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Comcast Pays $800,000 To U.S. For Hiding Stand-Alone Broadband

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the easy-search-or-else dept.

Government 201

First time accepted submitter vu1986 writes "The Federal Communications Commission has settled with Comcast over charges that the cable company made it hard for consumers to find stand-alone broadband packages that don't cost an arm and leg. As part of the settlement Comcast paid the U.S. Treasury $800,000 and the FCC extended the length of time Comcast had to provide such a service."

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but... (4, Interesting)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475339)

Does Comcast have to make it any easier for customers to find the stand alone-packages? I don't see that requirement anywhere in the summary or article ..

Re:but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475361)

Does Comcast have to make it any easier for customers to find the stand alone-packages? I don't see that requirement anywhere in the summary or article ..

it's only available to niggers because we're sposed to feel sorry for them and shit

Re:but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475631)

Does Comcast have to make it any easier for customers to find the stand alone-packages? I don't see that requirement anywhere in the summary or article ..

it's only available to niggers because we're sposed to feel sorry for them and shit

Yes how do they determine this status of "nigger"? Do they simply ask?

So when somebody asks you "Are you a NIGGER?" it might not be GNAA. How to tell? The ideal ISP won't ask if you are gay. It isn't concerned with what kind of nigger you are. In America we honor the proud tradition of feeling sorry for all niggers equally, that way no one is offended. I hope this doesn't offend any disgusting faggots but anyway the ideal ISP won't ask if you are gay.

You see, after nigger status has been affirmed, GNAA will ask two follow-up questions. The first will be "Are you GAY?". If you answer yes, they will ask "Are you a GAY NIGGER?" That way you know it's them.

The trick is that you gotta be a nigger and gay AT THE SAME TIME.

Anyway the ideal ISP gives stand-alone packages to all niggers. Even heterosexual niggers. It has something to do with slavery or some shit.

So what happened to GNAA anyway? I miss those GNAA guys. They would post the best GNAA news. Seriously what happened to GNAA? The GNAA slashdot posts were badass. I'm going to say GNAA in every motherfucking sentence of this paragraph. GNAA.

Re:but... (0, Flamebait)

Phlow (2488880) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475995)

Racist piece of shit much?

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475393)

well, i guess that's assumed in the original terms of what it means to provide "access" to the cheap/base package. So if comcast wants to continue to bury it and make it hard for people to find then they can.... but they might be hit with another fine and extension down the road.

Re:but... (3, Informative)

Zebai (979227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475673)

I wouldn't say it buried at all the package is there and is clearly labeled on the price list in the same font/size as the other packages. It might be on fine print on advertisements nobody ever said a company has to advertise every service they offer they could choose not to mention it at all. There is nothing you need to find just call and ask about them nobody will proactively offer you the cheaper packages but if you ask they will tell you.

Re:but... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476135)

"nobody will proactively offer you the cheaper packages" -- _everyone_ does that if there's even a resemblance of competition on the market...

Re:but... (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477025)

So do I have a case against Wendy's? Everytime I go the drive-thru the prices for the combos are for small size. When I say I want a #2 they always respond "Medium or large?" implying there is no small size combo (like McDonalds, who have no small combos but the price listed is for mediums)

Re:but... (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475415)

Does Comcast have to make it any easier for customers to find the stand alone-packages? I don't see that requirement anywhere in the summary or article ..

It's a settlement. Basically the FCC and Comcast sat down and decided that it would be... cheaper... if they simply didn't use 2 point font to describe the alternatives than to put it through the legal system and an endless appeals process. If you're a conservative, it amounts to a government agency fleecing an innocent business to support their habit of taking businesses to court to enforce arbitrary standards. If you're a liberal, then it's a way of making a monopolistic business play well with others. And if you're politically agnostic, then it's a slow news day and this just confirms your belief that people are stupid and lazy.

Re:but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475477)

If you're a conservative, it amounts to a government agency fleecing an innocent business to support their habit of taking businesses to court to enforce arbitrary standards.

Eh what? Nice bias there - or - maybe the conservatives who hang out with *you* are so unreasonable.

A reasonable conservative wants .. a reasonable amount of regulation. They don't want businesses regulated to a crazy and excessive degree. But they want business to be done openly and honestly too. Hiding something in 2-pt font shows intent that is other than honest and open.

Maybe there can be debate about whether this was the best action to take, whether it's enough of a fine to be a real deterrent, etc... but that something should be done about this kind of business practice, not so much.

