Moving Into Your Student Home: Cable and Internet

By Lauren Bernardo

One of the fun parts of moving into a new house, or moving back into your student home after the summer’s over, is sorting out the cable and internet. It’s a chore, no one likes to do it, and you have to pay money every month for the services. So the goal here is to make it simple and learn how to save some money.

Internet and Cable Providers & Deals

  • Check out Rogers, they offer a Student deal. It’s usually 8 months, great Bandwidth and pretty affordable. It will pop up on the Rogers site in late July or August.
  • Leverage previous agreements with Rogers or Bell, use them against each other. You can often get large discounts on cable & internet if your contract is set to expire.
  • Tekksavvy-Internet and Cable plans are cheaper but make sure to check, they often charge you for a modem
  • Often providers will offer deals where you only get the cheaper rate for 3 to 6 months and then you get charged a really high amount for the remainder. Try to avoid this because most of these deals also require you to lock in for at least a year, which doesn’t really work for most students.

Bandwidth Saving Tips

  • If all of your roommates love a show but can’t watch it at the same time, then download it. Use a USB and give each other the episodes/seasons. It will save bandwidth by preventing all of your roommates from streaming the same episode multiple times.
  • If you’re the only one that watches a show, just stream it. Streaming a single episode uses less bandwidth than downloading it.

Cable Alternatives (just sticking with Internet)

  • For about $100 you can purchase Apple TV, which allows you to sync all Apple devices in your home and watch video content, play music, etc. through your TV. (It does require an HDMI connection with your TV.)
  • Those who are more knowledgeable about technology can also unlock Apple TV in order to stream shows, movies, etc. right from your box. However, Apple TV will require that you have a decent amount of bandwidth with your internet plan.
  • Just stream shows and movies on your computer. How often are you actually home to watch your favourite show when it’s on TV?
  • If your TV has an HDMI hookup, you can buy an HDMI cable, attach it to your laptop (some laptops don’t have HDMI output) and watch streamed TV from your laptop on your television.

Some More Tips For Getting Your New Home Set Up

  • When talking on the phone with a customer service agent, ALWAYS get their name and employee number. That way if you ever call back and quote them on something, you have proof that they exist and that you spoke to them.
  • Do your research. Check out what other providers are offering, their prices and the specs (internet speed, bandwidth, etc.).
  • Have a set target in mind price-wise before you get on the phone to talk to a representative.

Wrap Up

For most students, you don’t need more than basic cable (if you even want to buy it) and a decent internet package with enough bandwidth and decent download speeds. Don’t get weaseled into multi-year contracts because a lot of students end up switching rental houses, roommates, or go their separate ways. And you don’t want to get stuck with a contract in your name at a house you don’t live in anymore. Take advantage of student offers and make use of your parents’ previous relationships with these cable companies. Saying, “My parents have been with your company for X number of years, can you get me a better price?” may actually work. Make it known that you are a student and aren’t rolling in cash. Most prices are negotiable, so never settle for the first offer they provide.

Excerpted from Moving into your Rental: Cable/Internet.  Reproduced with permission.

Lauren Bernardo is a current University of Guelph Commerce student.  Her blog Cheap Students aims to help students save money and keep it. Her writing is inspired by her personal experiences as a student on a budget and by her love for saving money.

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