As if there weren’t enough reasons to hate internet service providers, Comcast is giving you a brand new one. The company wants to be able to charge you more to better protect your privacy, or offer you cheaper plans as long as it’s able to sell your data to advertisers. And by data, we mean all of your browsing history, which is something most people go out of their way to guard. More →
Comcast is the most-hated brand in the US, and its slippery marketing tactics and bullshit charges are well known to the entire Western world. But nothing ever gets done, because Comcast is (mostly) a monopoly and people love internet more than they hate Comcast.
But as it happens, the government can (and should!) deal with monopolists that abuse their power, especially by bare-faced lying to customers. That’s exactly what Washington state has done: it has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast for “engaging in a pattern of deceptive practices” that ended up costing customers tens of millions of dollars.
Okay, so you won’t have to ink a deal in blood with Amazon just so that you can get up to $400 in Amazon credit. You’ll actually have to do something far worse, and that’s signing a contract with Comcast. More →
One of the most hated policies in cable industry is expanding this week as Comcast has informed customers in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan that they will soon be part of the carrier’s “Terabyte Internet Experience.” In other words, they’re all going to be subject to data caps next month.
The animosity between Netflix and Comcast has been well-documented over the past few years, but it appears the two companies have finally put aside their differences for a smart business deal. According to Recode, the two companies confirmed on Tuesday that the Netflix streaming service will be featured on Comcast’s X1 platform before the end of 2016.
Cable boxes are one of the biggest money sucks in pay TV (and when we’re talking about an industry that charges you money to watch ads, that’s a serious statement). The FCC has voted on a plan to open up the cable box market to competition, which would allow you to buy your own, technologically advanced box, rather than renting forever from your cable company.
Cable companies make $20 billion a year from rental fees, so would you like to guess how enthusiastic Comcast is about the new plan?
Would you like to pay less for your monthly phone and internet bills? Of course you would — but you shouldn’t assume the same tactics for negotiating lower bills will work across all different carriers and ISPs. Expert shopper Kyle James has written a post over at WiseBread that gives you the lowdown on different strategies to use at some of the major ISPs out there including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. More →
How many streaming DreamWorks movies does it take to eat through a Comcast data cap?
Following rumors that suggested a deal was imminent, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has announced that it will acquire top animation studio DreamWorks for $41 a share. That figure represents a 27% premium over Wednesday’s close, and it works out to a total of roughly $3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation will become part of Universal Pictures and will be lumped into the company’s Filmed Entertainment Group.
DreamWorks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of the newly formed entity, which will be called DreamWorks New Media moving forward. Katzenberg will also act as a consultant to NBCUniversal as part of the deal. More →
For years, it was widely assumed that the cable industry was in the midst of a transition. Blindsided by streaming services from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, it was effectively taken as fact that cable companies were withering as more and more subscribers were opting to cut the cord.
Bolstering this narrative was ostensibly cold hard data. For instance, The Wall Street Journal last year relayed a study which claimed that the number of households with cable “will fall at an accelerating rate for at least the next four years…”
As pretty much everyone who isn’t on Comcast’s payroll knows, its data caps aren’t about ensuring “fairness” but about slowing the growth of cord cutters. The Wall Street Journal has a good new report that shows how much data caps are already making people think twice about how much they watch Netflix, and one user says he’s already cancelled Netflix because he doesn’t want to pay Comcast’s overage fees. More →
You pay a ridiculous amount of cash each month for internet service. Are you really getting your money’s worth? Internet service providers love to advertise lightning-fast speeds but unfortunately, but customers rarely see speeds anywhere near as fast as their plan advertises. There are a number of reasons for the discrepancy, including poor Wi-Fi connections (be sure to check out our tips for improving your home Wi-Fi network) and slow speeds at the servers that store the content you’re trying to download. You might have 100Mbps internet, but you’ll never see speeds that fast when you’re trying to download huge files.
With that out of the way, ISP connections to your home and interconnections elsewhere indeed have a big impact on the internet speeds you experience, and Netflix has been raking ISPs in the United States for some time now. The streaming media provider just updated its rankings with new data as of March 2016, and now it’s time to see how your ISP compares to the rest. More →
I’ve seen a lot of tragicomic Comcast customer service disaster stories over the years, which isn’t surprising considering America’s favorite cable company generates more FCC complaints than AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable combined. Given this, you would think that I’d be a grizzled, cynical person who is incapable of being surprised by anything Comcast does.
But you’d be wrong.
Ars Technica reports that a Silicon Valley tech startup called SmartCar last year tried signing up for Comcast service. Since then, the young company has received no Internet service from Comcast… but it did receive a bill from Comcast for $60,000! More →
You know what incumbent Internet service providers don’t like? That’s right: Competition. They especially don’t like it when that competition comes in the form of government-funded municipal broadband projects like the one that’s been a big success in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The good news for incumbent ISPs about such municipal broadband projects, however, is they can be constrained or shut down with the help of effective lobbying operations.
In case you don’t know, Comcast and AT&T have very effective lobbying operations. More →