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ATT Raises Prices for Cable Modem Owners

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the no-we-own-you dept.

The Internet 382

MBCook writes: "It appears that AT&T broadband doesn't like it when customers own their own cable modem. According to this article at ZDNet, ATT will be 'changing' their prices for all users. If you own your own cable modem, your bill is going up $7. If you lease your cable modem, you end up paying the same ammount you were before. I guess AT&T likes to milk it's customers. If I don't have a long distance service with any phone company, I have to pay for the privilage of not depending on them. Now I'll have to pay for the privilage of not depending on AT&T for a modem?"

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First Crapflood! (-1, Troll)

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Bandwidth caps (2, Insightful)

vincent99 (146865) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600928)

Maybe they decided to do this instead of charge people for exceeding ridiculously low monthly bandwidth caps...

Re:Bandwidth caps (3, Funny)

tftp (111690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600985)

This way they still have the option of "charging people for exceeding ridiculously low monthly bandwidth caps". You can {have,eat} the cake, after all.

Re:Bandwidth caps (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601013)

When I was your age... {mutters, trailing off}

This is great.

That's the AT&T I remember.

{/NOSTALGIA}

Fookers. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600930)

Fooking bastiches. I'd shoot'em in the face I would. Wit a gun. I'd splatter dehr brains all oveh deh place, wit a fuckin hot bullet. Searing lead through their head, until they hit the ground dead.

Please clarify (1)

dmanny (573844) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600931)

Not exactly sure what you meant by....

If I don't have a long distance service with any phone company, I have to pay for the privilage of not depending on them.

FUCKING SPELLING!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600961)

not ONLY does the stupid son of a slimy whore NOT make ANY sense, he can't fucking spell a goddamn simple word like 'P R I V I L E G E'.

damn it all to hell, you dumbshit motherfuckers, USE a spellchecker.

Re:FUCKING SPELLING!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601048)

you should use a spell checker, Mother Fucker is in fact two words, not one.

cretin

---

I didn't post this, a big boy did it and ran away

Re:Please clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600992)

If you choose to not have a long distance carrier with your local telco there's usually a surcharge. Either way you wind up paying.

Maintainance costs of the different people... (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600934)


While everyone will shout and scream "I don't want AT&T to maintain my cable modem", but when the line gets dropped and AT&T need to diagnose the problem they will apply the first rule of problem resolution

"The user is a moron, the fault is at their end"

This involves them doing the standard, is your modem turned on, is it working, is the green light flashing.... you don't have a green light, oh its your own modem, so how do you tell if thats working ?

So it does cost them money in terms of call and tech support. They have to have special call centre scripts, new diagnosis procedures etc etc.

And your cable modem might have a bug which buggers their network.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (1)

fishnuts (414425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600965)

  • This involves them doing the standard, is your modem turned on, is it working, is the green light flashing.... you don't have a green light, oh its your own modem, so how do you tell if thats working ?

    So it does cost them money in terms of call and tech support. They have to have special call centre scripts, new diagnosis procedures etc etc.


Tell me that you actually believe that this would cost them an extra $7 per month, per customer who chooses to use their own cable modem.

does it really justify charging $84 extra per year to "support" people who may potentially have problems with their cable modem? I don't have statistics on cable modem failures/troubleshooting, but if it's anything like dsl/pots modems, it takes at most 2 or 3 hours to completely solve most problems. If each customer with an 'unsupported' cable modem had one such problem per year, it's unlikely that it would add up to $84 worth of AT&T's support time. And that's assuming they don't just say "we can't support it. contact your cable modem manufacturer.", in which case it costs them the $0.50 or so for the time it takes them to tell the customer that it's not AT&T's responsibility.

Charging $7 more per month for every non-AT&T-approved cable modem across the board is completely unfair to those users who don't have problems with theirs (read: clued people, who usually don't need to call the ISP to diagnose a problem anyway)

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600972)

In a situation where the modem is the culprit, AT&T should just say so and tell you that you're on your own because it's not AT&T's. They should of course prepare a good excuse for when they told you it's the modem and it wasn't.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (2)

gclef (96311) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600976)

Yeah, but they'll do that to folks that have their modems, too...so this saves them nothing.

The only reason I can think of is that *possibly* (and I'm really guessing here) they're trying to keep the older DOCSIS modems (that can be easily uncapped) off their network. Dunno, but it would make more sense than anything else I've heard.

You know nothing! or your one of the morons! (0, Flamebait)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600981)

you say: This involves them doing the standard, is your modem turned on, is it working, is the green light flashing.... you don't have a green light, oh its your own modem, so how do you tell if thats working ?

You do realize the people that they have working the "LEVEL 1" call centers are complete morons right? They are probably over-qualified if they are taken from the welfare to jobs progams. You'd think if you explain to a level one tech that yes your compitent and you've already done some basic check troubleshooting(like being able to ping the local edge router for example, but nothing else) would make it so that you dunt have to listen to them say: ok go the left corner of your screen and hit the start button with one click of your mouse, now go to control panels and click once... and etc etc etc...

