Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007

Happy Holidays!

To start off, I apologize to Steven from Pennsylvania for waiting soo long to post this. Apparently I somehow missed a bit of news about Verizon. Seems they used to advertise Unlimited Internet and were punished for their false advertising by the Attorney General of New York. The amount is a pittance. Only $1 million along with a couple other things like not marketing "unlimited" when it's obviously not unlimited. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I did send a letter to their AG asking if they were looking at also going after Comcast for violating the law. It should be interesting to see if any other AG's (maybe Utah's?) are interested in fraud. There are dozens of us here in my neighborhood who signed up. It should be interesting. And yes, I have filed with them.

I'm told that Qwest may be pushing their Internet Service to a whole new level here. 20 Megs and potentially up to 40 Megs to the home with fiber! With Salt Lake potentially seeing it in the near future. You heard me. It seems Comcast and Utopia are pushing soo hard that Qwest is beginning to wake up and talk about building the Infrastructure American's have already paid for. Yes, I'm talking about the 200 Billion in taxes shelled out to ... where? And don't forget, that's the conservative number here.

After all, without a proper foundation, how can we expect to thrive in the new tech future? I've heard it said many times that Internet Bandwidth is the new currency of the future. Those who have it will do well. I even ran across a new tech term. Internet Brownouts. I had no idea what people were talking about until I read this article. If I read this right, in a nutshell the Infrastructure here in America won't be able to handle our needs in the next 2 or 3 years. Now that's a frightening thought.

Here's another problem. People are using the Internet soo much that web sites were seeing problems on Cyber Monday. So the Internet might be important after all.

So how to solve the "last mile" problem. Seems a guy in Korea already did that. Well.. sorta. Basically instead of the traditional fiber he's worked out a plastic substitute. There are limits. 2.5 Gig bandwidth but that's far better than what copper can dish out if I am comparing the two correctly.


I've been watching a bill crawl around Congress these last few months called The Community Broadband Act. I'm hoping it's as good as it seems. So far I haven't seen anything that worries me. It basically would prevent (for example) the Utah State Legislature from messing with Utopia and giving companies such as Comcast an unfair advantage. I encourage everyone to contact their Congressmen and Representatives. Tell them what you think about this bill.

Found this while researching. Seems Comcast has quite the fan club and it's not the good kind. People want customer service as well as products from a company. It's been very insightful to see how many people are posting and complaining since the company doesn't seem to care.

So is Comcast going the way of the Dinosaur?

For a short time, Comcast will be able to sit on the customer base it has developed and sap money from customers that could receive better products at a more competitive price. But, just like AOL, once people get a taste of where technology is heading, that pile of money will deplete to nearly nothing…unless Comcast can step up, stop functioning like a monopoly, and start being competive.


It goes to show you, when you're a monopoly, you can make products that suit you, not your customers.

11 comments:

Jesse Harris said...

Qwest can't figure out what it wants. It's still torn on its partnership with Dish as it mulls doing IPTV and you can bet the line-sharing arrangements they have on their copper infrastructure won't be extended to a shiny new fiber network. Qwest is also a very late entrant to the next-generation game; Verizon and AT&T both have a sizable lead.

Part of the identity crisis is Qwest's management. The previous president spent five years trying to make the company an acquisition target. Instead of focusing on building the network or coming up with new products, they instead tried to dress up the financials. The current president is knee-deep in those inherited problems and may not be able to correct course in any kind of timely manner. I don't think Qwest is going to survive the next 10 years, especially since I've caught wind of a UTOPIA-style network being considered in Minnesota, another one of its territories.

Froonium said...

I know I'm off-topic, but I recently got cable internet through comcast (no choice in the matter, sadly). I need some way to monitor my usage so I don't get "The Call (TM)." I not exactly sure what it is I should look for(a usage monitor? bandwidth? what?), so perhaps you could help me out by suggesting a program or two that helps me so I don't get anywhere near the enigmatic limit they impose. I'm using XP, btw.

u235sentinel said...

Froonium said...

I know I'm off-topic, but I recently got cable internet through comcast (no choice in the matter, sadly). I need some way to monitor my usage so I don't get "The Call (TM)." I not exactly sure what it is I should look for(a usage monitor? bandwidth? what?), so perhaps you could help me out by suggesting a program or two that helps me so I don't get anywhere near the enigmatic limit they impose. I'm using XP, btw.


After I received "The Call" from Concast, I decided to speak with my peers online about the problem of monitoring Bandwidth on a Windows computer. I came across several tools but the one most memorable was dumeter. There was other's tied into firewall tools. I think ZoneAlarm has the ability to provide what you're looking for.

Personally I opted to modify my Linux firewall and installed tools such as RRDtool, Cacti and vnstat. All are excellent tools and provide me validation of my ISP's numbers. I strongly recommend monitoring your traffic however I don't believe it will amount to much.

