Students weigh options when choosing cable, Internet providers

On-campus students receive free Internet and certain cable programming. When it comes to off-campus students, several cable, satellite and Internet options are available in the Florence area, depending on the price each student is willing to pay.

Comcast provides cable, Internet and phone bundles in a variety of packages, ranging from a digital starter pack of just basic cable at $30 a month to up to $84 a month. These prices, however, go up after 12 months to almost double their initial introductory prices.

“I’ve never had a problem with Comcast,” said Megan Thompson, sociology major at UNA. “The service is cool and the Internet is fast. I have basic cable and Internet for around $40 a month.”

AT&T also provides Internet and cable packages. Their prices for Internet and cable start at $30 a month for six months, with the option to build your own package. After six months, the prices also nearly double.

“I have Comcast T.V. and AT&T Internet,” said Sam Easley, an elementary education major at UNA. “I choose to do them separately instead of bundling because the intro rates were way cheaper that way. My Internet speed option with AT&T is faster for the price compared with Comcast.”

Netflix is another option for off-campus students. It provides streaming video for the computer or uses a gaming device, such as the Wii, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, with online capabilities connected to the T.V. for $8 a month. An Internet connection is needed for Netflix.

“I love my Netflix,” said Andrew Baker, a film and digital media major at UNA. “With my schedule, I can still get my ‘Don Draper,’ (a character for American Movie Classic’s ‘Mad Men’) on.”

Baker uses a Blu-ray player with WI-FI to connect to Netflix.

“My marriage with Netflix has been over a year, and I still love it,” he said.

DISH satellite is also an option for students who live in houses or places where apartments allow a satellite dish installation. They offer packages from $20 to $75 a month. They have also paired up with Blockbuster via the mail that is included in every package for three months.

Streaming programming sites, such as Hulu, offer UNA students a computer-only option for popular TV programming. They charge approximately $8 a month for their services. Students are able to watch full seasons of popular shows, such as “Glee,” “Modern Family,” “Family Guy” and “House.”

While UNA offers free Internet for its students, off-campus students have several options from a variety of prices and companies.