We already know that Comcast can — and does — inject alerts into users’ web browsers to alert them to potential copyright infringement, but the nation’s largest Internet provider can also use this ability to interrupt your enjoyment of the web in order to remind you to upgrade your modem.
Consumerist reader and Comcast customer “BB” says that the cable company upgraded the network in his area in recent months, and has been writing and calling him regularly about upgrading his modem ever since.
“For months we received multiple letters in the mail, explaining how we were missing out on the great new capabilities of their network,” writes BB. “This eventually escalated to repeated phone calls from Comcast, stating that we should really upgrade our modem.”
Thing is, BB owns the modem he uses and he’s experienced no problems with service or speeds since the network upgrade. He’d rather not spend money on a new modem — or pay Comcast too much to rent one from the company — when what he has is working just fine.
And BB is not some minor Internet user with an ancient desktop computer that he only uses to check email once a week. In fact, he’s a software developer living — like many of us — in a home with multiple web-connected devices.
“We stream Netflix and YouTube and our Internet speed is great for everything we need,” he writes. “Why should I spend the money?” ….“Now they’ve moved to more aggressive measures to try to get me to upgrade,” writes BB. “The other day as I was browsing the web on my phone, on my home WiFi, I got a pop-up notice while browsing on wired.com.” (see screenshot above)
In big red letters, the notice alerts BB that there is some “Action Needed” on his service.
“Our records indicate that the cable modem, which you currently use for your XFINITY Internet service, may not be able to receive the full range of our speeds. To ensure you’re receiving the full benefits of your XFINITY Internet service, please replace your cable modem.”
Use HTTPS and change your DNS to a non Comcast DNS. Above all, do not use any Comcast firewall/routers as they are cheap, insecure and feature COmcast’s ability to turn your paid for internet connection into a public wifi access point which they on-sell to others at your expense. That should be disabled.
Comcast is an example of what is wrong in the country. In many markets it acts and is a monopolist. It is time to separate content delivery from transmission and end the monopoly and duopoly market conditions.