Some Comcast Customers Won't Get The Latest Broadband Upgrades Without Buying Cable TV

from the utterly-Comcastic dept

As we've often noted, Comcast has been shielded from the cord cutting trend somewhat thanks to its growing monopoly over broadband. As users on slow DSL lines flee telcos that are unwilling to upgrade their damn networks, they're increasingly flocking to cable operators for faster speeds. When they get there, they often bundle TV services; not necessarily because they want it, but because it's intentionally cheaper than buying broadband standalone.

And while Comcast's broadband monopoly has protected it from TV cord cutting somewhat, the rise in streaming competition has slowly eroded that advantage, and Comcast is expected to see see double its usual rate of cord cutting this year according to Wall Street analysts.

Comcast being Comcast, the company has a semi-nefarious plan B. Part of that plan is to abuse its monopoly over broadband to deploy arbitrary and unnecessary usage caps and overage fees. These restrictions are glorified rate hikes applied to non competitive markets, with the added advantage of making streaming video more expensive. It's a punishment for choosing to leave Comcast's walled garden.

But Comcast appears to have discovered another handy trick that involves using its broadband monopoly to hamstring cord cutters. Reports emerged this week that the company is upgrading the speeds of customers in Houston and parts of the Pacific Northwest, but only if they continue to subscribe to traditional cable television. The company's press release casually floats over the fact that only Comcast video customers will see these upgrades for now:

"Speed increases will vary based on the Xfinity Internet customers' current speed subscriptions. Those receiving the speed boost will benefit from an increase of 30 to 40 percent in their download speeds. Existing Xfinity Internet and X1 video customers subscribing to certain packages can expect to experience enhanced speeds this month."

As is usually the case, Comcast simply acted as if this was all just routine promotional experimentation (an argument that only works if you're unfamiliar with Comcast's other efforts to constrain emerging video competition):

"We asked Comcast a few questions, including whether it will make speed increases in other cities contingent on TV subscribership. A Comcast spokesperson didn't answer, but noted, "we test and introduce new bundles all the time." The spokesperson also said that the speed increase for Houston is the second in 2018, after one in January. The Oregon/SW Washington speed increase is apparently the first one this year."

In a healthy market with healthy regulatory oversight, either competition or adult regulatory supervision would prevent Comcast from using its broadband monopoly to constrain consumer video choices. But if you hadn't noticed, the telecom and TV sector and the current crop of regulators overseeing it aren't particularly healthy, and with the looming death of net neutrality you're going to see a whole lot more behavior like this designed to erect artificial barriers to genuine consumer choice and competition.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 5:56am

    Keep at it, you are succeeding greatly at making people mad and pushing them towards muni broadband. And tougher regulation. California and NY are waving!

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

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 6:35am

    Resolve *this*

    Comcast: "We have 100 million cable TV customers"

    Neilsen: "But your viewer numbers are 0 for cable shows"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 6:37am

    "we test and introduce new bundles all the time."

    The real reason that the Cable companies want net neutrality removed, it enables them to bindle various Internet packages with cable TV packages.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 6:42am

    Comcast is faking its viewership to screw advertisers

    The gimmicks to increase the potential viewers for any given ad on their network is only making their sinking ship worse. The return per dollar spent on ads is decreasing year over year and the real reason is Comcast and other cable providers faking their viewer numbers and overselling their ad spaces. It is a gigantic Ponzi scheme and the stockholders are the fools left holding the bag.

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

    • icon
      ShadowNinja (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 7:06am

      Re: Comcast is faking its viewership to screw advertisers

      But Comcast doesn't own any TV stations, outside of NBC that they bought.

      And NBC doesn't get ad money per subscription, they get fees per subscriber. It's their actual viewer ratings that determine the ad money.

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

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 8:10am

      Re: Comcast is faking its viewership to screw advertisers

      Comcast is faking its viewership to screw advertisers

      This is one of those "I don't know which side to root for, because both are horrible" scenarios.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 6:50am

    BOGO Time!

