Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February 18, 2009

It seems Comcast recognizes with competition it stands to loose heavily. And 2009 sounds like a year it hopes to get past quickly.

I can't say I blame them. And it doesn't help with investors leaving them. Companies like my other favorite are divesting themselves of Comcast stock.

Mr. Roberts has earned a new title besides CEO of Comcast. He's been called in many articles I've been receiving recently "The Dark Lord of Broadband". A guy who's as disconnected from reality as I've seen. And just when he thought 2007 and 2008 were going to be banner years for Comcast, people as myself rebelled and called them to the mat. Involving the FCC and other Government agencies. It's been a mess.

Yet there's a stunning disconnect between how fellow chief executives view him and what customers think. They see Comcast as arrogant, unresponsive, and overpriced. The company has managed to place last or close to last in just about every survey of customer service.

By blocking BitTorrent—in effect discriminating against those packets—Roberts had opened himself up to accusations that he was a censor and a monopolist who wanted to limit citizens' access to the Internet. He was painted as power-mad, unable to restrain himself.

"I honestly don't think we're bad people, and we have no evil intentions," he says. "We helped invent broadband."

Let me guess. Comcast gave Al Gore the idea for the Internet now? My how history has changed. Read the article. It was a good read.

I guess they really hate the Internet.

Cable’s costly infrastructure, optimized for hundreds of channels, can’t adjust to a world where entertainment is downloaded. They have to tame the Internet to survive.

People are looking at services which don't require cable TV. From Vuze to Hulu and more. Downloadable content takes control away from these guys. If you follow the money, those customers are bad for business.

Streaming video of everything from classic movies to hit TV programs to screaming music videos of '80s hair bands is available free at online portals YouTube and Joost, as well as (a joint venture of NBC and Fox) and the networking site MySpace, which is owned by the same company as Fox.

And now it seems by 2012 Korea will have an average Internet of 1 Gig putting American Internet providers to shame!

In America we think Charter's 60 Mbps Cable is fast, well in Korea the entire country will have 1 Gbps service by 2012, that's 16 times faster than Charter's fastest 60Mbps highspeed service. Currently, Koreans can get speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is still nearly double the speed of Charter's new 60 Mbps service.

Someday people here will wake up. The Internet is as important as public roads. Don't expect to succeed without improving the infrastructure.

Another reason our economy is a shambles.

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 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 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.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

Now that the voters have spoken, it's interesting to see more and more we're hearing Government is talking about building a National Broadband policy. There have been many interesting articles the last couple of weeks including this one. I'm curious where this is going. Many have also said it will take $100 Billion to upgrade our infrastructure to Fiber to the home. Fortunately they have over 200 Billion already in their pockets through taxes for over 14 years through the NII.

I'm encouraging people everywhere to write to President Elect Obama and remind him of these facts and to encourage him to influence those in authority to either make it happen or return the money for service not rendered.

I had an interesting email from a blogger recently. Talking about the AT&T caps and sharing this article about it. He had an interesting statement to make which I just have to share with you

Hmmm, Let's see. If I pay for 6 Mbps connectivity, if I used it 24 hours per day for a month, I could download almost 2,000 GB. The ATT plan would give me the first 80 GB
free and then I would pay $1,920/month for the rest? If I only get 80 GB in a month, then I think I'm only getting 240 Kbs connectivity or so. This type of logic is like offering cellphone service pricing where you get unlimited minutes of connectivity but only 5,000 words per month.

Puts it all in perspective as Comcast rolls our their new services. Sure they are offering more than AT&T, so double the numbers and you roughly have an understanding of how bad of a deal it is. Oh and don't forget, you risk reaching your usage cap faster with those speeds. No, you don't get more bandwidth. I haven't heard of any tier services available either. It's pretty silly actually. These caps are like saying you are driving your car too much even though you paid for the car, insurance and the gas. Yes you have a full tank but you should only use 1 gallon then get off the road. Seems many other's agree with this opinion

Here's what Comcast should have said:

"See, we've got this legacy cable business. That wouldn't be so bad if innovators weren't making it easier to stream video over the Web. Microsoft 's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Silverlight helped bring you the Olympics. So did Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), and it's also behind Netflix 's (Nasdaq: NFLX) Watch Now service. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is working on chips for Web TV. These technologies will improve over time and, as they do, they'll demand more bandwidth. We're not big fans. In fact, we'd prefer you ignore these innovations and watch TV and video the traditional way, over our cable network."

