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The Almighty Buck The Internet News

Comcast Raises Bandwidth in Shot at DSL 422

bigtallmofo writes "In a move sure to be applauded by DDoS botnet owners everywhere, news.com.com is reporting that Comcast is raising the speed of its cable Internet offerings. The standard rate will change from 3 Mbps downstream and 256 Kbps upstream to 4 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream. Customers that currently pay extra for faster service will see a 50% speed increase over what they have today to 6 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream." Combine this move with the VoIP announcement and the rumblings about more Baby Bell mergers -- we should see an...interesting landscape soon.
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Comcast Raises Bandwidth in Shot at DSL

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  • by Skidge ( 316075 ) * on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:01AM (#11385686) Homepage
    As it has hiked speeds, Comcast has been giving customers more to do with that bandwidth. Its Comcast.net home page has become more of a media portal, with emphasis on higher-bandwidth services such as video news clips, on-demand video games, a flashier interface and more personalization tools.

    That's all well and good, but will they let us do something actually useful with our service like run a web server? Not that I'm trying to run a big website out of my home, but I'd rather to be officially allowed to run my own photo gallery on my linux box for my family rather than have "a flashier interface," whatever that means.

    • Comcast and other cable/DSL providers will never allow servers of any kind, so long as they can't negotiate the kind of "peering" agreements that the major backbones have with each other.

      Comcast has to pay for packets that are routed outside their nets, and get to charge for packets coming into their nets, so they throttle upload and open up download rates.

      Always follow the money.

      • by Ark42 ( 522144 ) <[ten.erawtfossuehprom] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:18AM (#11385861) Homepage

        Comcast won't allow servers, but most DSL providers do, and they don't block your ports either usually. SBC lets you opt-out of any port blocking they do (currently just some outbound port 25 blocking I think, but only for the residential package)
        • Comcast won't allow servers, but most DSL providers do

          Comcast has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it comes to servers. If you are running a small site, they really don't seem to care. Heck, I've seen a number of not-so-small sites running on CHSI home lines. Also, for better or worse, you can relay through their SMTP servers when you are on their network.

          Verizon, "doesn't allow servers", but, additionally, actively blocks all incoming port 80 access. Furthermore, you are only allowed to use their S
        • Oh no SBC doesn't. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by emil ( 695 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @12:25PM (#11386631)

          All outbound traffic on port 25 is or will be blocked. Outbound email must be routed through their authenticated SMTP agent.

          I ordered SBC DSL basic service and was considering a switch from cable modem (mediacom). I requested that the port 25 block not be applied to my account and was refused (they advised me to upgrade to the more expensive service).

          Remember that there was a recent court decision allowing ISPs to read your email when it touches their hard drive.

          I dumped them, and I told them exactly why. You should too.

      • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:29AM (#11386001) Homepage
        This doesn't make sense; they don't allow servers, but they don't seem to mind BitTorrent, which consumes a lot more upstream bandwidth than webservers.

        I think they just put in the "no webservers" clauses so they have teeth to shut down abusers who post commercial websites and high bandwidth sites on the service. I know tons of people who run servers on ISP's that supposedly ban them and are never bothered about it.

        -Z
        • This doesn't make sense; they don't allow servers, but they don't seem to mind BitTorrent, which consumes a lot more upstream bandwidth than webservers.

          I think it's less of a case of "don't seem to mind" than it is "can't find a way to stop without alienating all their customers".

      • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @12:14PM (#11386521) Journal
        Their dislike of upload bandwidth isn't the money - cable modem technology is inherently asymmetric.
        Cable modem companies had serious performance problems in the early years - cable TV distribution equipment was pretty shoddy, and the cable modem equipment was relatively experimental, so the native performance wasn't very good, and they didn't have any effective way to limit user's upstream bandwidth. They were absolutely terrified that somebody would trash their neighborhood's cable modem performance by using too much upstream, and especially terrified that the bandwidth would be hogged by somebody running a Pr0n website, back when pr0n on the internet was still a somewhat scandalous concept. Their performance really wasn't all that good, and Pac Bell's "Web Hog" TV ads, while dishonest, were extremely effective.