    Subscribe to either cable TV or internet and get the other FREE! What a deal! Everyone likes FREE! /s

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 7:12am

    is anyone surprised?

    But isn't this exactly the sort of thing that all monopolistic companies do?

    Comcast needs to 'force' all subscribers to buy its own proprietary video-on-demand service (as well as legacy TV cable) by severely cutting their internet speed if they don't -- or simply traffic-shaping Netflix and Hulu into the dust -- because they've literally got broadband customers by the....

    Now with a pro-monopolist federal government/agency in power, what's to stop Comcast from taking a page out of 19th century history and becoming the classic mustache-twisting corporate villian that everyone loves to hate?

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

    • icon
      Flakbait (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 7:50am

      Re: is anyone surprised?

      "...what's to stop Comcast from taking a page out of 19th century history and becoming the classic mustache-twisting corporate villian that everyone loves to hate?"

      Where've you been? They've been doing that for years and years. Their next step is to start tying young women to railroad tracks. Or maybe to Hyperloops.

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

    • identicon
      Agammamon, 2 May 2018 @ 3:15pm

      Re: is anyone surprised?

      >But isn't this exactly the sort of thing that all monopolistic companies do?

      No, this is the sort of thing companies that have monopolies thanks to government regulation (ie, the government is willing to use violence on your competition).

      Natural monopolies can't afford to screw around like this as any excess profit means there are opportunities for someone else to come in and undercut them, ending their monopoly.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re: is anyone surprised?

        Natural monopolies can't afford to screw around like this as any excess profit means there are opportunities for someone else to come in and undercut them, ending their monopoly.

        Could you perhaps define 'natural monopoly' for me, because given what you wrote I can't help but suspect you are using a notably different definition than I've seen.

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

      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 4 May 2018 @ 8:46am

        Re: Re: is anyone surprised?

        As That One Guy said: this has nothing to do with what an actual natural monopoly is.

        A natural monopoly is a naturally-occurring bottleneck on the ability (for anyone) to provide a resource. The usual example is roads; if there's only one possible route to build a road through the mountains to my house, then that route is a natural monopoly, and anyone who builds and controls a road on that route controls that monopoly.

        When you control a natural monopoly and can enforce that control (e.g. through violence, yours or someone else's), no one can come in and undercut you, because there isn't enough room at the bottleneck. If someone sets up a toll station on that road, it doesn't do any good to suggest that someone build a second road, because there physically is no place to put one.

        The solution to natural monopolies is to restrict what the people who control them can do with them; these restrictions need to be put in place by someone who can enforce them (e.g. through violence), and tend to be called "regulations".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 7:31am

    Goodby Comcast

    This weekend FIOS is being installed and Comcast is getting canceled. This doesn't really relate to the article, just glad I have a choice between two evils.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 7:45am

      Re: Goodby Comcast

      And don't be afraid to beat them at their own game by switching providers back and forth whenever they offer cut-rate limited time specials. If more people didn't make their lives depend on the ISP's email address (the reason why AOL lasted years longer than it should have) then that game could be played as often as people churn their credit card balances.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

        By whenever they offer cut rate specials you mean whenever your 2 year contract expires...

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

          I still had about 10 months left on my Comcast contract. Part of the FIOS deal is that will cover early termination fees up to 500 dollars. My fee will be 120 dollars to early term.

          I had originally actually switched from FIOS to Comcast because all I was getting was the run around from FIOS after being customer for 10 years. I actually don't have any complaints about Comcast, it is just that FIOS recently upgraded my area to Gig. So for 20 bucks a month I will be getting 1GB/880 instead of the 200/10 from Comcast.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

        If more people didn't make their lives depend on the ISP's email address

        This may have already happened. I'm seeing "generic" email providers like Gmail more than ISP addresses.