It's amazing how many articles in the last month have come out against bandwidth caps. The proponents are ignoring something they seem unable to grasp. That's ok. Perhaps in the near future they will become as inconsequential as the buggy whip if technology keeps advancing. Something like this (should it materialize) would make Copper cables and even reduce the need for a public fiber infrastructure. Very impressive IF it appears.

One more note. I found this article interesting.

What Comcast didn’t mention, however, was that it had reached a settlement with McCollum’s Economic Crimes Bureau to pay $150,000 to the state to resolve “concerns over disclosure issues related to bandwidth use policies,” according to an Aug. 29 news release issued by the McCollum’s office. The settlement was the result of a state investigation of Comcast’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in which Comcast “allegedly did not inform consumers of a specific bandwidth limit” for customers to be notified of “excessive use, which could lead to a customer being kicked off the service.

Sounds like the top 1000 customers are kicked off regardless of usage each month if I"m reading this correctly. Doesn't matter whether a customer was affecting the network adversely or not. That wasn't part of the criteria.

When consumers asked Comcast to specify a cap on usage, “Comcast did not provide consumers with a specific bandwidth usage limit, stating that the consumers’ service would be at risk if they remained among the top 1,000 bandwidth users and directing them to the AUP and frequently asked questions explaining the AUP’s excessive use policy,” according to the settlement document.

That wasn’t good enough, as the Attorney General said that “a ‘top 1,000’ criteria, as previously applied, did not clearly and conspicuously disclose to the consumer the specific amount of bandwidth deemed to be excessive under Comcast’s subscriber agreements.”

Personally I'm surprised Florida was the only state to actually take this to court. Sounds like fraud but that's just my opinion.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 31, 2008

There has been quite the flurry of articles about Comcast's recent policy change regarding bandwidth. Some hail it as the greatest thing since sliced bread while others condemn it as just another way for the company to force their customers to use less bandwidth. Some are asking if 250 gigs a month is enough.

Comcast says that 99% of their customers use the internet well under this limit. Personally I dispute that unvalidated statement. When my families Internet was terminated for 12 months we started asking around and noticed two others in our neighborhood ALSO were terminated within a couple months. Those are odds I'd love to take to Vegas.

Will this be a good thing for Comcast customers? Time will tell. I have several questions which I haven't found answers to. Perhaps someone here can answer them.

First, Will this limit include Comcast traffic as well as Internet traffic?

Second, Will Comcast customers be able to validate they are using that much traffic when they get "The Call"?

Third, if more than 250 Gigs per month are consumed, is there a higher tier available with more bandwidth?

Fourth, In the event of a mistake, what process is in place to challenge Comcast's findings. Is there an escalation process basically?

Fifth, how much really is too much bandwidth?

Unless Comcast answers these questions I don't see how much has changed other than the bandwidth limit is now stated like all other ISP's. Also, in today's age of Internet Innovation, we see full HD movies coming to the web browser. That's right, Internet providers don't have just P2P and downloads to worry about. From what I'm hearing, P2P has leveled off last year and HTTP traffic is the growing problem.

I decided to check and was stunned to learn TV shows such as Heroes, South Park and other's are all available online. And this was from companies such as NBC.COM, South Park Studios and so on.

Internet bandwidth usage will ONLY increase in the coming years.

Speaking of which, I was pleased to hear our Government is beginning to realize just how badly America is in need of a national broadband strategy. I haven't heard much from the Republican side regarding what they plan on doing however the Democrats seem to be coming around to the idea that it should be treated like Infrastructure.

