I live in the sticks. Actually I live in a small town but it is surrounded by miles of nothingness that makes me happy but drives a certified cityslicker to tears within seconds. Somehow, for reasons I have yet to understand because it happened well before I moved here, a minority of people elected our major. He is affiliated with the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation cult that lives on the edge of town and comprised a fifth of our population. Although he is a decent upstanding citizen, he has been a terrible mayor and might be racing the Current Occupant in the Whitehouse to see who can spend more taxpayer money. One of the side effects to our Guru Mayor is that he is very in tune as all Maharishi are with getting grants from our government. One of the grants our town has received is for hooking up every single house in our town to fiberoptic cable, the first town in the nation to do so.
Several weeks ago, a gray box with a fiberoptic cable was attached to the side of my house and two days ago, they did the actual installation. The only real drawback for me is that now one company will control my television, phone and internet. But my old system isn't removed so I guess I can go back to it at anytime. There are lots of advantages to fiberoptics. The one that sold me is that it is almost $80 a month cheaper than my current system which goes through four companies, cable, phone, long distance carrier and internet. It comes all on one bill which means less bill paying, which I love but will also probably mean more paper space to hide hidden charges, which I hate.
I opted for the bare essentials package. For $30 per month, I get digital high definition television signals but will get the local channels that I now get plus some extras that I really like the Public Television Learning and World channels and a NPR channel. Because I don't have digital televisions and probably won't for some time, I have to have a couple boxes to convert the signal but they are included in the price. My package comes with a phone which is why I wrote last time that I will continue to have a landline though I really don't need or want one. The phone plan is very basic. I can call anyone, anywhere in the United States and talk an unlimited amount of time and I just pay a flat rate of $30 per month. So if for some reason I need to talk to someone other than my wife or favorite five people, I can. For another $30 a month, I get unlimited internet access to a fiberoptic lines which is over ten times faster than the fastest high speed DSL line available to the average Joe. I will be able to download movies in a blink of an eye or perhaps quicker. In total, I signed up for the cheapest package and it is going to run me $90 per month. I still can't believe that I'm saving money by doing all this.
Now that the system is installed and working, the best part about the whole affair is beginning. I am calling up all these companies that have been stealing my hard earned money for all these years and providing me with sporatic and arguably crappy service and telling them where to stick said crappy service. Best of all, the phonecall don't cost me a dime!