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

        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

          I haven't had an ISP that provided an email account (or news server access) in almost two decades. Most just started pointing customers to yahoo/hotmail/gmail when they became open to all. And it's one less thing they need to provide support for - which I think was the main thing; they wanted to cut costs as much as physically possible, and merely providing internet access with no further features cuts their costs to the bone.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 12:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

            They wanted to cut costs as much as physically possible, and merely providing internet access with no further features cuts their costs to the bone

            There is one feature they wish to graft onto the supply of Internet access, their own cable TV service.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Goodby Comcast

        Indeed. I am continually amazed and amused at how many people and companies use ISP provided email addresses. Don't they understand why those addresses are provided "free"?

        If you're a business, then you really ought to understand branding and get your own domain and email address. Yes, you have to spend some money, but it's still pretty darn cheap and then your emails will brand you company and not that of the ISP. Additionally, if you change your ISP, your branded email address remains valid and your customers will be totally unaware that you've changed to a different ISP.

        If you're a private individual, either grab on of those free email addresses (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc) if you're willing to deal with the issues there, or also pay for an email. And once again, upon doing so, you no longer have any issues with changing ISPs.

        But nope, all too many use the "free" email provided by their ISP without bothering to realize that the reason the ISP provided that email address was to lock them into that ISP by making it extremely annoying and cumbersome to change their ISP.

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

  • icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 9:20am

    In responce to the Anti-Regulation crowd

    So, the Anti-Regulation crowd (at least one of which wants regulations, and to call them regulations, and for them to have regulators, but...different, somehow? Ive been guessing having congress write regulations, which I don't see as significantly different) is going to swoop down at some point discussing how regulation created this mess, and so we just need to deregulate and stop using internet and competition will suddenly appear to fulfill all that non-use.

    I want to point to history to show an example of what I think TechDirt means when it talks about effective regulation of a natural monopoly helping competition. The internet, when it was first regulated, was Title II. And unlike the forbearance of the Wheeler reclassification, Title II was applied in far greater force. Notably, there was a provision which was designed to improve competition. It wasn't anything so gauche as to force the creation of extra phone lines. No, it forced a seperation of the infrastructure and service layers. AT&T could string the phone lines, but has to lease the lines out so anyone could provide service through them. And when DSL came about, Anyone could provide DSL connection over them, with no concern for who owned the copper.

    This allowed for competition, because while the person who built the infrastructure, AT&T in my example, got their ROI and maintenance with access fees, AT&T was far less able to use their monopoly to abuse the service layer, which is what we see in the broadband market.

    Remember that abuse of the market to harm consumers in why we disallow monopolies. Capitalism creates real or defacto monopolies on a regular basis. There are many ethno-centric supermarkets in my area, but for traditional american market Ive got Safeway, and supposedly a Walmart neighborhood market. IN some areas I have been in, you only had one or the other, and none of the ethno-centric markets. But we don't 'break up' Safeway, we just keep an eye on them that they don't use their dominant position to abuse consumers.

    IN the same way, the issue is to prevent the harm to consumers created by the defacto regional monopolies. And using the laws congress already created could do so. Regulations have value, correctly appplied they provide a reliable, predictable environment free of uncertainty. Throwing out the regulatory system and throwing everything to the courts wouldn't for decades.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 9:24am

    Comcast can't fix poor quality from Hollywood ...

    Yes, streaming replacements for broadcast TV are slightly better and may be a reason for cord cutting.

    Streaming content direct from creators gives a lot more unfiltered diversity of thought, genuine creativity, real communities of interest, and not catering to advertisement delivery. This is the real threat to the old business model.

    Bye bye Hollywood. Please stuff your sanctimonious bland crap where the sun don't shine.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Richard Bennett, 2 May 2018 @ 9:49am

    And? I don't see what the problem is here. I couldn't give two shits if you pirate kids want to download your several gigabyte games.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      The world does not revolve around you and over 50% of the American public plays games and does care.

      Nice troll name by the way.

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      You don't understand the modern world at all, do you? I bought Doom 2016 from Walmart a few months back. What was on the disc provided? The installer for Steam, some ads, and a code for the game on Steam. No major game comes on physical media anymore - they're too big. Doom 2016 is almost 80 GB. You download all major games these days, and they are HUGE. This has NOTHING to do with piracy.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually he does understand, he just doesn't care. He doesn't think that gamers are important at all and probably couldn't care less if they got kicked off the internet entirely. In fact he may even want them kicked off the internet.

