WORLD WITHOUT WI-FI? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Wi-Fi

Although we have managed to remove cable television from our lives, you just can’t do without wi-fi. As a result, Charter/Spectrum’s wi-fi now cost more than their entire cable package used to cost. $76 for a $10 telephone and the rest, wi-fi.

For the moment. I’m sure it will cost more soon enough.

Considering that wi-fi is no longer a luxury for most people, maybe it’s time to set some controls on how much it costs? It used to cost $30, then $40, $50 and now, $65. Next year, the sky is probably the limit. I bet before we hit 2020, I’ll be paying more for JUST the wi-fi than I was paying for the whole cable package. And we only have ONE source here. We can pick Spectrum (Charter) or nothing. When you live in a small town, you don’t get lots of choices.

There are at least some regulations on electricity and other basic utilities. How about some kind of regulation for wi-fi?

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I’m going to be (again) at UMass today. Transthoracic Echocardiogram. I hope I’m in and out quickly, but you never know. It depends on what they see. I would much prefer they see everything ticking along like the proverbial clock.

It’s all “ultrasonic transducer.” At least something works without wi-fi! If they let me look at the pictures, I’ll be happy. I like it when I can see what they are seeing.

Categories: #FOWC, #Health, #Photography, Daily Prompt, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Heart, Hospital, Technology, UMass Memorial

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14 replies

  1. Internet and wifi service is separate? I’m confused. I have internet through Charter, and have wifi (which I don’t even really need other than the occasional use of my laptop) because I have a router hooked up to the modem that gets the internet. Maybe it’s one of those smartphone things where I’m just out of the loop because I continue to resist getting one…


    • Okay. Cable TV is one “line” and internet (wi-fi) is another line. Both shoot into the modem. Cable goes to your TV. Wi-fi is what almost everything ELSE uses — streaming services, your computer, probably your telephone, no matter how old it is because almost no one has a real landline anymore. The phone companies only sell them in very northern areas where heavy snow makes them necessary and they are EXPENSIVE, even compared to a smartphone.

      The router is not part of the modem unless you have a modem that is combined with a router. They are two separate devices. You can have a modem without a router if you only have one device, like a computer and nothing else. A router without a modem is useless. The modem receives the signal. The router distributes the signal from the modem. You need a router when you have multiple devices running from your router, like a telephone, a TV, a computer, a tablet, etc. IF you don’t have cable, you’ll only have wi-fi (internet) going into and out of your modem. If you have cable TV, you’ll have both. We have a big router because Garry has a computer, an iPad and a Kindle or two. I have two computers and two Kindles and we share a phone which runs off Wi-Fi (not a cell phone — just this gens version of a landline but it really ISN’T a landline). I also have a cellphone which is NOT connected in any way to Charter — it doesn’t connect to wi-fi at all. It’s just for making calls or texting and it’s a flip phone. Costs me 14.50/month for unlimited calls and texts and so far, I think I’ve used it twice in two months.

      If you have a separate router, you bought it yourself or you bought it from Charter, but it is a separate item that takes the streaming service (wi-fi) and sends it to the various devices you use. You don’t need a big one because you don’t use a lot of devices. And you also don’t have a big house. The bigger the house, the bigger the router you need. The longer the distance between the modem and the items it is servicing, the more power you need to push the signal along. Not unlike electricity. Just a different kind of signal. (Google it. It’s not complicated.) It’s just when you buy it all as a package, you don’t realize that it isn’t one ball of wax. It’s actually several pieces. If you have a telephone (not a cell phone, a regular telephone or your version of a landline) that’s also coming through the modem and shooting through the modem. Modern modems have a lot of different lines for different streams/services/kind of services and apparently know which are which. I do NOT know which are which and what I’ve just explained is pretty much all I know.

      So “Internet Service Provider” is called that because they provide multiple services. Right now, usually three services: telephone, cable TV, and wi-fi. Many are now they also offering cell phone services too. I thought I’d keep that separate.