The Democrats' position on broadband is to treat it more like critical infrastructure--like roads, bridges and the water supply. From the Party Platform: "We will implement a national broadband strategy, especially in rural areas, that enables every American household, school, library and hospital to connect to a world-class communications infrastructure."

It continues: "In an increasingly technology-rich, knowledge-based economy, connectivity is a key part of the solution to many of our most important challenges: job creation, economic growth, energy, health care and education."

At the current rate, we won't catch up to Japan for about 100 years without help.

"We need high-speed Internet for our homes, schools, hospitals, and workplaces," the authors of the report recommend. "Speed defines what is possible on the Internet. It determines whether we will have the 21st century networks we need to create the jobs of the future, develop our economy, and support innovations in telemedicine, education, public safety, and public services to improve our lives and communities."

I recall a speech by President Bill Clinton regarding NAFTA. He mentioned we will be transitioning to a technology economy in the years to come. That was over a decade ago! Without the infrastructure in place, I wonder how we can expect to complete that move? BTW, I've been searching for a reference for that statement. If anyone has found one please share :-)

One more comment about broadband. It seems Comcast isn't alone with the 250 Gig monthly limit. Seems Qwest 'may' also have set limits as well.

We’ve wrote before that ISPs are looking for new ways to manage their network by introducing bandwidth caps and metered plans. Although we’re not in favor of it, we have to applaud Comcast for being open about it. Most other ISPs have similar policies, limiting their unlimited services, but they seem to get away with it. One of these ISPs is Qwest, one of the larger Internet providers in the western United States, who forces customers to accept an invisible 250 GB cap.

Indeed, as we have said before, ISPs should think ahead. To most “normal” customers 250 GB may sound as a lot of bandwidth, but this might be totally different in the future. Making an online backup of your harddrive is pretty much impossible with a bandwidth cap like this, so will HD-streaming. It hinders innovation while it’s ignoring the real problem. ISPs should invest in their network instead, but I guess it’s not only the entertainment industry that finds it hard to adapt to technological change.

So we have a new (capped) future before us. Seems Internet Providers are deciding to limit innovation rather than build out their Infrastructure. I have yet to hear what happened to the NII money from 1994. So after a brief search of tools to monitor usage, I came across this article. Some of the tools looks decent enough.

Personally I like vnstat for linux. It was nice to see Ubuntu had the package already available. After a minute of setup I can see hourly, weekly, and monthly totals. It even gives a 'guess' of what my total consumption of the month may be. I recommend vnstat. And especially if you want a GUI there is PHPvnstat. Creates a nice web page with some nice graphs.

Speaking of Ubuntu. I was surprised to hear of Comcast giving the cold shoulder when a customer mentioned they were running Linux. I'm glad they are running ok now but the response was inappropriate.

the support agent refused to give her the case number, restating the fact that Comcast does not support Linux. He even went as far to say that the company supports Windows, Mac OSX, and even Unix (note that both Linux and OSX are a form of Unix), but not Linux. Needless to say, Mrs. Gorman was not pleased with this response. I would not want to have been the Comcast employee during the resulting conversation. For the next several minutes, she chastised the employee about the evils of discriminating against a customer due to their choice in operating system. Once thoroughly chastised, the employee was more forthcoming with the case number.

I was amused at least. You have to go higher up the food chain until you found someone who understood how lame that statement was. For the record, I ran Linux on the Comcast network for years without issue.

Speaking of which, I've been running Ubuntu on my new computer for the last few weeks without issue. The P180 Antec case, Artic Cooler CPU fan and 120 mm case fans make this computer whisper quiet and yet it's very powerful. I'm running several programs in WINE including Counterstrike Source, Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty 4. All run just great on my Nvidia 9800 GTX with their proprietary driver. The ONLY problem I've had is chatting in my steam friends list. I'll have to work on that. Otherwise I highly recommend scrapping Windows and moving to Ubuntu.

