Thursday, April 5, 2007

April 5, 2007

It's been a Comcastic month! No really. We've been Comcast free for over a month and have been using DSL for 30 days. Several people have challenged me to keep doing what we've been doing when we had Comcast then post our usage.

Well, my ISP (xmission.com) provides a stats section where I can see exactly what I'm consuming. The numbers are shocking. I've learned we are actually using much less than Comcast told us. I could post what my firewall is telling me but hey, I might have faked it right? After all, I'm a bandwidth hog. Or am I?

Ok. So downloading 4 movies, a few iso's(I had to pull down fedora 5, Ubuntu and OpenSuse) a couple different versions of each for a variety of projects I'm working on. I'm messing with 0.20 of mythtv, some gaming, this blog and so on... here it is.





The chart.













The totals.



A reminder. Since I now can run servers, we have a LAMP server I've been experimenting with providing a forum for my family across the US (and some in Europe) to share photos. I'm even experimenting with video publication. Kinda a youtube or spikedhumor thing.

So what do you guys think? 300 Gigs a month a posibility?

Sure, I could be toning it down. But then let's see what the next 30 days bring :-)

BTW, came across this poll asking should ISP's advertise the terms of use they wish us to stay within while on their services?. Rather interesting. It's not just a few people who believe Comcast should disclose their limits. That small unscientific poll clearly shows it. People are demanding to be told what they are purchasing.

I wonder who the 14 people who said no are and if their employer resides in Philly. Nah, couldn't be :-)

19 comments:

Lune said...

Glad to see you have left Comcast. In my experience they are a very arrogant company. I now have Verizon's fiber optic cable to my house and have switched to them for internet and am SO HAPPY to get away from Comcast. Verizon is close to offering TV over the fiber in my area and I am switcging as soon as possible. If I have a choice Comcast will never see another dime of my money. I know many other people who are just waiting for Verizon to give the green light in my area for this too. I just hope more people get tired of how Comcast treats it's customers and leaves them.

Saurabh Kumar said...

Comcast mistreats its customers like anything..whats the point of 6 MBPS download speed if they cap what you can download!!!

George Atento said...

Comcast sucks

Roady said...

Your Right, they always charge more. i have dsl att and i love it. you can get the elite dsl and just as fast as comcast. People will get tried of their crap.

Roady Perro

Kjerstin Klein said...

I am so glad to hear I am not the only one having problems with Comcast. Comcast took over Adlephia in my area and the problems started the second they switched...actually the problems started before they switched but since they didn't inform their customers of the switch we were only aware of it once the switch took place. I agree with Lune - they act like a very arrogant company that does little customer service training - Like you, I have been completly frustrated in my attempts to deal with them - wish I could be free from them as well!

u235sentinel said...

Comcast mistreats its customers like anything..whats the point of 6 MBPS download speed if they cap what you can download!!!

I agree. They talk about more and more speed. How much better they are than DSL and the list goes on.

Using only a fraction of the speed over a month, it's easy to join the lucky .01% club.

It's not worth the headache. If Comcast was smart, they would do what my ISP does (xmission.com). They have tier's of support up to 500 Gigs consumption. Of course you pay $240 a month I believe for that tier.

I think the problem may be they simply can't keep up with Fiber technology. Copper can only go so far.

shanmiles said...

Not sure if anyone is interested, but I can provide a copy of the AUP for the business teleworker program. I may have missed it, but I don't see an excessive bandwidth statement in there at all. Of course the cost is about 30% higher than 'normal'. BTW, that really only gets you 'faster' access to service techs, no guarantee on speed.

test said...

Nice work.

I am sick and tire of mega companies like comcast who thinks they can do whatever they feel it because they can get away with it. Its the whole "oh I value you so much and you will love our service" and then "shut up and just give us money and don't use our service". Screw that.

Pretty much if you watch a couple of HD movie trailers you're screwed. That next email you fire off will trigger some alarm at stupid comcast's secret office.

I hear WiMax will start to roll out aggressively at the end of 2007. That will end the reign of comcast the way cell phones ended at&t. Hopefully, it doesn't create a new monster. But at least there will be a lot more competition with WiMax than cable.

JTRockville said...

shanmiles missed the clause in the Comcast's "business" AUP that restricts bandwidth. For this reason (among others), I've deemed Comcast's "business" services to be a sham when compared with true business services.

The Comcast "business" AUP states:

"You must ensure that your activity (including, but not limited to, use made by you or others of Web Site Hosting) does not improperly restrict, inhibit, or degrade any other user's use of the Service, nor represent (in the sole judgment of Comcast) an unusually large burden on the network."

As far as I know, Comcast does not have two separate networks - Comcast's "business" services are offered over the same network as Comcast's residential service. So if u235sentinel's activity degrades the network, then it doesn't matter whether you have "business" service or not, the activity still degrades network. But if you upgrade to "business" service, Comcast can squeeze you for a few more $$$ before terminating your service.