        It's the same old "damn kids, get off my lawn" argument except in this case, the kids aren't even on his lawn, but he's trying to control them anyway.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      Old man yells at internet. News at 11.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 3:15pm

      Re:

      Assuming that wasn't a poe, thanks for the laugh(I mean, I laughed either way, but in one case you meant for me to laugh).

      That the best excuse you could come up with was a baseless personal attack that had nothing to do with the article shows that even you know you've got nothing.

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

    • icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 5:42pm

      Re:

      I did not leave this comment. One of TechDirt's creative readers is spoofing my name.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re:

        This would be a lot more credible if you hadn't already expressed such a sentiment at Ars Technica... or if you weren't so easily triggered.

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

        • icon
          Richard Bennett (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 11:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Check the icon, genius.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 11:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Again, if the comment in question was actually incorrect you might have had a point. I'll grant you this much, though; there's a lot less bitching about Ars Technica, leftists and libtards in the original comment, so maybe you might have a point. It wouldn't be the first time a Techdirt troll spouted something immensely dumb, then backtracked by claiming it wasn't them, though...

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 1:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Lets try this again. My comments have my picture on them, but the fake comment has a default icon.

              Oh, hold on. If you could distinguish real from fake, you wouldn’t be a TechDirt fan.

              Never mind.

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

            • icon
              Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 1:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Lets try this again. My comments have my picture on them, but the fake comment has a default icon.

              Oh, hold on. If you could distinguish real from fake, you wouldn’t be a TechDirt fan.

              Never mind.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 1:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm not the one who's eagerly jumped to the defense of Ajit Pai claiming that bots generating anti-net neutrality support qualify as completely legitimate human commentary, but whatever floats your boat.

                Techdirt trolls regularly spoof their own IP addresses. out_of_the_blue in particular is proud of TOR usage to repeatedly post his spam, but Techdirt trolls gotta flock together, it seems.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 3:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You realize IP addresses change, right?

                Then again, the supposed claim that IP addresses irrevocably identify people is something your side has been pushed all along so you can sue children and grandmothers to fund artists, I mean their lawyers. Live by the sword...

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

                • icon
                  Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 9:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  My comment has nothing to do with IP addresses. Try again.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 9:38am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    No, it was a sad attempt to claim that the original comment wasn't yours because the IP-address-generated snowflakes don't match. Try again.

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

                    • icon
                      The Wanderer (profile), 4 May 2018 @ 8:50am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Er... no, it looks to me as if it was an attempt to claim that it wasn't his because he posts while logged in (with an attached photo) and so doesn't get a snowflake at all.

                      The later duplicate comment from him, one with snowflake and one without, appears to have been an accident - not an attempt to prove that the original post with his name could not have been him.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 6:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And the fact that you just posted the exact same comment anonymously is supposed to convince us how?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 1:54pm

    The Emperor's New Clothes

    I can't be the only one to see that Comcast has given out the usual BS/sob story about how our speeds have been increased by some magical number, yet the infrastructure has not been touched at all. IOW, if you signed up for "up to 100Mb a second", you probably are getting somewhere between 10 and 20MB/s. Being told that you can now expect to experience download speeds of "up to 250Mb/s" for the same price per month... that's not even marketing hype, that's downright fraud when you consider that the infrastructure has not been upgraded to actually deliver those higher speeds.

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

    • identicon
      TRX, 3 May 2018 @ 10:05am

      Re: The Emperor's New Clothes

      > up to

      Which includes "zero." Take a look at your ISP contract; every one I've seen, including mine with Comcast, has a statement somewhere in there saying they don't agree to provide any connectivity *at all*, while you're expected to pay promptly regardless.

      One local DSL provider is infamous for providing 56K (yes, K, not M) service with their "up to 64M" package. So far, either nobody has sued or their contract held up in court.

