Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31, 2007

In the middle of my push for Utopia Fiber in West Jordan, I came across this tidbit on the Save the Internet web site. Apparently companies like Comcast want to be the "gatekeepers of the Internet". Personally that worries me greatly. We already can't trust them to be fair with their customers. Every week I'm hearing from somebody in the U.S. who has been disconnected for violating their fuzzy Abuse policy. NOW they want to discriminate against web sites who don't pay more for service they are already paying for?

It's been argued that companies such as Google (for example) are not paying their fair share of the bandwidth they are using. I beg to differ. I've spoken with a few buddies working at Google and it's certainly not a free lunch (unless you mean lunch at their wonderful cafeteria). Companies and customers are paying for the services offered. This is basically another excuse to hike the rates without calling it a rate hike.

Do you want to "trust" an abusive company with the Internet? Contact the FCC and let them know what you think by June 15th (end of the public comment period). It's important they understand that a common carrier shouldn't be allowed to restrict what web pages you visit or how fast they might load compared to a competitor who paid extra.

One more note. I've received an interesting email from my Representative Chris Cannon about his views regarding the Internet. It's basically the opposite of what I've been hearing from him these last few years. Here is part of the letter I received.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the important issue of Net Neutrality. I appreciate your letter, and it is a pleasure to respond.

Currently in Congress there is a heated debate as to whether or not legislation should be enacted to prevent phone and cable companies from charging for preferential network access. As you may know, "Net Neutrality" refers to the idea that access to the Internet should be on a free and open basis for all.

The Internet continues to be a vital source of economic growth. The idea of a free and open Internet is what has allowed it to prosper and flourish into the fertile breeding ground of innovation it is today. It is my belief that Congress should stay out of the way of innovation and allow the Internet to continue to grow without the restrictive hands of over-regulation and control. For this reason I voted in favor of HR 5417, the Internet Freedom and Non-Discrimination Act, and for an amendment on the House floor that strengthens the anti-trust laws against those who attempt to degrade or impede legitimate Internet content.

In my time in Congress, I have led the way in keeping the Internet free of taxes and have always been a proponent of its ability to launch and sustain businesses of all sizes, but mainly small businesses. In addition, I am a cosponsor of HR 1684, the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act of 2005, a bill that would make permanent the ban on state taxation of Internet access, to make sure your email is never taxed, and that you will not be taxed on your connection to your Internet service provider.

I am proud of the fact that Utah is one of the nation's technological leaders, and I assure you I will vote to protect Utahns in their freedom of choice in their Internet access and that I will fight for the founding principles that have made the Internet the success it is today.

BTW, HR 5417 can be viewed here.

Seems we have more in common than I thought :-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11, 2007

Just received an amusing email from the BBB today. I couldn't resist sharing. Basically Comcast sent them another response and mailed a copy to our house now. I'll bet nobody could guess what the company said. Any takers??

No, don't hold your breath. Comcast apparently isn't able to do much more than cut and past their reply over and over again (and over and over and over....). It's quite funny actually. You would think a company able to push 150 Mps across a copper wire would be capable of something a little more ... original?

Before I get into that, here is their response

And here is mine.

So now I have a list of compromises. The middle ground is NOT getting the answer and resolving the issue. We'll see what the company does. Any guesses??? :-)

I'm curious if the company will improve as a result of this. The Abuse department I hope has some understanding of how dangerous Social Engineering can be. Ever hear of a guy named Kevin Mitnick? Yeah, it's a bigger problem than people realize.

People get a phone call and wonder if it really is Comcast calling. I've heard some say this could potentially turn into some way to scam people. Call around and ask for personal information. Hey, don't look at me that way. Comcast is the one who said Unlimited doesn't mean unlimited anymore. None of this has made sense from the beginning.

Ok. So I've received a bunch of email's about Comcast's latest test over copper wire. They did accomplished something very impressive. I doubt anyone will see 150 Mps but at least they are starting to catch up with the fiber. I hope nobody is really kidding themselves. Copper is 19th century tech and we're talking about moving into the 21st Century with fiber. They are basically investing in technology which really doesn't have a future. Fiber is the future. The potential is much higher. When a gig connection is made over a cable modem then I'll change my opinion :-D

Saturday, May 5, 2007

May 5th, 2007

We're at 25,000 visitors! Thank You all for your interest in this issue and getting the word out. According to Sitemeter, we have visitors from Australia, Germany, the UK, Brazil, Thailand, Japan and Israel to name just a few countries. I've received links to articles around the world. This is quite the accomplishment after nearly 4 months of operation. With people such as you spreading the word, we may make a positive change yet.

So here we are. The next 30 days with DSL. This month I needed to pull down more iso's than usual. I'm developing some code and needed to pull down RedHat AS3, AS4, and AS5. Binaries and source. That's on top of our normal usage. So here are the screen shots.

Here is the usage chart.

And here are the numbers.

Why do I show these? Because I was very suspicious when the Abuse department stated we were using 250-300 gigs a month. I simply couldn't believe we were hitting those numbers. I only wish I was monitoring it at this level back then. I have spoken with a couple dozen people who have captured their usage. In every case so far, the Abuse department's quoted numbers do not match what terminated customers monitoring software reported. Since Comcast doesn't provide any way of monitoring usage, you simply have to take their word for it. This reflects poorly on the company. With as much money as the company made last year, they can spend a few bucks and figure this problem out.

BTW, If I don't respond to an email or post please don't take it personally. I do have 6 kids and a wife to spend time with. Not to mention my employment and after hour activities keep me busy. I'll do the best I can to respond.


There are also a few other things of interest I've been working on. I'm trying to get together with the City Council's and especially the Mayor's of cities with Utopia. At least a couple of them to discuss how things are going. I'd like to copy what they did in the City of West Jordan. I've heard plenty of scary stories about iProvo. With 14 cities adopting Utopia, I figure somebody had to do it properly. Once I have something to report I'll post it here.

A little over a month ago I had a pleasant chat with Jason Porter and Pete Ashdown, CEO of That conversation I felt was very helpful. Pete is very excited with Utopia and we walked away with a laundry list of things to do. More on this in upcoming posts.

I really appreciate Jason's help these last few months. In researching why we are not allowed to join Utopia at this time, Jason discovered the following legislation which spells it out. Fortunately part of it goes away after July 2007 (yes, this year). I've been sending letters to the legislature and my representative. I strongly recommend everyone to do the same. Make them aware of what they could be getting themselves into and encourage competition.

Here are a few other links Jason provided. Very insightful.

If you have a story, please feel free to post it here or email me.

Keep up the great job of getting the word out!!