If anything they want everyone to use the same modem so they're dumb ass level 1 techs have a slim to none chance of ever helping someone out.. I really do hope those people don't make more then minimum wage too!

2 weeks ago with comcast there was an outage in our area(could ping the routers) and i had to go through all that, and after much pain i asked the level 1 dweeb to try and ping my assigned IP. She/He/It said that her/his/its ping program was not working and could not verify it for me. I asked if he/she/it could then ping from the command line on his/her/its desktop and they had no idea what i was talking about!!!!
So then i asked to be passed off to the next level tech so i could talk to someone who might be able to help me or i could realisticly explain my problem too. but the the DUMB ASS LEVEL 1 tech said he/she/it could not transfer to a higher level tech until she diaganosed my problem.
So I then mentioned that she/he/it was unable to diagnose my problem(in their eyes) cuz there ping tool was down and they should transfer as a result of that, but no they said! because of that i'd have to wait until thier network came back up and they could test & they said they would not know when that would be and just to try and call back through out the day...

::sigh:: ok i hope they make less then minimum wage!

Re:You know nothing! or your one of the morons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601069)

Well...

This kinda makes sense, don't you think that maybe, just maybe when their network is down they know about it? Would you rather have the higher level techs talking with you to make you feel better that yes, you are smart and yes you are right we do have a problem. or, would you rather they find the real problem and fix it ASAP

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (1)

Bnonn (553709) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600998)

Wouldn't anyone who wanted to actually own their cable modem either buy one the company supported, or make sure they knew something about cable modems and PPP etc before buying one? Seems to me that most nerds would want their own modem, and these kinds of people would be able to tell the tech support person everything they needed to know in the event of a problem. Heck, they could probably tell the tech support person how to fix the problem.

You forget the first law of stupid people (1)

Theonewhois (536856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601176)

Well, not the first, but one of them. They're are a lot of people out there that can get a cable modem from their cousin's friend's roomate who found it in a barn auction, that's probably made by connect-o-corp. Or possibly they just got the cheapest thing they could find in the bargain bin of Computer City, barely understanding enough to realize that they at least think they're saving some money by doing it themselves. AT&T is just protecting themselves from these sors of people who really don't understand that there is a definite difference in quality and support between devices on the market.

Plus, they probably figure that those people who really DO know what they're doing, and want a better modem, would be willing to pay a small extra fee (though 7$/month is too much. maybe 25 a year?) in order to use their own. Another possibility is to have a list of 'supported' modems, but that's hard to implement, more work for them, and leaves you stuck if you have an obscure modem, or one that was just released and 'not yet supported'.

Conclusion: Understandable, but too expensive.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (2, Interesting)

akula1 (463239) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601033)


You make a good point, except for one fact, when I signed up for ATT Broadband they were encouraging you to buy your own modem. They also had a list of approved modems which negates your point about the modem being a source of bugs. Why does it matter if I'm using a PCX1100U that ATT gave me or that I bought at Best Buy?

The thing that upsets me most is that ATT is taking it upon themselves to jack up my rates after I paid $80 for a cable modem in an effort to save money in the long run.

I work at tech support for an aussie cable isp. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601058)

The thing with DOCSIS modems is you can query them for info such as Uptime, and ping their internal network IP remotley (we do this from the helpdesk). The only other thing to check is the link light to the PC, which you can check on the back of the ethernet card anyway. The DOCSIS tools also give info on wheater the modem is up, and if not if its in any of its initialisation stages. Eg. Ranging, IPComplete etc.. so we can tell if its stuck somewhere.

How quickly we forget. (5, Informative)

drxyzzy (149370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601063)

There was a time when the Phone Company would only let you connect their phones to your local loop. And you heard a lot about how dangerous it would be to allow a person to hook up any third party equipment instead of bona fide Ma Bell telephones.

In order to hook up a modem, you had to get a special Data Access Arrangement from them, for which the monthly charge was more than you'd pay for a modem today.

Eternal vigilance, etc.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601095)

.. AT&T doesn't have particular 'call centre scripts' really. they just say 'well, that modem's not line, if you want a tech you're gonna pay.'

and where diagnosis is concerned, nothing changes.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601122)

Not quite true what you are saying here. AT&T (or any cable modem operator) has complete control which modems can and cannot log onto the network by using the OID of the cable modem manufacturer. AT&T Denver's broadband labs test every DOCSIS modem and re-certify it for use on it's own network. If they find, that a modem is not compliant with their setup, they simply turn it off.
As for support, since the modems are DOCSIS, it is quite easy. The boot up steps are the same for all modems. Find downstream frequency, find upstream frequency, ranging for US/DS attenuation, IP configuration, authentication and registration.
In terms of tech support, the operator can see (almost in real time) which modems have problems and which do not based on the RF values. Heck, you can even do that with MRTG yourself.
So, in the end, your arguments are not valid. This is not a technical decison but a business decision. How can we milk the customer a little bit more. Nothing less and nothing more.