One more note. I had to share this article with you :-)

It's funny to see Comcast's numbers have changed.

* Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
* Download 62,500 4 MB songs (at 4 MB/song)
* Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
* Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)

What I want to know is how many gigs is that in DAT cartridges ;-)

Ok I'm kidding. Still it's unrealistic. Standard definition video's isn't the future boys. Everybody is going high def. And 2 Gigs a movie is low from what I'm seeing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008

Well... I've received quite a number of messages about Qwest and their FTTH articles. Seems Qwest has done it again by bending terms a bit. Perhaps it was unintentional. Thing is I spoke with people who work there and they also said FTTH along with an email I received from Qwest as well.

I apologize for adding to the confusion. Since I've been contacting them again asking for confirmation. I'm hearing it's Fiber to the Node which isn't the same thing.

Here is a part of the email I received

Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry to Qwest regarding the
high-speed Internet upgrades. I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience you have experienced as well as the delay in responding toyour e-mail.

We now offer Fiber to the Node in some areas. The upgrading process has begun and will be completed over the next several months across the 14 state region. I apologize for any misinformation you have received previously.

So there you have it. But I have to ask why? They don't want to provide video service and it seems they don't want to build out the infrastructure they were supposed to have under NII.

It looks like Utopia is moving forward with U-CAN meetings. Basically working with the public and learning more about what's going on with Utopia. Great place to give them feedback. I'll have to see if I can break away to chat with them at the next meeting.

I've received several notes on web sites people may be interested in. I'm checking them out when I have time. One of interest is Internet for Everyone Seems there is a growing interest here in America to make Internet access a basic right along with other services we've pushed the Government to provide. They also have a nice map of where broadband is, and where it isn't. I've contacted them to learn more about their organization and hopefully will be able to give an update. It certainly makes sense as most other developed countries are already moving forward. Leading the way so America can follow. Someday...

One more item and a bit offtopic. I've been working heavily with WINE under Ubuntu Linux (8.04) and have been able to fix the In game voice problem with CounterStrike Source. Until now people have been grumbling that they couldn't hear me so I had to use Vent or type my messages. When I started it up the other day everyone was complaining that their ears were bleeding and to turn the volume down ;-)

Gotta Love Linux!

Soon I'll be free of Windows at home. All my gaming needs handled by WINE or Linux. May even purchase a Nintendo Wii later this year.

It's going to be a good year :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8, 2008

Thought I'd share this tidbit with everyone. After over a year it looks like we'll be getting FTTH but of course no install date. That's because it 'may' be Utopia or Qwest installing it.

That's right. I'm not fooling. I received an email plus had a couple of conversations with a couple of buds who mentioned Qwest is serious about bringing FTTH in Salt Lake Valley. Would be nice to see what their roll out plan is. Here is a tidbit from one of the letters I received from them

Fiber to the home is available in some areas of Utah. We have no target or completion date to provide for you at this time, but Qwest is actively upgrading this option. The best advisement is that you re-check with us in the upcoming weeks and months for information regarding the progression of this area of development.

They are talking about 20 Megs up / down which would be perfect for us. We're thinking about moving our business to the web at some point. I have written the code we'll need but it's beta so far.

So Concast - 0 Consumers - 1

How's that for the ending of a story...

Here's an article about the rollout.

I'll post a few more things in the future. Sites I frequent which may be of interest. Also we're thinking of transcribing some of this to youtube. I've had people say they were too lazy (their words) to read about the story however would be interested in a vid or two explaining what happened.

So perhaps we'll roll something like that out. We'll see :D

BTW, it's nice being with an ISP ( that has a clue how technology works vs a provider who tries to dazzel people with technical nonsense

To make its case, the group attempts to dispel the "technical-sounding nonsense" put forth by Comcast and its allies. If you've been following this debate at all, you already have a good sense of what Comcast's position is: upgrades are too expensive, BitTorrent traffic would instantly consume any upgraded bandwidth, and the only way to properly manage traffic is to discriminate against specific protocols.