      U.S. Mobile is MUCH cheaper than Charter.


  2. There is the same problem here. Brigham City is tiny and although the choices for ‘internet provider’ are adequate, the charge (separate) for the actual ‘wi-fi’ boils down to one choice. There are others, but they don’t work well at all. Until two years ago I had what used to be “Mountain Bell”. For EVERYTHING…my ‘wi-fi’, my cable service and my landline telephone. A package. Not expensive precisely, but not cheap either. Middle ground. Then everything went to hell and after two or three take-overs or buy outs or whatever it is when some conglomerate consumes other, smaller companies into it’s collective, the end product was horrible. The price kept going up and the service kept getting worse. Finally the cable was only available through a different mega-conglomerate. The phone and wi-fi were with the original provider turned Borg. I shut off the landline because it kept getting more and more expensive and I couldn’t take it with me, and having two phones was ridiculous. I hate the cell, but it’s reassuring to have in case of an emergency. That left the wi-fi which began to be worse and worse, and so I bought into the best one they have up here. The old company refused to consider upgrading their equipment to meet modern wi-fi standards. Customer service in any of those companies is a freakin’ joke. I have to deal with them, via phone, today to disconnect the cable, which I don’t use and which is extremely spendy. I suspect I’ll be crabby after THAT call. I tried to do it through face to face contact (as advertised on their bill) and got a gum-chewing, could not care less idiot who claimed face to face was ‘only for paying the bill’. This world just keeps getting stupider and honestly most of the time I wonder what, besides fear of the unknown, keeps me in it.

    I’m sorry you’re having the same experience with no choices and horrible service. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really IS the price we pay for NOT living in the city or a big suburb. I think I’d still rather live in the country, but OH there are days when I really hate not having shopping, no public transportation, no restaurants worth paying to eat at. We don’t even have bars. I think we have one in Uxbridge and there’s another at the awful Chinese restaurant in Whitinsville. People drink at home. It’s not that they don’t drink. We have plenty of liquor stores. Just no pubs. Or restaurants. Or even good fast food joints. If you can’t cook, you are in deep shit.

      Every now and again, I think of going to see if there’s something going on at the senior center, but I can’t do it. Neither can Garry. I know we are old, but they ACT old.


  3. Stupid question, but is your town board limiting competition? Have you googled wifi and your zip code to see if anyone offers a better wifi-only deal? I can see that Westborough and Amherst areas both offer Wifi for $34.99 without a contract / minimum term, and if you’ve already cut TV, that may be an attractive option for you. FYI, I use Ooma (voice over internet provider) for my house phone on my ipads and it’s about as dirt cheap as I can make it. I hope you can find a cheaper alternative.

    Don’t forget to see if there is a discount offered for anyone on SS / limited income, too.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they are limiting competition but it’s such a small town, there isn’t a lot of competition to discourage. We could, for example, have telephone high-speed cable. It’s just a quarter of a mile too far away for us to connect, but there aren’t enough people on the street for them to bother to run the line down our road. That’s the biggest drawback to living in the sticks. Houses are several hundred feet apart and set on acres of land each — many on huge lots. After we moved here, we learned to say, with humility, that we only have 2-1/2 acres and people look at us with pity. You can barely keep a horse or a bunch of chickens on that little land!

      Also, there’s absolutely nothing to do. We have a library — the first free library in the U.S., if you please — and that’s it. Everything else in miles away in another town … and even there, it ain’t much.

      And there is NO discount. None for anyone of any income or age or disability. Spectrum totally SUCKS.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sucks, BIG time. The feeling of powerlessness is so damn aggravating. Makes you wanna round up an angry mob.


  4. Some form of regulation is needed for wifi.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope that all is well in your test results, Marilyn! That does seem like expensive wi-fi; mine is about $40, but like you I have only one option. It’s already gone up a bit in the last 3 years, so will probably continue. I agree, that regulations are necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wifi makes the world go around.

    Liked by 1 person

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