In fact Comcast deserves this kind of scrutiny because there is not a lot of choice in their markets and they may hold total monopoly in some of those markets. Most businesses can't afford to treat customers this way. Most businesses have lots of competition. It makes sense to more heavily regulate those that don't.

Free-market conservative type of guy here. Just not a dumbass like the ones you conjure up. "Free market" is a sort of ideal you never really attain. There are always trade-offs. A reasonably regulated market is more free than what an unregulated one becomes.

Can we all decide, together, to move past the partisan bullshit now?

Re:but... (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475509)

Free-market conservative type of guy here. Just not a dumbass like the ones you conjure up.

*facepalm* The SARCASM TYPE=DRIPPING html tag gets eaten by the editor.

Re:but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475533)

Free-market conservative type of guy here. Just not a dumbass like the ones you conjure up.

*facepalm* The SARCASM TYPE=DRIPPING html tag gets eaten by the editor.

There, there. I'm sure everyone sincerely believes you're not just trying to save face at this point...

Re:but... (4, Informative)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475701)

Uh. Yeah, I do sincerely believe the original post was an interesting, informative, amusing and mildly sarcastic jab at how both conservatives and liberals would view the settlement, followed by a pointed reference to the politically neutral crowd seeing this story as a complete non-starter. Girlintraining came through loud and clear for me, sans tag.

Re:but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475637)

A reasonable conservative wants .. a reasonable amount of regulation.

Unfortunately for you (and everyone else, actually), reasonable conservatives are a dying breed in many places. You're saying the sort of things that are frequently treated as outright heresy, at least among conservative politicians and media personalities held in esteem in certain parts of the United States. They are perfectly happy to have businesses rip us off in any way possible, under the make believe principle that the free market is a bag of magical fairy dust that can solve any problem that faces mankind. How appropriate or effective a market can be to a specific enterprise is entirely irrelevant, because there isn't any rational thought behind the belief. They literally believe that free market capitalism is Jesus Wizard Sauce that just needs to be slathered on.

If you don't believe these things? More power to you. Don't go running for office anytime in a red state, though. Here in Texas, candidates for most offices only compete on how far to the right they can claim to be and how much they hate Obama (even if they are running for state and local offices and are unlikely to actually interact with him at all during the course of their term). Candidates go down in flames for uttering much less liberal blasphemy than what you've mentioned.

Re:but... (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476949)

They are perfectly happy to have businesses rip us off in any way possible, under the make believe principle that the free market is a bag of magical fairy dust that can solve any problem that faces mankind.

No, those aren't conservatives, they're Libertarians. Libertarians think that the marketplace is a panacea that can cure all of society's ills.

Re:but... (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477081)

Libertarians wouldnt support the government enforced regional monopolies granted to cable combanies, who are a utility service and should be treated as such.

Re:but... (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476957)

Unfortunately for you (and everyone else, actually), reasonable conservatives are a dying breed in many places

From a non-american POV, Obama walks and talks like a "reasonable conservative".

Re:but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476983)

Nah. Obama only talks. And his talk isn't very good. He doesn't walk anything, unless it's unconstitutional.

Re:but... (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477133)

There is no true 'left' in American politics anymore; there's the Democrats at the center, the Republicans on the right, with a few far-right groups like Libertarians thrown in for good measure.

Re:but... (-1, Offtopic)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475685)

Free-market conservative type of guy here. Just not a dumbass like the ones you conjure up.

True. You are definitely more of the "Brain-rage shorts out sarcasm filter upon reading the word 'conservative'. " kind of dumbass.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476859)

True. You are definitely more of the "Brain-rage shorts out sarcasm filter upon reading the word 'conservative'. " kind of dumbass.

When you SAY something, you must be prepared for people to believe you mean what you say. Anybody who tries to use sarcasm in the written word better be really good at it, because it DOESN'T COME ACROSS without great effort.

Stupid moron.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475991)

What are you considered if you think that these thefts(which I suspect go to government anyway) are mere wrist slaps to appease ignorant public sentiment by making the FCC appear to be on consumers side, while at the same time the governments violent protection for these telecom franchise utility state granted monopolies is doing significant harm to us by smothering the ability for this society to actually compete and provide cheap and high quality telecommunications services?

Is there a succinct way to describe such people? Capitalist? Anarchist? Whatever neat and tidy definition covers the above thinking, count me in.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476679)

Our business model relies on people being politically agnostic, stupid and lazy and we regularly lobby the us government to reduce funding for public schooling.

Re:but... (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476705)

I found stand alone internet from Comcast via an installer advertising in Craigslist. He listed all the different packages and costs associated with each. It was far easier than navigating the Comcast site.

