Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 10, 2009

Happy New Year!

Two years later I find it interesting that Comcast has been working to resolve some serious issues with their Internet product. Two years ago Comcast really screwed up and created a PR disaster for themselves. So now it seems they are working to resolve a few things, with their product at least.

The Old Comcast vs The New Comcast?

- "We can't divulge to the customer usage limits" vs "You have 250 Gigs a month now"

- "You are responsible for monitoring your usage" vs "We're working on a bandwidth monitor for you"

- "Hello customer service, we can't help you" vs "Frank on Twitter, maybe we're an improvement"

Ok perhaps that last one isn't really an improvement though I've heard stories of some people able to resolve issues with the company where customer services is Epic Fail. Nothing I can confirm and I've asked around. Still the other issues are important steps. Would I consider going back to Comcast?

Are you Crazy!

I don't support companies with pathetic attitudes. Microsoft, Comcast, errr.... you get the idea.

Speaking of Comcast, its interesting how far a company will go to prevent competition. Too scary I guess. Oh and I guess they succeeded in slowing the exodus to a better product in Philly at least.

Ha, wow. This stuff is too rich to make up. We already knew that Comcast was blowing smoke by claiming that it had more HD material (than Verizon) that mere mortals actually cared about, but this is just incredible. A new report straight from Philadelphia makes clear that a practically imminent vote to give Verizon a 15-year lease to wire the city up for FiOS TV has been abruptly halted, and Comcast is largely to thank. Purportedly, lobbyists for the carrier swarmed the council chambers yesterday and managed to convince them to take another month or so to reconsider. Among the issues brought up were that another carrier wouldn't necessarily lead to lower prices and that Verizon would likely wire up higher income neighborhoods first / only. Thanks Comcast -- we bet even Adam Smith would agree that no competition is better than competition you find unfavorable.

This stuff is unreal. Even a fiction writer couldn't make this stuff up. I guess with surveys like this Comcast should be worried. Then of course there are other concerns. Maybe some day they will learn from their mistakes. I almost feel sorry for the company. Hey I'm not stupid. My family and I still remember (and notes help) what happened. Maybe someday they will grow into a company like Amazon.com. Now there is a company we've spent thousands of dollars with and come back regularly.

Comcast's top tier accounts it seems also has 250 Gigs as their limit also. Upgrade to a business account you say? When I spoke with their sales I was told "you get just more bandwidth" with a business account. So how much more? Unless they have announced it and I missed the press release you have no more bandwidth available than a NON Business account. Period. After looking at my notes from two years ago, I wrote a note from a conversation with Sarah (from Comcast's escalation department) that in residential area's you don't have a separate network they can connect you to.

Then of course there is Utopia. If we ever get it in West Jordan we can choose from the basic 100 Gigs a month with upgrades in 100 Gigs increments up to 500 Gigs.

Oh, and before I forget, Comcast is working on the bandwidth meter for it's customers. It's about time they decided to leak this. I'm amused though. I heard about it two years ago and here it is. Yeah, like I've mentioned before. It's interesting the things I learned about the company. I just wish I could talk about it without getting in trouble... then of course I can't prove any of it either other than my notes with dates written :-)

However here is something I suspected would not change. I guess when you have a monopoly (or at least VERY little competition), you can make products that benefit the company and not the customer.

A couple more notes and then I'll quit... for now :-)

Fiber is the future. Rather than running copper wire tech from the 1800's. Comcast either fixes their copper fetish or motley fool's prediction comes true. After all, we're already stressing what copper wire's can do while we have yet to learn how far fiber cables can be pushed. Good thing too since demand for online videos have jumped 34% in the last year alone! I'm sure products such as this are a cause for concern. LG TV's with Netflix movies in HD through the internet. Sounds like us. We stream Internet TV through Mythtv to our TV. It's really cool the content available online.

And people aren't stupid. Read through the Digg.com comments. The people know with all this talk about bandwidth limits that Comcast isn't what they want for Internet service. Here's a few I found after a couple minutes searching.

So too does the number of people being banned from Comcast as "heavy users?"

In a years time I'd be interested to see a comparison of number of videos watched and number of comcast users throttled. Online video is eventually going to stagnate once more ISPs begin to throttle bandwidth.

CONcastic hates Hulu. I mean people now watch TV over IP. Times for the telephone companies to crush cable. I use a digital projector to get a big image when I want to see a movie over the web.

Things are not all bleak. I'm urging everyone to write to President Elect Obama and let him know how we need NII and the fiber to the home it promised under Bill Clinton in 1994. Seems he is talking about renewing our information highway. I'm curious how serious he is and how far he will go.

"In our 21st-century society, having a connection to a fast and affordable Internet is no longer a luxury — it's a public necessity," said Free Press' executive director Josh Silver. "Obama's broadband stimulus must deliver Americans the infrastructure they need for economic growth and social opportunity."

Obama did not specify the cost of the public works program, but various analysts' costs estimates place it from $400 to $700 billion, and possibly higher.

But broadband advocates such as Daily say plans such as his "Rural Fiber Fund" would enable expansion of broadband Internet access for a small fraction of the total cost.

"$30 billion should get the whole job done," Daily said. "But $10 billion is enough to be a game-changer and set the wheels in motion."

Sure why not. The Government has no problem bailing out companies like AIG. May as well spend the money to get home businesses the infrastructure they need to be successful in our flat world. You need to read the book "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman. A buddy at my last company lent me the book. Very insightful read IMO.

After all, isn't it small businesses driving our economy above all other businesses? Seems to make sense the economy won't recover very easily without a proper infrastructure in place.

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