Re:Maintainance costs of the different people... (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601152)

They have to go through that process anyway. Whether you buy or rent the modem is irrelevant.

Wahey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600935)

Now I can finally go and get myself a new graphics card!

No more anticipation... (2)

tolarianacademy (580638) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600936)

ATT Cable internet hasn't been available in my area of Pittsburgh yet, and last year they claimed to make it available by January this year. January came, they said February. February came, they said March. March came, they said never. May rolls around and I see ATT trucks putting up new fiber everywhere and can't wait to find out if it's for cable internet. $35/month was a really good value (even if you need a $200 modem), I'm not so sure I want to pay $42/month. Buying a $200 modem doesn't seem cost efficient if I'm going to be paying $42 as opposed to $45 to lease the damned thing.

Re:No more anticipation... (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601104)

I was thinking about going with Penn Telecom for phone service and Speakeasy DSL for connectivity. I really can't see paying Annoying Tired and Twisted for anything. I know Verizon and ATT chage like $120 to sign up, and I'm going to see when penntele.com charges. I'd rather go with CLEC, since it is our competitive environment..

Their lines, their rules (0, Flamebait)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600937)

Now I'll have to pay for the privilage [sic] of not depending on AT&T for a modem?

Are you just bitter that you shelled out cash for a worthless piece of crap? You won't be able to use it anywhere once all cable modem companies standardize on this pricing scheme.

Re:Their lines, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601025)

NTL have done this in the UK. They've destroyed any secondhand market for CMs in the process, since all their new subscribers HAVE to rent.

First Moo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600938)

m()o()o()o()()()()()(ooo()())O(()O(o

Parse error (0)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600940)

If I don't have a long distance service with any phone company, I have to pay for the privilage of not depending on them.

What the fuck does this sentence mean?

Re:Parse error (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600945)

I think he means that he paid good money for a cable modem but now won't be able to use it carte blanche anymore. He's upset that the Long Distance Company (AT&T) is taking his money.

Re:Parse error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600946)

You, dear sir, are a moron. Your parser is broken. Mine is not. It *makes* fucking sense. Go away.

Re:Parse error (0, Troll)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600953)

You're a member of p5p, aren't you?

Re:Parse error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601051)

The sentence means that ATT is getting his money even though he doesn't use ATT long distance, and now ATT will be getting his money even though he doesn't use ATT's cable modem.

In my apartment, I have two phone lines. I don't make long distance calls on either of them, and in fact, I can't make LD calls on either of the lines, I specifically requested this when I had the phones hooked up. But guess what? Every three months, I get a bill from AT&T (included in every third month's phone bill) for approx. $5. In other words, I don't use ATT's service, and I have to pay them to not use their service. Something about a default carrier (even though LD is blocked), it was explained a year or so ago with an insert in the phone bill.

I believe the original poster was showing how the cable modem situation is similar.

A Global problem! (5, Insightful)

DuranDuran (252246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600941)

Some days ago, users in Australia had their broadband access severely limited [slashdot.org] as the major providers changed the rules [slashdot.org] . There were many Slashdot posts effectively telling these users to 'get over it'. We were told to 'vote with our feet' and choose a provider that didn't take their bat and ball and go home when the game wasn't swinging their way. In effect, we were told to 'grow up' with regard to this apparently global technology.

Now that a major US provider is changing the rules, it'll be interesting to see how Slashdot readers take the news when it affects them a bit closer to home.

This is a problem that affects us all.

DD.

Re:A Global problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601001)

> This is a problem that affects us all.
No, it isn't. How many times: US != Everyone.

Re:A Global problem! (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601014)

good point, but to me this seems like an entirely different problem. especially if you have options, then yes, use another ISP. In this particular case, the issue is pretty much fair. i don't think the title is accurate. they dont want limit personal cable modem use (well maybe they do), its just more difficult for them to maintain them if you buy your own.

QED

correction (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601018)

sorry, thought the title was something different. for once /. DID name something appropriately!

Re:A Global problem! (2)

analog_line (465182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601116)

If anyone gets as incensed as you all were about it, I would certainly tell them to vote with their feet.

Matter of fact, when Comcast announced that they're working toward simmilar restrictions, there was alot of outrage, and alot of people told the whiners to vote with their feet.

Now, while a $7 surcharge for owning your cable modem isn't exactly nice, it's not nearly the kind of restriction that you aussies are feeling, or those waiting under the hammer of Time Warner and Comcast here. I can't imagine something like this is going to drive a whole lot of people off. That said, if someone does find it beyond the pale, then they damn well better "vote with their feet" as you put it and stop giving a company they can't stand their money.

Amen (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601119)

Some days ago, users in Australia had their broadband access severely limited [slashdot.org] as the major providers changed the rules [slashdot.org]. There were many Slashdot posts effectively telling these users to 'get over it'.

