Review by Mr Matt
Good "Reliability of Service has declined, All signal levels are optimum at modem."
- Location: Eustis,Lake,FL
- Cost: $42 per month
- Install: about 2 days
Bad "Cost for speed provided. CSR's not informed about service tiers."
Overall "I would recommend Comcast unless, reliable DSL service is available at lower cost."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
Options: I moved to a new home and had a choice of two service providers, Comcast and Embarq. I choose Comcast because they did not require a one year service contract, Embarq did. I was required to keep service for 60 days to get the deal below.
Service: The package included Six for Six. That is Six Mb for Six Months for $19.95 per month. At the end of Six Months the rate increased to $42.95 per month. The deal also included a free Motorola SB5101 after two rebates were applied for and received. A self install kit with very high quality splitter. I also received a $100.00 gift card from Circuit City. I was not happy with the charges after the Six Month Promotional Period. At my old residence, I subscribed to a bundle which Adelphia offered for customers subscribing to the Ultimate (CATV) Programming Package. The bundle included a Six Mb Broadband connection for $24.95 per month. The regular rate for a Six Mb Broadband connection without the ultimate package was about $52.00 per month. I wish Comcast offered the same bundle.
Order Process: I checked with several electronics stores to get the best deal. It turned out that Circuit City had the beat deal. One inconvenience was that I had to order service through a distant Circuit City Store because the newer Motorola SB5101 Modem was not available at the local store. I placed the order with a salesperson and was handed a self install kit, modem and a stack of rebate forms.
My new home included a structured wiring cabinet where I installed the SB5101 modem and a D-Link DI-604 E1 wired router. I planned to install a wireless access point at a more central location later. I used a data cable already installed by the builder to establish a hardwired connection to my computer. Two days after I placed the order I placed my first call to Comcast to complete the installation. When I advised the Comcast technical representative that I was using Thunderbird as an e-mail client and did not want to run the self install CD they asked me for the MAC Address of the Modem and provisioned it. Within minutes I was on line. According to the sales agreement I own the Motorola SB5101 modem and there is no monthly charge for same.
I must admit that the prior torture I experienced trying to self install Adelphia Broadband in September 2001 helped me avoid the same problems installing Comcast Broadband in December 2006. I learned not to run the provided self install CD if possible, particularly if I was using a non-standard Browser or E-Mail client.
April 24, 2008
I have had Comcast Broadband Service for several months now. I have lost the ability to access the Internet for from Two to Three Hours several times, even though my Basic and Digital Cable Service remained unaffected. When I tried to report the problem all Comcast Telephone Lines were busy. I know that the problem was upstream because the Modem retained it's IP Address during the outage. Once or twice although I could not access Google, the only URL that I could connect to was Comcast.com. When service is functioning correctly the upstream and downstream speed have improved. I have replaced my wired router with an AZIO AER114 which is rated by the manufacture at 70Mbps WAN to LAN. I typically see the upload and download speeds shown below using Speakeasy Speed Test.
Test run at 7:45 PM
Download Speed: 22537 kbps (2817.1 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1591 kbps (198.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
My old router limited my Download Speed to around 16Mbps. If you want to save some money and do not need a high speed connection you may want to try Embarq DSL. Unfortunately Embarq requires the subscriber to sign a one year contract or pay an additional fee of $10.00 per month.
March 11, 2009
Comcast continues to provide satisfactory service and unsatisfactory value. Unfortunately I just received a notice of a price increase for entertainment services (CATV) in Lake County, Florida as of April First. Apparently the top management at Comcast are not the brightest bulbs in the string. At a time when the United States is in a deep recession the wizards at Comcast are raising monthly fees. I also discovered that the staff at the call center are not to swift either.
When I asked what the download speed was for subscribers on the economy tier the CSR advised me that the download speed was 2.0 Mb. When I asked if the CAP was reduced for economy subscribers I was transferred to a technician that was unable to advise me about the CAP or the download speed. What a way to run a cable company. When I accessed the website and did a search on the economy service I was unable to find a reference to the CAP or the download speed or terms of service for the economy tier.
March 14, 2009
I am still trying to get a straight answer on what the download speed is if I downgrade to the economy tier. So far I located or received the following information from Comcast:
1) Googled Comcast economy tier and found references to 768K download speed in old documents.
2) Called Comcast Internet department and was told that the download speed would be 2M. I asked for a confirmation and did not receive same.
3) I searched the Comcast.net website again and found a reference to the speeds that would be available when DOCSIS 3.0 was deployed. The table indicated that the download speed for the economy tier when would be 1M.
4) I placed another call to Comcast and was advised by the CSR that in fact the download speed for the economy tier was 1.5M. The CSR referred to the economy tier as the retention tier and that it was not normally offered. When I pointed out that it was listed on the rate card that Comcast just sent me and the CSR seemed surprised that the economy tier was listed.
Apparently Comcast does not want to offer the economy tier and can successfully deter customer from ordering same by not clearly stating what the download speed is. From the information that I received from Comcast, the download speed for the economy tier might be anywhere from 768K to 2M.
Updated April 2, 2009
I finally received an answer for my question regarding the download speed for the economy by visiting their local office. I was advised by the airhead at the customer service desk that the download speed would be 768K when I asked why I received four answer for the same question particularly why I was told that the economy speed was 2Mb, 1Mb, 768K and 768K which is the same as 1Mb I did not get a clear response. Comcast customer support needs to get their act together.
