For decades, consumers have mostly wanted one thing from their ISP: a semi-affordable dumb pipe connection for the Internet. For just as long, US ISPs have bucked this demand, routinely trying to saddle users with higher costs and additional services consumer never asked for, while finding strange new ways to make an additional buck on the back of what are usually captive customers.
Take Comcast, for example. The company is preparing to roll out long awaited faster upload broadband speeds for its subscribers. But in order to actually subscribe to these new speeds, they’re forcing Comcast customers to use Comcast hardware they may not want. Hardware that’s basically a glorified home data monitoring subscription service costing an extra $14 to $25 a month.
When asked about the dumb decision by Ars Technica, Comcast pretends that there’s some kind of unforeseen technical challenge that’s preventing them from providing faster speeds to users who own their own hardware any sooner than “later next year”:
Keep in mind, Comcast already forces users to use this hardware if they want to avoid Comcast’s arbitrary usage caps and overage fees, which are another, different, pointless cash grab. And this hardware restriction will likely be expanded to the company’s “full duplex” upgrades next year that aim to finally provide cable users with fully symmetrical upload/download speeds.
Do you have a complaint about Comcast/Xfinity, such as hidden fees on your bill or unsatisfactory service? Take your claim to FairShake, the consumer advocacy service.