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Old 06-05-2022, 10:26 AM
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Default A Word Of Caution About Using Verizon Or T-Mobile For Home Internet

I recently dropped Spectrum as my internet provider and opted for Verizon's service. It made sense due to the monthly savings in cost together with the fact that our cell phones are on the Verizon network. It's a much, much faster service as well.

Here's the rub though. Since the internet comes off of their cell phone towers they sometimes switch towers that are providing your service. While this is seemless and your service is not interrupted it does change the last few numbers on the IP Address.

Here's where HULU comes in to the picture. Because I have the Live TV subscription, federal law permits only 4 "location" changes before you get shut out of the live tv part of your subscription. So far this has happened twice to me, the most recent being Friday afternoon. It's all due to the cell tower switching. Just before the last location change I was permitted to have, I was picking up the Mobile/Pensacola local stations.

The remedy is a call to Hulu CS and a long 2 tier verification process to get you reset back to having 4 location changes. The maddening thing here is; this is going to happen again,.... and again,... and again. So the question becomes: Will I keep Verizon or migrate back to Spectrum. Time will tell, but the best advice I have if this happens to you is to call CS in the morning hours when call traffic is less. I was on the phone with them for over an hour on Friday evening.

Just a friendly Public Service announcement from your trusted bud. FF.
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Old 06-05-2022, 01:58 PM
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I have Verizon for my regular phone. After reading this, I think I'll not go to Verizon for anything else. I don't stream or watch TV over the internet, but even so, what you described is a hassle for sure. My cable and internet are Spectrum; I'll leave it that way unless something changes.
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Old 06-05-2022, 01:59 PM
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Fred - Please keep us posted. We are interested in switching to T-Mobile and don't want to "leap before we look".
Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2022, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
Fred - Please keep us posted. We are interested in switching to T-Mobile and don't want to "leap before we look".
Thanks.
Glenn, I got my 4 location changes reset on Friday evening. It's now Sunday afternoon and I've already had to use one of them today. The Hulu CS rep specifically told me they get tons of calls about this from both Verizon and T-Mobile internet subscribers.

In all likelihood when our 6 month commitment expires, I'll probably go back to Spectrum because this problem is just to annoying to deal with on a recurring basis.

You should ask your T-Mobile rep about it. I'll bet a buck they hem and haw and never tell you the truth about it.

To be clear, the issue is all about Federal law and live TV rights. Perhaps in time it will get resolved, but for the time being it's the gorilla in the room.

The other thing too, when you have a location change you'll see your local stations shift to some other geographical area. Your local stations won't be quite so local anymore.
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Last edited by FreddieFerric; 06-05-2022 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 06-07-2022, 02:43 PM
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I had a neighbor complain about what she called the "glitches" while streaming using her cellular hotspot service through AT&T.

She experienced:

1. Widely varying speeds (MBPS)
2. A significant number of service dropouts and disconnections.
3. Loss of her home network and access to the internet
4. Her printer, connected to the network wirelessly, would not reconnect to the network once the service restored itself.

In diagnosing the problem, and AT&T was of absolutely no help to her when she called them, I found several things that explained the issues she was experiencing:

1. Tower switching. Basically, cellular traffic & data management employed by AT&T.
2. External interference. It appeared to be a signal strength issue.
3. Her hot spot was also her 3G spec'd phone. AT&T is phasing out 3G service in this area and her phone will eventually need to be replaced. At this time service for 3G connectivity is getting worse.

I convinced her to:

1. Replace her phone now vs. waiting. She advised she had gotten a text from AT&T about the 3G service expiration but had no idea what it meant. I clarified that for her.

2. Stop using a cellular hotspot and have internet services installed at her house. She didn't quite understand what I was recommending. For some reason she, like many senior citizens, think WiFi is internet service. I broke it down for her and told her it would be much more reliable than any cellular hotspot.

She made the switch, found out that her internet service was much faster than her cellular hot spot, service reliability was much better and that she wasn't always trying to figure out why she was having so many printer problems.

All of the current AT&T plan offerings are 5G based (negating any 3G new plans), hotspot data speeds (what AT&T calls "high speed 5G data) vary depending on time of use (20GBPS during peak times, possibly 100 MBPS during non-peak times) and they are more expensive on a monthly basis than 100 MBPS local ISP service.

She's a happy camper now.
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Old 06-07-2022, 08:02 PM
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With regard to the 4 location changes, I recently had an issue with being unable to get my local channels.

My Directv Stream account (which has local channels) allows you to change your location 4 times likely to be in compliance with the law you mentioned.

Essentially I've used the Directv Stream app while I'm traveling and inadvertently receiving the local channels wherever I traveled apparently used up the 4 location changes I was permitted.

Two weeks ago, I had to go in and change my billing method to get my local channels back, which bypassed the 4 time change limit because for Directv Stream, the local channels are based on your billing zip code.

I did find an interesting hack for the payment method/billing zip code should I get locked out of my local stations again and I hope it works again should I need it.
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Old 06-08-2022, 07:20 AM
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We cut the cord two years ago; one reason was availability of a service called 'Locast' which rebroadcast local stations as a streaming service. They were allowed to do this as long as it free; however they 'requested' donations repeatedly with interruptions (which went away once you 'donated'). This was their undoing and they lost a court case and shut down immediately.

Anyone else here ever use Locast? It was excellent while it lasted.
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Last edited by clpetersen; 06-08-2022 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:24 AM
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FF please keep us posted on your 5G internet experience. This can be a viable and economical alternative for many users, and of course the only service available to some. T-Mobile has recently rolled out its 5G internet in my area and many people are reporting excellent results. Although I've muttered complaints about Comcast for years, I've always acknowledged that at least in my corner of the woods, the company has an excellent network and they promptly attend to correcting their network problems, including underground cables. Still, T-Mobile would save me a lot of $$$$ each month ...

As for the limit Hulu is setting on location changes, that's not the consequence of federal law or regulation. It's a result of OTA broadcasters switching their model from invoking "must carry" rules to earning revenue from carrier license fees. So this is a problem the broadcasters can resolve and, as wireless internet becomes more commonplace, it looks like something they are going to have to fix. One resolution used by some devices is to use GPS to establish your Designated Market Area. That requires the user to grant permission for the device to use GPS to access its location. Apparently not all streaming devices offer that option.
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Old 06-08-2022, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. I have no idea what the intricate complexities of broadcast TV is like, but having these issues continually pop up is a drag. As of today I think I still have 3 changes left.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:37 PM
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You could use a vpn and set a local address as the exit node. Then it wouldn’t matter what your isp did wrt ip addresses.
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