the land line. Anyway I ended up getting another land line through the cable company, now I get my internet service, cable TV, and phone service from the same company.

John Shuk
10-24-2006, 11:44 PM
A few months ago I did what you are doing, we never used the land line and we have a cable modem through the cable company. Anyway I wanted to keep the home number so I transferred that number to another cell phone and saved about $35.00 per month, sounds smart right? Well as Paul Harvey would say, "Now for the rest of the story" after the land line was shut off I noticed the next day that our alarm system was showing an error code:( yea thats right, I forgot about the alarm system working with the land line. Anyway I ended up getting another land line through the cable company, now I get my internet service, cable TV, and phone service from the same company.

And when the power goes out and you have no phone you have no central station monitoring. At this time the alarm companies do not endorse cable phone service as a reliable link to central station. If you insist on keeping that service they recommend purchasing a cellular link to report trouble.

Jason Roehl
10-25-2006, 8:25 AM
Hey, Ken, what's the verdict? Have you figured out a new communications plan yet?

Ken Salisbury
10-25-2006, 3:12 PM
Hey, Ken, what's the verdict? Have you figured out a new communications plan yet?

Not yet Jason - I have put it on the back burner for a while. I did reduce the cost of my land line by taking off the frills like caller ID, Area Calling, etc.