[...]

Now that a major US provider is changing the rules, it'll be interesting to see how Slashdot readers take the news when it affects them a bit closer to home.


A-fucking-men. I get so utterly sick of these Randian libertarianesque businesses-can-do-no-wrong every-consumer-should-be-an-expert-at-deciphering- contracts (even those with obscure clauses, or that get rewritten by the vendor after they have your money) posts. This whole meme that businesses have as their sole responsibility to make money, and ethics, much less their customers' satisfaction, be damned is nonsense from start to finish, doubly so when you're dealing with telco type situations (of which cable companies are an example) where there is an effectively monopoly (or duopoly) on your choices.

Most homes can only get cable/cable-modem service from one providor, or local telephone service from one providor (in both cases, the company that owns the last mile of copper going to your house), so telling people to "vote with their feet" is literally tantamount to telling them to physically move to a new community or do without what is becoming an increasingly vital service.

It is utter crap when these self-styled free marketeers (who apparently can't recognize a limited, non-free market when it hits them in the face) tell folks in Australia that sort of nonsense, and it will be equal crap when they do so in this thread.

It is past time that people and consumers organize once again and restore some social responsibility to these businesses. Businesses and corporations exist at the sufferance of the people ... perhaps we should end that sufference in a couple of high-profile cases and the other behometh's will fall in line. That presupposes, of course, that our democracy isn't so far gone, and our leaders so profoundly corrupt, that the people can still have a voice politically. The jury is definitely still out on that, but it would certainly be worth a try.

So, private companies can do it too. (1)

hokanomono (530164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600943)

In countries that have national phone companies, you can often hear people lamenting about it and suggesting if it were private, everything would be better. Sure, some things would, but it's interesting to see that the "free market" can fail too.

Re:So, private companies can do it too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601019)

You're an idiot, but thanks for playing.

Re:So, private companies can do it too. (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601081)

Irrespective of what the dumbass Anonymous Coward said, I agree with you.

You only have to look the British Railway network which is in real trouble as an example.. as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

Re:So, private companies can do it too. (2)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601133)

Ownership isn't the problem but what the true mission statement is.

In a world that says look after the profit and the social consequences will look after themselves then the user/providers interface is one of conflict.

Maybe if we were in a world that was dedicated to providing the best telecoms per user then we'd easily have fider to the door by now.

In the UK we had to sit gnashing teeth while BT made 93 GBP profit per second the dividends of which were going to private pockets rather than infastructure investment.

By breaking the UK telecoms we now have 2 struggling cable providers [:ntl & telewest] and one profit slurping behemoth [Bt]. A BT that sends a cease and desist notices if you actually use the service ['You have been using the flat-rate service too much - up to 16 hours per day - in violation of our T&Cs]. As a small but rich country we could have been world leaders in domestic telecoms, instead the users are being squeezed.

oh well, I get mine for free anyway :)

Re:So, private companies can do it too. (5, Insightful)

heckman (554520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601139)

Free Market? Excuse me? I have one choice for Cable -- AT&T. I have one choice for local phone service -- SBC. I have one choice for Broadband Cable -- AT&T. I have no choices for DSL. How exactly is this a free market when the FCC limits which companies can offer service in my area? If you want a real free market, get the FCC to either enforce the rules of the 1996 telecom act requiring local providers to open their markets or have Congress rewrite the rules. Me, I won't hold my breath. Political contributions from Fortune 500 companies always win out over the desire of the people.

Well, cable modems got cheaper (5, Insightful)

kubusja (581677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600944)

Cable modems got cheaper so the difference between
those who own c modem and those who don't should be
smaller - down to $5. This means that overall
this is a rise for everybody - just for
those who don't own cable modems the rise is
compensated by the fall of cable modem prices.

Re:Well, cable modems got cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600958)

IC. But why should
people who spend the
money & assume the
risk by buying their
own c modem that can
go bad have to pay
more? It would seem
that when AT&T has
to replace a leased
modem everybody will
bear the brunt in
their bills but its
ok to soak the
people who aren't
giving AT&T this
liability?

Re:Well, cable modems got cheaper (-1)

diaper_tales (575224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601000)

hello my
name is
diaper_
tales.
my penis
is five
and three
fourths
inches
long when
flaccid.
i like to
kidnap
litte
girls from
the playground
and slap
them in
their tiny
cherubic
faces with
my five
and three
fourths
inch cock.
if they
cry my
diaper_wang
gets erect.

Dont close your eyes (3, Insightful)

jukal (523582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600948)

When the modem is leased from the provider, they have more control on everything. They can be more prepared for customer oriented oddities, failure claims etc resulting in better predictability of incomes and less uncertainties in general.

AT&T is abusive, in my experience. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600949)


Try to avoid having any involvement with AT & T. My experience with them is that they look for ways to abuse you, like many big companies.

Small correction (4, Insightful)

awptic (211411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600950)

According to the ZDnet article, the additional charge for renting a cable modem is $10; you're still getting a discount if you own your own cable modem (albeit a very small one).

