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Netflix Neutrality
February 21, 2014 6:35 PM   Subscribe

Verizon and Cogent Communications are at odds over how much money needs to change hands to deliver decent Netflix performance. Verizon has developed a rival to Netflix, Redbox and have been accused of tinkering with Netflix and AWS speeds due to the recent FCC Net Neutrality ruling. Things may change again, but then again, maybe not really.
posted by juiceCake (62 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Relevant: Susan Crawford has an excellent book out on net neutrality issues and gave a very enlightening interview on NPR's Fresh Air.
posted by xmutex at 6:39 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


It would almost be easier to bring Teddy Roosevelt back from the dead...
posted by hellojed at 6:42 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Watching House of Cards on FIOS right now and the quality is kind of sucky. Paying a lot for the service and it's not any better than Comcast was.
posted by octothorpe at 6:43 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Rent seekers gonna seek.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:47 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


It looks like Netflix and Comcast may have called a truce.

Watching House of Cards on FIOS right now and the quality is kind of sucky.

I watched the first episode a few days ago on Netflix with Comcast, and it was stuck in SD the whole time.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 6:56 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Nationalize broadband.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:59 PM on February 21 [68 favorites]


Won't someone think of poor Verizon? Who else is going to pay them to provide these selfless internet peering arrangements with backbone carriers? The federal government? Their paying subscribers? Verizon has to eat too, you know.
posted by indubitable at 7:02 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Every time they talk about this on the radio, they interview some person in Seoul or wherever who is getting connection speeds magnitudes better than mine, and is paying a fraction as much. And then they put on a cable company spokesperson who claims their service is improving and customers are happy. What a joke.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:12 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


American free market is the freest market
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:14 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Some day I'll figure out what black god I need to make burnt offerings to to get Google Fiber in NYC.
posted by Itaxpica at 7:17 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Ars Technica has been tracking the Neftlix throughput thing pretty closely (and putting a screencap on their articles from South Park showing comcast employees rubbing their nipples over their monopoloy gouging), and it has very much mirrored my own experience.

House of Cards was unwatchable over the last 6-8 weeks or so streaming across Comcast to my house, even though my Comcast pipe is fairly ginormous. Just in the last few days though, no problems.

So maybe this thing between Neflix and Comcast happened. If it did, it should be pretty easy to see on netflix's ISP speed data chart.

Regardless, Ralph Nader was and is so very right about how anti-consumer the U.S. is. If Netflix paid money for not getting throttled, is this a good thing or is it just paying a vig to the mafia?
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:23 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


From the handful of articles I've seen over the past few weeks it seems like the FCC is all "we'll do anything to fix this travesty and enforce net neutrality! ...except label them a common carrier which would fix everything immediately."
posted by jason_steakums at 7:26 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


"...I mean the courts pretty much circled 'make them a common carrier' with a giant red marker and it's totally within our purview but there must be some other way!"
posted by jason_steakums at 7:28 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


I'm watching House of Cards on Cox right now. Full HD. So far Cox have been better than TWC, Comcast and Verizon. I hope they keep it up.
posted by birdherder at 7:33 PM on February 21


When are the State AG's going to get involved here? Verizon just increased my bill and forced me to move up to a faster data plan for FIOS, but my Netflix is slower WTF? And don't give me that bullshit about peering agreements and Netflix using too much bandwidth. I'm paying fees for that and Verizon is making billions of dollars a year. They can figure it the fuck out. GRAR!!!!
posted by humanfont at 7:34 PM on February 21


I'd love it for the government to basically say "hey, while we're on the topic of bandwidth shortages, remember all that money we gave you guys in the past couple decades to upgrade your networks and lay fiber, and how you did absolutely nothing with it? dealwithit.gif"

I mean, I get that they won't say that, but it would be very satisfying.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:38 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


If the people don't want to suffer from this sort of hostage taking on Verizon's part, they can just switch broadband providers to a more ethical one and the invisible hand of the free market will deliver an optimal and efficient result.


HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHA.

I kill me.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:38 PM on February 21 [56 favorites]


I didn't even know Redbox was a streaming thing too. I just thought they were those kiosks outside 7-11s. And I'm a Verizon customer. That's some good marketing work there Lou.
posted by Big_B at 8:45 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Had the shit they are pulling now happened back in the early days we'd still get DVDs from Netflix in the mail. There'd be no iTunes or spotify and video on the web would be the little postage stamp sized low frame rate stuff that Real video served.