What I do not care for with Comcast is the prices on the site, even after entering your zip code, are not necessarily the prices your local Comcast office will offer. An example, I wanted basic cable to go with my internet and phone from Comcast. Calling the number on my bill resulted in an offer for basic cable for 19.95. On the website it was 12.95. Even when presented with this information the person on the phone said that was not available in my area. I went to online chat with the Comcast site via a button they had there and had the basic service installed and added to my bill at 12.95

Well at the beginning of this year Comcast raised ALL cable TV bills by five dollars. So my 12.95 went to 17.95 a month. I called, complained, and dropped the service. Come to find out the work they did to hook up TV in the first place means I still get basic service for free as it rides on my cable internet. When they called to sell me TV again I asked them about it and they replied that cable ready TV's cannot be blocked at this time.

Some companies are just too uncoordinated to know what they do.... so I would not ascribe their making things difficult as a policy but the result of poor management.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476751)

Al Franken for president in 2016

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476875)

Al Franken for president in 2016

Screw that, he's another oath breaking piece of shit
Al Franken for NDAA 2011
http://www.opencongress.org/vote/2011/s/218

What the hell does this have to do with Comcast screwing the public while paying the annoying fine which they more than make up in people not finding cheaper packages?

The system (fascism) doesn't need to be fixed anymore, it needs to be taken apart before it kills us all. Fuck democrats and Fuck republicans, fuck everyone who breaks their oath, and Fuck (the MSM kept) sheep voters who keep electing these motherfucking psychopathic globalists. You will be lucky if we are still alive in 2016. We started as a Constitutional Republic and now we have fascism, concentration camps, torture, monetary terrorism, no constitution and more wars than I can keep count of.

Re:but... (3, Informative)

usuallylost (2468686) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477107)

Does Comcast have to make it any easier for customers to find the stand alone-packages? I don't see that requirement anywhere in the summary or article ..

Yes, It is in one of the paragraphs toward the end of the article.

"Comcast didn’t admit fault as part of the settlement, but it did lay out some cash and pledge to make its cheaper stand-alone service more visible. It will train its call agents, make sure the offering is visible on its web site and it committed to a major marketing campaign around the Performance Started service for 2013."

Not just Comcast (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475341)

I had a bitch of a time with Time Warner trying to get them to give me broadband without the TV, phone, and other crap that's pointless to me. What's the point of making it such a pain in the ass? All it does is ensure that wherever I move next it sure as hell won't be somewhere serviced by TWC.

Re:Not just Comcast (5, Interesting)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475399)

My provider likes to call me every few months and ask if i'd like their telephone service. I keep having to explain to them that me and my girlfriend are in our late twenties, we don't have a landline and we don't want one and even if my cell phone exploded in my pocket tomorrow, i'd probably just use Skype.
Honestly I'm getting tempted to start threatening to cancel the cable too. It's something i've wanted to do for a long time, but being Canadian my options for cable-cutting are quite a bit, uh, shallower. The girlfriend likes certain sports and the occasional fit of channel surfing too (also, she's not very patient with finicky bits of technology), which just makes things even more difficult. If they keep pushing me though, I might just be tempted. The sad part is, I know no matter where I go (and there are really only 3 options where I live) i'd have to deal with the same shit.

Re:Not just Comcast (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475429)

My provider likes to call me every few months and ask if i'd like their telephone service. I keep having to explain to them that me and my girlfriend are in our late twenties, we don't have a landline and we don't want one and even if my cell phone exploded in my pocket tomorrow, i'd probably just use Skype.

Perhaps they are confused because you're telling them your age as if it's somehow relevant to your phone choice. I know 18 year olds with landlines and I know 60 year olds that use a cell phone exclusively.

Though if it's your internet provider that keeps calling you (unless they also happen to be the phone company), they aren't really offering a "landline", they're just offering some VOIP service which is not nearly the same thing.

Re:Not just Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476037)

Though if it's your internet provider that keeps calling you (unless they also happen to be the phone company), they aren't really offering a "landline", they're just offering some VOIP service which is not nearly the same thing.

Tell that to Cox they insist it's the same thing.

Re:Not just Comcast (5, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475473)

Ask them "Do you offer a phone service that blocks assholes like you from calling?"

Re:Not just Comcast (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475481)

To which they reply, if you buy my phone service *I* won't call you as long as you are stay subscribed!