Re:Small correction (2)

awptic (211411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600955)

Oops, should of read the whole thing :)

Re:Small correction (1)

fishnuts (414425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600975)

Should have!

glad I don't own my own... (5, Interesting)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600956)

I considered briefly buying my own cable modem, but for the monthly cost of leasing, it was cheaper in the short term. (I live in an apartment, don't want to buy a cable modem in case I move to an area that doesn't supply that type of service)

That being said, I rather expected this move. In case you haven't noticed, telcos are struggling right now, and any move that can keep them afloat (ok fine, keep the share holders happy) they are going to do. Rather nifty of them to tell anyone, as I am a subscriber, and I didn't receive any information on this. Yeah, of course the rights and all that are subject to change, but enough of running rough-shod over your customers. We are people too, and don't always have the convienence of having a ton of loot sitting around, or customers we can up prices on without telling.

In a similar rant, a lot of these companies do these things without even pausing to consider what the risks are, simply because there (for the most part) ARE NONE. Customers will bitch, a few will change providers (those lucky few that can) and other than that, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. YOU might care enough to drop service, but most people are so apathetic about stuff like this, it's comical. Bitch, moan, give em the money. Hell, it makes business sense to do this. Too bad the customer gets it in the end eh?

Re:glad I don't own my own... (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601034)

Over in the UK ADSL is just beginning to take of. However there are some things which make it pricey for users such as 'setup' fees. You're almost certain to have to get a 1 year contract as a minimum as well. (This is a shame; as it stops most Students from getting ADSL).

When I signed up I bought a cablemodem+router [seg.co.uk] for around 130UK pounds. On top of that I had to pay 50 UK Pounds setup fee.

The alternative was to pay 240 UK Pounds for a provider loaned modem and setup - clearly much more expensive.

There is no way I would have the providers modem at a price like that; (not to mention the fact that the providers modems usually are USB based...)

Re:glad I don't own my own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601100)

3. Profit!

Considering the Risk... (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601178)

Chances are if you're the kind of person who would want to own your own cable modem, you're the kind of person they'd really rather leave anyway. It probably means you're more technically inclined and not willing to simply be a "consumer" -- you probably want to run some services, perhaps use some VPN tools to get to work, and all that other stuff that really pisses them off. They really just want customers who might browse the web for a couple of hours a night or send an E-mail to grandma. Once customers actually start really using the internet for serious applications, their revenue model gets all screwed up.

Grammar and spelling (0, Troll)

Telcontar (819) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600959)

Editors, please correct grammar and spelling errors submitted. In this story, those are even above the /. average ("ammount", "it's", "privilage"). I would like to see this average going down rather than up.

Mods of a crack orgy again! (1, Troll)

Disevidence (576586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601065)

FFS Mods, its got something to do with the fucking article posted. Stop being dipshit moderators and save your points for good clear-thought posts, and for modding down the trolls. Don't use pissy offtopic moderations for a reasonable request like the parent. FFS some moderators, they're like a fucking disease.

Go on mod me down, you'll prove me 100% correct. (And see these idiot moderators explode their brain with the reverse psychology).

This is wrong... (3, Insightful)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600963)

from the article "Customers who lease their modem from AT&T will have their lease fee reduced by $7, paying an additional $3 per month for the modem."

And the customers that own their own modem are having they're bill increased by 7 dollars.... So essentially by owning your own modem, your now helping to subsidize the cost of users who don't want to buy their own modem but lease it.. That seems very wrong to me, hell completely wrong.. why should I have to pay 7 dollars to have my own modem as opposed to 3 dollars to rent it? I smell some lawsuits here..

Glad I have Comcast Cable modem here in PA..

Re:This is wrong... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601073)

You are a retard. Read the article.

Base fee (now): $35.95
Cable modem surcharge (now): $10.00
Total bill to lease the modem: $45.95
Total bill w/o the modem: $35.95

Base fee (June): $42.95
Cable modem surcharge (June) $3.00
Total bill to lease the modem: $45.95
Total bill w/o the modem: $42.95

Everyone is paying $7.00 more per month for the service. The difference is that people who lease their modem will not notice the difference because the lease fee has dropped.

As often happens, the headline is not accurate, and no one else bothers to read the original article.

There is no subsidy. Cable modems used to be $300. At $10.00/mo, the lease paid for the modem in 30 months. Now that cable modems are $100, dropping the lease to $3.00/month means that it is paid off in 33 months.

The metrics are basically the same. You're just dumb.

Re:This is wrong... (2)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601091)

The Leasing of equipment always helps subsidize "other costs."

I have been paying $3 a month for 50 months (so far) to "rent" a set-top cable descrambler, that probably cost the cable company $20 in bulk. Also, I pay $1.35 "remote control rental" for the remote for that box... $65 so far. Why? "Because it is part of the cost of service."