That Verizon wants to double dip and get money from both their customers and the content companies should be illegal. If I want to stream a movie on Netflix or download several gigabytes of excel spreadsheets shouldn't matter.

Since there is little chance of competition only a company like google has the capital to compete and they won't be everywhere.

I would hope the to government would step in and stop this bullshit but I'm not optimistic. House of Cards has made me even more cynical.
posted by birdherder at 9:15 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Comcast is definitely throttling Netflix, and it’s infuriating

Venturing further down the Comcast Netflix rabbit hole
posted by homunculus at 9:22 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Cue The Hyperbole And Hysteria: FCC Outlines Timid, Murky Plan To (Maybe) Defend Net Neutrality

Rep. Blackburn Introduces Bill To Thwart Vile FCC Attempt To Do....Little To Nothing Of Substance On Net Neutrality
posted by homunculus at 9:23 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Coming Soon: The United States of Comcast. Comcast Time-Warner merger will create Orwellian monopoly
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


My ISP is comcast.

The corporation is messing with many of my neighbors in two ways at the moment. They are throttling netflix as almost everybody in this thread is complaining about. They are also keeping the local NBA and MLB teams away from 70% of the cable subscribers in my city while they negotiate from the top of their mountain with the NBA and MLB agents. The latter is clearly an instance of Evil vs. EVIL and no way for us little guys to know who's who.

While the corporations contest I suppose I shall choose to remain uninterested in netflix, NBA video, MLB video. There are plenty of things to watch besides netflix, and the NBA and MLB come through loud and clear and free on AM radio.

Comcast appears to think they have an inelastic demand curve for their service. I would buy much more if it was cheap but at their price I have zero interest.
posted by bukvich at 9:44 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I'm not very tech savvy, but as I understand it a hosting service I download stuff from buys bandwidth from Cogent, and it has been unusable for awhile. It was very clearly artificial throttling by Comcast (my ISP) because it would suddenly increase to the fast speeds I should be getting at midnight every single night, then go back to slow at noon. I had noticed Netflix also being slow but I don't watch it much and the people in my house who use it are those infuriating breed who don't care about video quality. I didn't know Netflix used Cogent, but in the last day or two the download speeds from my host have gone to normal all day, which makes sense after reading the post cosmic.osmo linked.
posted by edeezy at 10:26 PM on February 21


If there really has been some sort of fight here, I'm surprised Netflix hasn't informed consumers directly. It would be pretty easy to throw a short, unskippable message onto the front end of their videos informing their subscribers of the problem and who to complain to about it.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:49 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Ha ha, the joke's on them. I pirate all my TV from a seedbox in the Netherlands, then download it encrypted on my Comcast connection via Level 3. My server in Rotterdam costs a bit more than a Netflix account, but I can get almost any music, movie, or television show I want, with close to zero legal risk. Once again, piracy wins on convenience.

I'm actually paying more money to pirate than a legit streaming service would cost. The mind boggles.
posted by ryanrs at 11:46 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Comcast is definitely throttling Netflix. It's gotten really brazen over the past year or so.

I can get lightening-fast internet speed through my cable connection. Until I put on Netflix. I can watch streaming video from other sources at 1080p. The best I can manage with Netflix is 720p, and there's a five minute loading time, and usually a few random drops to rebuffer throughout the course of whatever I'm watching. Netflix on my iPhone? No problem, great quality.

I hate Comcast with a passion. My annual fee literally doubled after the first year. I would go with any other broadband service if one was available, but the only other option in my area is AT&T at about 1/20th of the speed. This is not incidental; it's by design.

Fuck the FCC. They dropped the ball and are still fumbling around twenty years later. This is FTC territory. Smash the monopolies into bits and nationalize anyone that complains.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:59 AM on February 22 [9 favorites]


ryanrs, the joke's not on them, because you are in the minority.

The rest of us mere mortals get our streaming from places like Netflix, Vimeo, Youtube, Hulu, and Amazon. Since the ISPs own the last mile connection to your house, they can (or at least think they can) do whatever they want, and can mess around with bandwidth so businesses that you try to connect to will slow down unless they pay up.