Re:Not just Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475705)

Switch to Shaw from Rogers. AFAIK, Shaw doesn't send out the cold-call marketing squads to harass the customer base. Of if they do, it's low-level enough that I've avoided it for over a decade. I get some marketing with the paper bill, and occasionally separate paper marketing. Rogers/Fido OTHO have been aggressive and often dishonest PITAs.

Re:Not just Comcast (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475767)

Ah, maybe its changed, but Shaw and Rogers agreed to split the market here in Canada and as far as I know that is still the case. So where you can get Shaw, you can't get Rogers, and vice versa. Has that changed?
Here in Victoria, its Shaw or Telus for your internet connection, no other options available that I know of for a residential connection.
Since they both have similar price schemes (Pay $60/mo for a decent internet connection, and less only if you pay for other services (phone, tv) and increase the overall bill, it doesn't really matter which you pick, they are more or less the same - both essentially okay providers charging way too fucking much because they have no competition.

Re:Not just Comcast (2)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476649)

It's the CRTC that did that and not any agreement between the two of them. You are simply not allowed to offer a competing cable TV service in some areas and the incumbent operators have in several instances even complained about building wide shared satellite service to the CRTC. Of course there was a time they swapped regions but that was because Rogers screwed up so badly in Vancouver during the 90s that they scrambled to trade Vancouver for anywhere else. In case that was before your time, they added a bunch of new channels as a trial to everyone's system but if they didn't call to shut off the channels before the trial period was up they simply started billing for them. The result was people standing in line all the way down the block from their local Rogers office cable converters in hand waiting to shut off their cable entirely and the BC government scrambling to ban the practice known as "Negative Option Billing".

Re:Not just Comcast (3, Interesting)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475807)

The only times I get calls from Shaw is to offer free services.

I haven't paid for cable for years now. I cancel cable then get offered 6 months free. 6 months run up, I cancel, in 1-2 weeks I get a call offering free cable. This most recent spat is 1 year of full cable (no hd.. but doesn't really matter as I rarely watch it).

I also got my broadband upped to 50mbps for free (i.e. same price I was paying for "highspeed" which was something like 15mbps down). They may have finally got me on the internet though (I'm assuming the point is to get me to want to keep a service). The upwards bandwidth is finally higher than I had in the late 90s before they started capping upload speed and it has me hooked. I'll probably have to pay the extra $$ to keep the extra upwards bandwidth. No more ghetto uploading large files overnight (which really brought me back to dialup). Wish is was symmetric, but I don't want to pay what they'd charge for that.

Re:Not just Comcast (4, Informative)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476155)

My provider likes to call me every few months and ask if i'd like their telephone service. I keep having to explain to them [..]

Have you tried telling them that you don't want marketing calls to your number?

National Do Not Call List: Who Can Still Call You? [lnnte-dncl.gc.ca] :

"If you do not want to be called by a telemarketer making an exempt call, you can ask to be put on the telemarketer's internal do not call list. Every Canadian telemarketer is required to maintain such a list and respect your wishes not to be called."

Re:Not just Comcast (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477009)

Heh, I'm in my 50's, my phone company calls me up on the landline to try and sell me the mobile they know I don't have. Thankfully they have some manners and stopped calling when I asked them to stop.

Perpetual teeth. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475351)

This move is one small step toward showing that the FCC isn’t some toothless regulator beholden to the very industry it regulates.

Hardly. They should have made the terms indefinite.

Re:Perpetual teeth. (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475465)

Screw that - I'll believe the FCC has some teeth when they start revoking $MEGACORP company charters for doing $STUPIDSHIT

Until then, DOJ v. Microsoft proved that no govenment agency has the balls nowadays to go up against a major corporation - no matter how bad they get.

Re:Perpetual teeth. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475801)

Until then, DOJ v. Microsoft proved that no govenment agency has the balls nowadays to go up against a major corporation - no matter how bad they get.

It proved nothing of the sort. The only thing it proved is that if you have enough money and connections you can get out of anything. We don't even know what price Gates paid for his hubris, though I suspect it had something to do with the Foundation's mission to spread western IP law throughout the developing world.

Comcast rip offs (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475353)

Hmm. $800,000 fine. For a company that grossed 4.4 billion last year. If this was an individual making median income (47k USD), then this would be like fining them $0.09. That'll teach them!

Re:Comcast rip offs (4, Insightful)

Glarimore (1795666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475359)

Not only that, the money goes the treasury -- not the customers they've been ripping off.

Re:Comcast rip offs (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475431)

But we'll all get a small reduction in our taxes...well, the tax increase won't be quite as high...

