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Comcast under scrutiny Attorney General's office to study custom
by Hokie4Life 02:37PM Tuesday Jan 08 2002
The Michigan Attorney General's office said Monday that it plans to investigate more than a dozen formal complaints against Comcast to see if the cable provider violated consumer protection laws. The full story is in today's Ann Arbor News.

» ··· st08.frm


topics flat nest 


VPN, newsgroups.

They should definitely allow the VPN and they should get newsgroups back.

VPN isn't going to hurt anyone and it isn't going to put any excessive load on their system either. There is no reason to charge extra for VPN.

The newsgroups thing too is kinda weird, they should give those back to people.

Traditionally, the difference between residential and business services is whether you are installing the service in a residence or a place of business, not what you are using the service for. A home based business, for example, is most likely a residential area. That is why they call it home-based. You can't build a factory in your back yard. So if you ordered internet access for your home based business, they you would most likely order residential, not business.

You can get residential SDSL, you can get business SDSL. Business accounts, even at the same bandwidth, say 768/768, will have like 24 or so IP addresses and come with different hardware so you can hook up larger numbers of computers; residential accounts will come with 1 or 2 IP addresses and they won't include a router but you just hook your machines up to a hub.

Residential and business are traditionally NOT about what you use your computer for, they are whether your computer is located in a home or in a business.

Comcast would definitely be breaking new ground if they say that using VPN is a business use. If you are using it from HOME, it is a residential use. If you are in an office building, it is BUSINESS use. That's why our employers don't have cable modems.

And there are a lot of people who want newsgroups. Therefore Comcast should provide them with newsgroups. They are paying more money for the service and receiving less services.


Re: VPN, newsgroups.

there are no newsgroups because @home went bankrupt and Comcast had to rush and launch their own network so customers like yourself will still have high speed internet access.


Re: VPN, newsgroups.

So are you saying that there are plans for newsgroups?

A decision to have newsgroups once the network transition gets settled down and there is enough manpower available to get the job done would make tens of thousands of people overjoyed (really).

I am not complaining that there are no newsgroups. I have never used newsgroups or VPN.

I don't think anyone would complain if there were plans for newsgroups.

The question is == "Are there PLANS for newsgroups". Any Comcast employee should have inferred that by reading my post.

The preceding post is nothing but a putdown and an attempt to discredit my opinion. I would encourage everyone to ignore it.

Similar to some of the less technically oriented of the Comcast employees' posts I have encountered on this website -- you obviously have absolutely no concept about customer service, nor do you show any integrity in your thoughts and actions.

Ok, I am a jerk and I am wrong and perhaps out of line. That does not mean that anything your employer does is great. Remember for many of the customers they are the only option available and what would they do with out them.

That fact doesn't make you right, buddy....

Just let's show respect and try to understand each other, OK???

Maybe we can make some changes for the better.

Remember.... earthquakes ain't nothing but a bunch of bad vibrations, man....
[text was edited by author 2002-01-10 02:09:24]


Westland, MI

Re: VPN, newsgroups.

I am a former MediaOne customer, not @home. When Comcast PURCHASED MediaOne they promised the customer same or better service as they were receiving with MediaOne. This is clearly not the case.

My complaint has been filed with the Attorney General of Michigan.

Who?? Me??
Mount Clemens, MI
said by sago:
Comcast would definitely be breaking new ground if they say that using VPN is a business use. If you are using it from HOME, it is a residential use. If you are in an office building, it is BUSINESS use. That's why our employers don't have cable modems.
This is weak reasoning. Where, exactly, would you be VPNing into if not work? One of the major ideas behind VPN's is to allow people to WORK from HOME.

If you are connecting to your WORK from HOME, it is a BUSINESS use.

I'm not even suppose to BE here today!!!


Re: VPN, newsgroups.

If your computer is located in your house,
it is residential use.

If your computer is located in your office building, it is business use.



Hixson, TN
To write off home expenses for business the IRS requires you to have an area designated as a "home office", and you can only write off the proportionate footage of this area, not the entire home, as a business expense.

