Remember when you called up your ISP and, after an unholy modem screech, were billed for every minute you spent online? (Actually, it occurs to me that many Consumerist readers probably don’t remember this.) If ISPs’ current efforts pay off, we may all soon be paying for every little byte of Internet that we use.
Where does spam come from? Well, there are these things called botnets. They’re networks of hijacked computers that secretly do the bidding of their masters. Often, they send out spam. Comcast plans to offer an automated service that will inform you, within your browser, if your computer is behaving as if it has been compromised by malware.
Richard is annoyed at AT&T. Due to what we will optimistically call a mixup, he didn’t exactly get the DSL service he ordered and was paying for. While he has straightened things out with the company, he wants to keep other customers in his area from having the same experience.
The FCC today proposed new rules to protect and preserve “net neutrality,” the idea that ISPs must treat all users the same and not prejudice against different types of customers. In a speech, Chairman Julius Genachowski supported adopting the “Four Freedoms” first articulated by the FCC in 2004 (PDF) not just as principles but as formal rules, and adding two more: “non-discrimination” and “transparency.” The big networks are, naturally, incensed.
The government is finally cracking down on Net neutrality? Yes, it’s time! Tomorrow, the FCC plans to propose new rules for Internet service providers to prevent them from blocking certain types of traffic.
AT&T released a statement about their temporary blocking this weekend of troll haven 4chan for its customers. The company said the temporary block was to stop DDos attacks on one customer emanating from IP addresses associated with the site. After the threat was over, the block was lifted. Here’s the official release:
UPDATE: AT&T has a statement. They said the temporary block was to stop DDos attacks from IP addresses associated with img.4chan.org. After the threat was over, they lifted the block.
Earlier this week, we posted an email from a frustrated Qwest customer who said he couldn’t download YouTube and other online videos at a speed equivalent to the Qwest service he was paying for. Qwest wrote to us, and spoke to the customer, and swore they were not interfering with any download rates. Instead, it looks like the problem is with OpenDNS, a free service that usually speeds up downloading, but that seems to have an issue when it comes to certain video streams.
Graham’s roommate is moving out. The cable and Internet are in his name, so they called up Comcast to change the name on the account. Simple enough, right? Surprisingly, it was. Until they wanted to know why there was a $10 fee to change the name on the account.
While they’ve temporarily shelved metered broadband plans, Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers who they deem have used too much bandwidth. One such customer lives in Austin, TX, one of the original markets slated for metered broadband. Stop The Cap has the story, and an excerpt is inside.
Reader Jon in Washington state has some issues with his ISP, Broadstripe. Namely, the periodic outages he experiences, and how the company decided to make up for the most recent one.
Rochester, NY is one of the expanded test areas for TWC’s new metered broadband program, (along with Austin & San Antonio, TX, and Greensboro, NC.) The people of Rochester are especially upset about the change, including their representative, Eric Massa, who had strong words for Time Warner.
Google has assembled a suite of free tools (developed by researchers, not by Google itself) that let you measure things like BitTorrent throttling, upload/download speeds, and last mile snafus. In exchange for “free,” the test data is being made public to enable further study of broadband connections. You might want to bookmark the site for future reference when you’re trying to figure out what’s going on with your ISP.
The Wall Street Journal and Ars Technica are reporting that the RIAA has announced a fairly dramatic change in its strategy to fight piracy.
A two-year investigation has concluded that most Verizon FIOS installations fail to meet national safety standards, and could cause fires or electrocutions. FIOS is famous for house fires, but New York’s Public Service Commission first started its investigation back in 2006 after several inspectors discovered improperly grounded installations.
If you think you can sign up with Comcast just to get a Wii and then cancel or downgrade service, think again. Downgrade service or cancel in the first year, $250 in fees, second year, $125. Other restrictions apply. The insider says the new Wii promotion is a bunch of crap and they and other Comcast CSRs won’t be offering it to customers unless customers beg for it because of all the caveats. Frankly, they’re in the right for protecting their asses on this one. However, it’s not too hard to imagine scenarios where Comcast gets the account details wrong and customers wrongly get assessed fees… The internal document, inside…