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When we moved to our new house in August we decided that we didn’t want a land line and so we had to (well not really – but financially it made more sense) give up our Verizon DSL and switch to Comcast cable Internet. Since day one I’ve been complainng to my husband that Comcast is not as fast as DSL and their commercials are full of crap (sorry but they are). Today I read that Comcast has been intentially slowing down Internet traffic!!!

More Comcast fallout for your Wednesday afternoon. The ISP told the FCC yesterday that, yes, it does slow down Internet traffic for the greater good. The corp recently updated its TOS to reflect the fact that it shapes traffic. So that, in and of itself, isn’t new or exciting. The blowback that’s developing is, however.

A bill will be introduced to the House today that would disallow Comcast and other network providers from interfering with your Net connection. The idea here is that it’s in the public’s interest to allow unfettered access to the Internet in order to foster the next round of Googles and Yahoos. If your bandwidth is constantly futzed around with, how can you reliably use services like VoIP?

Why doesn’t Comcast just offer a legitimate unlimited service? Charge the power users (people like us, I assume) a little more but give them all the bandwidth they can handle.

Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop [Washington Post via Slashdot]

Via CrunchGear.

[update] I have edited my title because I have just received an email from a friendly man at Comcast. It was not a canned email as you’d expect, yet it explained this situation a bit further and I want to be fair. From the email:

I would like to apologize for the speeds you are experiencing and I would like to work with you to correct it. The articles you reference are specific to Bit Torrent, and the traffic management is regarding these downloads only. If you are experiencing slowness while downloading Bit Torrents, this could be the issue. If you are experiencing slowness during other activities it could be a problem that we can correct. When you are experiencing slowness, run a speetest at a site closest to your home. I usually use speedtest.net. If the results are less than you should be receiving, then we should have a technician review your modem and the lines into your home.

I have kindly replied to this gentleman and have ensured him that I would make this information known to the public. I also took time to explain that I have had several customer service issues with the company over the years and that has probably prompted my harsh title:

I will take your suggestions to heart and do not plan on changing services anytime soon, but I do think that you should have fewer staff hours spent monitoring the Internet for posts regarding your service and more hours spent on actually providing services to prevent complaints in the first place.

So, there you have it – I have been maybe a bit too harsh – but after years of holding in my anger, I’m happy to finally have gotten a professional response from the company and will stick with them while we see if we can resolve these issues. [/update]

14 Responses so far.

  1. ComcastCares says:

    I appreciate the feedback and the discussion we had via email. We are working to improve the service that we provide to our valued Customers and listening to Customers through all channels, including blogs, is extremely important. Now we need to demonstrate that we are listening, and I believe in the coming months you will notice a difference in the service we provide. More information regarding our Customer Care improvements is available at the following URL:

    http://www.comcast.com/customerservice

  2. ComcastCares says:

    I appreciate the feedback and the discussion we had via email. We are working to improve the service that we provide to our valued Customers and listening to Customers through all channels, including blogs, is extremely important. Now we need to demonstrate that we are listening, and I believe in the coming months you will notice a difference in the service we provide. More information regarding our Customer Care improvements is available at the following URL:

    http://www.comcast.com/customerservice

  3. Peter Murray says:

    Nicole –

    A typo in the URL of your update. It is listed correctly in the anchor text, but the HREF should be http://speedtest.net/.

  4. Peter Murray says:

    Nicole –

    A typo in the URL of your update. It is listed correctly in the anchor text, but the HREF should be http://speedtest.net/.

  5. Nicole says:

    Thanks – all better

  6. Nicole says:

    Thanks – all better

  7. Jo says:

    coincidentally there´s an interesting discussion at /. about “Comcast Cheating On Bandwidth Testing?”:

    http://ask.slashdot.org/askslashdot/08/02/19/04

  8. Jo says:

    coincidentally there´s an interesting discussion at /. about “Comcast Cheating On Bandwidth Testing?”:

    http://ask.slashdot.org/askslashdot/08/02/19/0434234.shtml

  9. ComcastCares says:

    Just to clear the air, Comcast does not cheat on bandwidth testing. This is not the first time this was discussed on Slashdot. Comcast uses technology known as Blast and PowerBoost. Both are designed to provide increases in speed at various times.

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Slashdot-Kee

  10. [...] will admit that I was a bit bothered by the information that Nicole Engard sharedon her blog about Comcast. I would be beyond annoyed if any of the sluggishness that I have [...]

  11. ComcastCares says:

    Just to clear the air, Comcast does not cheat on bandwidth testing. This is not the first time this was discussed on Slashdot. Comcast uses technology known as Blast and PowerBoost. Both are designed to provide increases in speed at various times.

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Slashdot-Keeps-Rediscovering-Comcast-Powerboost-91976

  12. [...] here about those same companies. If February it was Comcast that contacted me personally after writing a post here about my service and last night it was Adobe who wants to help me fix the display of the new [...]

  13. Fred says:

    That nonsense about Comcast’s speed test results just reflecting powerboost should be investigated. Everytime I’ve had a Comcast tech to the house to look into problems they all go to speedtest.net (and ignore my request to use other sites or the results from other sites) which always gives high download and upload rates (22000 kbs down/ 4000 kbs up) but whenever I check the speed on other sites I get much lower speeds. Those lower speeds look a lot closer to what I see when I’m actually surfing the web, downloading large files (when powerboost should kick in), etc. Comcast is clearly doing something to make sure that data going to and from those speedtest servers to their network gets through at the maximum rate.

  14. MizGeminiStarz says:

    To ComcastCares: You guys don’t cheat, eh? My husband works for a very large telecommunications company and according to what he learned you guys just got into a BUTT LOAD of trouble for exactly that. Wonder why this hasn’t hit the news.


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