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News tagged: Comcast


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by Bill Neilson 10:33AM Thursday Oct 09 2014
The National Advertising Division (NAD) is telling CenturyLink to stop lying when they compare their Internet speeds versus those offered by Comcast. As noted previously NAD is essentially an industry self-regulatory firm that avoids regulatory intervention by settling marketing disputes in house. Usually, after the ads have been running for some time and already been discontinued. In this case, CenturyLink is being told to stop claiming that they offer:

• Speeds 13 times faster than basic cable
• Speeds 6 times faster than basic cable, and
• Speeds up to 40 Mbps and speeds up to 20 Mbps.

Basically, CenturyLink ads are comparing their fastest service to Comcast’s slowest service. When Comcast complained about the misleading advertisement, CenturyLink laughably maintained that their ads were "clearly disclosed" in the tiny disclaimers. The NAD agreed with Comcast that CenturyLink didn’t actually convey the difference. Also, CenturyLink wasn’t actually telling the truth about having 40 Mbps speeds available in the advertising area.
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33 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:14PM Wednesday Oct 08 2014
At the tail end of September I noted how Comcast had hired a new VP of "Customer Experience," Charlie Herrin. Herrin was monumentally tasked with shoring up Comcast's dismal customer satisfaction reputation and being the face of damage control for what seems like an endless stream of consumer missteps.
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30 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:03AM Wednesday Oct 08 2014
Quite some time before 1 Gbps fiber to the press release became the industry PR trend du jour, Comcast had started offering a 505 Mbps down, 100 Mbps up tier. The tier isn't cheap -- it runs users around $300 a month, comes with a $1,000 ETF, a $250 activation fee, and a $250 installation fee.
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38 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:17AM Tuesday Oct 07 2014
The Consumerist is running a unique Comcast complaint story in which an individual claims he was fired for simply complaining about Comcast service. According to the story, the individual spent years battling the kind of service issues and errant billing mistakes Comcast is well known for, including receiving and being billed for $1,820 in equipment he never asked for.
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37 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:00AM Tuesday Oct 07 2014
The FCC has announced that they've extended the comment period for Comcast's $45 billion proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and paused the "shot clock" on the review. According to the FCC announcement, the agency has extended the comment period for interested parties until October 29. The FCC notes that Comcast and Time Warner Cable belatedly filed a 850-page document supporting the deal, and the agency wanted to provide all parties time to digest the filing and respond. The agency also paused their 180 day shot clock limit on making a decision on the deal, currently on day 85. The agency also made it easier to comment on the deal by creating a ComcastTWCMerger@fcc.gov you can use to file your thoughts.

9 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:23AM Friday Oct 03 2014
While most large incumbent ISPs have rushed head-first into the home security and home automation market, few of those companies have been willing to specify how many users have signed up for such services -- suggesting they're not yet seeing quite the uptake they'd like. One other threat has now arisen for ISPs looking to be home security experts: lawsuits.
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98 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:24AM Wednesday Oct 01 2014
With Seattle city leadership complaining about the lack of broadband competition in the city and making noise about building their own networks, Comcast has taken to a unique approach to win the hearts and minds of the cities apartment dwellers. According to the local news outlets, Comcast has taken to throwing pizza parties to warm locals to their brand, insisting that if "we can we can get people in front of our products they can see the advantages we have over our competitors and learn to like those products."

Reddit users are having a little fun at Comcast's expense in regards to the new marketing strategy, offering up some pizza party advice -- Comcast style:
quote:
1.) Take all the pizza before it arrives.
2.) Call up the party host AS the pizza company.
3.) Inform them the pizza delivery is down between the hours of "Now till now+3 hours." But if they want to buy the pizza+hotdog bundle together for an additional 100 bucks, it'll increase their pizza delivery speed by 10 minutes.

20 comments


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by Karl Bode 03:08PM Thursday Sep 25 2014
In February of 2012 Comcast unveiled Streampix, their effort at trying to prevent cord cutting by offering a Netflix-esque service of their own. Like most ISP run services however, Streampix was really just a substandard "me too" offering, as cable companies are always very afraid of offering an over the top offering that could cannibalize existing TV services.
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21 comments