Re:Comcast rip offs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475553)

Nope. There will be multiple committees formed each holding several multi-week meetings to decide what to do with the money. In the end, the cost of the committes will exceed the $800,000 and taxes will be increased to pay for the shortfall, as well as funding whatever the committees decide to spend using the now spent money.

Re:Comcast rip offs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475625)

When's the last time your taxes been increased Mr. Lying Trough my Teeth?

Re:Comcast rip offs (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475515)

Well, maybe it will be used for improving bandwidth and ultimately do more for consumers than if the money was given directly to them.

...

Ah, I crack myself up sometimes.

Re:Comcast rip offs (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475755)

Of course, the amount is so miniscule that if they were to give it to subscribers, it would come out to about three and a half cents per household.

Punishment, not restitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476987)

That is the simple business model of criminal law: punish the aggressor, leave the victim hanging -- and keep a cut for yourself.

Re:Comcast rip offs (5, Funny)

Comen (321331) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475385)

You can not fine them too much, or they will be so scared of fines and court battles, they will hold back and not hire people, you do not want that do you?

Re:Comcast rip offs (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475443)

You can not fine them too much, or they will be so scared of fines and court battles, they will hold back and not hire people, you do not want that do you?

Corporations want to be people. They should pay like people then too.

Re:Comcast rip offs (5, Insightful)

guises (2423402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475469)

That's right, it's important that we let the Job Creators get away with anything. If we strike down all of that abusive regulation holding them back, surely they will come to our rescue.

And tax cuts, let's not forget about those - if the Job Creators only have to pay a tiny amount in taxes then the middle class will have to shoulder the burden. But that's okay because with all of the jobs and money that the Job Creators will shower down upon us, there will be plenty with which to pay the taxes.

Re:Comcast rip offs (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475763)

We also can't nationalize infrastructure like this. That would be SOCIALISM, and that's EVIL! Jesus didn't socialize the internet.

Re:Comcast rip offs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476557)

I am a strong believer in nationalised infrastructure, but if something is already privatised, you damn well do not try to reclaim it unless you're willing to pay full price to buy it fairly.

If something is critical to the functioning of your nation, it should have been publically owned from the start and kept that way, because it's impossibly expensive to nationalise something the correct and reasonable way.

Re:Comcast rip offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477159)

Ignoring, of course, the enormous subsidies all these players collected to put in these networks in the first place back during the Dot Com Boom. Funny how these paragons of business always need Joe and Jane Taxpayer to kick in a little something when they're getting their local monopolies off the ground...

Re:Comcast rip offs (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475407)

If you factor in that Comcast is likely to impact more people than any individual, it might be closer to a tenth of a cent fine.

For something like this, I'd argue that fines should be proportional to impact per person per unit time. $800m would seem more reasonable, on that basis. The EU's fine on Microsoft was much closer to the figures corporations on that scale need to face before they'll pay much heed.

Re:Comcast rip offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475433)

$800,000? For them, that's the proverbial "bakery change".

Re:Comcast rip offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475487)

Even with stand-alone broadband packages they'll screw you/us the consumer through extorsionist practices.

Here in the EU often practice is, they'll provide you some stand-alone package but it will be so broadband and bandwidth limited/capped that you'll be ripped off anyway, while at the same time offering you the combo package (internet, phone and TV) with "unlimited" bandwidth (so long as you don't step over some subjective terms of service of theirs, meaning, you don't have unlimited bandwidth and their infrastructure is oversubscribed and you'll be paying more for a mediocre service at best.

The phone and tv well... the phone is usefull if you don't have a cellphone and the tv service is just fallback optionish when for some reason the internet connection is down or some event/political discussion is broadcasted.

[RANT]
Another thing, fuck you ISP's and your down/up ratio of 10 to 1 or worse. Why isn't there any ISP offering services with higher upload bandidth? I don't bite the technical limitations BS. It's another way to force the average user to shell out more cash for some hosting subsidiary. I'd rather have a 15Mbit down with 15Mbit up than 30+Mb down and only 1 to 4Mbit up. .!. [/RANT]

Re:Comcast rip offs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475739)

Hmm. $800,000 fine. For a company that grossed 4.4 billion last year. If this was an individual making median income (47k USD), then this would be like fining them $0.09. That'll teach them!

If you're earning 47k with those math skills...
It's $9, not $.09

Re:Comcast rip offs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476275)

Otherwise known as a 0.09 increase in rates to subscribers.

As an inhabitant of Chattanooga... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475369)

Comcast sucks. They've been making advertisements lately where they claim people go back to them or something. They even claim that according to PCWorld they have the nation's fastest broadband.

