Some truth about Comcast - WikiLeaks style

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at
Tue Dec 21 10:13:27 CST 2010

On 12/20/10 9:07 PM, Steven Bellovin wrote:
> On Dec 20, 2010, at 8:51 01PM, JC Dill wrote:
>> Do you have any cites saying that this was actually rolled out?  Or did the project get cut during the financial crisis, and never actually rolled out?
>> The issue I have with all these "cites" is that none of them are for services that are up and running.  They are all press releases about something that will supposedly get built, maybe.
> Maybe I've lost the thread context, but if you're talking about FIOS it most certainly is running, in many places (  My town has it; Comcast's responsiveness improved dramatically after FIOS was rolled out....  Speeds are good, prices less so, and if memory serves they charge something like $40/mo extra for static IP addresses.
Heck, we've also had earlier pointers in the thread to competing cable
providers!  Where I founded an ISP, we used to have 2 competing cable
providers, until one bought out the other over a decade ago.

In Oakland County, Michigan, various pockets have WOW and Comcast and ATT.
My family members there have WOW, having switched from Comcast or ATT.

(IMnsHO, the only thing worse than Comcast is Ameritech/SBC/AT&T.)

Once upon a time, I compared pricing with Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County),
where Comcast (previously Media One) had no broadband competition.  In
Oakland County, Comcast prices were 20% or so less.  Eventually, WOW
raised prices to be just a little bit less than competitors -- just as
Chrysler and GM used to raise prices following Ford -- and Comcast has
gradually reduced the price difference between Oakland and Washtenaw.

JC's supposition that competition functions at this level over the long
term is egregiously fallacious.  Fundamentally an oligopoly.

As to "responsiveness", in my experience WOW (and Vonage) have *much*
better customer service departments than Comcast or AT&T.  Faster,
friendlier, and more technically savvy.

Comcast call centers apparently don't bother to check for multiple service
outages in the same node, resulting in 5 (or more) truck rolls last week
before they were finally fixed.  Apparently, dispatchers don't have access
to the NOC status information from modems, and only respond to actual
repair calls from customers.  If the customers cannot call because their
VoIP is down, then there's nothing wrong?!?!

But that's another gripe for another time. :-(

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