by Karl Bode 06:23PM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
ISPs have already been whining quite a bit about the fact that the FCC wants to raise the current minimum definition of broadband from 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up -- to something ranging from 10 to 25 Mbps. Now AT&T and Verizon are whining about the possibility that the FCC would like to make sure bandwidth caps are considered when defining the quality of a broadband connection.
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by Karl Bode 10:49AM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
Comcast last night filed their reply comments to the FCC as the agency considers approving the company's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The filing is filled with the sort of arguments we've seen countless times already over the past few months, including Comcast's repeated claim that they face so much competition on every front there's simply no way they'd ever engage in anti-competitive behavior.
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by Karl Bode 06:55PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
To get their acquisition of NBC approved by regulators, Comcast proposed a merger condition requiring they provide $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to all of the homes that qualify for the National School Lunch Program. This "Internet Essentials" program has seen significant criticism (and even protests) over the years for being a political show pony that in reality was intentionally hard to qualify for.
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by Karl Bode 04:46PM Thursday Sep 18 2014
In a sane world, protecting the Internet marketplace from giant ISPs who've all-but purchased the government would be a bi-partisan issue, since everybody benefits from a healthy, vibrant broadband industry. But this isn't a sane world, and net neutrality over the last decade has become a highly toxic, partisan issue with Republicans generally against neutrality rules, and Democrats generally in favor of them (even if neither side understands half of the technical issues being discussed).
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by Karl Bode 10:30AM Monday Sep 15 2014
A report over at DeepDotWeb claims that Comcast has contacted some users telling them that they risk disconnection if they continue using the privacy-minded Tor browser. Tor (as our recent report explores) is an entirely legal browser used by 1.2 million people, only some of whom use the browser to buy narcotics and other black market goods.
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by Karl Bode 08:33AM Thursday Sep 11 2014
New York State, emboldened by a new state law that requires mergers to benefit the public, is taking a tougher stance on Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to Bloomberg News. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who the outlet notes has received more than $200,000 in campaign contributions from the companies, hasn't formally taken a position -- though the NY PSC is making it clear they'll likely want tougher concessions than most states. Of course the definition of "tough" is relative; Comcast has a long history of volunteering their own "tough" conditions that even then they've historically had a tough time adhering to.

13 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:25AM Wednesday Sep 10 2014
Comcast this week announced that they're introducing a new wireless gateway for residential subscribers the company claims is the "industry's fastest." According to the Comcast announcement, the new DPC3941T Xfinity Wireless Gateway integrates 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a 3x3 MIMO design with 3 spatial streams that can provide up to 1.3 Gbps of raw throughput (700 Mbps actual, Comcast claims), 80 MHz wide Wi-Fi channel support, and 256-QAM modulation.

There's a discussion thread in our forums, and users have found a guide and some additional detail in the FCC database.

There's no word on what you'll pay for the honor of using this new device, but users can also e-mail Comcast at AC_WirelessGateway@cable.comcast.com for more detail. Comcast says the device will be available "later this fall to customers in select markets and over time across our footprint."

25 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:23PM Monday Sep 08 2014
Over the years we've seen a number of ISPs and even hotels run into user backlash and PR problems when they've decided to use deep packet inspection and ad injection to force their ads into user content. Many users don't like any ISP hijacking of site code, much less advertising injection -- especially if users aren't being told the system is being used.
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by Karl Bode 12:31PM Thursday Sep 04 2014
Netflix has thrown their support behind cities eager to build their own broadband without interference from incumbent ISPs and lobbyists. In a filing with the FCC, Netflix argues that the FCC can and should over-rule states like Tennessee, North Carolina and elsewhere, which have allowed ISPs to literally write the state telecom laws prohibiting towns and cities from improving their own broadband networks -- even in cases where nobody else will.
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by Karl Bode 05:16PM Friday Aug 29 2014
For months now Netflix has claimed that the largest ISPs have intentionally let their peering points get congested so that Netflix would be forced to pay them for direct interconnection (an argument companies like Level 3 and Cogent support). So why is Netflix paying AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Comcast for these links if they feel they're being railroaded?

According to Netflix filings made with the government (hat tip to Quartz and ReCode), the company was beginning to lose customers who were told by Comcast Netflix was responsible for the problems:
quote:
“For many [Comcast] subscribers, the bitrate was so poor that Netflix’s streaming video service became unusable,” he writes, then notes that Comcast reps eventually told subscribers to take their beef to Netflix. “Those customers complained to Netflix and some of them canceled their Netflix subscription on the spot, citing the unacceptable quality of Netflix’s video streams and Netflix’s inability to do anything to change the situation."
You'll recall that when Netflix started giving impacted customers warning message blaming ISPs, Verizon rather quickly threatened to file a lawsuit, insisting they were the ones losing customers over the fracas. The FCC launched an investigation into whether incumbent ISPs were acting anti-competitively back in June.

132 comments


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by Karl Bode 11:00AM Friday Aug 29 2014
A TiVo support note first spotted by Dave Zatz is the first to highlight Comcast's looming migration away from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. According to the note, Comcast is transitioning its systems in Augusta, Georgia, from MPEG-2 format to MPEG-4, meaning "that cable channels in this region will not be viewable on older equipment that is incompatible with the new format." I contacted Comcast who confirmed that they were migrating HD channels from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 in Augusta (SD channels will remain on MPEG-2), which the company notes will provide a "much more efficient use of bandwidth." The company could not offer any information on upgrade timelines for other markets.

95 comments


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by Karl Bode 05:03PM Thursday Aug 28 2014
Sixty-five consumer, social justice and media reform groups have fired off a letter voicing their opposition to Comcast's planned $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The letter, sent just as the FCC's open comment period ended earlier this week, complains that the Comcast deal will "inevitably lead to unprecedented gatekeeper control over our nation’s telecommunications and media landscape." Given Comcast's history of failing to meet NBC merger conditions (many of which they themselves recommended) the groups argue that "no amount of promises or conditions would be good enough to assuage concerns about this merger" and that the "deal needs to be rejected outright."

22 comments


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