This is not a novel idea and not one that I think is available to everyone. But if, like me, you find yourself in the position to be able to do this, I think it is definitely worth the effort.
I'm talking about cutting down your wireless internet bill -- significantly -- by sharing a wireless signal with a neighbor. I got the idea several years ago when my wife and I lived in a Hillcrest condominium and, through sheer luck*, my wife became condo president. Well, at the time we were paying Comcast well over $100 per month in packaged internet and cable fees. It was a ridiculous amount. I am of the opinion that Comcast is a crap company that rapes consumers because there is not that much else out there for consumers to choose from**. Anyway, it occurred to me that, due to the nature of wireless internet, there was no reason why eight different condo units each had to pay for their own internet. So I went to Comcast, got the condo association set up on a business account, set up a main wireless internet modem and router and, viola!, all of a sudden each tenant's share of the internet costs was a small fraction of what they had been paying.
When we later moved out of the condo into our house, I had to go back to setting up an individual account since there was no shared signal into which I could tap. I opted for AT&T since there is no way I am ever going to do business with Comcast again short of a law mandating that I do so. And, at $40 per month, it was manageable. That is, until two weeks ago when my router went belly-up. A replacement of course was going to run me $75 or so. Of course.
It was then that I decided to approach my neighbor, with whom I was friends and who has been living next door for about a year now, with the proposition to share her existing internet signal. The arrangement is easy -- I pay half her internet bill each month and she lets us tap into her wireless router. She agreed and now my monthly internet bill is $12.50, or around one-third of what I had been paying***.
So, the moral of the story is Comcast sucks.
* No one else wanted to do it.
** You tell me why I have to pay for all the crap channels that I never watch just so I can get the handful that I do? And I have to pay how much? Be sure that this is a future blog post all its own.
*** For a savings of about $330 per year. Not bad.