Hey there cord cutters!
First off, there'll be no newsletter next week but we'll be back with a new issue July 10th. In the meantime, have a safe and happy Independence Day and Canada Day.
This week we're talking about how Charter Broadcasting is asking the FCC to end to an agreement that's preventing them from instituting data caps and why that matters for its cord cutting customers.
Also: Q&A on gadget overload, short cuts, must-see OTA TV, and more.
As always, if you know of someone who might need some insight or help with cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please forward our newsletter, or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email.
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS: Charter Seeks OK from FCC to Ruin Things Ahead of Schedule
According to Ars Technica, Charter Communications is asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to do two things that could make cord cutting more expensive: adding data caps and negotiating 'interconnection payments'.
As part of its merger agreement with Time Warner Cable, Charter promised not to charge customers for data overages or ask major streaming providers for kickbacks until 2023.
But of course, there was a 'get out of jail early' loophole in that agreement. Now, Charter is arguing that major streaming services don't need any help competing against cable TV so they should be allowed to start shaking down streaming companies (as well as their customers) starting mid next year.
Apropos of nothing, here's how you can find an independent ISP in your area.
Stuck with Charter or another provider with data caps? Here are some tips on how to keep your data consumption in check.
Q&A: Is My Streaming Slowdown Related to These Extra Gadgets?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
This week's question comes from Calvin who says, "Over the last few months we've added a lot of new gadgets to the household with the kids doing online schooling, my wife and I working from home, and a few 'smart home' things. We upgraded our internet to a faster speed, but we're still finding the WiFi is laggy, especially for streaming TV and video calls. Would a new mesh router help?"
A new study shows that by 2025, the average US home will have 20 connected devices. Many of us are already well beyond that with cell phones, work laptops, tablets for the kids, streaming TV devices, and even 'smart' appliances.
Even though many routers can theoretically handle around 250 devices, the more gadgets you have on your network the more they'll be fighting for the available bandwidth. This can lead to slowdowns, especially if your router isn't positioned centrally in your home. Gadgets can even interfere with each other when placed too closely together.
If your router is more than 5 years old, an upgrade to a newer, more powerful model is advisable. Unless your home is quite large or is multi-storied, a more expensive mesh setup isn't needed. If it is, look for one that has Ethernet ports on the pods for flexibility.
If your router is more recent, try switching some devices to the 5GHz frequency. Enabling Quality-of-Service (QOS) settings on the router can also help by giving priority to things like work laptops and streaming devices so your Zoom meeting doesn't get choppy when the kids are watching YouTube.
Have a question about cordcutting that you'd like answered? Send us a note and you may see your question in an upcoming issue of Cord Cutting This Week!
SHORT CUTS: How To Avoid Commercials as a Cord Cutter & More
Most weeks there's more news than we can cram into this email. Thankfully 'short cuts' delivers the cord-cutting news and deals we didn't have room for, including:
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Daytime TV fans won't want to miss the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards - June 26th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
- Catch the benefit concert special Global Goal: Unite for Our Future - June 27th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC/CBC/CTV/Global/CityTV
- Tune in to The BET Awards 2020 - June 28th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
- Check out the new game show Cannonball - June 29th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Canadians can enjoy two CBC Canada Day events on July 1st:
- Canada Day Special @ 1:00 p.m. ET
- Canada Day Together @ 8:00 p.m. ET
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: Starlink Could Bring Better Internet to Canada
Elon Musk has confirmed that Canada is a priority for his Starlink internet service.
The entrepreneur has applied for a Canadian telecom license. If successful, Canadians living in rural areas underserved by major providers could finally enjoy gigabit internet speeds.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
If you know someone who may be interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please feel free to forward this newsletter to them or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email. Make sure to ask them to sign up as well!