With the prices of cable and satellite TV subscriptions rising, while customer satisfaction rates hit all-time lows, it’s no surprise that streaming services and other cable-cutting options have become more popular than ever. The average cable subscription in 2016 costs more than $100 per month, compared to $10 per month for a basic Netflix subscription.

For consumers who want a more television-like experience, Hulu now offers its new live-TV package with 50-plus channels of live-streaming content. With YouTube, Facebook, major film studios, and even some of the biggest leagues in sports getting in on the streaming-video action, there are fewer and fewer excuses for not cutting the cord.

That said, there are still naysayers who claim that cutting the cord isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, often citing the cost of standalone internet plus various streaming apps to support their position. But quite frankly, most of these arguments hold little water when you dig into them. Despite my defense of cord cutting, the truth is that it isn’t for everyone. Here’s why.

Satellite remains the best option in rural areas


Slow internet connections and poor antenna reception keeps cord cutting unrealistic in remote locations.

Urbanites might not realize it, but high-speed internet isn’t ubiquitous throughout the world. Large swaths of the U.S., particularly in rural areas, still lack access to broadband internet connections. That can make it difficult to stream high-definition content without experiencing buffering.

Internet options such as satellite, DSL, wireless broadband, or tethering to your mobile-phone hot spot can be options, but speed limitations, reliability issues, data caps, and high prices can pose barriers to regular video streaming using those methods.

Then there’s the need for local broadcast channels. While you can get extreme-range antennas that will pick up channels 60-plus miles out, you still might not be able to get signals for all the channels you want. Cable TV operations rarely extend their networks outside the city limits, so your best option for TV service is probably a satellite service such as DirecTV or Dish Network (provided you have a clear view of the southern sky, since those satellites orbit the equator).

Local sports streaming remains an issue in some markets

Sling TV regional chanelsSling TV

You can discover which regional sports networks are available to stream in your area by visiting service sites and entering your zip code

For sports fans, the ability to catch all your local teams’ games is a huge draw for cable and satellite TV. Regional sports networks will often have exclusive deals for certain teams in a specific market. ROOT Sports, for example, has exclusive rights with two of the three major-league sports teams in Houston. So, while Houston sports fans have several different options for watching the Texans after cutting the cord, it’s trickier to catch home games played by the Astros or Rockets.

Fortunately for cord cutters, this issue is getting better quickly. Most regional sports networks now have deals with services like Sling TV, FuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and others. ROOT is one of the last holdouts, but is reportedly in talks to be carried by DirecTV NOW and other services.

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