        So they made inflexible hard-core policies against running anything server-like, and it became a religion for them. The fact that they didn't understand what a "server" really was wasn't relevant - an Instant Messaging client is a server, and interactive game programs are servers, and they like both of those, and "email servers" don't consume scarce upstream bandwidth, they use plentiful downstream bandwidth.

        Napster was another big issue - not only was it a bandwidth hog, but it was Pirating Content, and TV stations are really in the content business so that was obviously Bad Bad Bad. Not everybody at Comcast was clueless - when I talked with some of their engineers privately, their opinion was "Like, duh, why do you *think* people buy broadband? It's so they can download music faster, and Napster's the best marketing tool out there for us, even if we officially pretend to hate it."

    • I think this is a deliberate move by the ISPs to segregate the market into "business" broadband and "home" broadband.

      By offering high upload speeds only with "business" plans (that costs many times more than residental plans anyway), they can comply with the mantra of capitalism.. which is to suck each and everyone as much as possible till they themselves are flush with cash.

      Unlikely to see home servers anytime soon.. :(
    • I've been running a webserver on my Comcast-connected box for well over a year, and I've had zero problems. Are they blocking port 80 where you are or something?
    • by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:37AM (#11386087) Homepage
      This is from their acceptable use policy [comcast.net].

      "(xiv) run programs, equipment, or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited services and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;"

      • I emailed Comcast before setting up my own webserver. Their reply stated that it was okay that I have a web server, just so long as I wasn't hogging bandwidth. I printed it out in case of legal troubles, but haven't had any. All I use it for is publishing iCals (since my web host doesn't have WebDAV) and testing stuff. The upstream is too slow for anything else.
        • by zymurgyboy ( 532799 ) <zymurgyboy.yahoo@com> on Monday January 17, 2005 @01:24PM (#11387340)
          On the contrary; it's plenty good enough for hosting your own IMAP server too. Being able to make and destroy as many mailboxes or aliases as you want, at will, is damned handy.

          If you've got the means and the wherewithall to access your server remotely, you can literally do this from anywhere you can get a port 22 connection.

          This is nice when you want to give some corporate sales slug an e-mail address but you don't quite know if you trust them. I've given out addresses that didn't exist on my domain to people like that, then quick made it so on my server after our meatspace conversation ended. Voila! I get their marketing crap for a while, then if they become annoying or I'm simply not interested in their stuff, I just remove the alias I gave them and... Bubye.

          That approach has proven a lot easier than having to say, "gee, I don't think I'm interested," and then having to live through their hard sell.

    • As long as you block the public from accessing your webserver (e.g., hidden URL, alternate port (like 22)), are the cable companies really going to hound you for sharing your private gallery? I would say to try it anyway. Hopefully Comcast doesn't have the time to monitor traffic content.
  • Last Summer, TimeWarner/RoadRunner upped my cablemode speeds from 1.5Mbps/150Kbps to 3Mbps/300Kbps, without announcement. Why would they do that?
    • To stay competitive with DSL.
    • I don't know, but TimeWarner/RoadRunner, just last night (literally), upped my linespeed. I haven't tested the upstream... but my downstream suddenly shot to over 700 KB/s (~6mbit). My package's cap is supposed to be ~3mbit. If these cable co's want to give me double the speed for the same price.... Well, golly gee, I guess I'm in no position to argue!

      I've heard a lot of people diss on TW/RR... but lemme tell you: If you live in Terre Haute, IN, they freagin' rock. DSL can kiss my ***!
      • TW recently announced that they would be raising the down cap from 3Mbps to 5Bbps sometime in January. I guess they actually delivered :)

        I'm still waiting for my upgrade.
    • Competition from DSL? I have a 1.5Mbps/1Mbps DSL line now. Frankly 1.5Mbps is fine for download and I love the 1Mbps upstream
    • Actually roadrunner just upped the cap in the Houston area to 6mbit down and keeping the 384 up.
  • Hidden cap (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dekks ( 808541 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:02AM (#11385694)
    Doesn't matter how much more bandwidth you're given if you can't use it without fear of getting a letter saying you're over whats considered reasonable bandwith use in your area, which is why I've stuck with 1.5m/384k DSL.
    • It was 300 gigs per month for a while, but all of a sudden it appears to be 200 or 225 gigs for last month (they just placed the calls last Friday).