They try to argue that it is about peering--the deal that large networks have with each other to connect each other's traffic for free. "It is not fair--most Netflix traffic goes one way!" they shout. So Netflix decided to route their own traffic, and put a box in the ISPs buildings so that all they have to do is route the traffic through the last mile. This is called Open Connect. Most networks have refused to install these Netflix boxes, even though it would reduce the traffic on their networks and save them money. It would also make it hard to make their peering argument and to charge Netflix to improve its traffic rates on their network.
posted by eye of newt at 12:59 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I'm also very worried about the current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

Here's a quote from him:
I think we’re also going to see a two-sided market where Netflix might say, ‘Well, I’ll pay in order to make sure that you might receive, my subscriber might receive, the best possible transmission of this movie.’ I think we want to let those kinds of things evolve.
posted by eye of newt at 1:07 AM on February 22


I don't know what they are doing, but our Netflix and Amazon streaming quality went to shit a month or so ago. It had been gradually getting worse, but I finally got fed up and called them. I spent an hour on the phone with Comcast "support". The woman kept calling it "picflix" instead of Netflix, had no idea what a Roku was and kept asking me what computer I was streaming video from (TiVo, Roku, bluray player, and TV all have built-in Netflix streaming AND are hard-wired into my home network, not wireless - it didn't work on any of these but she could not get it through her head that it wasn't a web browser or connectivity issue!). She kept telling me it was a bandwidth problem because of the time of day (12:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday?) or because of local congestion (even as I watched a bandwidth test on my laptop telling me I was pulling 25-30 MBPS with no issues). Best part was when I complained my modem wasn't getting updates, there were errors in the log telling me it was pinging their system for updates but was not getting any response. She told me they'd have a tech come and look at my modem to update it. I had to explain to her that DOCSYS modems need to be updated from the ISP end, there is no way to push firmware by physically accessing the modem, it was MY modem (she was shocked - "you can buy them?" No shit, lady, your company website even has a page explaining which ones are supported - like the one I bought to avoid paying your $8/ month extortion rent fee), and no way was I going to pay for a tech to come to the house and take time off work to meet the guy just to have him tell me nothing could be done. Either turnover is so high they don't have time to train people, or they just don't care, but you get these poor persons off-script and they are totally lost. I shouldn't know more about how the system works than the person I am speaking with, should I?

She offered me free HBO for a month to make up for it. I told her no, the reason I have a Roku in the first place is because I want to watch shows on demand, NOT on a schedule. She was confused. Again.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:59 AM on February 22 [11 favorites]


I'm also very worried about the current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

Oh, you mean former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry Tom Wheeler?
posted by inigo2 at 7:25 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


[ISPs can] do whatever they want, and can mess around with bandwidth so businesses that you try to connect to will slow down unless they pay up.

I bet a VPN will fix the current problems for Netflix streamers. I haven't tried it myself, but I hear www.privateinternetaccess.com is good (bad web page clipart notwithstanding).
posted by ryanrs at 8:41 AM on February 22


The list of Netflix Open Connect partners is interesting:

Major ISPs around the world have already connected to Open Connect, including Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, GVT, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber, Telmex, and more.

With the exception of Cablevision, basically they're all "pure ISPs"; companies that are first and foremost Internet companies, not cable TV companies. The cablecos — Cox, Comcast, TW, etc. — are notably absent, and presumably aren't interested in Open Connect, despite the good things it would do to their network load, because they compete with Netflix on the TV side of the business.

Long term, we have to get the infrastructure separated from content. Common-carrier status would be one way of doing it. Muni broadband is another. A model like the one that was used for telephone-based DSL prior to USTA v. FCC*, which required the local exchange to lease the "last mile" to a chosen provider at reasonable and non-discriminatory rates, is another. Any of those solutions would be better than what we have, and certainly better than the direction we seem to be headed for.

* In USTA v. FCC, the FCC's attempt at creating competition in local telephone service was gutted by the courts, and with it went the ability to choose your own DSL provider, among other things. Similar to the current situation with cable broadband, the courts provided a very straightforward path to legal regulation (i.e., they basically said "look, guys, you can't do what you were trying to do, but you can do this instead...") but the FCC was incapable for political reasons of going down that path. In the net, it was a huge victory for Verizon et al and a loss for consumers and the nascent (now dead) competitive telecom industry.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:33 AM on February 22


Thankfully, Cox upgrades their peering ports when necessary, so unless my node gets congested, a given part of the network is only slightly slow for a month or two at most before it gets fixed.

The hilarity with Comcast and Verizon both is that in both cases, they are incredibly eyeball heavy networks. It's rich that they of all people are trying to argue about ratios with Netflix. Historically, they have been the people unable to keep their ratios reasonable and continue to qualify for free peering.

