Saturday, September 20, 2008

How is Comcast getting away with lying to us?

Wired has a very thorough examination of the recent issues with Comcast, which is certainly worth a read.

I left Comcast about a year ago, even before all this was in the spotlight. It was quite obvious that if I ran a torrent program, my internet connection went to almost nothing. The other thing that bugged me, which no one seems to care about, is their "Burst Speed." They claim that you get higher speeds for the first 20 megs, when in reality I found that after 20 megs I got absolutely nothing. Most youtube videos are larger than 20 megs. Before Comcast introduced their VOIP service, there were no problems, but I think, in my area anyway, that they didn't quite have the infastructure they needed.

So I went with Qwest. I had sworn that I would never use DSL, but there I was. I found that it was better to have things go slow than to not work at all. (About six months after I joined with Qwest, they started offering a 7 megabit connection as opposed to the 1.5 I had been using. I was pretty happy at that point. Now if we could just get those fiber optics...)

I have seen a lot of arguments about how Comcast is the only option you have for internet. You supposedly have no choice. Well, yes you do. You just might have to give up more than you want. It's a free market society. You're not forced to buy anything from anybody.

Here's the problem. We're supposed to know what it is we're buying. I don't care what an ISP does, as long as I know about it when I sign up. Comcast blatently lied to us, telling us that we would have unlimited access. They even denied throttling it when they were called on it. And yet, for some reason, we're just letting them get away with it. That seems wrong to me.

There is only one thing that will speak to Comcast and tell them that we don't approve. Money. If enough people leave their service, they may just feel it in their pocket books, and get the hint.

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein

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