Going Comcast-free for all service (Voice, Video, AND Net), encouraging others to switch, and bringing media attention to the matter seems to be the best response to Comcast's draconian bandwidth policy.

u235sentinel said...

shanmiles missed the clause in the Comcast's "business" AUP that restricts bandwidth. For this reason (among others), I've deemed Comcast's "business" services to be a sham when compared with true business services.

The Comcast "business" AUP states:

"You must ensure that your activity (including, but not limited to, use made by you or others of Web Site Hosting) does not improperly restrict, inhibit, or degrade any other user's use of the Service, nor represent (in the sole judgment of Comcast) an unusually large burden on the network."


I've read this many times over the last few months. What's interesting is how do we know we are degrading the service? How do we know we need to cut back? Comcast provides no such method at this time. There is no way to make an informed choice which is a poor reflection on the Company.

As far as I know, Comcast does not have two separate networks - Comcast's "business" services are offered over the same network as Comcast's residential service. So if u235sentinel's activity degrades the network, then it doesn't matter whether you have "business" service or not, the activity still degrades network. But if you upgrade to "business" service, Comcast can squeeze you for a few more $$$ before terminating your service.

Yeah, that's my understanding also. Of course when the Abuse department and the sales guys both said we needed to upgrade to a business account, we were unaware of that fact.

Going Comcast-free for all service (Voice, Video, AND Net), encouraging others to switch, and bringing media attention to the matter seems to be the best response to Comcast's draconian bandwidth policy.

It's the only option available at this point. I've had a few people "suggest" I could be exposing myself to litigation doing this. I've documented everything I've said here. I can prove everything I've posted. I also have more I haven't posted just in case there is a class action lawsuit.

It's good to keep records when dealing with an abusive company.

Samara Leigh said...

I've been living a nightmare dealing with Time Warner. They insist that it isn't them, but my life and broadband connection were ever so uneventful before they came to town.

I blog about them regularly.

smokeonit said...

i have 16Mbit DSL and have an average of around 100-150GB a month in download... for the last 1.5 years...

my ISP never sent me a letter or tried to limit my use of the service. i have a flat rate with no restrictions and @ 16Mbit i have a max. download throughput of 4147GB a month. I'm using around 2.5% of my maximum throughput of my DSL service... if a service provider argues that other people that use the same service use less than you that is not really an argument. you pay for a service an you have a maximum throughput that is advertised and that you pay for. if the company miscalculated and is not able to give people what they paid for it's not really your/our problem!

JTRockville said...

The NYTimes linked to this blog:
Say Goodnight, Bandwidth Hog

u235sentinel said...

JTRockville said...

The NYTimes linked to this blog:
Say Goodnight, Bandwidth Hog


Pretty sweet. I received the google alert about an hour ago and just had to let everyone know what's going on here. If I'm reading this correctly this is big. I'm just glad I have everything documented. If it does turn into a class action lawsuit against Comcast then I believe I'm ready to join.

IMO I'm thinking the materials on this blog could be admissible as evidence. But I'm no law expert. Thank heavens there is google.com to teach me :-)

At this point I'm willing to say we're making some noise and beginning to get some great attention. I've noticed quite a few hits from Washington DC. Sitemeter is a nice tracking tool :D

Perhaps it's time to send letters to our Representatives and Senators. I have another letter to my City Council to finish first. Then I'll be writing to our Government.

I strongly encourage everyone to speak your mind and let your Government know what's going on and how you feel about it.

It's the only way to make HSI a priority and get our country moving back to first place with technology.

J said...

Comcast is a typically ruthless corporation that feigns interest in their customers. When signing up I got 4 different price quotes from 4 different sales people. Nobody over there knows what the heck is going on. What is worse is that in many instances, and certainly in mine, the are the ONLY choice. Monopolistic thieves. The minute Verizion, RCN, or anyone else moves into this territory I'm leaving.

Matt said...

I was recently been targeted by the abuse division. They demanded I restrict my usage, but refused to offer an acceptable limit. I actually have a Linux router and firewall that tracked all my uploads and dloads since 9/2004. I average 98 GB per month.

I am fighting back by contacting the media and many other groups.

u235sentinel said...

Matt said...

I was recently been targeted by the abuse division. They demanded I restrict my usage, but refused to offer an acceptable limit. I actually have a Linux router and firewall that tracked all my uploads and dloads since 9/2004. I average 98 GB per month.

I am fighting back by contacting the media and many other groups.


How much did they say you were using?

Matt said...

