bryan coe digital marketing strategist

Comcast sorry to be blunt, but once again you’ve proved how much you suck

Yesterday afternoon, I was trying to send email but was greeted with a failure notice. I had just done a bunch of updates to my site so I thought maybe I had blocked myself out of my server because I was hitting it a lot. That was not the case. I was able to do everything but send email.

To make a long story short I tested everything on my end and determined that it had to be Comcast. I tried their mail servers because with my experience working with 1&1 Internet I know that Comcast often likes to block ports and only allow you to send through their mail servers. That still didn’t work. So I had to waste my time calling Comcast to get it to work, even though I was already doing exactly what the tech told me to do.

The tech told me that there was suspicious active from my IP address: I.e. massive amounts of email going out from my network. But of course he could not tell me when this happened or to what extent. So, I’ve been tagged as a spammer even though they can’t tell me why. I know that I don’t have a virus because I’ve checked and rechecked all my machines. Oh and the tech informed me that it was for my own protection. Thanks for the clarification Comcast!

It’s About Time The FCC Checks Into The Practices of Comcast

Comcast has been going on about how if you are a Comcast subscriber you need to update to digital cable because of the transition to digital that is going on for TVs with antennae. This has nothing to do with digital cable. Comcast also keeps whining about internet issues and their infrastructure. See also: Net Neutrality a Letter To Us Senator Arlen Specter Yet they have a virtual monopoly on the cable industry in many parts of the country.

The FCC is finally looking into the pricing structure of the cable industry including Verizon and their FiOS service:

The agency wants to ensure the companies’ customers are getting treated fairly, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“I’m certainly concerned with the increasing cable prices that consumers are facing,” Martin said. “They are getting less and being charged the same or more.”

Read the whole article here: FCC to probe pricing policies of cable, Verizon (AP)

Net Neutrality — A Letter to US Senator Arlen Specter

From e-Life: Discussions about Blackbird e-Solutions and the Search, Tech and Localization Industries

After seeing the news article “FCC rules Comcast violated Internet access policy” I was reminded of the importance of net neutrality. So since I’m located in Pennsylvania, I decided to right US Senator Arlen Specter. You can read my letter below.

Dear Mr. Specter,

After seeing the news article this morning “FCC rules Comcast violated Internet access policy” this morning I was reminded of the importance of “net neutrality”. I commend the FCC for taking a stand with Comcast. Comcast is a huge business that in most areas operates almost as a monopoly, yet they continue to cry that their infrastructure is being unfairly used. They claim that companies and people are getting a free ride on their pipeline. I always get a kick out of how they try to justify the policy of slowing down different types of traffic just because that type is popular. One example is Google. They talked about implementing a way to slow traffic to companies such as Google and then charging them a higher fee so that the traffic will run at normal speeds. That sounds like a form of racketeering, which is not unlike what the mob does when they force people to pay for protection. “Protection from what?”, you ask. In actuality the money being paid is to protect the victims from the mob itself.

The idea of slowing different types of traffic could also be equated to Microsoft saying you can install any program on a Windows computer, but you will have to pay MS more money so the software will run correctly.

Companies like Comcast feel that they can’t support their networks with the fees they are charging, but their fees continue to go up and they continue to see profits and growth. Comcast Reports First Quarter 2008 Results Furthermore do they really think that Google and friends are not paying for their connection the internet? I would be interested in seeing the numbers on how much they pay to keep all their data centers connected… It’s not like they are running a billion dollar business on a dial up connection that costs them only a few dollars a month. Plus, all those people using Google, are they not paying for their connection as well?

As a business owner myself I support finding creative ways for new revenue, but it has to be done in an ethical manner. If the telcos are allowed to decide at what speed traffic travels over their networks it will stifle the economy. There are number of reasons this is true. For instance, the US has become a service economy and many of those services are performed via the internet. Many companies live or die by their ability to reach customers online. There is also a big conflict of interest for the telcos. For example a company such as the VOIP breakthrough Vonage could be squashed out of existence if Comcast decided they wanted to hinder Vonage’s VOIP traffic. Since Comcast also has a VOIP service this would give them an unfair advantage. Then where does it stop? The telcos could start picking off different markets by eliminating their competition in this manner.

Then fundamental idea of the internet is based on neutrality. This has creating a new economies, new markets and new jobs. Allowing the telcos to hold companies and individuals hostage would be disservice to the country and its people.

For further information about net neutrality please visit: savetheinternet.com

Best regards,
Bryan Coe

Comcast and Identity Theft

So, I received a post card from Comcast with info about upgrading to their digital cable for free for a year. The postcard said that you have to do it online. Ok, I went through the steps and ordered it and then was kicked into a chat room with a “support analyst”. Then went through a long discussion of confirming what I just entered in the their forms. After all that the “anaylyst” wanted me to give her my Social Security number to verify my account. She did assure me that the chat room was completely secure… I mean can you believe it! With all the warnings about identity theft they actually expect you to give that to them over a chat session. Then when I said I would rather not give her that, she asked for my drivers license number! Who knows where that person even is, knowing Comcast their support is probably in India, Pakistan or outsourced somewhere else.

Seriously, what is wrong with Comcast???

I just wasted almost 2 hours trying to get my computer to work!!
For some reason this morning when went to start working this morning, my computer was at the log in screen. Strange, because I didn’t turn it off last night. Then I realized my server was at the log in screen too. So, I chalked it up to good old MS Update Tuesdays. So, then I couldn’t connect to the internet with a browser. IM worked, but no browser. Did every scan I know, thinking maybe I had a virus. Still nothing… checked the server… same issues. Ok maybe something is wrong with my router… rebooted… more of the same. Updated the firmware, which meant reconfiguring all my old settings. Still no better! Only thing left is it has to be my provider.. Comcast. So, I fooled around with rebooting the cable modem etc. Still nothing.

Then after getting sick of it and wanting to throw it everything out the window. (I controlled myself though) Boom! Everything works again?!?!?

Grrrr… should have just let it go and done nothing… OK, now time to actually get some work done.