Why I ditched my 5G home internet and went back to Spectrum

There has been a lot of hype around 5G over the past five years and, to some extent, it still exists today. Driverless cars, remote surgery, the metaverse — all buzzwords that have yet to materialize in any real way.

One area where it has greatly helped change our lives? It finally provides long overdue competition to cable companies for home broadband. Over the past year, I’ve been exploring whether 5G and similar technologies (known as “fixed wireless”) could replace traditional home broadband, testing midband solutions from Verified And T-Mobileas well as millimeter wave options like Honest Networks.

I abandoned my Spectrum subscription e I even changed my apartment to Onesto, which delivers gigabit upload and download speeds to our building for $50 a month. It has been great for months and I would have been happy to continue using it.

At least until Spectrum came knocking.

Competition generates business

Screenshot of Spectrum's free three-month contract

Spectrum’s three months free deal was terribly addictive.

Screenshot by Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Since leaving Spectrum I have received a flyer in the mail offering three months of free TV and Internet if I go back. There weren’t even any contracts or commitment strings attached. The company seems to hope that once people sign up, they don’t leave again so quickly.

As a sports fan, the allure of traditional cable was certainly appealing throughout the rest of the NFL and college football regular seasons, MLB postseason, and the start of the NBA and NHL campaigns. Obtain and manage regional sports networks New York it’s a hassle, and the only streaming service that offers them all (DirecTV Stream) costs $90 a month for the Choice package.

While my internet speed wouldn’t be as fast as the gigabit Honest promised, Spectrum’s Internet Ultra offers download speeds “up to 500 Mbps,” which is more than enough for all my work, video chatting, streaming, and gaming. and my roommates.

Furthermore, even after the three months are up, the cost of the Internet would be $40 a month, a $10 monthly savings compared to T-Mobile and Honest.

I can’t say this deal is a direct result of 5G internet options joining the fray and adding competition. I also don’t know if Spectrum is offering it everywhere or only in certain markets like New York City, but it seems to be a newer option.

“We have consistent nationwide regular pricing and customer-friendly policies like no modem fees, data caps or contracts,” a Spectrum spokesperson said in a statement. “We often offer promotions to new or updating customers to give them the opportunity to try a service or package at a discount, for a specific amount of time, before the regular price goes into effect.”

Also, these offers aren’t always just for new subscribers. The old trick of calling your provider and threatening to switch at T-Mobile or Verizon, which I noticed when I helped a friend with theirs Optimal bill in New Jersey, helped lower my bill by $40 a month before changing anything about their service.

Cable companies appear to be concerned, and perhaps rightly so. Verizon’s earnings have seen consumers are fleeing the traditional wireless phone business amid higher price points, but the carrier added 234,000 “fixed wireless” consumer users.

T-Mobile added 578,000 home Internet users in the most recent quarter and now has over 2.1 million subscribers.

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US, appears to be particularly concerned and earlier this month it started launching TV ads against T-Mobile’s Home Internetencouraging users to go to his website where it “compares” the two broadband options. A number of cable companies, including Comcast, Optimum and Spectrum, have also offered home Internet packages with own mobile services.

“I think you’ll see (cable companies) getting more aggressive with promotions and working to increase speed to try to counter the momentum that telecom is getting,” Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell He says.

“Given how fast (home Internet) subscribers have grown for both T-Mobile and Verizon, consumers clearly understand this and seem eager to move away from the cable companies,” he says.

Even higher speeds are coming

Ring bundle of fiber optic strands on a black background

Getty Images

Beyond price and offerings, the rise of 5G home broadband has also coincided with a renewed push by cable companies on speed. Comcast’s selling point against T-Mobile is that it has more gigabit offerings available and that its broadband could be up to 36 times faster than T-Mobile’s 5G home Internet.

“Fixed wireless over 5G is making it imperative that cable companies upgrade their infrastructure to be able to claim consistently fast speeds, especially on uploads where wireless can struggle today,” he said. Avi Greengart, analyst at research firm Techsponential.

A wide variety of other providers including OptimalSpectrum, Verified And AT&T extension have added new levels of multi-gigabit speeds and expanded their buildouts for fiber service, all as the top three wireless providers continue to develop and improve 5G service. This push towards faster options should allow for not only the prospect of better speeds for those looking for a boost, but also better selections for their needs.

“People who continue to work from home or who just want the fastest option will look to fiber,” O’Donnell says. “Mainstream users now have more choices, and people who have had limited options (rural, etc.) can now finally get something that’s reasonable.”