      The problem is that if you only get notified 13 days into the month that you went over last month, you're still dealing with everything you downloaded the first thirteen days of THIS month, and if that amount is too much for next month's cap (say they move it down to 150 gigs next month), then you just lost your internet connection and there's not a damn thing
      • Actually, with all due respect, it would be incorrect to say "many people have ordered the business services when they have been notified of excessive download" -- it's more accurate to say that a "limited amount" of individuals have done this in the interest, or in the hopes of having larger amount of data transfer being available to them - say, for instance, a family that has many teenagers and xboxes and audio streams and video communications and things like that - but the invisible caps appear to be the
  • Holy cow (Score:2, Funny)

    by BlkSprk ( 840773 )
    Thank god I chose Comcast and scoffed at my folks for getting DSL. ::dials comcast and orders the extra service:: Porn is now even faster.
    • The standard rate is still a measely 384 Kbs upstream. Thank God I chose DSL with its 800 Kbs upstream. I have 3 Mbs downstream, but I'm rarely able to max it out so see little need to upgrade it.
  • by Bumjubeo ( 849737 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:03AM (#11385701)
    All the cable companies seem to be increasing the bandwidth of their cable service. The cable company in my city recently upped to 5mb down, 1mb up. How are they making their bandwidth so much higher without changing the cables? Is it all about voltage, or has coax been able to handle this all along, that they have just been throttling back?
    • All these speed limits are entirely artifical.
    • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:10AM (#11385777) Homepage
      Their keeping your bandwidth low has less to do with the wiring between you and them than it does with the head end setup. Most cable modems support data transfers around 40mbs, each way. Most cable companies do not have enough bandwidth or hardware at the head end to support so a large number of people having so much bandwidth... so they cap you nice and low to keep their network running fast.
      • by SuperQ ( 431 ) *
        You're a little off on the numbers.. but here is some better info.

        http://www.dslreports.com/faq/8084

        The big reason for the difference between up and down is the fact that the head end can transmit much faster than the modem can upload.

        most modems are DOCSIS 1.0 or 1.1

        This gives a bandwidth of 30-38mbps down and 5-10mbps up per "node" on the cable companies network. Compare a "node" to an ethernet hub where everyone shares the bandwidth.
    • Cable internet basically works over cable TV channels that are designated for it. When they increase the limits, they open up more channels as well as changing the cap that the modem is set to. They could give you much faster speeds if they wanted to, but they don't.
    • is about 30-40 mbps, of course this is generally not reached in real world scenarios, cable still has a way to go.

      LINK [hellodirect.com]

      LINK [howstuffworks.com]


    • The speeds are all artificially throttled. My work has a 100Mb VLAN running over exactly the same cable plant that my home Comcast account only gets unbalanced 3Mb on. Of course they pay more, but I'm sure the only difference on the cable companies end is a config setting on a central router, and a setting on the modem.

    • This is taken from Cisco, should tell you everything that you wanted to know about coax cables. In short, you can achieve up to 100Mb/s with it, but that might start to infringe on your TV and such...

      Anyways, here it is:

      This page provides detailed information about coaxial cable.

      Coaxial cable consists of a copper conductor surrounded by a layer of flexible insulation. The center conductor can also be made of tin plated aluminium cable allowing for the cable to be manufactured inexpensively. Over this ins
  • by mabus42 ( 805037 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:04AM (#11385713)
    comcast also has invisible bandwidth caps of which they have been reluctant to publicly disclose. for those that have sbc's 6/608 or verizon's 3/768 service available to them, i would suggest dsl instead. oh yeah, comcast only gives out a paltry 2GB of newsgroups transfers, further diminishing the value of their services compared to dsl offerings with unlimited newsgroup access.
    • Not to mention its against the TOS to run services. So that 768up might be tempting but you'll be in breach of terms if you run a web server, email server, etc. Hell, good luck with email on comcast's IP block as many anti-spam solutions mark it as spam.

