The Promise of the Triple Play

Since the early 2000s, triple play has been a feature available to media consumers everywhere. Combining the standard consumer needs of telephone, internet and television, triple play cut out the need for multiple carriers or providers, allowing consumers to pay just one provider for all of these services.

While the promise of triple play was to consolidate your home media, has it lived up to the claims that it initially stated? And what is the place of a triple play package in the modern era?

With media and technology continually changing, triple play is now an aged marketing option. Triple play comes with a promise to simplify your home’s media, yet the question remains as to whether they have managed to live up to this promise.

Here is what you need to know about the benefits and the concerns of using a triple play package in your home.

Triple Play - Voice, Video, Data Transfer

The Benefits

Let’s start by taking a look at what they say the benefits are of using a triple play package for your home’s service needs. The first major benefit is the financial consideration.

When you can get all of your media through a singular source, they can negotiate a package deal with you, giving you a price break on the fees, so you pay less than you would if you had separate services. The fees do not typically include add-ons or streaming channels, such as Netflix or Prime, so keep that in mind if you are considering a triple play offer for your house hold.

Additionally, this type of service combines all of the types of media that you prefer to use, making it easy to understand what services you have. Instead of managing with several different companies, consolidating into one will make it easier to deal with customer service.

One point of contact can take the headache out of it all, as long as you trust the company that you are working with.

Types Of Services Offered

With triple play accounts, there are three types of services that are typically offered: telephone, internet, and television.

There are multiple approaches to delivering triple play services to the end user, by fiber (Verizon FiOS routers & Frontier FiOS routers).


Most homes no longer have a landline and rely on cell phones instead. The telephone feature will only work for you if you still intend on using a landline.

Otherwise, it might be obsolete. Telephone services typically allow for free local calls, and you might get a package that also includes free long distance calls. Telephone, in this age, might be mobile phone. There are some phone carriers that can allow you to have internet through them as well as telephone, making it look like a nice little package.

Typically the voice package is digital voice, which is like a phone line that travels through your internet. The nice thing with digital voice is that long distance is not even a factor, since it is the same as sending an email.


The internet included depends on the provider. Typically, it is either going to be DSL, such as with CenturyLink, or cable, such as Comcast Xfinity.

The speeds and accessibility that is offered with the internet portion of a triple package varies greatly. It can depend on where you live, if you have anyone else in the neighbourhood with the same type of service, and what kind of internet you are expecting to get from it.

Fiber is making its place better on the internet scene, having become more accessible over time. Even with a triple play scenario, fiber can be wired to the service point in the neighbourhood, then accessed separately. A triple play provider might be able to use this within one of their deals in order to make it more appealing for consumers.


The type of television that is offered by triple play depends on the provider that you are looking at. Some companies will work with a satellite company or a cable company to fill in the television portion of the promise of triple play.

With the amount of streaming that consumers are doing now, it is more likely that the demand for satellite or cable is a lot less than it once was, with a focus instead on streaming companies. Regardless, TV packages will let you choose the type of channel package that you want to go with your triple play package.

Some will allow you to pick local channels or main cable channels, where others can allow you to pick and choose the specific channels that you would like to subscribe to. Companies like Xfinity will then allow you to access those channels from mobile devices.


One of the biggest issues that you will run into with triple play is that it cannot uphold its promise. Or, perhaps, its claim of making things simple has gone too far. Regardless, look at the types of companies that offer triple play.

AT&T is a telecommunications company that has historically focused on telephone connections. While their internet service is also adequate, when have they been a television company? They are not. They have been a mobile company in the past, but they have never been a cable company. You can expect that something is going to have to give in the area that it is weakest in.

Therefore, triple play always runs a risk of mediocrity. When you have a provider of any of your services that is not up-to-date with the latest tech out there or simply does not have the facilities or accommodations available that companies to, you will have less of some services than you might have with another company.

If you are going to choose a service for strength, make sure that your triple play package offers you excellent broadband. Our world runs off of the internet and if you have a slow or weak connection, you will be driving yourself crazy over time.

Quadruple Play

It would be remiss to leave out another, similar option. The quadruple play is much like triple play, with one addition: mobile. Mobile services can be offered in addition to the other standard home services, which might appeal to some.

For others, it might be putting too many eggs in one basket. The quality of something has to go down here since no large company is a master in each area. If the services seem in line with what you would expect from this type of company, then it might be a viable option for you. Otherwise, it might be a way to get mediocre service across the board.


The truth of the matter is that you need to question whether triple play should continue to exist at all. The demands that we have from our home internet is the normal focus for the standard home’s media.

With companies like Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime, making shows and movies easily accessible to anyone with a streaming-capable internet, cable television or satellite television has really become redundant and obsolete. Not only is streaming easier to get a hold of, but you can start or stop anything that you are watching and come back to it later, which is not always something that you can expect to happen with general television.

Most of the triple play television services seem to allow you to choose the package or channels that you would be most likely to watch, so there is a bit of customization available.


Another big issue that comes along with triple play is that the software, drivers, and connections will need to be updated periodically. With so many media types involved, it can be difficult to identify which service needs updating at the moment. And keeping them up to date along is difficult. With three it is even more difficult to keep track of.

Consumers are really at the mercy of what the devices are saying needs to happen with which service to keep up to date. This takes away the control from the consumer, giving him or her limited ability to customize each service that he or she is receiving.

It appears that fiber would be the most logical solution on the long term as it has a higher capacity than any of the other forms of internet and can be upgraded and adapted more efficiently. The difficulty is that fiber is not available everywhere and even the cities that do offer it, do not have it completely city-wide.

Hopefully, with an increase of fiber to the curb (FTTC) setups, more home services will be possible, making a more modern and applicable form of triple play conceivable. Verizon’s FiOS offers a triple play package, providing internet, TV, and digital voice.

Additionally, Xfinity offers triple play packages as well, with internet, TV, and voice. The catch with Xfinity is that it offers to stream for you, but you will still need to have the separate subscriptions for streaming channels in order to access it. It is up to you whether you would actually uses these services well enough to account for the price of them.

Marketing Ploy

One of the biggest hesitations with agreeing to a triple play package is to ask whether ti is a marketing ploy rather than a good idea. The companies might advertise a set price for the three services, but if the price point really isn’t much better than you could have had if you got each service separately, they might be taking you for a ride rather than giving you an actual price break.

To ensure that it is not all a marketing ploy, you will need to research the individual services local to you and do a price comparison to see whether they are taking advantage of you or giving you a good deal.

Another way that this might not work out well for you is that they could give you a price break, but then give you the least desirable services out there. You might wind up with tragically slow internet, a sad mix of channels, and a phone line that you will never use, so inspect the fine print before committing.

You should be able to expect genuinely high speed internet in the modern era and if they are offering something less than great it is not going to work out well for you.

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, are triple play offers meeting their promised expectations? While triple play has not disappeared, the question of its use remains. It seems that fiber is really the only viable modern form of triple play that takes into account the needs of the modern user.

That said, even digital voice is not needed by the average household in the modern era. It is estimated that less than 40 percent of phones even have a landline and as more millennials become home owners, that number is continually going down. Television is moving toward being mostly on-demand streaming, making the purpose of having standard channels questionable.

So, triple play might still exist from several ISPs at the moment, hoping to lure in unsuspecting customers, yet its purpose seems to be fading. It does not seem that there is a future for triple play in the long run.

If you do find that you utilize all of those services and can be sure that you are still getting adequate internet connectivity, then triple play might still be an option for you. Otherwise, save your money, and pay for the services that you will actually use.