Eve the White House is confused on what is a good broadband policy

Crawford added that what America needs is "access to a general communication structure that is open with universal access," a notion characterized by Russell as a "tragic mistake" and invoked an image of a single, regulated monopoly.

Here's an interesting article on the problem of bandwidth

No, p2p is no longer the single biggest traffic whore, responsible for only 20 percent of total traffic. It's streaming video, like YouTube and Hulu, which is now 50 percent of total traffic. During peak congestion—the times when Comcast will slow you down for hitting the pipe too hard—70 percent of it is http.

Which explains Comcast's flip on network management and why it's a total smokescreen. P2P is no longer the number one leech on networks, it's streaming video across regular old http. So they don't need to throttle p2p exclusively anymore—they need to slow the whole pipe down, hence the new "protocol agnostic" scheme.

Another good article about Broadband

Despite the repeated claims of the current administration that our "broadband policy" is working, the US actually has no broadband policy and no aggressive and inspiring goals (think "moon shot"). The EDUCAUSE model suggests investing $100 billion (a third comes from the feds, a third from the states, and a third from companies) to roll out fiber to every home in the country. Whether the particular proposal has merit or not, it at least has the great virtue of being an ambitious policy that recognizes the broad economic and social benefits from fast broadband.

Here's hoping that the next president, whoever he (or, possibly, she) is, gives us something more effective—and inspiring—than this. It's telling that the current administration's official page on the President's tech policy hasn't had a new speech or press release added since... 2004.

And finally, a thought validated about Concast speeds. What you really are paying for.

Reader Peter is one such atypical customer. He wants to cooperate with Comcast, but he can't get a straight answer as to how much downloading he's allowed to do. He can't even get an estimate. Since he pays for the highest tier of access from Comcast, he figures that he should be able to download more than a "typical" user. Not true, says the Comcast "Abuse" department. Since his internet is "faster" he's simply paying more for the ability to reach the bandwidth limit sooner.


Thank God FTTH is coming. That would quickly impact that lousy company in my area.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 8, 2008

It's been a crazy couple of months. Between the FCC Hearings into Comcast's fake "Network Management" practices and the 2008 Utah Legislative sessions, it's been a crazy roller coaster ride.

I'm sure by now my Representative is tired of hearing from me along with several other Senators and Representatives. They've been hearing what I've had to say along with other's who are interested in an Internet free of MegaCorp manipulation. If we don't tell our politicians what we want then they will go the wrong way in passing crazy bills.

Take for instance Representative Craig Frank and Senator Stephenson's bills on Utopia. While they successfully left committee, they were killed before going to the State Legislature because people called and wrote complaining. Eventually they listened and simply dropped it. Sure there was the risk they would pop up in another bill somewhere.

Which is why many people were involved in searching for anything that might effect it in some way. Now that it's over, it seems we may have dogged a bullet. Time to make good on it by pushing for Network Neutrality and a fiber infrastructure as the NII promised us in 1994. Speaking of which, I thought you all might find this video of interest.

President Bush I understand has suggested we have a broadband strategy and it's working great. I brought this up on a slashdot discussion and it was amazing the arguments (from both sides) that came up. One guy mentioned "It's a very competitive business, ravenously so". The response from another slashdot poster says it all

Yeah, 2.5 options make for a very competitive market. You (or other monopoly) own my phone lines, while my cable monopoly owns my cable lines. High-latency satellite connections, slow-ass dialup (still over the monopoly's lines, BTW), or "unlimited" (5GB cap) cell data plans are the rest of the .5 options.

I think a lot of businesses would be quite happy to have such an absence of competition in their markets.

Even Brian Roberts (CEO of Comcast) once mentioned in an article that they have no competition and don't consider DSL even close to competition. If anyone finds that article please forward it to me. It was I believe in 2005 or 2006 but I can't find it after massive searching.

So can the consumer use the bandwidth he PURCHASED as he pleases? According to the FCC filing from Comcast, you cannot.