Verizon has bought enough old-guard Tier-1s and 2s that as an entire organization they're not nearly as eyeball heavy as they once were, but their access network, which is still run as a separate network, is as bad as ever. FFS, they don't offer symmetrical service to their customers and they expect their peers to keep a 1:1 ratio? Are they high? Concern about ratios makes sense among the largest of the large who have a mix of content and consumers. It does not make any sense at all when a content network and an eyeball network get together to avoid paying for transit to connect to each other. The eyeball network's customers are asking to get better performance with the content network. This benefits their mutual customers.

This is all seperate from an argument about who should pay for the routers and line cards to support the interconnects. That may (or may not) be a reasonable thing to argue about.
posted by wierdo at 1:39 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Another article on Verizon and Cogent from the author of the third link in the OP: Netflix packets being dropped every day because Verizon wants more money. Verizon wants to be paid by consumers and Cogent, but Cogent refuses to pay.
posted by homunculus at 4:06 PM on February 22


octothorpe: "Watching House of Cards on FIOS right now and the quality is kind of sucky. Paying a lot for the service and it's not any better than Comcast was."

So watching Amazon streaming on the same damn Roku with the same network connection and it looks it's running in HD and looks great.
posted by octothorpe at 5:51 PM on February 22


Time Warner Cable just sent me a letter saying they're upgrading my internet from 15/1 to 50/5 for the same price. Google Fiber must have them running scared.
posted by Justinian at 5:54 PM on February 22


It's ludicrous that you can now get better speeds when using a VPN with an endpoint halfway around the world, but it really is worth trying one if you're being throttled.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:54 PM on February 22


> House of Cards was unwatchable over the last 6-8 weeks or so streaming across Comcast to my house, even though my Comcast pipe is fairly ginormous. Just in the last few days though, no problem

It's been crap at my house the last few days, with Comcast. It's determined to try to get those four dots of HD, and stops, and buffers, and buffers, and buffers, and plays a minute, and buffers, then tries for two dots of quality... After about 10 minutes the show plays without stopping, but also with a poor picture quality. And we pay extra for the fat pipe, too.

I hate that Comcast is the only company I can get the Internet from at my house, at least (theoretically) at the speed we need for our home office. I really want someone to compete with them.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:12 PM on February 22


This is called Open Connect. Most networks have refused to install these Netflix boxes, even though it would reduce the traffic on their networks and save them money.-- eye of newt

House of Cards was unwatchable over the last 6-8 weeks or so streaming across Comcast to my house, even though my Comcast pipe is fairly ginormous. Just in the last few days though, no problems.--mcstayinskool

There is some evidence that Comcast has recently started using Netflix's Open Connect.

If you are on Verizon, however, no such luck.
posted by eye of newt at 7:54 PM on February 22


The Ars article posted by homunculus is very interesting. The Cogent people seem like a really stand-up bunch. I'm not really in the market for high-end Tier 1 connectivity, but if I was I'd be happy to give them my money.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:36 PM on February 22


I can get lightening-fast internet speed through my cable connection. Until I put on Netflix. I can watch streaming video from other sources at 1080p. The best I can manage with Netflix is 720p, and there's a five minute loading time, and usually a few random drops to rebuffer throughout the course of whatever I'm watching. Netflix on my iPhone? No problem, great quality.

Yep. And the worst part is that i've gotten in some awful arguments about this with certain people(not on mefi!) who are just endlessly like "where's the proof".

If i VPN on to my shitty work DSL it will instantly stream in "super hd" 1080p and buffers literally jetsons instantly. Directly on comcast? dead fish. The only times netflix really works good is 3am on a tuesday or something, and even then it's flaky.(which is where the sticklers go "WELL HOW CAN YOU PROVE IT'S ACCESSING THE SAME SERVERS OR ISN'T GOING THROUGH AN OVERLOADED ROUTER OR BLA BLA BLA". Then why is consistently shit on one connection, and good 100% of the time on a TERRIBLE SLOW connection? ignoring the fact that a traceroute gives you all the same hops besides the isp itself?)

And you know what's even worse? Amazon prime video. That shit simply does NOT work reliably. it's like trying to download video on a shaky dialup connection without a download manager. "there has been a problem QUIT PLAYBACK/QUIT APP" pops up every 10 minutes.

Works fine on my work PC on the DSL. Never seen that. Tested it intentionally to see if i'd get that.