Not hardly. Not when our local fiber provider can drop a gig to your house.

Of course the wannabe libertarians screamed about public money and a monopoly abusing its power.

Lying fuckers.

Re:As an inhabitant of Chattanooga... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475389)

Which is great if you've living somewhere that has fiber, also, I'm not aware of anywhere in the US where you can get a gig connection to your home. The best I've seen is 40mbps, and even that's relatively rare.

Re:As an inhabitant of Chattanooga... (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475563)

Chattanooga does have gigabit fiber to the home. It's not dirt cheap, but if you are decently employed, and love the high speed, you might be willing to pay the $350/mo.

EPB Fiber Optics [epbfi.com]

Re:As an inhabitant of Chattanooga... (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475923)

I consider myself "decently employed", and I would not be willing to drop a car payment every month on my internet connection.

Re:As an inhabitant of Chattanooga... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476023)

Then you don't love the speed enough. Internet is not as big a part of your life as for some. You want your car, too. In summary ... You have a life!

Go for the 100 megabit. It still beats Comcast.

price no greater than $49.95 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475383)

TFA says:

price no greater than $49.95 for three years.

Well shit. I have Comcast's cable internet service, without TV or anything else from them, and they're charging me around $70/mo.

Re:price no greater than $49.95 (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475571)

Sounds like something worth at least ten, maybe fifteen bucks a month. I'd be happy to get three years for fifty bucks ...if they upgraded to fiber.

Re:price no greater than $49.95 (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477151)

They did upgrade to fiber, just not fiber to your house. Fiber to the house is dumb as they dont have the bandwidth back at the OTN to give you more than what the RG6 coax can give you.

Your speed limitation is the Executives being cheap not the technology.

Where? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475441)

And where do I find this offer?

Searching the comcast website for "Performance Starter" or "Performance Started" as in TFA is... unhelpful.
Google for "Performance Starter" or "Performance Started" is ... unhelpful!

Is it too much for me to expect to find a link or at least a useful name to google for the service in TFA, if not on Comcast's website?

I was going to criticize the article, but google news reveals that Bloomberg, PCWorld, WSJ articles don't provide useful info either. WTF reporters.

AW

Re:Where? (1)

Zebai (979227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475709)

You are unlikely to find it online but its on the price list you can probably pick one up or call them and ask about it. Its only 6mb speed but its at a fixed price of $49 if you have cable its cheaper to get the higher speeds as internet is discounted with another product

Go get 'em Government! (2)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475451)

I spend $35 a month for stand-alone 12mbps. It's not great, but it's hardly an "arm or a leg". Maybe they're guilty of not advertising it, but I didn't know that was a crime.

... Just read it. They were ordered to advertise the service, and ordered to make it less than $49 in 2010. My costs could have been the result of Comcast half-fulfilling their requirements. But as much hate as there is for Comcast I wonder if such an overbearing micromanaging government is a good thing. Do we really need the government to save us from teh evil companies?

Re:Go get 'em Government! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475461)

Yes, we do with only 2 viable options in most of the US, if you're lucky, we can't count on market forces. Ultimately, it's either settle for whatever the ISPs want to give or force them to something about it. Having watched the prices rise and the connection speed not for over a decade, I definitely think we need more government as less isn't working.

Re:Go get 'em Government! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475483)

The message I got from Comcast the last time that I consider(and discussed canceling cable outright was that if I were to do so, then the cost of my broadband service would go up. (cable ~$14-$15 for the bare minimum and broadband internet @ ~$55).

I have no real leverage in my area - no legitimately competitive providers.

Re:Go get 'em Government! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475623)

Do we really need the government to save us from teh evil companies?

When you have monopolies or near-monopolies like these Internet companies seem to be in certain places, the government is the only power that can rein them in and keep them from buggering you up the ass. Since it appears that there is no meaningful competition for Internet service in many parts of the United States, the government stepping in to regulate these companies is an appropriate thing for them to do. Otherwise, these monopoly companies can provide crap service, hide options that they can provide because doing so will increase their profits, and you have no recourse whatsoever, because your only other option will then be to do without their service or product.

Re:Go get 'em Government! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475633)

Absolutely. Corporations will ... by definition ... take everything they can get. A handful of privately owned corporations are exceptions. None of the publicly owned ones deviate from that lest they lose the institutional investors. Read my blog for more info on my political direction.

Comcast was good for me (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475467)

I had no problem finding an internet only package with Comcast and I was quite happy with their service.