On DSLreports.com I've come across a number of articles discussing the problem of Comcast and their undisclosed Terms of Service. Some people have left comments suggesting the limits are "Clearly" stated in their TOS. I guess we have different definitions of "clearly". Clear as mud at best IMO. I've been tempted to ask them what it's like working for Comcast, but I digress :-)

Be careful with testing dumeter btw. I've had a few friends (also with Comcast) who have reported problems with it slowing their system down. I haven't tested it but I did speak with the author once about it (and why I was looking at bandwidth monitoring tools).

Overall, if you have Comcast I doubt it will amount to more than you knowing the truth. I've been told many times Comcast's numbers as provided by the Abuse department were at least double what their monitoring software said. And of course you can't escalate nor can you speak to a supervisor.

You would be better off contacting your City Council and demanding competition in your area. Even better, if you can have fiber to the home/business. After all, if we're serious about our tech future, we'll probably need the infrastructure to handle it :-)

Good luck!

Froonium said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I've already downloaded dumeter for a test drive. I also didn't know that about ZA (not that I use it.)

I think a lot of the problem is an unwillingness to expand. I now live a mile outside the city limits and can't get DSL, where my last residence had it available. It seems to be fine when it comes to the newly built subdivisions down the road, but older infrastructure gets neglected except when it comes to profit.

On Comcast's part, the biggest limiter on usage now is most likely fear. They love to talk about the "great things" you can do with the high speed, but they neglect to mention the high capacity needs of said "great things." Then you get the call.... Personally, I play World of Warcraft, which I don't think is a big bandwidth user (I could be wrong.) But when it comes to YouTube and the like, I intentionally limit my time there whether I want to or not. All because I'm afraid to lose my high speed, which obviously plays right into their hands.

As to getting things changed around here, I could mention the watching of grass growth. This is Georgia, and you saw how well the government managed the water. /sarcasm

Charles said...

It's strange how companies providing the same service as Comcast in different areas (e.g. Adelphia in southern Arizona) are plagued with the same total lack of concern for customer service. I hope these companies DO go the way of the dinosaur...

Lostincyberspace said...

I don't know if you know this but Xmission and Mstar provides very high speeds through fiber already, and West Jordan is set to be funded soon for the installation.

u235sentinel said...

Lostincyberspace said...

I don't know if you know this but Xmission and Mstar provides very high speeds through fiber already, and West Jordan is set to be funded soon for the installation.


Are you sure you are talking about West Jordan and not South Jordan?

They were a Utopia city until Qwest and Concast promised to saturate the city and provide service (at least that's what I've been told over and over again).

I understand that promise was never fulfilled leaving the city in a lurch. I've heard they are looking at rejoining Utopia and finally getting it built out.

I would love to see West Jordan finally get fiber run but it seems our City Council and Mayor Newton aren't as visionary as I had hoped.

Mayor Newton several times has stated he want private money to build it out and doesn't understand the function of Government includes building infrastructure.

It may be time to start considering replacements for those incumbents who cater to private interest at the expense of our future.

This last election, 3 of 4 City Council members I was hoping to replace were removed from office. The replacements all are willing to consider Utopia. Two of them I understand received MANY calls from residents asking why we don't have Utopia already.

It's slow but we're making progress. Getting the word out and educating people will eventually bring Utopia to our Awesome City!

Red said...

Yes, Mstar and Xmission already provide lightning speeds over UTOPIA and iProvo (mstar) networks. Forget comcast and quest. Mstar is the best company I've ever dealt with. Fast speeds, extremely knowledgable tech support. Go Mstar!

Shafty said...

I think these cable companies need to move with the times or they are dead meat...

http://www.worldtvpc.com

u235sentinel said...

There's a lot of content out their Shafty which is free and legal. Companies such as Concast send out people to drone on so you and I believe what they want to believe.

I've had people tell me Concast doesn't do this. Really? That FCC meeting months ago, it was VERY well publicized what Concast did with those body warmers in the seats.

I've had people even as recently as yesterday demonize people like myself who point out the flaws of the system we have currently. My family and I have been accused of many things by many people.

What does Concast say? We used too much bandwidth. It's that simple. Demonize all they want. It doesn't change anything.

And yes, Cable companies are hurting. Look at NBC.COM for instance. Full episodes in HDTV of TV shows are available for free viewing. And people such as myself are purchasing products or building them (like with mythtv.com) to stream video content across the internet.

That's the future. My family and I enjoy a greater diversity of content than people normally can just because of mythtv. Very nice tool :D

Did I mention it works on linux and it's free ;-)

u235sentinel said...

BTW, I forgot to mention it was on youtube under one of my videos that I've been getting a lot of crap lately from what I believe are Concast shills. The latest guy at least had the courage to admit he was a Concast employee from Florida.

That's rare courage indeed.