Consumer Equipment Sucks (Re: Thank you, Comcast.)

Jared Mauch jared at
Fri Feb 26 19:41:05 UTC 2016

> On Feb 26, 2016, at 2:28 PM, Livingood, Jason <Jason_Livingood at> wrote:
> I think the bigger culprit is not the stuff ISPs buy but what consumers
> buy (aka COAM).

I’m certainly not a comcast apologist, (I do wish they would service the communities where they had their call centers, like here in the unserved parts of their Scio Township call center).

But Jason is spot-on here.  There are clear scale problems when dealing with large numbers of customers, and no matter what some of them will use crap equipment.

We as an the techies in industry often “just fix it” for our friends/parents/colleagues.  I am an enabler of CGN as I often help a local WISP with their environment when they should be doing IPv6 or something else.  Often people are willing to leave as a customer because their device which gets no firmware updates blocks valid DNS requests or has some other problem.

These items are shipped freight 6 months in advance from someplace like Shenzhen and never updated, then when they don’t work, customers who don’t understand RF propagation issues, why running a cable through the wall is better, etc.. end up ditching because of the $200 gift card offered for 8 hours of time waiting for an installation appointment in 2 years.

These incentives are all wrong in the marketplace, we need better equipment, better people and better responses to the issues.

We all have committed various technical sins, I’m not immune, nor is Comcast or likely most people on the list.  This thread was started because Comcast and the teams led by Michael actually worked to remediate abusive customer equipment that wasn’t their fault.

As we continue to connect devices to the network, the ability to do this type of remediation is essential.  If you don’t believe me, look at the recent settlement with ASUS (  or this twitter account - where things are comically documented.  (Short URL as it uses a profane term that some systems may filter).

- Jared

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