They claimed I had pulled over 300 GB down last month. I explained to a Matt at the abuse department that my Linux router tracks all incoming and outgoing bandwith usage and records go back to 2004. He asked if I had wireless in the house. "Ahh that must be it" was his response. (truthfully last month I did log 185 gigs but not near 300 as they insisted)

I explained that my WIFI sits behind my firewall, does not broadcast its SSID and channel, and uses MAC address filtering and 128 bit encryption. The abuse tech insisted that someone could still be hacking me. I explained that they would have to be sitting outside my house for hours a day and I am pretty damn sure I would notice. I also tried to explain that since I SEE ALL TRAFFIC incoming and outgoing, I would see another machine on my network. Sadly he just didn't get it.

There really is no getting through to these folks. They have a debt collectors approach to customer service. They assume everyone is a pirate and do not care. My first conversation with a Rodney in the abuse department explained there was no legal way to download the 100 GB in a month. I informed him that I am a linux nut and download the new DVD iso's monthly. I also enjoy legal streaming radio like somaFM. I use my service for VOIP. I also used the Unbox service with Amazon. However, he still claimed that my usage was excessive and abusive and degrading my neighbors service. I am using less than 4% of my monthly available bandwith mathematically. That seems reasonable.

I have spoken with my neighbors, and they have no issues to complain of. Since I do most of this high bandwith consumption during off peak hours, their argument was bull. The abuse folks have also indicated numerous times that they are targeting the top percentage of bandwidth users. This is not targeting network bottlenecks, just bullying those who use the service heavily. That is inconsistent with the terms of use argument they claim.

My Verizon DSL kit is here finally. However I plan to use the service until they terminate me. I have filed a complaint with the better business bureau, NH attorney general Consumer Protection & Antitrust Bureau , and the FCC complaints department. Also sent the story to the EFF and all news outlets in my area.

I must say, this blog rocks. I appreciate the service it does and hopefully justice will be ours. Comcast is CRAPTASTIC!

u235sentinel said...

They claimed I had pulled over 300 GB down last month. I explained to a Matt at the abuse department that my Linux router tracks all incoming and outgoing bandwith

I wish I had done that. I was running Debian Linux and it never occurred to me I should be monitoring the traffic. You can bet I'm monitoring it now :D

{snip}
(truthfully last month I did log 185 gigs but not near 300 as they insisted)


I suspect this is the case in many instances. I've spoken with enough people to believe that their numbers are not accurate. Other's such as yourself who have monitored their traffic have consistently mentioned this.


{snip}
The abuse tech insisted that someone could still be hacking me. I explained that they would have to be sitting outside my house for hours a day and I am pretty damn sure I would notice. I also tried to explain that since I SEE ALL TRAFFIC incoming and outgoing, I would see another machine on my network. Sadly he just didn't get it.


Doesn't surprise me. About two years ago I ran into a problem with the HSI service. After using very basic tools like ping and traceroute I discovered a Comcast switch was having trouble.

Called the CSR and told him. Poor guy had no clue how to open the ticket as it was an internal Comcast problem. What's really amusing is I had to explain to the tech step by step how I found the problem. I should have charged Comcast for finding their problem and training their tech over the phone :-)

My first conversation with a Rodney in the abuse department explained there was no legal way to download the 100 GB in a month.

No legal way? Next time ask them if they pull video / audio from services like live365 and wwitv.com. It must be possible since their Abuse department has been busily disconnecting their HSI customers for some time now.

BTW, I also recommend zudeo's bittorrent service. "Reign of the Fallen" is an awesome 4 Gig DVD I pulled via bittorrent. It's a Star Wars knock off and I highly recommend it.


I informed him that I am a linux nut and download the new DVD iso's monthly.

Been there. I'll admit that I've downloaded multiple times DVD Iso's such as Fedora Core of OpenSuse. I'd keep the ISO for a few days then delete it. Then regret I deleted it, downloaded it again. Yeah it's stupid and now I see the mistake. So I have a hard drive on my computer with all sorts of distro's. I'm looking at building my own redcarpet / autoyast server now.


My Verizon DSL kit is here finally. However I plan to use the service until they terminate me. I have filed a complaint with the better business bureau, NH attorney general Consumer Protection & Antitrust Bureau , and the FCC complaints department. Also sent the story to the EFF and all news outlets in my area.

Also I recommend the FTC. They may have more control than the FCC over this. If I recall correctly, the EFF said they can't do anything about it. I forget the explanation. Oh and I highly recommend moving everything from comcast. Email's, address books. Everything. Once you are disconnected you will be in a world of hurt. I know. I have a bunch of that stuff "highjacked" by comcast and I wasn't allowed to move it.


I must say, this blog rocks. I appreciate the service it does and hopefully justice will be ours. Comcast is CRAPTASTIC!

I appreciate the compliment. That's really the only reason I started it. If comcast can get away with this for years and the public isn't aware then we need to fix that.

I appreciate your support. Hopefully either comcast will mature from the experience and change, fall under Government regulations, or find themselves replaced.

I'll never go back to comcast regardless of the end result.