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

    • icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 10:21am

      Re: The Emperor's New Clothes

      I have Comcast's 250/10 Mbps tier. My Speedtests generally show 270/12. Here's one: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/46386892

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re: The Emperor's New Clothes

        And the troll falls for the troll. Notice how the OP says:

        if you signed up for "up to 100Mb a second", you probably are getting somewhere between 10 and 20MB/s

        Note the 100Mb (little b) and 20MB/s (big B). The OP got you good Richard.

        When subscribing to 100 megaBITS (denoted by little b) per second internet access, that means you will see download speeds of around 10 megaBYTES (denoted by a big B) per second. General rule of thumb is divide the megabits per second by 10 and you have your approximate megabytes per second download speed. OP is getting exactly the speed he is paying for and successfully trolled you.

        Try again Richard.

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

  • identicon
    Agammamon, 2 May 2018 @ 3:11pm

    . . .adult regulatory supervision would prevent Comcast from using its broadband monopoly

    TelCos don't upgrade their networks because they don't have to - government regulation shields them from market pressure.

    Comcast is getting customers from those telcos because it provides a marginally better product, because its only mostly shielded from competition, but its screwing with people because it can - government regulation shields them from market pressure.

    A handful of ISP's dominate the national market for internet access - because of government regulation making it difficult if not impossible for competitors to get in.

    Yet the answer you want is 'adult regulatory supervision' - basically another way of saying 'if we only had the right people in charge'.

    Regulatory capture is simply a fact of life. Regulatory schemes have to be built to factor this in. Which means light regulation, not ever increasing amounts. The more power a regulatory agency has, the more incentive there is for regulated industries to lobby it for special favors to lock in their market position and for people who are willing to 'play ball' with these industries to ignore their duties in favor of personal gain.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 5:22pm

    This is not new

    Comcast was doing this in Atlanta as far back as 2009. When I lived there, I had Comcast Preferred plan but no TV or Voice service, just the "High Speed Internet", which was 25/5. At least twice they upgraded that plan's speeds but only for customers who bundled TV and/or Voice. Those customers were getting 50/5 and 100/5, while I was stuck at 25/5 and paying $10 more per month than the bundled customers for it. Had I bundled TV (for a basic package of around $20/month), my bill would have been about $10/month higher and speed doubled or tripled.

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

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 5:45pm

    Fake news

    Bode is misreporting this story. Higher speeds are available to standalone customers for a fee, but bundle customers get them for free.

    Why does he do this sort of thing? Puffing up a story for traffic is pretty common, but this is bald-faced lying.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 11:07pm

      Re: Fake news

      It is also shows desperate market manipulation to support a legacy market, and does not bode well for customers if and when net neutrality is repealed.

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

      • icon
        Richard Bennett (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 11:19pm

        Re: Re: Fake news

        Net neutrality is a fraud. It only benefits owners of private Internets such as Google, Amazon, Facebook et al.

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

        • identicon
          ryuugami, 3 May 2018 @ 1:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Fake news

          What the fuck is a "private Internet"?

          BTW, a tip: non-sarcastic usage of the phrase "fake news" marks you as a whiny partisan hack and immediately invalidates any points you are trying to make. Avoid using it if you want people to listen to you.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 3:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Fake news

            Richard Bennett believes that any data that disagrees with Ajit Pai is fake news, and believes that the fact that the bulk of pro-repeal votes were done by bots who spoofed identities of people who didn't agree with Ajit Pai - and made their objection to the usage of their identities clear - is perfectly acceptable.

            The stupidest part about all this? Richard Bennett is serious...

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

          • icon
            Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 9:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Fake news

            Look at Google's corporate network: data centers all over the world interconnected with high capacity fiber and intersecting with ISPs only to dump data. That's what's known as a private Internet because it only carries Google data.

            I didn't coin the term, kids.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 9:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fake news

              So, Google have found it cheaper to install their own fiber, up to and including undersea cables, rather than pay tour buddies for that service. Does that not suggest your buddies are overcharging for capacity, and/or not installing the capacity to meet the demand.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                icon
                Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 10:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fake news

                TechDirt victim ryuugami asked what a private Internet is, and I answered.

