I’ve been with Comcast for almost 15 years at this point, from back in the day when we still had dial up service. I’ve been through good time and bad times, and right now, we’re having another one of those bad times.
About six years ago, Comcast started using Twitter for customer support. I started using Twitter instead of customer support by phone, because it was always faster and more reliable. Lately, I’ve reverted to using phone based customer support for problems, and it’s been fine. While I expect occasional problems, the service has been largely terrific. Until this past week.
Starting on December 3rd, I began to notice significantly slower internet speeds. Our bill is paid up, and everything else seemed fine, so I called, anticipating a regional outage. I was assured everything was fine and they sent out a very nice technician who tested my system and tightened some connections, which seemed to improve the service a bit. Then it went back downhill, prompting a second call and a second service visit from a more advanced technician, who changed out some of the filters at the main modem.
During this process I became aware of two sites you should know about. The first is Downdetector.com that will tell you where there’s Comcast problems across the country. The second is how to test the speed of your service through Comcast’s Speed test site.
The technician who came out said initially that we should test speed to and from the DC server, while the New Castle DE server is much closer to our home. I am now testing speeds from both servers. When service is working well, and we can effectively watch video streamed over the net, we’re getting 40+ mbps download speed. However, a good portion of the time, I’m getting 20 mbps or less. Despite checking out everything locally, I’m forced to conclude this is really not a local equipment problem, but Comcast is either throttling internet speeds everywhere or is simply not providing the service I’m paying for, and is hoping I don’t notice too often. Either way, the problem is getting untenable.
A brief look at Comcast service forums shows me this problem is far from unique. It’s happening here and in other pars of the Country as well. So the question that remains is whether or not Comcast is REALLY providing the service it promises, or is it intentionally dropping service speeds and hoping it’s at times no one will notice.
If you are having similar problems, check your local speeds and report them here. Let’s try to document this problem and figure out what the underlying problem is and how to get Comcast to deliver the service that they promise.