Comcast Will Fire Employees For Admitting That Comcast Uses Sandvine?

from the what-are-you-hiding? dept

We still can't figure out why Comcast doesn't just come right out and admit what it's doing in jamming certain kinds of traffic. It's not like it's a secret any more -- and the longer Comcast tries to play dumb on this, the worse it looks for the company. The oddest part, though, is that Comcast won't even admit that it's using Sandvine's traffic shaping equipment -- even though Sandvine clearly lists Comcast as a customer and has used them as a reference customer in news articles. Even worse, though is that Comcast has apparently now issued a bunch of ridiculous talking points to customer service reps about this issue. Apparently, the customer service folks are being told that if they deviate from the script, they risk getting terminated. The script even includes how to respond to a point blank question about Sandvine, refusing to admit what appears to be public knowledge at this point. It's not at all clear what Comcast thinks it gains in acting this way. It seems to have only made an awful lot of customers quite angry at the company. Lucky for Comcast, though, that the US broadband market is such a disaster many customers have nowhere else to go.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Matt, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    Whoa is me...

    I've got Comcast in my neck of the woords, and they're the only option available so I have tough choices. I've looked everywhere else, even considered getting fixed wireless - but I don't have line of sight. I've even considered getting a T1 installed, but the cheapest I can find is $349/month.

    If only we had some sort of free market where natural competition would take care of the consumer. Instead, all I've done so far is write them some emails and hoping that enough of them come in that they'll at least acknowledge this.

    BTW - if anyone has any other options for another ISP I'm all ears, I'd cancel the whole thing except I work from home quite a bit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Denis, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:02am

    Yep, that is normal

    I once worked for a large cable company and I don't know how many times we were handed scripts that went against what our OWN clients knew. Nothing like being called a frikken moron because I was lying to "customers". I have had folks cancel their service just based on what we said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:07am

    Follow the money

    Why would Comcast do P2P blocking in the first place? Why would it then deny even when the evidence is so clear cut?

    My guess is money. A contract was agreed, some money has changed hands, Comcast are under contract to block p2p so have to continue regardless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Neal, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:17am

    Are you kidding?

    Why don't they admit it? What does Comcast think it has to gain? Look no further than the White House, our Commander in Chief, and a chunk of our leadership for an idea. They lie, cheat, steal, loot both Iraq AND our own treasury, violate and erode our constitution, our rights, the very principles our country stands for. Yet, instead of being removed from office and executed for treason, they gleefully continue on lining their pockets at the expense of our country and our children. Why, how? Deny, deny, deny and the dumb, lazy, gullible populace will sit back and take it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:21am

    Re: Are you kidding?

    Wow just wow. I was wondering when this would be blamed on/compared to the Bush administration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Rich, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:22am

    Re: Whoa is me...

    You might consider trying satellite service, such as Wild Blue. They're giving out some pretty good promotional deals these days, and will work wherever you are.

    The speed is acceptable, as is the pricing for the service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    another matt, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Re: Whoa is me...

    well I don't know what options you have other than satellite which is limited and/or trying to get your neighborhood (if you have one/not too rural) to sign up with some provider or creating your own muni one (those work well), but I'd look at dslreports.com and they have a search at the top that looks for providers in your area (lists like telcos/munis/private hosts/etc)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Peter, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:47am

    They block ABC and NBC VOD streaming here (they're testing it out to see how much pain customers are willing to accept), forget Netflix Watch Now. What's more, they're running ads for how much faster they are than DSL, which is like a kick in the jimmies. Options are Clearwire (WiFi or WiMAX?) or DSL. I might as well pack it in and return to the freewheelin' days of dial up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Benjie, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:54am

    Re: Whoa is me...

    most business lines won't have bandwidth caps or traffic shaping. check out a business package. still more expensive than regular cable/dsl, but usually much cheaper than T1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Benjie, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    most geostationary satellites are 100k+ miles out. so a 200k round trip, and with light being only 186k/sec, that's over 1sec of latency

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:08am

    p2p or hollywood... tough choice for comcast

    comcast is in a tough spot... selling internet access makes them money and p2p creates *much* demand for internet access.

    however, their core business is cable, meaning they need content deals from hollywood.

