Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept 11, 2007

I just had to share this with everyone. As I was driving home from work today, I heard a most awesome Clark Howard minute on KSL 102.7 FM. He basically went through the whole issue with Comcast terminating customer accounts for violating their "Invisible Bandwidth" limit. What really amused me was how he reported it, calling the company "Arrogant" and a Monopoly. It felt good to hear his comments. We basically brought this upon ourselves. He then quoted what Japan has for Internet services. Generally about 9 times faster than what we have here in America at a fraction of the cost.

As I understand it, they interviewed people from Atlanta Georgia area several months ago. I don't know who they are but I'm very pleased they came forward with their story.

If anyone was able to record it please let me know. I'd love a copy of it. If only I wasn't driving :-)

I'm getting contacted by reporters in Europe now. I apologize for not keeping up with my email. Articles are popping up in Germany, Italy and other countries and I've interviewed with several of them. There may be an article from France soon. Thank goodness for the Internet. I know a fair amount of Portuguese, a little Italian (still learning it) and no German, there are free tools available. Simply put your Internet address or text, select how you want it translated, then press the translate button. It's simple and does a fair job of translating.

I hear we're in the Washington Post! Several have posted here or emailed me the link (Thank You!) I unfortunately don't know of anyone in Washington DC who was terminated. If you or someone you know in the area has been terminated by Comcast please let me know. I'd love to send your contact information to them with your permission of course.

I've asked several people in recent conversations to come forward and speak with reporters. More and more are telling me they are afraid of retribution. Don't be afraid. YOU are the customer. The more who come forward and complain of this ill treatment the more power we all have to make a change. Whether it's Comcast to give up it's outrageous abuse policies or replace them with a national infrastructure as was pushed in the 90's by Clinton and Gore (NII). Comcast has already terminated services. They can't legally do anything more. It's done. Many have already come forward and even posted here.

Speaking of HighSpeed Internet, I recently came across this article about Japan. At least now I understand part of the reason why they've been able to leap frog America... again. Nothing wrong with competition. But when we deliberately hold ourselves back? Something certainly needs to be done. This is why I'm telling people to contact local Representatives and every Politician until they get a move on.

Another article of interest. Internet pipes in the YouTube Age. Very insightful.

"Unless we ensure an adequate supply of quality bandwidth at reasonable prices, many current and future business models will be stranded, which will have serious implications for economic growth and national competitiveness in the Internet sector," Kleeman writes.


Someone recently posted stating they like to be social and go out, talk with people. I'm fine with that. I do it all the time. However the article very clearly mentions we'll have problems with economic growth without the proper infrastructure. Time to get rid of the buggy whip :-)

One more note. Is Comcast violating the law by filtering P2P?

Many states make it illegal for an individual to impersonate another individual. New York, a state notorious for its aggressive pro-consumer office of the Attorney General, makes it a crime for someone to "[impersonate] another and [do] an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another." (See: NY Sec. 190.25: Criminal impersonation in the second degree).


Also from the article

Comcast is perfectly within its right to filter the Internet traffic that flows over its network. What it is not entitled to do is to impersonate its customers and other users, in order to make that filtering happen. Dropping packets is perfectly OK, while falsifying sender information in packet headers is not.


I completely agree with this. While I believe they need to manage traffic(QOS: Quality of Services), I'm curious where this would go and if the AG's are looking at investigating the company. I'm curious where the FTC is with investigating the company. It's been many months since I filed a complaint citing unfair business practices. Time for me to follow up.

12 comments:

joshua said...

Hello,

I was recently disconnected by COMCAST yesterday with absolutely no warning. They did turn my service back on with a warning to reduce my bandwidth over a month, I had to call them though. I remembered the article in the post so I came here.

However, I was never sent a letter nor ever received a call. Comcast security services had my old phone number however the cable support had the correct one. Security persons were calling the old phone number however they said that it still counted as a "warning"

I was using appx 450gb per month up/down and I was told I would be terminated permanently if I continue to use this amount. They would not specify what the exact limit is.

