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Ready to cut the cord? A new study predicts Raleigh will lead the nation this year.

Football fans: how to cut your cable and still watch your games

A video guide to watching your favorite college or NFL team without cable. There are many streaming services available. Learn what they are and what they deliver.
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A video guide to watching your favorite college or NFL team without cable. There are many streaming services available. Learn what they are and what they deliver.

Raleigh is poised to be the No. 1 city in the country for cordcutting this year, at least according to a website dedicated to helping connect consumers with streaming television options.

Cordcutting.com published the results of their “Cities to Watch in 2019” report this week, which used Census and industry analysis/reports to determine cities with good access to technology and strong download speeds as a result of the expansion of broadband.

The cities topping the list showed household broadband penetration around 90 percent and the leading internet service provider’s fastest available download speed higher than 110Mbps.

Here are Raleigh’s stats: household broadband penetration at 90.7 percent (data from the U.S. Census); fastest download speed at 137.70 Mbps (from SpeedTest.net’s 2018 report of typical broadband speeds); and broadband growth of 8 percent from 2015-17.

Denver, Colorado, was second on the list, Portland, Oregon, was third and the Washington, D.C./Arlington/Alexandria, Virginia, area was fourth.

Why cut the cord?

Cordcutting is on the rise across the country and the reasons are partially reflected in this list that puts Raleigh at the top: internet speeds have improved drastically over the last few years, making streaming TV a viable option for viewers.

Today, nearly 30 percent of American adults watch TV mostly through a streaming service, according to Cordcutting.com data, and for younger adults — those 18-29 — the number is 61 percent. (One reason that number is so high is because of password-sharing, which is likely to get more difficult in the future. Entertainment industry magazine Variety reported last month that a London-based tech company is introducing an artificial intelligence program that exposes password sharers, a practice that can cost companies billions of dollars.)

The convenience — and source — of streaming options aside, the issue that typically drives pay-TV customers to investigate cutting the cord to start with is cost. According to Cordcutting.com, which got its data from industry analyst reports, average pay-TV subscriptions have increased 50 percent since 2010.

Need help cutting the cord?

If you’re interested in cutting the cord and you’re not sure where to start, read our guide to cordcutting (it was written with football in mind, but the same principles apply to all cordcutting).

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.
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