Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting Cable, Phone & Internet

It is probably a good idea to organise cable, phone and Internet services before you move in to your new home. Although an engineer will have to visit your property, it is a good idea to ring in advance to ensure you don't have to wait weeks to get your services up and running.

There are many different options when it comes to these services and the company you choose will depend on your individual needs. However, before you decide to use a certain provider check that they supply the services to your building. For example, we can't get 'Verizon Fios' in our building so had to go with 'Time Warner Cable', even though it was more expensive.

Also, I didn't realise that you don't need a phone line in order to get Internet services in New York. In the UK you have to pay line rental charges, even if you don't want a land line in order to access the Internet.

Unfortunately, if you want the best cable channels, such as HBO and SHOWTIME, you will have to pay an additional monthly charge. However, if you aren't that fussed about watching shows as they air you can sign up for NETFLIX which is much cheaper and gives you access to hundreds of TV shows and movies, although I think you need to a games console to watch it through your TV.

I would suggest doing some online research to find the best coverage and deals for your area, as they can differ from street to street. I have listed some websites for some of the main providers below:


  1. I'm not exactly sure how long you have been in NY as just saw your blog on expats this morning. is an explanation on how this works.

    The governmant "divided" up the city and allocated cable tv providers the "franchise" rights to provide cable tv services via hfc cable.

    So what this means is...depending on where you live you have to sign up with them if you want cable tv. You cant choose to sign up with someone else if you dont live in their area....

    So the providers in NY are "Time Warner/Cablevision/Comcast".

    In the 3 places i've lived in NY i have always had Time Warner.

    In addition to this all of these cable tv providers can also hook you up with a digital phone line (basically running voice over the cable network). This is why you dont need a phone line.

    All 3 cable providers offer high speed internet (at a good price as well).

    If you "happen" to live in an area with Verizon Fios (very flew places in NY have this) then you can get "fiber optic" connection from Verizon. Its not better even though they would tell you this but basically you can get pay tv and internet and home phone from them.

    Should you not want pay tv and just want a regular old phone line then you would get this from Verizon who are the exclusive phone line company in NY. The provide a similar system to BT with just phone and dsl internet.

    So to answer your question - i get my pay tv from Time Warner, highspeed internet from Time Warner and my voice from 8x8 which is similar to Vonage.

    Cheers from another expat

  2. Hi Dean,

    Thank you for checking out my blog and for the information regarding cable, phone and internet services in New York. It does clear things up regarding service coverage and providers. It is quite a complicated system and not easy if you are new to the country.

    Thanks again and I hope you continue reading my blog.