I'm more concerned as to why my local cable monopoly has been promising digital cable to our community for four years, and still has not delivered. 100,000 residents of surrounding communities have subscribed to it, but not us. After getting the third ad in a month via mail, I finally called and said "do you have it for our city yet?" "THEY'RE working VERY HARD on it."

What is there to work on, and who are THEY? This town was built mostly from the ground up about 15 years ago from a farming community into a surging suburb!
They should have "it" done by now!

I'm just pissed because they don't have Cartoon Network. Too many frickin' movie channels...

Re:This is wrong... (2)

ameoba (173803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601117)

Gah... you don't want digital cable. I've never been impressed w/ the picture quality (I would -much- prefer a bit of light snow/static/ghosting to digital compression artifacts and the way picture quality completely goes down the tubes when some noise does (and it will) get on the line). To make things even better, when they finally get digital cable on your system, the picture & sound quality of existing analog transmissions will degrade, so those that don't upgrade will get a reduced quality of service.

Re:This is wrong... (2)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601123)

I have been paying $3 a month for 50 months (so far) to "rent" a set-top cable descrambler, that probably cost the cable company $20 in bulk. Also, I pay $1.35 "remote control rental" for the remote for that box... $65 so far. Why? "Because it is part of the cost of service."

Then sir! yer an idiot! what you describe is subsidizing stuff for your self... what they are doing now is making people who have there own modem subsidize people who don't... thats whats wrong about it!

Is this legal ? (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600964)

That sounds pretty shaky as far as consummer protection laws are concerned (but then I live in Europe...)

HOT GRITS DOWN MY PANTS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3600987)

NATALIE PORTMAN NAKED AND PETRIFIED!

HTTP colon slash slash GOATSE dot CX

thank you.

Re:HOT GRITS DOWN MY PANTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601097)

Why dont you http colon colon fuck dot off?

Or another way of looking at it... (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600988)

They have increased the price of their service by $7. They are reducing the sting a little by allowing people to rent their cable modems for free. People who have their own modem can still take advantage of this offer. People who do not will not be paying more. They simply will not be paying less.

What we really need is more competition in the marketplace. We need at least a dozen different services, then one of them would relaise the good niche market of people with their own cable modems.

Out to get you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601124)

It's high time that we all learned that there are real people out there in these large, powerful corporations whose sole aim is to absolutely screw the little guy.

The sooner we realize this, the better off we will be.

Young Troll Seeks Alcohol Hookup (-1)

Drunken Coward (574991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600989)

Hello everyone,
You may have seen some of my earlier posts that I wrote while in a drunken state and may be wondering why I have not posted more. Well, the main reason is the fact that I have all of a sudden incredibly difficult to get my hands on alcohol. Being under the legal age prevents me from purchasing it myself, and for various reasons my previous sources are longer able to fulfill my alcohol purchasing needs.

I beg you, fellow slashdotters, if you are in the San Jose area and would like to donate a case or even a six pack of beer (or any other kind of alcoholic beverage) to guarantee future drunken postings, please reply to this message so we can get in touch. Any help at all would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance,

Drunken Coward

Re:Young Troll Seeks Alcohol Hookup (-1)

diaper_tales (575224) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601016)

just hang outside a grocery store asking people if they'll buy for you. if that doesn't work, or you're too much of a pussy, ask some homeless guy to do it. give them a 32 of high life and they'll always do it.

Re:Young Troll Seeks Alcohol Hookup (-1, Offtopic)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601049)

Just walk in, grab a couple cases, and run out.

Ownership Tax (2, Insightful)

Chardish (529780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600990)

Essentially what AT&T has done is imposed an ownership tax that penalizes its users for owning their own equipment. The folks there probably just saw the latest reports and saw cable modem leasing was down. And of course AT&T prefers that the money is in their own hands, not the cable modem manufacturers'.

I'm surprised AT&T hasn't made their own cable modem yet and FORCED users to buy it. That wouldn't surprise me. This does.

-Evan

Trying to make a profit? (2, Informative)

welshdave (560689) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600994)

According to this [vnunet.com] AT&T aren't doing so good. Could it be that they've decided to try and make some money? Yeah it's crap for those of you who have to pay an extra $7 a month or whatever but at the end of the day big companies are always gonna try and make money. I guess cable modem users are just an easy target.

Dial-up ISPs... (2)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600997)

...have to deal with different brnads of modems all the time. It's called Life, and AT&T should get over it.

Re:Dial-up ISPs... (2, Interesting)

welshdave (560689) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601007)

and having worked in support for a dial-up ISP I can tell you that it's fairly common to blame problems on the wrong kind of modem. I was told to always recommend 3Com modems.

cable modems (2, Informative)

kalanar (469957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3600999)

I've had ATT cable for about 3 months now. I've been leasing a modem from them as well. This is the first time I've had cable, so I wanted to test it out before paying the 100 bucks for a modem that I may never use again.