      I really dont understand this limitation. Most DSL providers let you run services and dont have "invisible limits." People looking to run a server cheaply shouldnt be considering comcast.
    • That should read: My isp [blueyonder.co.uk] has in the last year doubled the download speed of all of it's packages from their starting point. They've done it, I think, because our cost to them has got less and they're passing it on.
    • Yeah, I'm with Blueyonder too, have been for a few years. I only noticed about a week or so ago that they had upgraded my line from 1.5mbps to 2mbps, pretty sweet considering it only went from 1mbps to 1.5mbps a few months ago.

      Would be nice to have a slightly higher upstream, although they offer that with their 4mbps package which I might switch over to soon anyway.

  • Last time comcast sent out the notice, it took weeks before my area actually got the improvement. I think they target the inner cities / urban areas first for speed boost.

  • 300kbit -> 1mbit
    750kbit -> 2mbit
    1.5mbit -> 3mbit

    They are asking for a one off fee of £25, but it definately looks rosey :)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/03/ntl_q3_04/ [theregister.co.uk]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:06AM (#11385736)
    The minimum price is $43 for comcast customers and
    almost $60 otherwise.
    I think $29 for 1.5/384 servce from verizon looks a lot more attractive.
    The extra bandwidth will not improve my experience 2 fold ...
    • I don't know if they are still running the promotion or not, but if you lived in NY or NJ you could (or still can) have gotten 3.0/768k from Verizon for $29.99(plus the rape you in the ass fees) if you agreed to 1 year.
  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:08AM (#11385755)
    I'm hoping the next shot will be against the penalty for not subscribing to the Cable TV service. I could see them taking a proper shot to woo users off Satelite TV by offering a Cable TV discount. But nailing non-subscription TV users with a extra charge (disguised as a internet price break for having cable TV) is why they don't have me online with them yet.
  • But 384k still doesn't compete with DSL, sorry comcast. you fail again. combine this with the fact that your rasing your prices soon im sure, and it will cost just as much as 1.5/768 DSL again for less service.

    Why dont they understand that i dont care about the download? it was more than fine at 2mb a yea ago, i just need more upload. if they had a 1/1 option i would get it in a second, or even a 1/768 for the same price. its bullcrap that they cant provide us with more upload, there just still scared tha

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:10AM (#11385779)
    I apologize for moving away on you. Now that I live in Eastern CT I'm stuck with a crappy cable company, ECC [myeastern.com]. Would you please gobble up this pathetic company into your growing empire. And while you're at it would you please allow people to run servers at home with that 384 up bandwidth. I'd much rather host my own website than be forced to just share torrents all day. Oh and I promise not to extract any HD content from the new Motorola 6412 [pvrblog.com]

    Thank you,
    A former and soon hopefully future Comcast disciple.
  • Forced upgrade (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Linuxathome ( 242573 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:11AM (#11385792) Homepage Journal
    Some of us running the older DOCSIS 1 compliant cable modems can only get a max of 3Mbps download. This move could also mean more money for Comcast with more people wanting to rent their cable modem to capitalize on this increase in bandwidth.

  • by G27 Radio ( 78394 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:11AM (#11385797)
    Comcast upgraded our area to 4Mbit close to a year ago with no announcement or additional charge. That's great, but I've been thinking about switching back to DSL anyway since Comcast's high-speed Internet access has been dropping out several times a month in my neighborhood. Sometimes it drops out for an hour, sometimes for a whole day.

    When I had DSL I only lost service once in the course of an entire year.
  • I have had DSL for 3.5 years. I'm still at 1 meg down 128k up, and I really have never felt like I was too slow. I can't really bitch or expect our Coop to spend the money to change their equipment though. The town is only 1500 people, so I am fortunate to have broadband anyway.
  • Verizon FiOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:12AM (#11385813)
    I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and just got the new Fiber Optic service from Verizon. I'm currently using the slowest package offered, which is 5mbps down and 2mbps up. There are also 10 down and 30 down packages. I was paying $60 a month for Comcast at 3mbps down, but now I'm paying half that for this new service. I had nothing but trouble with my Comcast connection, so this little bump in speed isn't going to help them much.
  • I have been a Comcast subscriber since July and I must say I am truly impressed with their service here in NH. I don't ever remember the cable internet connection going down, download speeds are insanely fast (and getting even faster now!), and their service seems to be top notch here. Only issue I have had is the upload speeds are sorta slow when sending large files, but this new speed upgrade will help out a little there.