I mentioned to him that comcast states "unlimited service" he said it means "unlimited access" which basically means 24/7/365. This is bull as we all know. Cutting my service off without warning is not "unlimited" in any respect.

I'm just south of Washington D.C. in the Woodbridge, VA area.

Josh

u235sentinel said...

joshua said...

I was recently disconnected by COMCAST yesterday with absolutely no warning.


I've heard some people mention this at times. It's amazing they feel the need to run their business in this manner.

I was using appx 450gb per month up/down and I was told I would be terminated permanently if I continue to use this amount. They would not specify what the exact limit is.

Do you know if this is accurate? So far, the few people who were tracking their consumption have told me that Comcast's number was not accurate. But it didn't matter. You were wrong even if you were right. Weird.

I mentioned to him that comcast states "unlimited service" he said it means "unlimited access" which basically means 24/7/365. This is bull as we all know. Cutting my service off without warning is not "unlimited" in any respect.

this hasn't always been the case. They advertised "unlimited use for a flat monthly fee". I'll post the advertisement again if needed. I found it on archive.org. Pretty hard for them to lie about it with nice tools like that :D

I'm just south of Washington D.C. in the Woodbridge, VA area.

Would you be willing to speak with reporters about it? I can almost 100% guarantee you will be disconnected for 12 months within 30 days. It happened to an Editor bud of mine in SLC Utah for the Deseret Spectacle (online mag I read). They reduced their usage by 50% after the first call then were terminated for 12 months the next month. Unreal.

Anyway, let me know if you wish to speak with a reporter. I haven't been keeping track of people I've spoken with as much these days. I've been working hard to help in bringing Utopianet fiber to the home in Salt Lake Valley cities and pushing Network Neutrality. Only way to keep arrogant companies such as Comcast from abusing customers.

joshua said...

I would be willing to speak with anyone, just forward my e-mail address to whomever.

I've been reducing my usage by almost 95 percent if not more, basically I'm not downloading anything (no DVD movies from amazon :(

I think I'm in the clear, I do have a DSL option but it stinks as I only qualify for verizon basic service in my area but it's better than nothing. If I do get cutoff, I have something to switch too.

The funny thing is, when I contacted comcast they had my new phone number listed on the account but had my modem "attached" to the old number. They had all the information to contact me but didnt use it.

I'm pretty sure my bandwidth was close to that number. The day I was cutoff I monitored my downloads at around 50gb so they may have actually underreported it.

Hopefully Verizon fios will come to my area, that will be most awesome. They have already installed in several neighborhoods around mine and I have seen fiber trucks in the area. I think my salvation is near, but I really dont want to be cutoff (again) with no warning.

Josh

Matthew Chestnut said...

You can find audio archives of Clark Howard's radio show here:

http://clarkhoward.com/archives/clarkshow.html

See:

September 10 - Hour 2 (09/12/2007)
Topics include: Metro Dream Homes offer is a nightmare, and Comcast firing customers for using too much bandwidth.

http://content.streamaudio.com/podcast/1267/091007_hour2.mp3

Kevin said...

If you haven't heard yet apparently Comcast has Slightly Clarified their policy, just saw this on slashdot:
http://games.slashdot.org/games/07/09/
16/2116248.shtml

Alien54 writes "Comcast has finally clarified what 'excessive use' is when it comes to their cable internet service. A customer is exceeding their use limit if they: download the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month. '[A Comcast spokesperson] said that Comcast's actions to cut ties with excessive users is a "great benefit to games and helps protect gamers and their game experience" due to their overuse of the network and thus "degrading the experience."'"

R said...

This got Slashdotted earlier today.

Comcast Clarifies High Speed Extreme Use Policy.

Personally, I'd throw some quotation marks around clarifies in that title...

u235sentinel said...

R said...

This got Slashdotted earlier today.

Comcast Clarifies High Speed Extreme Use Policy.

Personally, I'd throw some quotation marks around clarifies in that title...


ROFL!

I enjoyed reading the posts on slashdot. It was actually quite entertaining.

