One of the many things one must decide as a new home owner is just how much money is one willing to spend on various communication mediums. Namely, Phone, TV, and Internet. I recently had to make a decision on all of these things, and I thought I would provide you with some of my research and why I made the decision I did.
Part 1 – Phones
For me, this really wasn’t going to be an issue. It was Comcast Digital Voice vs. Qwest Vs. Using my existing cell phone Vs. Vonage (or another IP telephony service) and not having a land line. The cheapest of course was to go the all cell phone route, and with the 2000 minute plan I’m on now, that probably would have been the best option (especially if I plan to upgrade to unlimited in the near future). However, Amber and I both felt that having a land line is good for many reasons. Namely: Call quality and ease of use. Also, we would get unlimited long distance on our home phone, so it might be possible to reduce the cell phone minutes (and the cost) in exchange for using the land line when we are home (which for me is almost all the time, once I move in). The call quality issue sold me (I record a lot of webinars) so that eliminated the cell phone option. I eliminated Vonage and Ringcentral based on prior experience (let’s just say TCP/IP phones that have to travel over the internet have their own problems… regardless of bandwidth). So that left Qwest and Comcast.
Qwest has analog lines that are nice and reliable. They have all the same features of Comcast (for a price). That price (with features) would be $49.99 (unlimited long distance bundled with 10 feature phones)
Comcast on the other hand does it digitally over a dedicated channel in their cable network. This means there needs to be a battery backed up device on the consumers end to decode the signal. It also means it tends to be a little less reliable (although not by much). The price comes in (without 1 year specials) 39.95.. With 1 year special it’s 29.95.
That said, if I was just looking for fully a loaded phone service, I think I would probably go with Comcast Digital Voice… I don’t need the amazing reliability provided by qwest for the added 10 bucks a month. However, there is more to factor into this decision… but I’ll save that for part 2, 3, and 4.