I used Comcast for internet service for 3 years and it worked great. Consistent 15 mbit service, never hit any usage caps despite being a heavy Netflix user with no cable service (I used Comcast only for internet). Only one instance of downtime in 3 years, they had a truck there within 4 hours and re terminated the connection at the pole to get me back online (the tech said it was water damage - it had been rainy and exceptionally windy - many people lost power). I considered DSL, but the local Telco could only promise "up to" 1.5mbit of bandwidth and said that due to my CO distance it might be lower.

Now I have AT&T U-Verse (my only option) and after 2 missed install appointment (no call for either one - they just didn't show), it's been ok, but there have been 2 outages in 3 months. One lasted around 10 minutes, the other was 60 minutes but it was the middle of the night.

If I could use Comcast again, I would.

Re:Comcast was good for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475505)

I used to have Comcrap and it was literally out 3 hours ever single day for about a month before I canceled. They couldn't automatically credit the account for outages and they couldn't fix the problem either. Just the same shitty service that they provided with their TV service which couldn't actually provide all the channels that it was supposed to.

Re:Comcast was good for me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475677)

For what it's worth, I get broadband only from Comcast to my small one-bedroom midwest college town apartment, and it costs about $53 a month. The service has been great (surprisingly, though not as nice as it was with the local company before the zone switched to Comcast territory), but I seriously feel this is a bit ridiculous, especially considering that cable TV added on would only cost $5 more. Also, I had to fight to deal with customer service several times to get that TV service removed from my bundle so I wouldn't have to pay that $5 (and yes, I am poor enough that it's worth quibbling over for me).

Re:Comcast was good for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475703)

And I, on the other hand, have been waiting for them to transfer my account to my new address for five weeks.

Re:Comcast was good for me (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475795)

If I could use Comcast again, I would.

Bah. If I could get U-Verse, I would. There's fates worse than not being able to get comcast. Not being able to get anything wired faster than dialup, for example.

Re:Comcast was good for me (1)

jopaki (1725124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475939)

wow. kill korporate is what i say

I have the stand-alone package and gov is weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475661)

Well, here's the thing. I have the stand-alone package and it was easy to find. In fact, I just called in and said "I just want the internet and nothing else". That's what they did. $30/mo. for 36mbps or something and it works fine. However, even though I have personal gripes against comcast from the past, I don't think that this little "tax" is fair. First of all, if it's taxed to pay back towards the people, then that's fine I guess, but it's going to the treasury. As I recall they do this quite frequently with companies that won't miss $800,000. It's also likely just a scam to try and get comcast to offer those services more readily instead of trying to push packages on their website or TV ads or whatever... But hey, this is what happens when the government regulates business and I bet you they will add a new faux-tax on the bill of like 2cents per customer. lovely

I need to make a call. (4, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475719)

I need to make a call.

I just haven't figured out who I need to call--the FCC or Comcast.

When I purchased this house new, it had existing cable hookups but had never had them activated. I called Comcast and asked to have internet service activated. No problem, except that lady I spoke to automatically added cable service in the price--$69.00 a month. When I corrected her and stated that I did not want cable she stated that it was the same price anyway, with or without cable service.

So, in effect, the stand-alone internet service was never offered. In it's place, I was offered their bundle and was forced to pay a premium to have the cable access removed if I really desired to. Obviously, since the price was the same I now have both cable and internet service when all I wanted was the broadband.

Re:I need to make a call. (-1, Flamebait)

arekin (2605525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40475977)

I need to make a call.

I just haven't figured out who I need to call--the FCC or Comcast.

When I purchased this house new, it had existing cable hookups but had never had them activated. I called Comcast and asked to have internet service activated. No problem, except that lady I spoke to automatically added cable service in the price--$69.00 a month. When I corrected her and stated that I did not want cable she stated that it was the same price anyway, with or without cable service.

So, in effect, the stand-alone internet service was never offered. In it's place, I was offered their bundle and was forced to pay a premium to have the cable access removed if I really desired to. Obviously, since the price was the same I now have both cable and internet service when all I wanted was the broadband.

...so you're complaining that you were given limited basic service for free with your internet? I'm not understanding, it doesn't cost anything to get rid of Comcast service, so if you really don't want it they will just take it off your bill and remove your bundle rate saving you...nothing. Personally I find it difficult to believe when people try to complain because someone did them a favor.

Re:I need to make a call. (1, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476105)

Slashdot replies normally try to provide a correction when a person posts something wrong. Alternatively, there's the moderation system. But since I don't have mod points and I'm tired and have karma to burn, I'm gonna make this short and sweet.