Therefore it would be provable in court, that occasional use of VPN, would not be a business use, because the IRS will not recognize occasional use of a residence, as a business expense.
Grant Wallace
Hixson, TN
Happy @Home user since April 2001

Let's face it, none of us are getting out of this life alive.


Alexandria, VA

here's where...

Where, exactly, would you be VPNing into if not work?
I have a vpn set up with me mum so she can download pics off my computer.

Westland, MI

VPN - For security sake

Most people don't understand that VPN (Virtual Private Network) is used for higher level security. I would much rather have my bank, my brokerage, my on-line store, my on-line auction,... use VPN instead of HTTPS.

VPN tunnels under HTTP so it is harmless to the network and others using the network. It doesn't consume any additional bandwidth. The only person who would be affected by VPN is the VPN user. It is their traffic that is encrypted.

VPN is a security mechanism using a standard Internet protocol. Comcast has to go to great lengths to prevent it. It actually should cost them more to prevent it than to allow it.

As long as you have an un-adulterated link to the public Internet you can use VPN. Therefore if Comcast is preventing VPN they have implemented a connection to the Internet that is more likley to be slower than if they didn't prevent VPN.

Terry W.
Former Mediaone Subscriber


network performance vs. revenue

It seems that a common thread running through this whole problem we have on our hands concerning Comcast High Speed Internet is that there appears to be a lack of consideration for the performance of the network when it comes to implementing additional network features whose only purpose is to generate additional revenue for the cable company.

It is easier to understand a change in speed (it's still a big shock), it's easier to understand having to change e-mail addresses, IP addresses, DNS servers. These things are necessary to keep people connected. I highly doubt anyone, including Comcast thinks that people are going to be overjoyed by these things. We all realize that it would have been easier for everyone involved if nothing had changed. Comcast is also well aware of this.

What is difficult to understand is why Comcast would do something that drastically (or even not so drastically) impacts the performance of the network for no other reason than what appears to be an attempt to generate additional revenue for themselves.

The proxy server is a very good example of this. Somewhere between "many" and "most" of the problems people were experiencing were alleviated when the machine was removed. The machine was not there for the customer's benefit. Only after there was talk of Michigan Attorney General and things like that did the machine "mysteriously" come down. It was obvious the proxy server was causing MAJOR problems, the machine should have been removed sooner. Sounds like we might be in for the same situation when it comes to banning VPN.

Sort of like saying that we have to pay extra to be able to do a secure credit card transaction over the internet.

The whole concept of the internet is to bring diverse hardware and software together and make it work together. The spirit of the internet is one of cooperation, not one of putting up barriers. The idea is that someone's Windows XP box can speak to an IBM mainframe can speak to a Sun Microsystems server can speak to a Linux box can speak to a Palm Pilot can speak to a cellphone, and so forth. Furthermore, these communications can take place using a diverse array of cables and transmission mechanisms -- fiber optics, telephone lines, CAT5 cables, satellite links, wireless links, SCSI cables, coaxial cables, etc.... It's actually pretty amazing if you think about it.

We as a public want broadband. Broadband is still in an infancy stage, sometimes hard or impossible to get, often unreliable, filled with belly-ups and customer horror stories.

To achieve a state of affairs that will alleviate many of the problems we have today concerning internet access, cooperating will be the only way to do it.

Disallowing VPN is simply putting up a barrier. Charging extra for it is really getting people upset.

Now we arrive at the truth. In order to disallow VPN, the only apparent reason being that disallowing and then charging extra for VPN can become an extra source of revenue for the ISP, everybody's connections' performance has to suffer.

So let people use VPN and leave it be... connection performance doesn't suffer.

Disallow VPN, monitor the network (a broadcast network to boot) so that you can charge extra for VPN, and everybody's connection performance gets negatively impacted.

Auburn Hills, MI


I have just recently been switched to the "NEW COMCAST INTERNET" and let me tell you it has not been a fun ride. As the old saying goes I'd rather fight than switch. Well my email has just started working and my internet speeds are embarrassing. WHAT HAPPENED!!!

I hope through all the complaints that they (COMCAST) are getting, gets it together and beefs their routers and networking equipment up. For the price we are paying for this service, I would be embarrassed to charge anyone.