Once I reach the upstream cap (300) the connection dies completely. If I upload a file to an ftp site the connection is broken until I stop the transfer. If I start loading a few webpages, or have several ssh sessions opened to different servers, it dies until i can close all the windows, and power cycle the modem. I've seen this happen while watching tcpdump and getting 100-150 arp requests every second for about 5 minutes, the modem sits and crunches while I'm getting 75% packet loss to their router.

From mailing list archives the general feeling is that when this happens your modem is faulty. Well I've been trying for 2 months to get a new modem, and I've gotten nowhere. With that information, and the fact that it powercycles itself about 4-5 times every 8 hours, I've decided that it is the modem.

There definately isn't any perks to paying them monthly for a modem. I'd rather be able to take the damn thing back to Best Buy and exchange it. I think I'd rather have my own modem just for that reason, even if I'm only saving 3 bucks a month.

oh yeah, posting comments on /. breaks it too. go figure. click, preview, argh, click, preview, argh!

(I'm joking, of course, I'd never advocate this) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601045)

1. Remove the coaxial cable, power supply cable, and Ethernet cable(s?) from the modem.

2. Find an A/C adapter that'll output a shitload more power than your cable modem A/C adapter does.

3. Connect adapter to modem. Don't worry if it doesn't fit, just push harder.

4. Connect adapter to wall outlet.

5. Turn modem on. When you smell smoke, turn modem off.

6. Unplug adapter.

7. Contact provider, tell them that modem has completely kicked it and won't do anything now. Try not to laugh if they ask you if it's getting power.

Good luck!

Re:cable modems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601140)

looks more like you have an RF problem (most likely upstream). The modem needs to send and receive RF signals at certain levels and you probably have one too many splitters between your outlet and your cable modem. Try taking off the splitter and see what happens. You may also be at the "end of the line" and have a bad signal. Your cable provider CAN fix that.

HEY DUMBASS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601012)

Ok, I see why you're steamed. You forked out $80 or so for your own cable modem. Now, you're not getting a discount that you once were. Whats your answer? DSL.

Re:HEY DUMBASS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601041)

If you cant get dsl in your area...
your argument = pwned by simple logic harder next time, read, comprehend, post.
YARR

No Matter... (1)

j4ck50n (548439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601040)

Because until the price reaches some ridiculous point, I will continue to pay whatever they ask for high speed service.

Let's see...I can use:
1) DUN - *please*
2) DSL - See No. #1
3) Cable Modem - OK!

Do I like it? No. But what are the choices? I don't have any complaints with the service. It is extremely fast here and almost always on.

Could it be that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601043)

Ma Bell is a cheap mother.

--
boy that will teach you to use the phone company for your ISP.

Just another F U from the cable company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601057)

What did you expect. The cable companies have been F'ing us for years. And all the sudden, they're nice guys because they have broadband?

Nope, being with a cable company is like living with a rabid dog. Sooner or later you're either going to get bit or you get rid of the dog.

Nice logic AT&T (2)

oolon (43347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601059)

I love that they say it reflects the change in the costs of Cable Modems. 100/3 On that rate it will take 33 months to break even on buying your own modem!

Personally, I think they would prefer people didn't own there own modems for management reasons.. If this is the case why not just say that.

James

D.C. Appeal Courts: This is Competition (2, Insightful)

loggia (309962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601067)

And don't forgot the D.C. Appeals Court decision from last week. This is part of the "competition" to DSL that is sufficient to let the phone companies not line-share.

Notice how the "competition" is driving prices down?

Ummmm....

this boils my blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601084)

i will laf when att has to be auction-blocked

Not just ATT, everyone is doing this. (2, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601086)

I'm on Rogers, and they raised prices. I know Bell Sympatico raised prices. All companies are doing this because of the small percentage of people sucking up a huge amount of bandwidth. It's costing them too much money.

What is this? (1)

genka (148122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601090)


"If I don't have a long distance service with any phone company, I have to pay for the privilage of not depending on them."

I am not sure what original poster means by this. I used to have a landline phone with no long distance provider, and I am pretty sure I didn't pay a dime to AT&T or anyone else.

Corporate whim (1)

pumkinut (462268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601092)

Cripes people will bitch and moan till the sky falls.

There may be tech assist issues that AT&T will use to support the move. Yes, they can honestly say that it saves them money to have a limited pool of modem types to ease support. In the long run, they're doing this simply because they can. What are the majority of their customers going to do? Yes, that's right, absolutely nothing. The very few might switch providers, if possible, or drop the service (unlikely). Most will quietly, if begrudginly, stay with the service and pay the extra $.

AT&T as well as all the other broadband providers have us by the short and curlies. They can pretty much change their agreements at will and ad infinitum without fear of retribution because of the monopoly powers they hold. Don't like it...drop it.

Either look into class action suits on the basis of consumer protection (which will go absolutely nowhere), or....quit yer bitchen and suck it up.

Im going to get attacked for this (2, Insightful)

Disevidence (576586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601102)

but what the hell... deal with it.