    hollywood hates p2p, so comcast must hate p2p as well lest it lose out on sweet content deals from hollywood.

    so, comcast has to decide between p2p and internet access sales, or hollywood and content deals. i'll bet they make more from cable TV, hence the blocking of P2P.

    they won't admit it because p2p is the reason that half of their internet service customers are signed up in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    Wrong. The speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second. That's nearly 300,000 km per second and geo-stationary orbit is 35,786 km.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Jason, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    Re: Follow the money

    Of course it's money but why is it so puzzling why they would block/throttle/shape traffic it and then spin it? They're resisting building out their infrastructure because the capital investment would affect their margins more right now than this story. Firstly, who else are many of us going to go with? Secondly, I would assume they would rather cater to the non-tech crowd anyway who do not do such things as use P2P, watch long streaming movies and shows online and tie up their customer support lines knowing what they're talking about. Until this hits their bottom line through legal channels or a significant drop in subscribers they'll continue to spin it and I wouldn't be surprised to see their talking points become an admission with justification of supporting the core of their subscriber base.

    Or they may just revert to raving madmen and blame the president.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Nismoto, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:25am

    Re: Whoa is me...

    You probably won't like this but... what about DIAL-UP? Without knowing where "your neck of the woods" is it would be hard to suggest viable options.

    If you are having this dilemma, then your neighbors probably are too. Couldn't you guys pitch in for a T1 or satellite internet service? Then you guys could manage your own network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Ken, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    .238 seconds being added to a ping still makes for some nasty ping times. Try playing an online multi-player game with that!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Benjie, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    yeah... 299,792,458 metres per second divided by 1.61 = ~186,206,495 miles per second. but yeah.. not sure where i heard 100k miles from.. ~22216 miles (aka 35,786km)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Danny, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Are you kidding?

    While I agree it's not the fault of the Bush administration I can't help but notice how similar they are. Get into a powerful and well paying position and then stack the deck in your favor. Thing is most governments and most corporations are run like that these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    By 100k+ miles out you must mean ~22k miles out

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    FredRocks.net, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:15am

    Another Option

    If you're only looking to run one system, you could consider tethering over a digital cell plan. Verizon has very decent speeds for simple browsing and downloads. I haven't tried any other carriers. Unlimited Data plans aren't nearly as expensive as they used to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Are you kidding?

    "Twas ever thus" quoth the moonbat.

    There's not a spit's worth of difference
    between the two major political parties
    or their administrations. If either of
    them cared half as much about the country
    as they do for their party we'd be much
    better off.

    Back on topic... Hey, how about the billions
    of dollars in federal funds spent to improve
    internet connectivity in rural areas? My,
    that worked out well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    After all no other administration ever denied anything that the public already knew costing money, court time, and credibility...*cough *cough lewinsky *cough *cough

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Benjie, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    not when i meant, but what it should've been.. i was 1/2 right.. atleast i haad the 186k miles/sec correct.. :P bit off with the 100k miles vs 22k though..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    anonymous coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    Do you limit heavy bandwidth users?
    As is standard with other Internet Service Providers, WildBlue ensures that its service operates at optimum speeds for all of its customers. Since WildBlue is a shared network, we have a Fair Access Policy to ensure that extraordinary usage by a few customers doesn't negatively affect the normal usage of other customers. For the vast majority of users, the Fair Access Policy has no effect on their usage. For a few very heavy bandwidth users, the system may restrict their bandwidth and therefore their speed. See WildBlue's Fair Access Policy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Dave, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    I love that the Lewinsky debacle is the best you can come up with. The only thing you can harp on has nothing to do with the way he ran the country. Bush would totally whip it out if anyone would go near it. But ewwwwww

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Phil, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 11:01am

    Wow just wow...

    Why did the comments secton turn into free advertisement for Wildfire.. Here lets give them some more advertising..
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/wildblue Over thousands of posts on how bad it sucks..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Musui, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 11:14am

    Fios

    We recently switched to Verizon Fios- and we switched in just the nick of time it appears. I was already upset with the poor service we received (the signal would drop out with out explanation), but this blocking is too much. Not only that, but Fios is a little bit faster.

