Back in August 2008 I posted an article about how my family gave the phone and satellite companies the boot. It’s ~16 months later, so I thought I give an update.
We are still using a broadband cable connection to the Internet, though it has been upped to 10Mb down and 1Mb up. With 5 computers/laptops and a couple iPods/Zunes/smartphones, the increased bandwidth serves us well.
The big change here is that I am now using a phone solution provided by my cable provider, but this decision was 100% economic. It is cheaper to have my Internet connection with the phone service than without! Crazy, I know. I elected, though, to have only the “local/state-wide” service and still use Skype-Out for ALL my long distance needs. For incoming calls we now depending wholly on Google Voice. I have been using Google Voice since before it was purchased by Google. Love it! Love it!
TV / Movies / Entertainment
The main change here is that we have dropped Blockbuster and switched to Netflix. I have become a Netflix believer! Incoming vectors for entertainment now include: OTA HDTV; Hulu, YouTube and other streaming sites; and Netflix DVDs and streaming. This is STILL TOO MUCH CONTENT!!!
Email / Productivity / Organization
Everyone in the house is still using Gmail (hosted) for email. While we occasionally need to use M$ Word / Excel / PowerPoint, most everything is done with Google Docs. New this year is that my wife is starting to use Google Calendar. Now that we are using Google Voice 100% and now that Google supports Active Sync (for my Touch Pro2 smartphone), I am centralizing my contact management in Google Contacts (bye bye Plaxo).
The only cost increase seen this year was the price increase to my Internet connection (+30/mn). I am still realizing savings over what I had 2 years ago!
I cannot imagine going back to the way it was 2 years ago. My family and I do not feel we have missed a thing. I am calling this “experiment” a success!!! Or in Google terms, I am removing the BETA tag 🙂