                This shouldn't upset you.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 10:15am

              Fake Richard

              Look at Google's corporate network:

              By corporate you mean the internal network that their employees use that isn't publicly accessible?

              data centers all over the world interconnected with high capacity fiber and intersecting with ISPs only to dump data.

              That's what's known as either a private WAN network (NOT publicly accessible) or an internet backbone (publicly accessible). The term 'private internet' is just a buzzword way of saying 'internet backbone'. Which, there wouldn't be any public internet without companies building out internet backbones or 'private internets' and interconnecting with each other.

              That's what's known as a private Internet because it only carries Google data.

              Dude, you really suck at lying. If it only carries Google's data then it has nothing to do with the rest of the actual internet because it's just Google's connection to the internet at large. Besides that though, this is patently false since Google does do interconnection so they do carry more than just their own data. They have to, otherwise they wouldn't be able to operate any ISP services because the only sites subscribers would be able to get to would be something with a google.com domain.

              I didn't coin the term, kids.

              That is blatantly obvious since you don't even know how to use it.

              Try again Richard.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 3:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Fake news

          Good to know that you support companies screwing over their customers to damage their competition.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 6:22am

          Re: Re: Re: Fake news

          I am with ryuugami. What the hell is a private Internet?

          Once again you show you have no idea what you're talking about or are deliberately lying. Since I've caught you in bald faced lies before, I'm going with that.

          Try again Richard.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 6:21am

      Re: Fake news

      Bode is misreporting this story.

      No, he's not. The fact of the matter is that Comcast is giving free speed increases to SOME of their customers but not all of them. And those "some" are the ones who pay NOT for faster speeds but for a completely separate service. If Comcast instead said it was rolling out new speeds but everyone had to pay for it, that would be different, or if everyone got it for free. Either of those two cases would be fine.

      But they are not. They are deliberately excluding ONLY the customers who subscribe to just internet, despite the fact that this speed upgrade doesn't affect the cable package at all. It is nothing more than a scumbag way of punishing people who are ditching cable because it's too expensive and there are much better options in streaming.

      but this is bald-faced lying.

      Sorry, that's you, not Bode.

      Try again Richard.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 9:19am

    The Bode Challenge

    Show me any article written by Karl Bode for TechDirt or elsewhere and I can find at least one sentence that's an abject, shameful, and egregiouis lie.

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

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 10:35am

    The lie in this article

    Reports emerged this week that the company is upgrading the speeds of customers in Houston and parts of the Pacific Northwest, but only if they continue to subscribe to traditional cable television.

    Wrong. The higher speeds are available to all customers.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 11:07am

      The lie in this comment

      Well that's a bald faced lie there Richard.

      These source links all say you're wrong:

      h**ps://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/comcast-increases-internet-speeds-for-some-video-custome rs-in-houston-20180425-01822

      h**ps://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/comcast-to-increase-internet-speed s-for-some-video-customers-in-oregonsw-washington-20180425-01050

      h**ps://www.chron.com/techburger/ar ticle/Comcast-increases-speeds-again-but-only-for-12861755.php

      Sounds like only subscribers who subscribe to internet AND TV are getting the free upgrade to me.

      Try again Richard.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 6:33pm

        Re: The lie in this comment

        You know who Richard reminds me of? He reminds me of John Steele, while he was observing the Sunlust trial where Mark Lutz was getting his ass torn apart by the judge, since Lutz couldn't answer any of the judge's questions about the business despite supposedly being in charge. Steele stood up and said "Hi, I'm absolutely not involved in this case at all but here's my two cents in a bid to convince you Lutz is totally legit. Trust me!"

        Funny how someone who claimed to be completely unrelated to ISPs shilling for net neutrality repeal now has such an in-depth understanding of what their terms and conditions actually say, despite third parties pointing out otherwise.