Fuck you, shill.

Re:I need to make a call. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476443)

69 is not free. it's buying an expensive cable service and expensive internet bundled into one package, idiot.

Re:I need to make a call. (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476757)

That's not what's happening. They are just trying to trick people into thinking they are getting a good deal, something for free, when in reality you are paying too much for both services bundled together.

They want you to think that the internet costs $69, and then you get cable for free. That's rubbish. You're getting charged something like $40 and $30 for each service individually. They're just "bundled". So if I want to get rid of cable TV, I shouldn't have to keep paying for it. My bill should drop by $30.

Re:I need to make a call. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477139)

Glad to see comcast employees are still here astroturfing.

Re:I need to make a call. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476961)

Contact the FCC, BBB, Your states attorney general, And whatever utilities board controls cable in your city. Heck the FTC might even care.

Raise a fuss and it WILL get corrected. Quickly.

It's the only way to get comcast to do what you pay them for. I've had personal good luck with the utilities commission. But this is a pretty small city.
They bitchslapped comcast quick for me tho. Got stuff correct.

Slimy practice justifiably fined (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40475775)

Comcast's website is deliberately opaque, and finding anything useful there is a hassle. One'd expect an ISP of all companies to understand good web practices.
With AT&T I had similar experiences. An advertised price of $20/month was nowhere to be found on the website. After calling a CSR, I was informed that this price didn't and never had existed. Searching again through the website and page after page of useless links, I at last found the advertised price; it wasn't available on my street. The service was available-- not the price.

Re:Slimy practice justifiably fined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476667)

They understand, they just don't want to advertise properly. Ever notice how hard it can be sometimes to find out how much a service will be after the promotional period is over? I've shopped for ISPs in the past and they list the 3 or 6 month price in large print, but finding out that actual price after that period is often times something you have to actually call for.

Wrong target for the fine (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476163)

More and more companies are being found to have behaved badly and are fined, just today Barclays is fined £290m [bbc.co.uk] . The company pays it and probably keeps going on other scams for which individuals earn large bonuses or commissions, nobody really suffers, the company just makes a little less profit that year.

The only way of altering behaviour is to fine the individuals who are behind the scams. Only when these crooks start loosing their houses and pensions will they stop thieving. Their primary interest is themselves, not the company. Hit them where it matters to them - then, and only then, might the regulators truly find their teeth.

Re:Wrong target for the fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476719)

That will work how?
The company will just pay them the difference in the same way that they'd "lose a little profit that year".

Unless it is some "scrub" lower-tier worker who they will just let go because they aren't an Elder who controls societies of people below them, or some other weird cult nonsense not sure where I was going with this.

Re:Wrong target for the fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476913)

Dang, ya almost had it. Instead of "Wrong target for the fine"

Wrong fine for the target.

When these giant corporations do wrong, they need a fine of say 25% of entire worth to be fined. Then it hurts. Otherwise they just pay the fine as a part of doing business, there will never be an incentive to do the right thing. As someone already pointed out 800k of 4 billion is nothing, and they will pass this off on the customer anyway. Take %25 of the entire corporation. Then you will see them behave. 4 mistakes and they are done. MIcrosoft wouldn't be the piece of shit they are for example.

Why make them available at all? (2)

ClippyHater (638515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40476877)

If comcast doesn't want consumers to know about the alternate packages, why make them available at all? Granite State Communications (local telco here in NH) has NO standalone internet package--if you want internet, you HAVE to have their phone.

Re:Why make them available at all? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477129)

Because there is a law that states they cant require other services to be bundled. Granite State Communications is breaking the law by requiring a phone line. They are banking on that you wont complain to the FCC About it because you are not educated in the law to know this.

Slap on the Wrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40476947)

It's Comcastic!

Where is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40477007)

Now that I know it exists, I still can't find it.

comcast.com > Shop > Products > Internet > "Sign in to see XFINITY Internet offers just for you!"
comcast.com > Deals > All Deals > Internet > Add to existing cable service for $20 per for 6 months

They now need to go after Verizon. (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40477121)

Verizon recently sent out letters claiming that you cant have un-bundled DSL anymore and demanded I call and change my service to something that has a phone line. I refused and I still only have DSL and no phone line. I still get calls claiming that I have to convert from them.

This is illegal, yet the FCC is not jumping on them or Frontier for pulling pretty much the exact same stunt. I am all for forcing companies to comply, but apply it across the board evenly. And no I'm not a Comcast fanboi, I worked there, I know how evil they are. But I dont like single sided enforcement.

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