|Medium: 2 Services Generally Run $84-$110/month||High: Three Services Generally Run $100-$130+/month|
As cable, internet and voice service providers start to offer plans and packages in areas outside of what was once their initial offerings, bundled services are starting to become more common and often offer better deals for the average consumer. These services usually include TV and Internet, or TV, Internet, and voice bundled plans. Major players in this arena include Comcast , AT&T and Verizon . Each of them offers a "triple pack" of TV, Internet and voice or a "double pack" of TV and Internet where pricing is based on number of offered television channels, Internet speed, and calling features. These offers in a regional location are all subject to service availability.
What should be included:
- Comcast Digital Double Play , which includes their Digital Starter package and their high speed Internet service (up to 12 Mbps), ranges from $84/month in the Chicago area to $110/month in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Comcast's Triple Play of cable, Internet and digital voice has three tiers based on the features that a customer may want and are $130, $160, and $200 per month. These rates appear to be similar across the Comcast service areas.
- AT&T U-verse bundles include a Double Pack of TV and Internet starting at $74 per month and higher up to $174 per month depending on programming choices and Internet speed. U-verse's backbone is IPTV technology based on fiber optics. The Non U-verse Double Pack starts at $60 per month.
- Adding on U-verse Voice is an additional $30 for the primary line. So the U-verse Triple Pack options would then range from $105 (least expensive bundle components) all the up to $204 (most expensive bundle components) per month. The non U-verse Triple Pack starts at $100.
- Verizon offers Phone and FiOS Internet (their fiber optic network solutions) with a Double Play bundle that start at $90 a month with an annual agreement. Non FiOS Double Play starts at $50 a month
- Similarly, Verizon FiOS also offers several tiers of their Triple Play package. They range from $110 to $130 per month. Non FiOS packages are $80, $100, and $120 per month.
- For TV viewing, bundled services often include an HD DVR. A DVR is a digital video recorder that records video onto a hard drive storage medium. It often includes features such as pausing live TV, recording two channels at the same time, and allowing instant replay, rewinding, and fast-forwarding of video programming.
- Broadband service usually includes a wireless router and modem these days. This is a digital modem that allows you to connect your home computer and network to online Internet services. Wireless capabilities on the modem also allows one to connect computers and laptops wirelessly to the Internet on your home network.
- If digital voice is included as part of the bundle, this feature is then often combined with a more feature-rich broadband modem to include capabilities of handling telephone voice data.
- For television, premium channel add-ons range from $7 to $14 per month.
- Higher Internet speed grades range from $30-$65 per month.
- A second voice line costs about $15 per month.
Shopping for bundled services:
- Comcast currently offers the Digital Double Play for $70 per month for 6 months for eligible customers.
- For Comcast's Triple Play service, a one year contract nets an additional $20 of savings each month. A two year contract gives savings that range from $30-$50 depending on the tier chosen.
- AT&T U-verse Double Pack currently offers a $200 Cash Back promotion.
- Verizon FiOS pricing for new customers require an annual agreement and the pricing is guaranteed for two years. Additionally, online orders get an additional $5 discount. Their Triple Play packages also currently offer a free camcorder or discounted/free Compaq Mini netbook depending on which tier your choose.
- The best way to shop for bundled services with Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon is through their websites.
- Not all services and providers may be available in a particular location. Though, there are also times when two or all three major providers provide offerings. Also note that service quality can vary from geographic region to region as well.
- Epinions.com offers a comparison of some users experiences between Comcast and AT&T U-Verse.
- DSLReports.com has a forum thread comparing broadband usage for 30 days between Comcast and AT&T.
- Seeking Alpha , a financial analysis website, offers a slightly different take by comparing subscribers and availability of services between AT&T and Verizon.
- AVS Forum , a forum for audio and video enthusiasts, has a large thread comparing HD video quality between Comcast and Verizon FiOS.
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