I plan on looking to Embarq for DSL Service.
Another hot flash: Comcast gives less for more. In celebration for their April 1 price increase. As of April 1, 2009 Comcast has dropped most West Coast Premium Channel feeds in Lake County, Florida. The only West Coast feeds left are HBOW, MAXW and STRZ1W. I found a note in a recent mailing advising customers that the bandwidth made available by dropping those 12 channels would be used for other services. This change also gives Comcast an opportunity to pitch subscribing to DVR Service.
I tried to help Comcast avoid a citation from the FCC and got jerked around. On the morning of July 13 a contractor completed repairing the road in our subdivision. At the same time all of the 315Mhz Garage Door Openers near my home including mine ceased working. I thought there might be an RF leak caused by the contractor damaging a cable. If just happens that Cable Channel 39 operates between 312 and 318 Mhz. I called the FCC and filed a complaint. I was advised it might take some time to send an investigator. I called Comcast and advised them that there might be a cable leak. The representative set up an appointment for Thursday July 16. The technician arrived and the first thing she did was disconnect the drop. When that did not correct the problem if the technician was competent they would have turned the matter over to cable maintenance.
This is where the problem began. The technician tested the signal from the drop and claimed there was noise on the line. I pointed out that I had Two HD DVR's, the analog cable inputs from the televisions and a cable modem connected to the drop that should have give the technician some in site into the fact that those devices might be generating a signal that the technician might be interpreting as noise. Rather than disconnecting the DVR's, Televisions and Cable Modem and then checking the noise level again, the technician went to my structured wiring cabinet and began disconnecting the cables to all outlets. the technician claimed that there was noise on the line coming from the television in the family room. the technician then bypassed the surge protector at the television. The technician did the same thing in the master bedroom. The technician was ready to leave when I gave the them the bad news that there was another RG-6 Cable running from the family room. The technician measured the noise on that line and found it within acceptable limits. When I asked the technician to recheck the other cable from the family room while I watched the display on their test instrument they technician found that the noise level was within acceptable limits. By the time the technician finished Five of the outlets were disconnected. If I did not have the knowledge I would have had to pay someone to restore my structured wiring to it's original state.
On the other hand a maintenance technician that came by the next day was very knowledgeable and determined that there was no problem with my structured wiring and that there was no discernible leak.
I left a message asking for the Service Manager to contact me and am still waiting for a phone call.
Since my last review Comcast changed my IP address and since that change my download speed has declined with occasional failed downloads. DOCSIS 3.0 in not yet available in Lake County, Florida. Overall reliability of service has declined with more frequent outages. Usually complete failure with CATV and Broadband out at the same time. Some outages last up to Four Hours. See my review on Centurylink.
I have failed to include the following information in my review but believe that it is very important. For those of you that want broadband only consider the following. Here in Lake County, Florida, the cost for Performance Broadband without CATV Service is $57.95 per month. Limited Basic CATV Service includes CATV Channels 2 through 22 and some HD Local Channels available to those with clear QAM Tuners at a cost of $14.95 per month. If you order Performance Broadband with Limited Basic the cost is $42.95 per month for Broadband and $14.95 per month for Limited Basic for a total cost of $57.90 per month. Check your local Comcast price list to see if this solution fits your needs.
Comcast service has continued to deteriorate with most downloads slower than 384KBPS. I wonder if they are throttling my connection? Whenever I download a series of large files by the end I find my speed has slowed to 60 to 120KBPS. I just updated a Net Book that I own with 51 Windows Updates, Acrobat Reader update, Thunderbird update, when I finally tried to download the latest version of Open Office my speed never exceeded 100KBPS. It well over an hour to download the entire 154MB file. Although Comcast claims that they will be introducing DOCSIS 3.0 they have not deployed it in this area. It appears that they are all wind and no rain. To bad that there isn't a better ISP in this area.
Edit January 7, 2012
Comcast has decided to raise the price for CATV service by increasing the number of channels that require a STB of some kind. The latest screwing over is the conversion of extended basic channels to encrypted digital transmission. This change necessitates the use of digital adapters for each television. Although Comcast currently offers Two at 0 monthly charge I have 5 Bedrooms and would have to pay $2.00 per month for additional adapters. This really eliminates one of the features that differentiates Comcast from DBS, requiring an STB for each television. I have televisions installed in three bedrooms that are NTSC/QAM compatible. At least guests could receive channels 2 through 99 Plus the unencrypted QAM Channels. This is simply a price increase. Eventually there will some BS that Comcast can no longer provide digital adapters at no charge. They might find customers switching to CenturyLink Prism or DBS. In the last Six Months I have seen a number of homes that now have DBS antennas or temporary wiring for Prism.
It appears that Comcast will not upgrade our area to DOCSIS 3.0, although I was told by a Comcast CSR to expect an email soon (months ago) notifying of the upgrade that never happened.
CenturyLink is very aggressive in attempting to have Comcast Customers convert to CenturyLink DSL. They claim to be able to offer 25Mbps down in my sub division. Some Comcast customers are moving in the other direction and subscribing to CenturyLinks $14.95 per month 1.5Mbps service to save money.
About a year ago I was advised that DOCSIS 3.0 would soon be available. It now appears that Lake County Florida is one of those areas that will not get DOCSIS 3.0 anytime soon. I just checked the Comcast Website and found that the only speeds that are available to me on the website are Performance 12M down and 2M up or Blast with 16M down and 2M up.
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