    Whether someone uses BT for legal or illegal purposes is up to them- Comcast shouldn't have to block it. And if they are forced to due to some agreement with Hollywood, they should state so. Paying 50 dollars a month only to find out after the fact that you're getting crippled services is unacceptable. God help me if Fios follows suit....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    jacob, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 11:20am

    Re: Are you kidding?

    Wow...just wow..

    Cable issues linked back to the Bush White House -- You loons are wild. And suggesting that the President should be executed is a real crime. You should watch what you say Neal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    unknowledgable geek, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    Let's see going to war? Going to court? I am not sure which one costs more money. In fact I am going to give tax returns to everyone also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Krisztina Horn, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Whoa is me...

    I've heard of HughesNet as being a possibility for some. Your satellite provider may also be a possibility (if you have a satellite provider).

    You don't have to have line of sight for wireless like Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile wireless networking. You may want to look that way again (technologies are always improving.)

    Hope this helps!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    4-80-sicks, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 12:29pm

    From their website: "Sandvine broadband equipment allows service providers to apply application-aware policies to ensure subscriber satisfaction..." Nice!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Are you kidding?

    I am surprised that some secret government agency doesn't make you go away. That is what happens in countries like the one you describe, isn't it? I guess they are all tied up working laser beam, shark thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    jon burg, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 1:09pm

    comcast

    Rather than feed the hype machine, why doesn't Comcast just come clean? Their hard earned reputation is going down the drain!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 2:54pm

    Re: comcast

    Correction: Rather than feed the hype machine, why doesn't Comcast just come clean? Their hard earned reputation has already gone down the drain!

    I get the feeling even working for Comcast (CSR - Bay Area, CA) that they don't really care about the service they provide just as long as people just bend over and take it in the arse. IMHO, I feel violated with this policy. No ISP should have the right to comb through my traffic and decide what should be delivered or what should be rejected or delayed. Imagine what it would be like if the US Postal Service started reading the return addresses on my mail and determining which mail I should be receiving and what I should not. I would boycott Comcast for this but unfortunately in my city at&t hasn't done a U-Verse rollout and their DSL sucks. And I say this despite getting the 8.0 Mbps account for $10/month as an employee.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  

    Firing Employees

    What a nice company to work for. I bet the threats of being fired just boost employee morale so high that some of them are already thinking of how they are going to get back at Comcast.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Neal, Oct 29th, 2007 @ 4:50pm

    execution

    Actually I suggested the President, along with a huge group of the Administration, the Congress, and the Senate should be removed from office and executed for treason for what they are doing to this country while lining their pockets and "protecting" us.

    That suggestion implies two things in his case, he is removed from office for his crimes - meaning he would no longer be president, and that he is tried and convicted of the crimes he's committed against this country. There is nothing criminal, nothing illegal, about my suggestion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    ChronoFish, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 5:36am

    Re: Fios

    "...We recently switched to Verizon Fios- and we switched in just the nick of time it appears. I was already upset with the poor service we received (the signal would drop out with out explanation), but this blocking is too much. Not only that, but Fios is a little bit faster.
    ..."



    Yup - I dropped Cox Communications last month in favor of Verizon FiOS. See my post here: http://blog.chronofish.com/?p=91


    -CF

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    jon burg, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 7:09am

    Comcast

    Hey, loving the buzz around net neutrality. It's been a matter of time, and the first shoe has fallen.

    If you were hired today as a consultant for Comcast PR and Corporate Communications, what would you do?

    I'm holding this survey over at: http://jburg.typepad.com/future/2007/10/open-survey---i.html.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    TJD, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 10:43am

    Nuts to Comcast

    No one should be surprised at what Comcast does, just call their customer service(less) line.

    Also, Bush/Cheney 2008 - why obey the laws now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Mr. Bill, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you kidding?

    Yeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Mr. Bill, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:03pm

    Re:

    Way to euphemize.I wish I'd thought of that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Mr. Bill, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: comcast

    This really does boil down to somebody reading your mail and deciding for you what to deliver.....or not, after you've paid them to deliver it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Whoa is me...

    Well first off you need to know that a geostationary orbit is 22300 miles out so moving at the speed of light (186k per second) it takes about 2/10ths of a second to to reach that satellite which equals 20ms on a ping test. By anyones standards that's pretty fast

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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