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March 1, 2009 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Canadian phone/cable/internetfilter: what combo of services are cheapest?

The scenario:
Two people moving into a new place in Edmonton, mostly calling each other [or not, neither have cell phones right now] and local calls almost exclusively. Cable TV is not a requirement, although even the phone company provides that service now.

Is it best to go with a dsl/landline package from Telus?
A cable internet/digital phone package from Shaw?
Internet from [somebody] and VOIP [with Vonage? somebody better?]

Having two cellphones on a family plan and [magical internet from whoever] sounds like it provide the most convenience for us, but there are also a zillion cell phone providers to sift through to figure out what the best deal would be there.

Our total phone usage is currently quite low [maybe 20 minutes/month each?] but that might creep up with cell phone ownership. The kind of calls we make are mostly of the this-is-my-current-location-i-will-see-you-at-X-o'clock type, and would be served equally well by text messages, but voice calls are necessary for contacting older relatives.

What I'm looking for is someone who has been down this road and can point to the glaringly obvious solution that I haven't even considered yet.
posted by Acari to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your options two and three are the same -- Vonage is VOIP, it's just a third party one, rather than one bundled by your ISP.

I don't see a great need for land lines (and the VOIPs above are land lines) in your requirements, and most people I know setting up new nests are skipping out on land lines completely anyway.

You also say you don't need TV (good for you, tv sucks!), so I'd resist the cheap time-sucking television too. The right way is probably the most minimal friends-and-family type cell phone plan with two cell phones (so your calls to each other are free), and then an unrelated cheap internet-only connection at home, which will probably be a 30-dollarish cable modem or ADSL.

I believe both Rogers and Telus can offer both of those unrelated services in Canada (there might be more, not up to date on this stuff) so they might give you a discount on one or the other, even if they don't have an official bundle.

"Hi I have a Rogers cell phone, can I get a deal on home internet?" (or vice versa).
posted by rokusan at 11:34 AM on March 1, 2009

If you do get a home phone, Shaw (at least in Winnipeg) has an unadvertised price right now of $7.95 for a basic line or $12.95 for the same package with voicemail and call waiting. I was offered the pricing by a telemarketer last week and was told it's not a temporary promotion but the permanent price. Of course, you'd have to have Shaw internet too. That's the way I go, but mostly because the phone company here has abysmal customer service.

Telus probably has a package where you can get a deal on DSL if you have cell phone service - if they're anything like my telco, it's $5 off each service if you have more than one.
posted by pocams at 1:28 PM on March 1, 2009

Best answer: Shaw for internet, and Fido for a cellphone.

Telus and Rogers have a tendency to try to get you into a contract, Shaw has never had anything like a contract. If you want to go even cheaper on the cellphone, get a 7-11 SpeakOut Wireless pay-as-you-go phone, no monthly bills, no contract, nuttin (but you do have to buy a phone [$75-150])
posted by blue_beetle at 3:21 PM on March 1, 2009

I'd have to say Shaw. The general consensus is that they are superior to Telus - they have an excellent reputation when it comes to customer service, and there are no contracts. Take a look at their bundles. We have Classic Cable / High Speed Internet / Digital Phone Lite, which comes out to about $120 a month. You may be able to go even cheaper.

As for cell phones, I just started using one a week ago. For now I'm buying $10 monthly cards from Rogers (calls are $0.40 per minute). I'm not too impressed with that.

Good luck!
posted by kitcat at 5:23 PM on March 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the help, folks.

At this precise moment, the ideal plan sounds like:
Telus high speed internet [~$26/month] + a basic phone line package from ITP [$10] for something like $36/month. And because of the 365 days until prepaid minutes expire, that 7-11 phone [!] is about perfect for an emergency backup thing.

And because I hate shopping for deals, I am going to try to stop thinking about it any more starting... now.

future-nine sounds awesome and has great reviews, but what a website! No thanks, VOIP from 1996!
posted by Acari at 10:31 AM on March 2, 2009

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