Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Death of an Online Crow - Volume 1

The voice on the answering machine was a sweet and attractive sounding young woman. She was calling on behalf of Comcast, and needed me to call a number about my High Speed Internet immediately. I knew what it was about. I’ve ranted and raved about these things enough over the last few years, and of course I knew I was a prime target. I had rooted for Verizon to win its battle over Comcast to sell its wire lines to Fair Point just like I had rooted for MediaOne {later to become Comcast} to win its battle to be allowed to offer phone service, and in the end it was all for not. I always believed we needed choice and New Hampshire is being run by monopolistic dictators that spend all their money buying senators from Pennsylvania, and there isn’t a thing any of us can do about it. We are more “Mob Run” then Rhode Island now.

I called the number and was told unceremoniously that I was in the “one tenth of one percent” that use the most bandwidth, and if it happens again my internet service will be cut off. Nobody outside of Comcast knows what this amount is. Nobody has access to whether or not it really is “one tenth of one percent” and what formulation it uses to come up with this amount. It doesn’t matter really because the only way to stop it from happening is to pay your bill each month and not use your internet that you are paying for. I’m pretty sure that they won’t be handing out rebate checks to the bottom “one tenth of one percent” so there really isn’t anything to shoot for.

After spending a day looking around I have found out that I have no place else to go either. I went to the Verizon website which a couple of weeks ago was offering FIOS service for about 10 dollars more a month, but now are not. This of course was because they have sold themselves to Fair Point which ran all of those emotional ads with the old guy explaining how great they were at supplying high speed internet, and that was why we had to stop Comcast from blocking the deal. The deal officially took place last week, and by calling them I found out that they immediately cancelled all DSL and FIOS service in the State of New Hampshire, with an apology. Absolutely nobody offers DSL service in my area anymore because they couldn’t compete with Comcast, and now Comcast is going on a dumping spree of anyone that uses its uncared for {through lack of competition} network too much.

Now technically I am guilty of being a bandwidth hog because I have my phone line {through Vonage}, my network {so all the kids can get online with their own computers}, and large volumes of Usenet traffic going through my cable modem. I have spent the last several days going through article after article about Comcast and its willingness to kill off its “offenders” of bandwidth and the results have been mixed. For every article that complains about it, there are dozens of people who talk about how bandwidth hogs deserve it. Nobody truly knows what the formulation is, but when you look around you will see one common thread. They are always looking for the top “one tenth of one percent” each month. Once you have been targeted you WILL be eliminated, and once you are gone then there will be a new “one tenth of one percent” to be eliminated next, and sooner or later it will be everyone who actually uses their “unlimited broadband” a lot. Once Comcast has their network full of people that don’t even need high speed internet access, then they will be happy and can just count their profits.

In the end I will have no choice but to go back to dial up because collusion has completely robbed the area of any competition in this market. Verizon sucked the marrow out of the bones of our phone lines so that no company will even attempt to offer services. The lines were never maintained or even upgraded. We watched Verizon trucks and Green Mountain trucks blocking traffic around here for years and all they were doing was keeping the antiquated system running. I spent the last two days trying to find anyone that provides broadband other than Comcast in the area and it is exactly 0 unless I want to pay Earthlink 120 dollars a month for a 768k DSL line, and I am pretty sure that if I started the process we would find out that they don’t actually service this area. I found a few that “thought” they did along the way until they went to schedule the appointment. Comcast owns all of the cable lines outright and they are going to rule them with an iron fist, and Verizon has escaped after all of the bones are sucked clean leaving Fair Point to get the last dregs at the bottom of the cup. It really reminds me of how much I hate New Hampshire in the end, and wish I had never come back. ;8o)

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Nothing that was printed here was intended to offend anyone, and if it did, screw ya, you begged for it. If you believe that there are some measures that can be taken to change me, then please feel free to pray for me, and while you are at it yourself, because you read this far, and if you hated every minute of it, then you are an idiot, not me, or the other people who like what I have to say! .. Jeremy

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