Comcast thinks it ok to install public wifi in your house

Javier J javier at
Thu Dec 11 04:18:08 UTC 2014

In analyzing my neighbors who use comcast (I live in a townhouse and can
see many access points) my biggest complaint is the the wifi pollution
these comcast router/access-points cause.

For each neighbor who has comcast HSI, expect to see 3 SSID with different
mac showing up. There is the xfinity one, the customer one, and a blank one
broadcasting with similar mac on the same channel.

So even if you are just minding your business as a comcast customer
watching netflix, someone who hooks into your comcast router can not only
kill your wifi throughput but streaming content etc on the same channel,
but also piss of your neighbors (me) because of the small channel space in
the 2.4GHz range.

The 2nd problem I have with this is that I'm pretty sure 99.8% of the
people who have comcast and have their new routers have no clue they are
paying for essentially running a public hotspot for comcast. Even if you
still have to register or pay for it, it's available to the general public
without these people knowing about it.

On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM, Jeroen van Aart <jeroen at> wrote:

> Why am I not surprised?
> Whose fault would it be if your comcast installed public wifi would be
> abused to download illegal material or launch a botnet, to name some random
> fun one could have on your behalf. :-/
> (apologies if this was posted already, couldn't find an email about it on
> the list)
> customers_lob_sueball_at_comcast_over_public_wifi/
> "A mother and daughter are suing Comcast claiming the cable giant's router
> in their home was offering public Wi-Fi without their permission.
> Comcast-supplied routers broadcast an encrypted, private wireless network
> for people at home, plus a non-encrypted network called XfinityWiFi that
> can be used by nearby subscribers. So if you're passing by a fellow user's
> home, you can lock onto their public Wi-Fi, log in using your Comcast
> username and password, and use that home's bandwidth.
> However, Toyer Grear, 39, and daughter Joycelyn Harris – who live together
> in Alameda County, California – say they never gave Comcast permission to
> run a public network from their home cable connection.
> In a lawsuit [PDF] filed in the northern district of the golden state, the
> pair accuse the ISP of breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and two
> other laws.
> Grear – a paralegal – and her daughter claim the Xfinity hotspot is an
> unauthorized intrusion into their private home, places a "vast" burden on
> electricity bills, opens them up to attacks by hackers, and "degrades"
> their bandwidth.
> "Comcast does not, however, obtain the customer's authorization prior to
> engaging in this use of the customer's equipment and internet service for
> public, non-household use," the suit claims.
> "Indeed, without obtaining its customers' authorization for this
> additional use of their equipment and resources, over which the customer
> has no control, Comcast has externalized the costs of its national Wi-Fi
> network onto its customers."
> The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for themselves and on behalf
> of all Comcast customers nation-wide in their class-action case – the
> service was rolled out to 20 million customers this year."
> --
> Earthquake Magnitude: 4.8
> Date: 2014-12-10  22:10:36.800 UTC
> Date Local: 2014-12-10 13:10:36 PST
> Location: 120km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
> Latitude: -6.265; Longitude: 154.4004
> Depth: 35 km |

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