        For what it's worth, John Steele is currently in jail, waiting to throw ex-partner Paul Hansmeier under the bus...

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

        • icon
          Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 7:07pm

          Re: Re: The lie in this comment

          Yes, I have an in-depth understanding of Comcast offers in Houston because I looked them up. You can do it too; just go to www.xfinity[dot]com/locations/texas/houston/internet-service and check your choices for unbundled Internet. Click on "View All Offers."

          The offers of interest are Blast Pro (250 Mbps) and Performance Pro (400 Mbps). I checked an old address of mine in Houston and confirmed availability.

          They also offer Gigabit (1000 Mbps) and Gigabit Pro (2000).

          As I said, Bode lied to you. That's what he does, so no surprise. But why did you buy it again?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 9:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: The lie in this comment

            I have no doubt and (for once) believe you when you say those speeds are offered in those areas.

            However, you are deliberately twisting the conversation and ignoring the point of the article. Not only are you calling Bode a liar, you're saying that NONE of the media reports are correct, including the NASDAQ reports and the news media in Houston. BOTH of which would be in a better position to determine the exact nature of Comcast's offerings than you.

            Now that we've established that, Bode (nor the other media reports for that matter) is not saying that those speeds are not available in those areas. Really, you have to be a real piece of work to twist everyone's words that badly. What they're saying is Comcast is giving speed upgrades for people in those areas, and those who bundle internet and TV (or more) get it for free, but those who just subscribe to internet get jack squat unless they fork over more money for a higher tier package or bundled services.

            It's not that they aren't available, it's that Comcast is giving them out for free for some people and not for others. Comcast is effectively raising the price of high speed internet for internet only customers, but not for those who bundle. People who bundle will not see a price increase on their monthly bill, despite the fact that the only thing it affects is their internet, not any of their other services. Meanwhile, anyone who just has internet, is going to be forced to pay extra to get the same speed. As Bode stated in the article, this is a poorly disguised attempt to punish people for cutting the cord and not buying cable.

            Bode's not the one lying, you are. And doing a really crappy job at it too. If you're gonna lie, can you at least try and do it in a way that someone can't prove you wrong in less than five minutes? Because this is just just embarrassing for you.

            Try again Richard.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 9:49pm

          Re: Re: The lie in this comment

          Yep, that's pretty much Richard.

          I also got a chuckle out of his response below where he actually did claim to have in-depth knowledge of it because he looked at Comcast's offering page for two seconds. I think I might die of laughter.

          All this while completely missing the point that it's not about whether they offer those speeds at all, it's about that some people are getting upgraded for free and others not, for no other reason than they are trying to punish cord cutters for not buying their dying cable packages.

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

          • icon
            Richard Bennett (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 10:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: The lie in this comment

            Comcast already offered 150, 250, 400, 1000, and 2000 Mbps in Houston. What actually happened is the company substituted 250 for 150 in one bundle and 400 for 250 in another.

            There wasn't any substitution to do for the standalone plans because...no bundle.

            So Bode is trying to turn a free upgrade into a downgrade because he's so demented.

            And you bought it, sucker.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 10:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: The lie in this comment

              And a swing and a miss! Really, you're making this way too easy for me. Or are you saying Comcast's own press release lying?

              Comcast today announced it is increasing the speeds of its Xfinity Internet service packages for millions of video and internet customers,

              Substituting a higher internet speed for a lower one without raising the price of the bundle is, GASP, still a free upgrade. Or does the concept of free somehow escape you?

              Yes, we know there was no substitution in the standalones because they aren't bundled, that's the point. They gave a free speed upgrade for bundles but left the actual price of the speed tiers the same. In effect, by making that substitution in the bundles, they dropped the price of internet speeds for bundles but left it higher in the standalones. Thereby directly discriminating against cord cutters.

              If it was truly a free upgrade, it would have applied to standalones as well. This is something they have done in the past but now that their cable cash cow is dying, they're trying to prop it up any way they can. And one way is to punish cord cutters and try to force them to buy cable again.

              Try again Richard.

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


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