Cable versus Streaming TV: How to Choose

Cable versus Streaming TV: How to Choose

By Debbie Burke
Cut the Cord

You have more options than ever before to watch TV – cable, satellite, and streaming TV.  While cable and satellite TV often offer more channels, streaming services provide more choices, are more affordable and customizable based on your viewing requirements and give you the flexibility to watch from anywhere. There are distinct differences between your viewing options.

Programming Options

While all three offer many different types of programming, cable and satellite only offer one live TV option. You are limited to the number of channels in your package and must pay for all channels, even if you don’t want them, with some add-ons available for an additional cost. Streaming TV and streaming on-demand give you many apps and services to choose from, with thousands of genres, many of which are free, that you can cancel at any time to try another.

Cost Differences

Contracts and fees substantially drive up what you pay every month to both cable and satellite providers.  Research conducted by showed taxes and fees can add between $30 and $50 to the monthly charge.  In Celebration, the cable company charges an extra $47 a month in taxes and fees, including a $22.65 broadcast TV fee and $11.75 regional sports fee, making the $70 package with 125 channels increase to over $115 a month, without Internet.  Add 1 Gbps of Internet will bring the monthly bill over $200 a month once the promotional offers expire.

Streaming services are purchased individually, allowing you to choose which services you want to subscribe. Subscribing to these four streaming services – Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu – will cost between $36 and $58 a month.  If you want the cable TV experience without the fees and contracts, consider a live TV streaming option such as YouTube TV for $72.99 a month, with no fees for box rental, DVR, broadcast TV and sports fees, to get over 100 channels of entertainment, news, live sports, and more.

You can cut the cable cord entirely and only use streaming services to still get the full TV experience and save money.

Benefits of switching to a TV streaming service

  • You’re not paying for a bunch of channels you don’t want or watch.
  • No taxes or hidden costs.
  • No fees for leasing equipment.
  • No contracts unless you choose to do an annual plan.
  • No waiting for a technician to come out for repairs or installation.
  • Option to go commercial-free
  • No penalty fees for early cancellation or deactivation.

For the best streaming experience, you will need at least 100 Mbps Internet service, depending on the number of people in your household sharing the bandwidth, and a Wi-Fi service plan so your streaming devices can get online from any place in the house.  In general, if you have a household of four, using a lot of 4K videos and online gaming simultaneously, you need at least 400 Mbps to effectively do all simultaneously.

Smart City Telecom delivers a 1 Gbps symmetrical fiber-to-the-home Internet connection and Home Wi-Fi to get the best streaming experience in Celebration. Visit to sign up today.

Is your Internet Connection Ready for the Holidays?

By Debbie Burke
Family Using an iPad On Holiday Season

While the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful. From trying to get your shopping done to the kids being home from school, and getting your home ready for your family members to visit, a lot is going on. And, with a higher level of online activity and all those extra devices, tablets, and laptops on your network, your Internet will probably feel the additional strain.

Follow these simple tips and set yourself up to be the best Internet host this holiday season.
1. Make sure that you have enough Internet speed to support all those users and devices. It may be time to upgrade your Internet to a faster service. Contact your Internet provider to see about upgrading your service.

2. With all the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping going on, make sure that you are shopping from secure websites only and taking all the necessary steps to protect your and your family’s information.

3. Set up a guest login for your Wi-Fi to ensure your Internet security and privacy. Make sure your password is simple to find and easy to remember. Write it down and place it somewhere that’s clearly visible, like sticky notes or a note on the fridge, so your guests have all the information that they need.

4. Back up all your pictures and videos to the cloud before the holidays so that you don’t run out of space on your phones and tablets. Consider backing them up to a cloud service like Google Photos, iDrive, Dropbox, or Amazon Photos. An external hard drive gives you another backup option.

5. If you are taking a holiday trip, you’ll probably have a good amount of time spent in cars, airports, and planes. Be sure that you have plenty of entertainment to get you through. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon let you download movies and series to your phone and tablet for those long hours of traveling.

6. While you are gone, be sure that your router is on and plugged in while you are away to take advantage of smart devices to help secure your home while you’re away. A video doorbell like Ring will allow you to get notified when someone is at your door and to hear and speak to whoever’s there. Some alarm systems will allow you to disarm your alarm, unlock your front door, and even your garage door from your cellphone but your Internet must be working.

Be the best Internet host this holiday season with Smart City Telecom’s Fiber Internet 1 Gig. Delivering symmetrical upload and download speeds, Smart City Telecom’s 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home Internet connection will support all your Internet needs. Add Home Wi-Fi to ensure your guests can access the Internet from any room in your home. Visit or contact us at 407-824-9277 today to get holiday ready.

Protecting Yourself While Online Shopping

By Debbie Burke

Shopping has never been more convenient or easier with online shopping.  The selection is endless. Shipping is fast. Returns are easy. But it’s important that you’re not giving up security for convenience. Keeping your information secure is essential when buying online to avoid a stolen identity or wiped-out bank account.

The next time you shop online, follow these tips to ensure your online information is protected, and your purchases are safe.