The question that many users are probably asking themselves right now is, "But didn't I pay for a certain level of bandwidth? Can't I use it however and whenever I want?" To which Comcast says, simply, "No, you cannot."

The argument here is that "if the most bandwidth-consumptive users are allowed to place whatever burden they wish on the network, whenever they wish, then bandwidth can become insufficient to enable other users... to access all the content, applications, and services that they want at the level of performance they demand and deserve."

From another conversation on slashdot I found this comment of great interest since this guy is in the business of providing Internet Access.

Since I admin a smallish ISP, I can tell you that it's already the next
killer app. We've been monitoring network demographics with NTOP for quite some time.

This past year, we've seen a 10% increase in subscribers and a 60% increse in traffic. That increase is almost entirely http. P2P protocol usage, on the other hand, plateaued last year. It is becoming more and more insignificant.

You can watch 20 episodes of Lost commercial free in "HD" full screen at I watched the Sarah Conner Chronicles [] (brought to you by Cisco, the irony..) at home last night and monitored my bandwidth consumption, which saturated at around 3Mb. This isn't youtube, the picture is great. It's very impressive, and easy to do. It was a 10 second pluggin install on my Windows machine.

People are rapidly finding this. An informal survey of our CSRs reveals that they are getting increasing volumes of calls where the subject comes up.

Never bet against the Internet, as they say.

And dont forget one of my favorite P2P file sharing sites Apparently they have major concerns with Comcast's monopoly tactics.

In a conference call, Vuze's general counsel Jay Monahan drew the starkest analogy. What Comcast is really doing, he said, wasn't at all comparable to limiting the number of cars that enter a highway. Instead, it was more like a horse race where the cable company owns one of the horses and the racetrack itself. By slowing down the horse of a competitor like Vuze, even for a few seconds, Comcast makes it harder for that horse to compete. "Which horse would you bet on in a race like that?" asked Monahan.

And yes, I've submitted my testimony about Comcast to Vuze to present before the FCC. I have uploaded a copy of it to youtube to make it easier for people to find it.

From the huge deluge of articles people have been emailing me I found this article interesting. Especially the discussion about how Comcast goes about forging packets. Something I learned is VERY easy in my SANS 2007 Security training classes in Las Vegas last year.

Daniel Weitzner, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Decentralized Information Group summed up bad traffic management with: “Maybe it’s a bit like the old adage about pornography ‘I know it when I see it’. In this case I know what Comcast is doing is in the camp of unreasonable. These are techniques that hackers would use to deny service to any application on the web, very similar in that regard. It might be interesting to hold a panel of security experts to talk about those kind of mechanisms, I’m certainly not one. But, forging data on the internet is probably outside of the realm of reasonable, and any standards body would deem it to be.”

Representative Mackey is pushing through a bill to preserve the Internet from these silly games. I've written him letters and encourage everyone to pitch in. With the crap going on with screening mail in Washington D.C., he recommends (from his web site) everyone write letters to him at his MedFord address.
5 High Street, Suite 101
Medford, MA 02155

So I'm still alive and kicking and getting down to business :-)

Seems a report came out suggesting increasing our Internet Infrastructure even a little would make a huge impact on the economy. With all this talk over a recession, perhaps we should say it's high time to start building.

A broadband stimulus package would pump nearly as much money into the U.S. economy as an economic stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. Congress, said Brian Mefford, Connected Nation's CEO. A proposal being considered as part of a farm bill before Congress would allow immediate depreciation for investment in broadband infrastructure and "provide a jolt to the nation's economy in the near term," Mefford said.

Finally I leave you with this article talking about the Class Action lawsuit against Comcast. From the article

"This lawsuit demonstrates that consumers are rightfully outraged over Comcast's secretive bait‑and-switch tactics," said Markham C. Erickson, the Executive Director of the Open Internet Coalition. "The company's behavior already has attracted the attention of the FCC and Congress. Now the courts are involved. If Comcast doesn't change its behavior, the word 'Comcastic' is going to become a synonym for fraud."