I have exactly the same experience with torrenting. I can instantly hit 100% network utilization(well, like 90-95% unless i turn off QOS on the router) on the DSL. On comcast? i'm lucky to hit 15% before it starts bouncing off an invisible wall. Occasionally on certain downloads, like for instance direct HTTP or FTP downloads or encrypted stuff i can actually hit the rated 50mbps, sometimes even higher.

The rest of the time? i feel like i was sold one of those "new, larger!" packages of candy that's actually 4oz smaller than the old normal sized pack.

And the most fucked thing is there is no other better option in seattle. Which is in theory a major city, and is supposed to be like a "technology hub of america" or whatever.

Unless what the future brings is worse, i know i will look back on this era of ISPs with utter disdain.
posted by emptythought at 3:23 AM on February 23


Major ISPs around the world have already connected to Open Connect, including Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, GVT, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber, Telmex, and more.

Also, i'm appalled that a situation has actually occurred in which clearwire looks like the good guys. You can't even stream netflix on clearwire above the lowest bitrate! it maxes out at like, 1.5mbps! They're also one of the shittiest, scummiest lying sack of crap companies i've ever dealt with that completely fabricates stuff any time they see fit. They're like the combination of a crappy prepaid CDMA cell carrier like virgin mobile and a fly by night grifter.

And yet even they come out looking progressive next to comcast.

Jesus christ.

If there really has been some sort of fight here, I'm surprised Netflix hasn't informed consumers directly. It would be pretty easy to throw a short, unskippable message onto the front end of their videos informing their subscribers of the problem and who to complain to about it

I have a feeling that they're afraid of both the PR storm the enormous cable operators could launch their way painting them as greedy manipulative children trying to steal an extra cookie to a lot of people who don't understand how the particulars of this work, and also some sort of legal challenge of the libel/slander variety saying that "well technically we're not doing bla bla bla, you're just refusing to pay the Totally Reasonable Rate for unrestricted traffic we offered to you!"

I feel like the first one is a battle they'd easily lose, too. How easily could this be sold to the collective middle aged or older "parents and grandparents" of america who not only don't understand technology to the level required to get this, but also either just picked up a roku, or were given something like that by their kids? Some kind of lie by omission "You pay us to give you internet, and they're trying to use our internet service without paying and whining that we won't let them! Do you think it's fair that you pay for internet service but they don't?" sort of presentation of the "facts".

I can't help but think the ISPs would win by a landslide with the Average Joe/Jane on that one. This one just seems way too easy to weaseldick in a well, Frank Underwood kind of way.
posted by emptythought at 3:34 AM on February 23


Major ISPs around the world have already connected to Open Connect, including Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, GVT, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber, Telmex, and more.

With the exception of Cablevision, basically they're all "pure ISPs"; companies that are first and foremost Internet companies, not cable TV companies.


Bell Canada is a television (over the Internet) and satellite company. They practice the standard bullshit of billing you for things you don't have, billing you for services you've cancelled, and throttling.

At one point I was the Bell Internet "Business" plan (fortunately paid for by a client). It was by far the most expensive and worst service I ever had, with daily disruptions to service, often times for hours. A typical service call would go to India first, then I'd be referred to Bell's phone technical support, but I didn't have Bell phone service, so then I'd be referred to Bell Consumer Internet, they'd see I was on the Business plan and refer me back to Bell phone support, who would then refer me back to India who would then refer me sales to get a new Internet connection who would finally refer me to Business Internet technical support in India, who read off the standard script and nothing ever happened. I had enough, informed the client this service the insisted on was garbage, and got off them.

Bell also owns television and radio stations.
posted by juiceCake at 9:02 AM on February 23


Ha ha, the joke's on them. I pirate all my TV from a seedbox in the Netherlands...Once again, piracy wins on convenience.

Actually, the joke is on Netflix and content creators, not on the cable and internet companies. You're still paying for your internet - the only people you're withholding money from are the ones who're the (apparent) good guys in this fight. Congratulations! You're helping The Man!
posted by incessant at 3:10 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Ars has a follow up on Netflix and Comcast.
posted by juiceCake at 7:18 PM on February 23


Well, that's that. In the ISPs vs. content staredown, Netflix just blinked.

Every ISP is going to want their pound of flesh now.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:05 PM on February 23


juiceCake: "Ars has a follow up on Netflix and Comcast."