  1. Shop with merchants you know and trust. Know who you are shopping with and to whom giving your personal information.
  2. Look for “https” in the URL/web address when making an online purchase. This means the website is secure, allowing you to enter your personal and credit card information and complete a purchase without being hacked.
  3. Don’t fall for phishing attacks. Be very careful before clicking on a link, even if it appears to be from a legitimate site, asking you to log in, change your password, or provide any other personal information. When in doubt, manually type the site’s URL in your browser window.
  4. Create a unique username and password for each account you have. This reduces your risk should a hacker crack your login to get access to every account that you use that login for. Vary them by adding unique letters, numbers, or symbols for each account.
  5. Don’t give too much personal information. Retailers don’t need to know your social security number or your birthday. If you feel they are asking for more than you are comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction.
  6. Never use free public Wi-Fi when shopping online. Your data is usually not encrypted. Hackers can create fake Wi-Fi networks, and as soon as you connect to their password-free network, they have complete access to your device.
  7. Don’t use debit online. Use a credit card as there are more consumer protections than using debit cards. Use third-party services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal instead of using your credit card so that you are not giving the retailer your credit card information directly.
  8. Check your statements regularly. Continuously check your credit card and banking accounts for unauthorized activity, especially during the holiday season. Set up email or text message alerts to receive transaction details every time your credit card is used.
  9. Use Multi-Factor Authentication where possible. We recommend using both multi-factor authentication and a strong password whenever possible.
  10. Protect your computer. Keep your devices and software up to date, especially your web browser. Secure your device with anti-virus/anti-malware software and a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Protecting yourself begins with your home network.  Ensure your privacy and security settings are configured, set up a strong password, and turn off any unnecessary features. For more information on 1 Gig Fiber to the Home and data protection, contact Smart City Telecom at 407-828-6700 or visit

How to Protect Yourself from Robocalls and Texts

By Debbie Burke
Person using phone with Laptop

You answer the phone only to hear the recorded message, “We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.” You’ve just experienced a robocall.

A robocall is an automated telephone call that uses a computerized auto dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message as if from a robot. It is estimated that there have already been 28.7 billion robocalls in 2022, and spam texts jumped from 1 billion sent per month in July 2021 to more than 12 billion in June.  Most common types of spam calls are related to credit card debt, financial customer call, health insurance and medical tests, “You won!” contest calls and IRS tax fraud.

The Federal Communication Commission ( states that unwanted calls are their top consumer complaints. As part of their consumer protection efforts, the FCC has begun cracking down on illegal calls by:

  • Issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in enforcement actions against illegal robocallers.
  • Empowering phone companies to block by default illegal or unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics before the calls reach consumers.
  • Allowing consumer options on tools to block calls from any number that doesn’t appear on their contact list or other “safe list”.
  • Requiring phone companies to implement Caller ID Authentication to help reduce illegal spoofing.
  • Making consumer complaint data available to enable better call blocking and labeling solutions.

While you may have noticed receiving fewer robocalls over the past year, scammers are increasingly using text messages, which are not as strictly regulated. Some scammers may be after your money, but others may be simply trying to collect personal information or confirm that a number is active for use in future scams.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
  • If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on their website.
  • If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges on your bill.
  • Be aware that Caller ID showing a “local” number no longer means it is necessarily a local caller.
  • If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam.
  • If you have lost money because of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency.
  • Never share sensitive personal or financial information by text or phone.
  • Do not respond to texts from unknown numbers, even if the message requests that you “text STOP”. Delete all suspicious texts.
  • Be on the lookout for misspellings or texts that originate with an email address.
  • Think twice before clicking any links in a text message.
  • Remember that government agencies rarely initiate contact by phone or text.
  • Consider registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • File a complaint with the FCC at


If you think a caller is trying to scam you, hang up.  If you get suspicious email or text, do not reply.  If you think that you’re the victim of a texting scam, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency and notify your wireless service provider and financial institutions where you have accounts.

To help reduce the number of illegal robocalls that may originate from their network, Smart City Telecom has implemented robocall mitigation efforts to monitor the network and verify legitimate calls.  Find out more about what Smart City Telecom is doing to protect its customers at



Powering Up Your Smart Home with Fiber to the Home

By Debbie Burke
Taking a photo of a house

When you’re not home, nagging little doubts can crowd your mind. Did I turn off the stove? Did I set the security alarm? With a smart home, you can quiet all these concerns with a glance at your smartphone to see connected devices and appliances that tell you what is happening at home.

Smart home technology refers to any suite of devices, appliances, or systems that can be independently and remotely controlled, and connected to your home network and the Internet via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other communication protocols.  Whether you communicate with the device by voice, remote control, tablet, or smartphone, your home reacts. For example, you can tell your thermostat to turn your A/C up about an hour before you get home, saving you money on electricity bills.

Getting caught up with all the new gadgets creating your smart home is easy, and it’s also easy to forget about the one thing that makes them all work – your Internet connection.

Most of these devices don’t necessarily require a lot of bandwidth individually and use quick bursts even if they are always connected like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. Together with your mobile devices, laptops, PCs, and gaming consoles, they can use much of your Internet, resulting in sluggish Internet and slower response times.  Even a doorbell cam requires an Internet connection to upload its video to the cloud so you can then monitor it by downloading or streaming it to your device. When you add in other bandwidth-hungry applications such as 4K TV and video calling, you may need more bandwidth to ensure that you have enough to run all your devices.

To ensure that you have enough Internet speed, evaluate your current usage:

  1. The number of people in your household using the Internet daily.
  2. How many devices are connected to the Internet, including tablets, gaming consoles, and smart devices.
  3. Work from home, download and upload large files, and participation in video calling.
  4. Video quality used for streaming TV and movies, such as HD or 4K.
  5. On what level of online gaming does your household participate.
  6. Download of large files from the cloud or via the Internet.

Your Internet subscription needs to easily handle your daily requirements and the extra load from your smart home devices. Smart City Telecom offers 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home and Home Wi-Fi, giving you Internet fast enough to cover the total number of people and all the devices connected to your network, including smart home devices connected in the background. Visit to sign up today.