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Taking the Plunge

It’s been a couple of months since I did the math and realized that Mediacom was no longer a good deal for our household. Let’s review. Mediacom provides us digital cable and high-speed internet. They have repeatedly raised prices over the last two years (including a $10/month upper over the past 3 months). They had a real pain-in-the-backside dispute with Sinclair that caused us to lose one of our local channels for a month. We chose to go to Mediacom two years ago now when we dropped our home landline and went to cell phones-only; at that point, Qwest didn’t have the option of getting DSL without having a land line, which priced their service out of our range.

Fast forward to today. Qwest now has the option of getting DSL even if you don’t have regular phone service. Dish Network has an option that will give me pretty much all the same channels I have now. I’ll get a few added benefits from Dish like a dual-DVR system. (The one downer about Dish? I don’t get Versus in the top-200 channel pack, which means I won’t get to see much NHL next year. But heck, for what I’m saving per month, I could order NHL Center Ice next season and still save money.) When all is said and done, we’ll save $35/month for the first year, then when the Dish discount expires, we’ll be saving $25/month. That is, as Bullwinkle J. Moose says, antihistimine money. (“Antihistimine money?” “Not to be sneezed at.”)

So for Qwest DSL, you can either buy the DSL modem for $50, or you can lease it for $5/month ad infinitum, or you can get one from Best Buy. Normally I’d assume Best Buy would be the worst deal of them all. But Best Buy has this deal where if you sign up for Qwest DSL while you’re at the store, you get the DSL modem for free. That’s right, free. No mail-in rebate; they just walk you through the online signup, then they take the modem, throw it in a bag, and hand it to you. I was amazed. The signup went smoothly, appears to have made it to Qwest OK (I got a confirmation email last night), and it’s definitely the same DSL package I would’ve signed up for if I signed up directly from Qwest. So good on you, Best Buy. Now if I get my refurbished iPod yet this week and it’s satisfactory, Best Buy will be on my “very good” list for the week.

Tonight I’ll stop by the satellite TV place on the way home and put in my order for Dish. When I checked with them a few weeks back, the lead time on installs was only a couple of days. I’m guessing I’ll get an install Friday afternoon or Saturday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly.

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