Monopsony Begets Monopoly, And Vice Versa
Comcast’s size gives it monopsony as well as monopoly power — it is able to extract far more favorable deals from content providers than smaller rivals. And if it’s allowed to acquire Time Warner, it will be even more advantaged[.]
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 PM on February 23


EFF investigated the "peering" relationships between ISPs and backbone web companies and found a disturbing history of network discrimination: Peering into the Soft Underbelly of Net Neutrality

Simply put, non-neutral behavior isn’t only a matter of the relationship between ISPs, websites, and users. And it isn't only a matter of blocking traffic or forbidding users from reaching a certain site or from using certain software. It could be a matter of infrastructure fights that make some parts of the Internet dramatically faster and more reliable to reach than others. The details of the relationships and connections between ISPs and all other web services are extremely important to any long-term vision of network neutrality. The problem is that peering contracts are negotiated behind closed doors and often contain non-disclosure agreements, making it difficult to locate the source of a slowed down connection unless one of the companies involved chooses to take its case to the public.
posted by KatlaDragon at 4:00 AM on February 24


I'm on Comcast.

We were watching House of Cards last night. The picture kept going all blurry and pixellated (low def). When I checked Speedtest.net, we were consistently getting around 26Mbps.

I am going to look at a VPN tonight.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:23 AM on February 24


Well, Netflix just gave Comcast their protection money, so you might not have to.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:02 AM on February 24


Elementary Penguin: "Well, Netflix just gave Comcast their protection money, so you might not have to."

Except they'll pass the costs on to the consumer, because they can, because most people don't have any good second choices for broadband service.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:06 AM on February 24


Yeah, I don't trust Comcast, so I'm going with this router and this VPN service.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:48 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


So now I'm paying Netflix to pay Comcast, who I'm also paying?
Yay.
posted by Big_B at 12:44 PM on February 24


So you're paying $50 a month for a service that doesn't work. Maybe instead of the endless whining you should CANCEL YOUR SERVICE.
posted by mike_bling at 2:45 PM on February 24


Because who needs internet in this day and age.
posted by Justinian at 2:57 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


So you're paying $50 a month for a service that doesn't work. Maybe instead of the endless whining you should CANCEL YOUR SERVICE.

The hugest problem here, as i've already expanded on above is that in a lot of areas comcast is the only real option. And for some people it's literally the only option, besides a crappy 4g hotspot with really low data caps and high latency.

I have 3 "choices" at my house:

1.5mb clearwire "broadband", which they will cancel if i use heavily

~12mb DSL from centurylink(formerly qwest) that will be awfully unreliable, and horribly oversold generally resulting in you getting less than 5mbps except at 4am.

50-100mb comcast depending on how much i want to pay.

There's also wave broadband, but only in certain areas. They cost more than comcast for slower speeds, and are simply broadstripe renamed which had a horrific reputation. You can only get wave in places comcast doesn't serve, which is like two tiny slices of the city. Fun!

Do you see what people are working with here? a 1080p "super hd" or 3D netflix stream will take up 12mbps by itself. If you want 21st century internet speeds in a lot of places, your choices are essentially comcast and comcast. They have like, microsoft in the 90s levels of lock-in a lot of places.
posted by emptythought at 3:15 PM on February 24


So you're paying $50 a month for a service that doesn't work. Maybe instead of the endless whining you should CANCEL YOUR SERVICE.

At a lower level than that, I'm thinking of calling Verizon to reduce my fios to the slowest bandwidth since all I have for the shit I care about is about 2Mbps anyway.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:30 PM on February 24


mike_bling: "So you're paying $50 a month for a service that doesn't work. Maybe instead of the endless whining you should CANCEL YOUR SERVICE."

Options at my home:

20mbps Comcast for well over $50 a month
3mbps DSL for $50 a month

I live in the suburbs of the capitol of California. It's ridiculous that these are the options.
And I didn't say it "didn't work" - just seems pretty damn shady when the customers have to pay one party (Comcast) twice for the same service.
posted by Big_B at 3:55 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


> So you're paying $50 a month for a service that doesn't work. Maybe instead of the endless whining you should CANCEL YOUR SERVICE

You must live somewhere where you have more than one reasonable choice as to how you get the Internet. That must be nice.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:12 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


The internet is fucked (but we can fix it)
posted by homunculus at 12:21 PM on February 25


Comcast may still want payments from Cogent.
posted by juiceCake at 7:30 AM on February 26


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