FALMOUTH, Mass. — Janet Salsman took one last look at her cable bill and finally pulled the plug in November.
“The prices just kept going up. It was ridiculous,” Salsman said.
The 63-year-old Falmouth resident joined millions of cord-cutters across the country and reduced her monthly bill from $220 to around $140.
“I’m not a big TV watcher and it just seemed crazy to keep paying so much,” she said.
The research group Insider Intelligence found more than half the country no longer pays for cable TV. An estimated 47.6 million American households are cord-cutters, according to Insider Intelligence, and by the end of 2023 around 54 percent of households no longer paid for traditional cable.
There’s more bad news for cable companies: According to Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson, the linear pay-TV industry had its worst third quarter ever with around 889,000 subscribers cutting the cord. Traditional cable, satellite, and telco distributors lost 11.7% of their subscribers compared to a year ago, MoffettNathanson reported.
“We do four or five [cord-cutting conversions] a week,” said Sarah Canning, founder of Falmouth tech company Gadgets Made Eazy. “When we leave a house, the client is saving around $100 a month.”
The majority of Canning’s clients are over the age of 50. The cord-cutting process can be intimidating, so Canning asks her clients to consider three things before they say goodbye to cable TV.
CHOOSE YOUR DEVICE
If you don’t have a smart TV, you need to find a device that makes your TV “smart,” like a Roku, Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast, or Apple TV device.
“The Roku device really streamlines everything. It’s a small remote with ten buttons on it,” Canning said. “We simplify the way that it looks on a TV so there’s minimal apps and it’s really easy.”
LIST THE CHANNELS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Canning asks her clients to make a list of every channel they must have, whether it’s sports, entertainment, or news. Streaming services can vary in price, from $75 to $5 a month, and knowing which channels you need can make it easier to decide which services to sign up for.
“Write down the channels you watch on a regular basis. What must you have?” Canning said. “Based on the channels they must have, I’ll say, ‘This is where you need to be.’”
SHOP AROUND FOR THE INTERNET
If you think you’re paying too much for your internet, Canning said T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon all offer home internet deals. Check with your service provider to see if that’s an option where you live.
“They give you a modem for free and that modem creates internet from cell phone towers,” Canning said. “A lot of clients do great with it and they’re all in the same price range.”
If you’re still hesitating to let go of that cable box, Salsman said you shouldn’t be scared.
“I wouldn’t be intimidated. I was because I’m older and it’s a little scary to cut the cord but do it because you can’t believe how much you can save and how much you have access to,” Salsman said.
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