Basically nothing new, nothing has changed. It's nice to see they are nothing if not consistent. I've already kicked their numbers around and it's funny how they are willing to only post what isn't acceptable use. They however have no problem with that. But posting what IS acceptable? Now that's a problem.

Oh, and the post which I've analyzed their response is here

Thanks for the link!

u-sillyboy said...

"joshua said...

Hello,

I was recently disconnected by COMCAST yesterday with absolutely no warning. They did turn my service back on with a warning to reduce my bandwidth over a month, I had to call them though. I remembered the article in the post so I came here.

However, I was never sent a letter nor ever received a call. Comcast security services had my old phone number however the cable support had the correct one. Security persons were calling the old phone number however they said that it still counted as a "warning"

I was using appx 450gb per month up/down and I was told I would be terminated permanently if I continue to use this amount. They would not specify what the exact limit is.

I mentioned to him that comcast states "unlimited service" he said it means "unlimited access" which basically means 24/7/365. This is bull as we all know. Cutting my service off without warning is not "unlimited" in any respect.

I'm just south of Washington D.C. in the Woodbridge, VA area.

Josh
September 12, 2007 3:02 PM"





hahahaha..

That's funny because Comcast cut my service as well stated the same number ( 450 GB ) even though I think they deliberately inflated that number...

I too have been given a warning but I had to call them to find out why my service wasn't working. They claimed they were unable to contact me with the number provided, but apparently have no trouble contacting me when they want to sell me more services...

I have cut all download/uploading activities since I talked with the Comcast rep on September 11th and can only wait and see if they will in fact terminate my account for what they will claim as "excessive usage" again...

They refused to tell me how much bandwidth I have used for the first 2 weeks of September, and I'm sure they will inflate that number as well...

I hope that I can find another ISP because I have no confidence with Comcast any longer and am sure they will terminate my account no matter what amount I use... lol..

u235sentinel said...

Matthew Chestnut has left a new comment on your post "Sept 11, 2007":

You can find audio archives of Clark Howard's radio show here:

http://clarkhoward.com/archives/clarkshow.html

See:
September 10 - Hour 2 (09/12/2007)
Topics include: Metro Dream Homes offer is a nightmare, and Comcast firing customers for using too much bandwidth.

http://content.streamaudio.com/podcast/1267/091007_hour2.mp3


I really appreciate it!!

I'll post it on the main page in case people miss it. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed listening. Thanks a bunch!

starkat said...

They can't packetshape your traffic if you're encrypting it... and most definitely would be breaking Utah law if they packetshaped encrypted traffic.

I've been fighting with Comcast for months now on what they do to my traffic... whether or not I'm downloading torrents (legit or pirated), they shouldn't be filtering my traffic. And QoS and Packetshaping is NOT the most efficient method of usage policing, their goals are vastly different.

Yet, somehow, even though most of my traffic is encrypted, and all but 2 ports on my router are closed, they somehow manage to sneak in a RST every once in a while. If this isn't a flagrant abuse of power, I don't know what is... I truly wish I had an alternative ISP to deal with, Comcast isn't earning any brownie points with me.

Mike said...

On January 7, 2008 I was downloading an operating system from the TechNet Site. About halfway through the download my transfer rate dropped from 700k+ to less than 200k. My Time left to complete the transfer went from less than 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.

This needs no further explination for me and I have already ordered Bellsouth/ATT service.


Mike Willhite
Monroe, La.

u235sentinel said...

Mike has left a new comment on your post "Sept 11, 2007":

On January 7, 2008 I was downloading an operating system from the TechNet Site. About halfway through the download my transfer rate dropped from 700k+ to less than 200k. My Time left to complete the transfer went from less than 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.

This needs no further explination for me and I have already ordered Bellsouth/ATT service.


Mike Willhite
Monroe, La.


You would be wasting your time with Concast had you contacted them. Occasionally I've found someone there who gave a crap about the customer. But those people are rare.

I'm writing letters to most members of Congress regarding this lousy company and encourage everyone to do the same. I'm hoping our Nation will wake the hell up and really push fiber to the home.

It's the only way to force lame companies to take note of the customer or go out of business.