Thats right, get over it. The precedent in slashdot was set when a lot of posters told us Aussie to get over our shitty cable modems.

The businesses are going to keep sending up prices, and finding new ways to tax the consumer. It would be half-acceptable if they bought it down again in times of growth, but they don't. So first of all, if you don't want to get reamed, don't get cable.

But if you want cable, there are a few options. First of all, contact you industry ombudsman, if you have one. Also lobby the nearest democrat member of congress and the senate, make sure your complaints about this discrimination reaches someone who could possibly give a shit, and do something about it.

In other words, if you cannot change from AT&T to another cable server or adsl, make sure yo fight dirty (a.k.a political). What is another option is to publicly shame AT&T, perhaps with a few letters to the editor of you local newspaper. So instead of bitching about it, get over it, and do something about it. The more people that give a shit, the more people that read about it, the more bad publicity the company will get, and that WILL get their shareholders pissed.

(Recent example of bad publicity at work, our biggest bank in Aus (NAB) were making a drastic change to their reward scheme. Quite a few people got pissed, and they half-reversed the scheme just as quickly as they had announced it. Bad publicity works, and it starts with their own customers.)

You Wanna Fight Back? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601110)

If you live in an apartment building, development, or neighborhood of any kind then get together with your neighbors and form a buying association. Tell AT&T if they don't waive the fee then 50 of you are going to a competitor. 50 not enough? Organize your town. At some point, the pricing equation will swing your way and they won't be able to afford to say no.

Or talk to your town or borough council about setting up a Metropolitan Area Network. God knows there have been enough Slashdot posts about how to do it.

Pricing (0)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601115)

ya know, up until like 3 months ago I believe the service was this price anyway, if not more expensive. I seem to recall being somewhat happy when they stated they were dropping their price by $10 dollars(I live in Virginia). And I'd rather pay an extra 5-10 dollars a month and continue to use gigabytes upon gigabytes of bandwidth (gotta love KaZaA Lite and Audiogalaxy, not to mention the gaming fix of WC3!!!) over my home network as opposed to having that capped at some rediculously low amount of bandwidth. just my $.02

I'd *rather* rent a modem (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601121)

Cause if you own, and it gets hit by lightning or a surge, your out. If it's thiers, they replace it for free. It happened to me once, and saved me a load of cash.

Isn't this illegal?? (1)

RazorJ_2000 (164431) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601132)

I thought that it was illegal for a company to basically charge 2 different prices for the same product/service that is advertised to end-users? Isn't this known as price discrimination, which is illegal under law by the Sherman Act and by the FTC?

Sounds like today's new and up-and-coming business leaders haven't studied their relevant business history lesson's in B-school. Or their ethics for that matter...


Re:Isn't this illegal?? (1)

micq (266015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601174)

IANAL, but currently they only charge one price for the service. They rent you the modem, which is in addition.

This sounds like they're going to charge one price for service, if you need a modem it's free. Doesn't seem like they're doing anything wrong, just redefining what they're doing.

If this becomes the case, I'm going to get the leased modem and use it... like some other poster said, no sense in putting my modem on the line risking damage if they're going to do it for me.

Mike

Re:Isn't this illegal?? (1)

micq (266015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601190)

Nevermind my previous post... Write before I read...

Open Source? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3601138)

Maybe they should make the modems open source so that it will lower costs?

What's "broadband" in AT Cable? (2)

gallir (171727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601142)

I am a reader from Spain and wanted to compare prices between local cablemodems and adsl vs. USA prices. I've read the article but although it does describe prices, it doesn't specify the bandwidth (it's like saying "bananas price is 10 cents" and you get no idea, one banana? a pound?..).

So, what's the bandwidth of the prices described in the link?

PS: In Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) a 300 kbps cable modem is about $38. 256 kbps ADSL about the same, taxes included.

Phone support can't get much worse (1)

Little Dave (196090) | more than 12 years ago | (#3601144)

Here in the UK, the Cable company Telewest seems to have the worst telephone support I've ever encountered. A couple of weeks ago, I phoned up with a query about network outages and if there was any reason why my connection was dead.

The monkey I got handed to proceeded to deny that there was anything wrong with the network, and launched into his heavily trained diagnosis routine. He first did the usual routine of asking me to power cycle the modem. I duely did this and reported that the modem was coming back, send light flashing...

And before I could go any further, he'd cut me off and said that the lights flashing were a sign that the modem was faulty and that I would require a tech visit. Before I could interject and tell him that it was only rebooting, he'd began the proceedure of booking me an appointment.

So I told him to calm down and wait for a second. Sure enough, the modem completed its reboot. I then asked him to go away and seriously check if the network was buggered. Sure enough, two minutes later, he came back and sheepishly told me that connections in the Wimbledon area were suffering.

It seems that Telewest support chimps will book a tech visit at the slightest provocation. I wonder how much time has been wasted, both in terms of tech hours and people having to take the day off?
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