Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To be fair to Comcast...

I brought home a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem today so that I could upgrade my Internet speed to the maximum available in my area. I plugged it in, went into the modem's menus at, and watched the status until it had established carrier and received the carrier update from Comcast and rebooted and went online. Then I plugged www.google.com into my browser window and it put me into the Comcast provisioning GUI. I selected that I was a "technician" (since the "customer" option requires Windows and I of course am on a Mac), put in my account number, and it pretty much did everything automatically from there to link my new modem with my account and provision it for use on the network, just requiring me to hit a "Next" button from time to time between steps. At the end of the process it then put me on the Internet, and here I am.

This is a serious improvement over what the user experience used to be like when you upgraded your cable modem, when you had to call Comcast's service center and have them provision the modem and it could take hours sometimes to accomplish it. So as much as I like to dump on them as "Compost" and "Comcraptastic", this is at least one thing where they've gotten their shit together quite well, thank you very much.

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin


  1. So - on top of everything else, you're also FAIR?!?

    Is there no hope for you?

    Tsk, tsk,

  2. And to be even more fair, it was Comcast's own customer support that told me I could do this, albeit not in this particular context! Wow. Customer support that actually mentions something useful, even though they couldn't help me with what I *really* wanted to do :).

    - Badtux the Helped Penguin

  3. I recently got a modem upgrade from RR and saw an 7-times increase in speed. Just when I was looking to switch to somebody, anybody faster. I can actually download stuff from RapidShare in half an hour now rather instead of half a day.

  4. Renting a modem is a sucker bet, you'll spend far more on modem rent than you'd ever spend simply buying a new modem every couple of years to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Compost charges $5 per month modem rent. That's $60 per year, or $120 every two years. The best, most expensive modem on the market costs $99 and has a 2 year warranty so you can be pretty darn certain it'll last at least two years. So buy a modem, save $21. Pretty darn good deal.

    Oh wait, I forgot that you're in the nation of Texas. Are cable companies still allowed to force you to rent your cable modem there? I'm not up on cable Internet laws in foreign countries, so I have no idea :).

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin
    (who knows Texas only thinks it is a foreign country... but that's good enough for snarking :)

  5. I can buy my own, though I have to jump through a buncha hoops to use it. I'm more concerned about speed than saving money, and I assume I can only go as fast as they'll let me, so buying my own wouldn't have made/make any difference.

  6. With Comcast, all you have to do is plug it in, wait for it to receive the subscriber update (that sets it with Comcast's settings), go to the GUI and type in your account number and hit "NEXT" a few times, and that's it. It took me literally ten minutes, and most of that was waiting for the initial boot, subscriber update, and resulting reboot.

    Setting up the initial account is a bit more involved, but it's the same process whether using their modem or yours, as long as your modem is on their supported modems list, which mine has always been (because I always checked their list before buying).

    -- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

  7. And a quick search tells me there's no discount for using your own and apparently no charge for using theirs.

  8. Uhm, no. Comcast charges you $5 per month to use their modem. Believe me, I know what Comcast's charges are, up close and personal :).

    - Badtux the Comcast-usin' Penguin

  9. Well, looks like with RR all you gotta do is call and give 'em your MAC address. But since there's no charge I'm cool with what I have, so long as Wii Grand Slam Tennis online works. Which it does, like a treat. God is great.


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