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Comcast Offers Dial-Up Modem Speeds At Broadband Prices, Bogs Down News Fetch…Again

This is what happens when broadband is a monopoly with no effective competition. A week or 10 days ago, I was getting what I paid for — download speeds of 6 to 10 Megabits-per-second (Mbps). And now (Oct 6) — 0.45 Mbps. No, the decimal is _not_ in the wrong place. (I wish!)

UPDATE: As of 6:43 a.m. today, Friday Oct. 7, Comcast’s download has dropped to 0.26 Mbps (see updated graphic at end of this post). Comcast was notified on Wednesday morning. As a result, the download speed has continued to SLOW.

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Comcast’s own speed test tells me the speed is almost 2X as fast (you’d expect that they’d want to make them selves look as good as possible)but still bad:

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COMCAST TURTLE SPEED DELAYS NEWS FETCH

As a result, News Fetch takes 30 to 45 minutes longer to produce. Now about 3 hours per day. That’s because I log on to 161 websites each morning. Each one downloads like an arthritic snail.

Often I click on numerous links on each site. More slow downloads.

Then, after selecting articles for News Fetch (There are 35 to 55 links in each issue), I check the links three times before the issue is emailed to 17,179 subscribers (as of this morning). SloooooooooooooooooW! … Gee, just like that slow turtle that Comcast used to show in their commercials to diss AT&T.

And, yes, AT&T’s service is usually slower overall … (but not right now with my Comcast connection.) I’d switch to AT&T or anyone else who could offer me reliable, fast broadband.

But I once had AT&T’s broadband. And in addition to being slower and even less reliable than Comcast, their tech reps had the personality of a pit viper on meth. At least Comcast’s folks are courteous even when they can’t fix the problem.

REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES: EVEN GOOGLE GOT FRUSTRATED

Here’s a real-world example: This is a download to update Firefox. Note the download speed: 44.5 Kbits/sec … that translates to 0.445 Mbps … which matches the independent speed test above.

The file took over 7 minutes to download. It should have taken about a minute and a half.

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Even Google loses patience with the simple task of opening Gmail:

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ISSUE LIES WITH COMCAST EQUIPMENT, THEY TAKE NO ACTION

The final issue is _where_ the slowdown is happening. I ran a traceroute from here to the Wine Industry Insight server in Columbus Ohio. And my tech there ran a traceroute back to my computer.

Both traceroutes showed the slowdown was at a Comcast node here in Sonoma. I’ve since learned that these sorts of performance issues tend to happen when Comcast oversells their service and has too many customers for the equipment.

When Comcast works, it works great. But when it doesn’t, business suffers.

COMCAST IMITATES DIAL-UP MODEMS – FRIDAY UPDATE

It took more than an hour longer to do News Fetch today thanks to comCRAPtic download speeds like this:
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and this:

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Sure glad I called them Wednesday morning. They’re really on this!

As I mentioned above, AT&T is pretty bad as well.

So, if you can get Verizon’s FiOS or broadband from a local ISP, you’re going to be much better off.

As for AT&T, their phone service is still ROCK SOLID, so it makes no sense at all to give Comcast your phone business. Not until they can be as reliable as Ma Bell.