    Even better, when I moved in October I only called a few days in advance to switch e
  • by EasyTarget ( 43516 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:14AM (#11385823) Journal
    Why are US DSL lines sooo asymettric. 6Mb down, 0.25Mb up, etc.. My experience here in yrp is that things are more even, 8Mb down usually gives 2Mb up, etc.
    Do US provides buy their upstream bandwidth asymetrically too? So they have to cap customers upload.
    Or are they just a bunch of ex TV retards who think of the Internet as a TV with the remote connected directly to their marketing database? and are horrified/confused by the idea that other people might want to broadcast too.
    Maybe I'm too cynical, and this is just how people want it.
    • Generally the ones with crappy upload are residential service. They figure most home users won't be uploading a lot and so allocate less bandwidth. Business lines are more likely to have a higher upload than residential, but they're more expensive because of uptime guarantees that usually come with the package.

      I, however, have a residential line at 1.5Mbps down/1Mbps up.
    • Its not a business decision, its a technical one... Unfortunately, the DOCSIS protocol for cable modem networks specifies a different method of reserving channels for upload than download.

      Downloads typically are reserved a 6 MHz band for each subscriber, while uploads share a 24 MHz band for the whole neighborhood. This is due to two factors:
      the frequencies used... (high-pass filters upstream, low-pass filters downstream) ...and the encoding method used (typical QPSK-256 downstream and QAM-16 upstream)

      J
    • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:54AM (#11386297)
      Or are they just a bunch of ex TV retards who think of the Internet as a TV with the remote connected directly to their marketing database?

      No they are a bunch of intelligent businessmen who know that somewhere around 95% of home broadband users have no need or desire to serve large amounts of data. Given a fixed amount of bandwidth (limited by customers physical connection), they choose to allocate it in a manner that best serves their customers.

      Those 5% that do need to serve data can get a "business" connection that has a more balanced upstream, and whose contract allows the customer to run servers / LANs / etc off the connection.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of my clients has Comcast cable internet, and he's been having no end of trouble with it this past week.

    When they came out for service, they gave him a new cable modem, an RCA DCM425. This thing has a built-in NAT, and no apparent way to disable it or map inbound ports-- it has an extremely sparse web interface, so I can no longer remote into his fileserver to diagnose and fix problems (a big deal, since he's 40 miles away).

    One thing that the cable modem's web interface DOES do, however, is report on
  • I already have 6.0/608 DSL, I can run servers, no ports are blocked, there are no invisible bandwidth caps, my ping times are better, a couple infected PCs nearby won't slow my connection down like it does with cable, plus the price is lower.
    Oh, and I don't have cable TV because Dish is less then half the cost and yes I do have a land line beacuse its a lot more reliable then any VoIP will ever be, and its very cheap with no long distance package or extra features I don't need, so its no big deal.
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:17AM (#11385856) Homepage Journal
    At least in my area, bottom-of-the-line DSL is significantly less expensive that bottom-of-the-line cable, especially if you don't already have cable. (And I don't, because I'd rather spend my time on the Internet and watching movies from Netflix. Or maybe even going outside.)

    Certainly I'd appreciate more bits than my 768 connection (which usually nets me significantly less), but for basic web operations (email, browsing) it seems more than tolerable. I can even download movie trailers as long as I'm willing to be a bit patient, and I do that infrequently enough that I'm willing to be patient. If I decided that wanted to go even further down on my entertainment expenses by dumping Netflix for Bittorrent, maybe I'd want more bandwidth.

    Mind you I've had reasonably terrible service from Verizon DSL, which is quite flaky, and I've heard good things about cable reliability (which seems odd, but I hear they've changed their tune since the last time I had cable in a year beginning with 19). But I find that raising both prices and bandwidth in cable doesn't lead to the price point that I want.

    • At least in my area, bottom-of-the-line DSL is significantly less expensive that bottom-of-the-line cable, especially if you don't already have cable. (And I don't, because I'd rather spend my time on the Internet and watching movies from Netflix. Or maybe even going outside.)


