Net Neutrality: Comcast Blocking Netflix


When they came here when I bought the house, they reused to use my modem and showed me a little document that said they wouldn’t accept any new devices.


Weird. Must be a local thing then. I even found a list of tested and approved modems from some part of their website and forums I was searching at the time.

Edit - pretty sure it was this list


I used to sell Charter and while they wanted to supply the modem, they let customers use their own routers. They didn’t charge for the modem. They did charge if they supplied the router.

As to putting a digital cap on you, that’s a possible future, but not the now.


Yeah I don’t pay a fee for the modem. I just called them up to get a list a list and asked what the process was when I bought the house because I couldn’t really afford to have much of a gap for work. That’s when they told me they no longer allowed customer owned modems, and when they came to the house I was here and they confirmed the same thing. That was three years ago though. They didn’t use the name Spectrum then. It could have changed again.


Maybe a bit late to the conversation here re: competition but I lived for 30 years in the western part of Loudoun county here in VA, a county with a median income of something like $120k, and consistently one of the richest & fastest growing counties in the nation. However, the western part of the county is conspicuously more rural than the eastern part, and our ISP choices were one local company that used a ground uplink to some sort of satellite system. Speed up/down was in the 1.5-2 Mbps range. For $100 a month. The choice was so poor someone in town actually started his own ISP so his wife could have good access - and he allowed town residents to subscribe for a decent price (however, the congestion we experienced was another issue).

Fortunately, since moving to the county seat (Leesburg) I actually have two pretty good choices: Fios and Xfinity. And I’m about to flip from Fios to Xfinity to get a good rate. But it feels so rare for me to have a choice - and plenty of people in my area don’t have one.


Most of Vermont effectively has one choice, Comcast. Fairpoint offers DSL but it sucks, where it’s even available, and there’s some oddball wireless ISP stuff but it’s all dreadful. The only true broadband is Comcast or, if you’re lucky enough to live in Burlington, the municipal ISP Burlington Telecom, which is wicked fast but is embroiled in financial and legal troubles that might strangle it.

We pay, well, a shit ton more than $60/month, but we do have the Internet, HD TV, and phone bundled. I can’t complain about the performance or service, really, as Comcast has been fine in that regard, but not having any real choice is a bit of a downer.

Fun fact: I’ve NEVER had any broad band choice. I moved to Vermont twenty years ago when all I had ever experienced was dial up. We got broadband cable early in the 2000s, from Comcast, the only provider that offered it.


Except he’s not participating at all, just a driveby link that I think he knows won’t stand up to scrutiny or debate.


For much of the US outside major urban centers, there’s only one choice for broadband Internet access. Or none, if you’re far enough into the countryside. There’s usually a second or even third choice, but those aren’t broadband - dial-up, satellite, terrible quality ISDN.

Where I’ve lived for the last 15 years in Caledonia MI, Charter is the only game in town. I keep getting flyers in the mail from AT&T and a local satellite company, but when I looked into it, the service they’re providing isn’t what I’d call broadband. A tenth of the speed and bandwidth of my $60/month cable Internet connection, certainly not suitable for high quality video streaming or gaming or even a reasonable work-VPN connection.

Net neutrality is something I’d prefer wasn’t necessary. With real competition and proper regulation to ensure it stays that way, it wouldn’t be. Customers could switch to providers that give the best service - including free access. (And perhaps privacy!) But that’s pretty much impossible in rural areas due to the initial infrastructure costs, and the big ISPs are making it as difficult as possible in urban areas by fighting things like municipal wifi. So we do need net neutrality regulation, and I’m sure hoping it comes back after the Trump administration tears it all down.


Are there any regions with multiple providers of the same (wired) type? I.e. two cable providers, two DSL providers, etc.


It’s tough because ultimately one company owns the infrastructure I think, the poles and wires and stuff. And there is no way there are going to be parallel poles and wires and things. It’s all very deceptive, too, because those poles are all on public right of ways. Much like the railroads, which got huge gifts from the government(s) involved to build rail lines–the idea being they spent the capital and the state gave them land to create an asset for all–ended up gouging the hell out of everyone until they were forced into a semblance of fairness by wide-spread rural unrest and intense political attacks, the ISPs will not do anything other than play Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie until they are forced to do otherwise.

Which the current US government, red or blue, will not do, as pretty much everyone in power in Washington has sold their probably non-existent souls to the capitalist pigs.


Probably a few, but it’s far from the norm. As @TheWombat said, the infrastructure is expensive and no one is forcing them to share.


There will be three providers where Google has its fiber. AT&T refers to those as “hypercompetitive” markets and, believe it or not, they offer lower prices in those markets!


There are areas that have say FIOS and Cable and they get to hop between those two. Heck I know that group will even pay contract fees for customers to switch. When we had the municipal offered you could choose that or traditional cable… then there is the group that has Google which is another option.


It seems like those areas are rather rare though. For most people, you have a single broadband option.


Yeah, fairly rare especially since both Google and Verizon essentially stopped expanding.


Yes, I find it annoying to not actually talk.

My perspective has always been that if you can’t defend your position rationally, then it’s an indicator that your position may need to be updated.


I thought he posted that link ironically.


Northern Virginia is one of those regions – we have both cable (Cox) and FIOS (Verizon) in addition to the third-tier providers that theoretically everyone has access to (Hughes, DSL, dedicated T1, etc.).

For a good ten years, Cox cable and dial-up DSL were the only things that were really feasible in this area and it was about as bad as you might imagine: the cable company provided Internet access over crappy 15-year-old coax lines that basically just gave you DSL-like speeds for a ludicrous cost. At my house, the Internet access would go out if it rained. Not if it rained HARD, mind you, just if it rained enough to make the ground wet. And of course Cox Cable’s customer service was legendarily terrible back then.

I switched to FIOS the very day it was available in my neighborhood. And suddenly – like magic – Cox started a program to upgrade all their lines. And they started to offer faster speeds. And their customer service was overhauled.

Today, Cox still can’t quite match Verizon’s speeds, but they do price themselves competitively. And as Nersie mentioned, they have all sorts of bribes to get you to switch.



The only hope (barring a complete regulatory/political shift in DC) is that some entity with infinitely deep pockets jumps in to build it’s own wide-ranging infrastructure. But even if that was feasible, it still wouldn’t help most people not living in large metro areas, and it would probably be done by an entity that would then turn around and gouge the hell out of us anyhow.