      For me (and many others I imagine) the situation is exactly the opposite -- since I use my cell phone exclusively, the cost of DSL isn't just the $30/month they charge, but the cost of maintaining a land line on top of it. Since I
  • by Dragoon412 ( 648209 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:18AM (#11385865)
    In a move sure to be applauded by DDoS botnet owners everywhere...


    So, we bitch when they cripple spam zombies [slashdot.org], then we bitch when they raise the bandwidth cap.

    Unbelievable.

    Well, I, as a Comcast subscriber, am very happy with this change.
    • So, we bitch when they cripple spam zombies, then we bitch when they raise the bandwidth cap.

      If they had crippled any zombies, I wouldn't be bitching. As it is, all the best botnets are on Comcast. Wake me up when they make their subscribers clean out their Windows boxes.

  • Contention Ratio (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saur2004 ( 801688 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:18AM (#11385870)
    Cable rep: Oh sure, we now offer 6Mb download speed comparable to high speed DSL.

    /. Customer: Whats the contention ratio?

    Cable rep: um....er....whats that?

    /. Customer: Kindly shove it where only your proctologist can find it. *click*

    I personally think that there should indeed be a law that all internet access providers must have their contention ratio prominently displayed. What good is 6Mb download if you have to share that with a thousand subscribers? Yes I know that DSL has its own contention ratios at the DSLAM but nowhere near the mess that cable trys to sell. But still they should be required to display this information as well.

    • Re:Contention Ratio (Score:3, Informative)

      by Peyna ( 14792 )
      I've had cable from Comcast and Time Warner at a total of 6 different locations, and each time have been able to utilize the full 3 Mbps down at any time of day. All 6 of these locations where in densely populated areas, so that might have been part of the reason why.

      Most of the people I know with cable no longer have the problems that were complained about 5-6 years ago.
  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:19AM (#11385876) Homepage
    When I first signed up for Comcast's services several years ago, before they put up and down restrictions on it, I'd get 512 kilobytes up and down. Now they're giving us 512 up and 48 down. Until I get back what I originally got, I don't see an improvement.

  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:35AM (#11386058)
    Comcast in their infinite wisdom, failed to actually test any of the rollout. In increasing the bandwidth, they decided to change the frequency that was used to send the signal to the customers' cable modem boxes. In doing so, just about every older box became "incompatible". They didn't completely break and fail to work, but they would drop packets left and right due to not being able to handle the higher frequency signal (they could handle the higher bandwidth if a lower frequency signal was still used to transmit the info).

    Comcast themselves had no idea that this would happen, and even failed to believe that the problem was on their end. People had been calling customer service for the first two weeks of the new year (Comcast made the switchover on Jan 1st), and were reporting general problems. The biggest problem was the fact that the changeover also affected just about every major DNS server Comcast had in existance, which were then also dropping packets as well. This added about a 5 second delay to most customers, in addition to the other problems occuring.

    So, we have customer systems dropping packets, and Comcast servers dropping packets, and adding the two together created huge usability issues across the entire network. But Comcast still refused to take responsibility for the problems in the early weeks, with the goal being to clear up the customer service lines as opposed to take problems down. Comcast has finally appeared to fix some of the issues within the last week by sending out upgraded software to customer cable modem boxes. I still believe they are having DNS issues (but then again, when is Comcast NOT having DNS issues), but I do not know as I stopped using their DNS servers 3 years ago due to how unreliable their DNS servers are (they were failing at least 2 times a week for at least 1 day at a time).

    In anycase, there has been speculation that there will be a price increase in 6 months timeframe, but this may not happen now. Origionally, the speed increase was going to coincide with a $5-$10 price increase as well, but that plan was dropped when news was leaked to customers. There was also supposed to be another $5 increase in 6 months, but that too may be dropped now as well. The other huge backlash Comcast is recieving is for removing unlimited newsgroup access for the former AT&T customers, who were origionally told at the time of the Comcast buyout that no loss of current service would occur, which was also a condition of the buyout/merger. Comcast's normal customers already had lost unlimited newsgroup access when Comcast took over the @HOME network in certain areas several years ago, and limited users to 1 gig a month newsgroup access. That limit was increased to 2 gigs a month Jan 1st at the same time they dropped support for the unlimited access for the former AT&T customers (in an atempt to appease them).

    I for one can not wait until Verizon brings fiber to the home. I live in one of the lucky few test/rollout states (NJ) which will begin to recieve service during this year. Comcast is going to have some serious problems when that occurs, as the initial pricing is actually cheaper then Comcast's normal cable modem service, and is faster then Comcast's premium 6mbps service, with much less restrictions (i.e. Verizon does not care how you use it, as long as it is legal, so servers for web, email, ftp, etc., are all allowed, and unlimited newsgroups service is included).

  • Docsis 1.1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by papasui ( 567265 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @11:41AM (#11386133) Homepage
    Few people understand how Cable bandwidth actually works. It all hinges on your QAM modulation and the number of customers combined to the downstreams and upstreams. The max dowstream bandwidth at docsis 1.1 per cmts blade is about 35Mbit and the max upstream is roughly 10Mbit. This is at 256 QAM on the downstream and 16 QAM on the upstream and upstream channel width of 3.2Mhz. Now I manage 18 CMTS in my day job, that average customer count per blade is around 1250. Each blade has it's own downstream channel and 6 upstreams. So now you have 35 Mbit on the downstream shared between 1250 customers and approximately 125 customers sharing 10 Mbit up. You can get more bandwith by reducing the node combining down to a 1:1 ratio where each node has it's own upstream channel but that involves plant redesign work and additional investment in more CMTS's (big $$$$) and by running different frequencies. But the big gain would be to move to docsis 3.0 (2.0 only offers an additional 10Mbit on the upstream) where they say each downstream channel will be able to offer 200Mbit down and 100Mbit up. And yes I am a RF Network Engineer.
  • Lots of comments about Comcast this and Comcast that, but the header indicated something about Merger talks between baby bells?

    I watch that kind of stuff closely (something about wanting to feed the family and not likely layoffs that usually result from such mergers), but nothing has blipped my radar till this!

    Ok, anyone have any good stuff I can spread around at the office?

  • Wow, 6MB down? That would be awesome except that there are few sites that can serve me that fast!!

    The real problem is the uber-stingy 256 up, now raised to a BLAZING 384k. That's still a pittance, and takes a long time for me to upload pictures to web sites or send large emails.

    I really think that unless the cable providers fix this uplink disparity that DSL will win in the end, as it seems like they tend to have higher uplinks which people will grow to care about more and more in the next few years. T
  • In a move sure to be applauded by DDoS botnet owners everywhere, news.com.com is reporting that Comcast is raising the speed of its cable Internet offerings

    It's one thing to be cynical but another thing to just be biased. Do we always have to be so negative. Extra bandwidth in general is good for the customers. I see way more benefits than harm in this case.

  • Please stop giving me speed increases I haven't asked for, and instead split your billing options into several plans. I don't need 3mb/256k or 4mb/384k. I would be happy with 1.5mb/128k. And please make such a lower speed plan cheaper than your almost $50 a month current rate.

    (I'd go with DSL, but the costs of a land line + DSL service is pretty much on-par with Comcast)
  • $20 per month (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Monday January 17, 2005 @04:04PM (#11388837) Journal
    I don't watch TV so when Comcast started pitching Internet service, I was an especially hard sell. They wanted $60/month and Pac Bell was going for $27/month. Just wasn't worth it.

    One day I got a call and they offered me $20/month for 6 months and $20 install. The cost to try wasn't too bad so I bit. This month, the promo period ended and my bill went up to $60. I picked up the phone and told the clerk, "drop the price or I drop the service." She said she couldn't do anything so I said, "OK, I understand. Please cancel the service." At that point, she transfered me to someone who had negotiating authority. We dickered around for a bit and I settled at $30/month, or 50% of the posted price.

    What I think is happening is Comcast doesn't know what the market will bear and is willing to dicker to figure that out. I'm getting ready to call Comcast back because Pac Bell came back and offered me DSL for $20 if I buy their long distance service from them. The only place I've found that faster than DSL matters is downloading video. But all too often, if everyone is going after the same video and nobody is using bit torrent, the speed advantage vanishes. Besides, $120 per year savings will buy me and my sweetie a nice night out.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

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