Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications United States

Comcast Says There's 6 Million Unhappy DSL Users Left To Target (dslreports.com) 141

Karl Bode, writing for DSLReports: As we noted last week, cable is effectively demolishing phone companies when it comes to new broadband subscriber additions, and Comcast still says the company has plenty of room to grow. Comcast and Charter alone added 500,000 net broadband subscribers last quarter, while the nation's biggest telcos collectively lost 360,783 broadband users during the same period. With AT&T and Verizon backing away from unwanted DSL users, and Windstream Frontier and CenturyLink only eyeing piecemeal upgrades, the bloodshed is far from over. Speaking this week at the Nomura 2016 Media, Telecom & Internet Conference, Comcast VP Marcien Jenckes stated that the company has plenty of unhappy DSL customers left to nab. In fact, Comcast says the company still has around 6 million DSL subscribers in its territory, many of which are likely frustrated by outdated speeds.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Comcast Says There's 6 Million Unhappy DSL Users Left To Target

Comments Filter:
  • Comcast and the like have come down my street several times taking surveys asking if we would subscribe. Since many don't want cable TV, and the ones that do already have DirecTV or Dish, they decide it's not worth it.

    • I don't get it. Why wouldn't you just get the Internet-only package? You don't have to get cable TV.
      • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:24PM (#52750851)

        Maybe Comcast isn't interested in building the infrastructure to offer service solely for internet-only customers.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        He means they never built out his neighborhood because there wasn't enough demand for it. So no cable at all, TV or internet.

      • I went to DSL and DirecTV at my previous residence because the cable company oversubscribed the street and I would have useful bandwidth anytime except for between 5pm and midnight on weekdays. This not only ruined normal internet use but cause all sorts of digital signal artifacts during primetime TV.
        • This not only ruined normal internet use but cause all sorts of digital signal artifacts during primetime TV.

          Cable TV is not provided using the Internet service, it is a fixed set of channels that have no interaction at all with internet.

          TV artifacts are due to the over-compression of the TV signals so they can put more TV signals into the same space, not because your neighbors were sucking up all the internet. And part of the "more TV signals" comes from the broadcasters who have found they can put four "channels" onto one carrier and show you not only the major networks but things like Me, This, Grit, Joe, etc.

          • We only had video artifacts during primetime. If it were simple over-compression then shouldn't we have seen a steady rate of artifacts across the day? Towards the end we eventually had to give up watching TV during primetime. We'd have minutes of blockiness or missing audio. During the daytime, the picture never had artifacts.
          • Less popular channels are often delivered through "switched digital video" (SDV), which delivers only those channels that someone in a particular neighborhood is watching. It's more like multicast video-on-demand, such as pay-per-view boxing, than like traditional digital cable TV channels.

            • Less popular channels are often delivered through "switched digital video" (SDV),

              I have Comcast and they don't do that.

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        Have you ever dealt with Comcast? I have DirecTV and DSL. If I have DSL problems, I call the phone company and say there's noise on the line. Since they have to respond within a certain amount of time for voice line issues, that means the line gets fixed in a timely manner. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that Comcast has any such requirement. They roll a truck when they feel like it. Worse, if you're only getting Internet, they cap your speed lower than if you were getting TV as well. Not to m

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

        Because the bundling packages versus single packages make it a horrible waste of money to not get both services from the same company.

        In fact, with comcast, I was paying LESS per month for higher speed (75Mbs) - for the first 12 months - by bundling some TV package I never intended on using. The problem was I was paying more than that just for satellite (> $130/month, and that didn't even include premium channels - just HD and DVR service on three TV sets). So recently I sort of cut the cord and cancel

  • Ignoring the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:02PM (#52750641)
    What about the 20+ million unhappy Comcast subscribers? Shouldn't they target some of them for better service?

    Wait, this is Comcast. Those people are already in the gallows.
    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      At least some of that 6MM are either former cable ISP customers (likely because of the cable company), aren't in a cable service area, or are willing to accept DSL's limitations in order to avoid dealing with cable as an ISP. I fall into the last group.

      • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @04:26PM (#52751365)
        Likewise. I have a 12 Mbit business Uverse connection through AT&T. It has plenty of drawbacks - in particular the modem takes about 10 minutes to reboot/resync if the power blips, which happens several times a week where I live, and they can't decide whether or not I have problems with the physical line. One time they'll say, "oh yeah, we need to get that line replaced", and then the next it's "the line test looks fine to me". However, it's $65/month, I have 5 static IPs, IPv6 (finally) works well, and I can run whatever the hell I want on my connection. Every year or so, I get a quote from Comcast to compare. This year, it was $75/month for comparable service, plus another $30/month for 5 statics, plus $7.50/month for the modem rental (they won't allow customers to use their own gear with static IPs), and a $300 installation charge plus a 1 year commitment. I specifically told Comcast to contact me via email as I wouldn't be available on the phone during the day. Over a period of two weeks, three different sales reps called a total of 5 times while I was at work, and each time I responded via email and reminded them that they should contact me via that means. I never got a response, and eventually they just stopped calling. If that's how conscientious they are when trying to get my business, I shudder to think what the customer service would be like once they have my money.

        AT&T sucks in a lot of ways, but they're cheaper, they're responsive, and if I have issues I can usually get in touch with someone that actually knows something instead of having to walk through a useless 45-minute script with some phone jockey. I'd like to avail myself of better/faster service, but Comcast seems to do everything they can to keep me from switching.
    • Unhappy or not, they're still paying the bill. It's not like they have an option to change ISPs.

      They aren't getting a single unhappy dollar (or otherwise) from people that aren't subscribers.

    • Seriously. Just how horrible does your current service have to be for Comcast to look like a better alternative?
    • with each other. They have exclusive franchises granted to them in exchange for paying for the infrastructure up front ( Yeah, I know they didn't really pay for it since they got tax credits almost immediately to offset it on top of tax cuts to further offset it, but hey, that's America for you).
      • They have exclusive franchises granted to them in exchange for paying for the infrastructure up front

        Exclusive franchises have been illegal for so long that there is little chance that they still exist.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Even if exclusive franchises per se are illegal, a city can still make a franchise constructively exclusive by requiring all competing franchisees to guarantee a citywide rollout in a time frame faster than any competitor can afford.

  • Give me that $20 to $40 a month 40 Gbps internet speed any day of the week that the rest of the Free World gets under their "socialism".

    1000 times faster. 10 times cheaper.

    There's the sweet spot.

  • by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:10PM (#52750709)
    The happy Comcast customer is a myth, just like Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Sure, there may be some unhappy DSL customers remaining to poach, but thanks to their legally-regulated monopoly, Comcast's own service is unreliable, awful and badly, badly overpriced too. These customers are jumping out of the frying pan, and into a bigger frying pan. Switching to Comcast will likely make their internet faster when it works, but it will also make it much more expensive and their happiness won't improve one iota.
    • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

      I'm a VERY happy Comcast customer (so they do exist) but I'm an enterprise customer and not a residential customer, so YMMV. Something like 3-4 hours of unscheduled downtime in the last five years on the HFC circuit, and the GigE private circuit that I have for one of my remote sites hasn't seen any downtime since installation last year.

      I'd like to say that "service with big telecom improves as you spend more money" but AT&T still sucks no matter how much money I give them.

    • Sure, there may be some unhappy DSL customers remaining to poach, but thanks to their legally-regulated monopoly, Comcast's own service is unreliable, awful and badly, badly overpriced too.

      There is one exception - when Google Fiber comes to your city, and then suddenly it's a whole new Comcast.

      Google Fiber has only begun to deploy here in Nashville, and already Comcast has run new cables on the utility poles in my neighborhood, and offered everyone a no-contract $139 / month Xfinity X1 package with 300 Mbps

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

        Well, I'd been a happy 25Mbs comcast subscriber for quite some time, but was looking forward to the day that some company would run fiber into my neighborhood. Google announced the Atlanta area, but not in the suburbs where I live.

        Then AT&T came through announcing their fiber in my neighborhood, and within weeks I got a letter from comcast telling me I could upgrade my service. Still, I haven't had customer service problems with comcast's internet folks, the uptime has been great. Competition is grea

  • three times now. Even offered to handle the last ~800 from the road to no avail. Meanwhile Windstream keeps raising price -- now nearly $80 for a measly 6-Mbps.
  • disclaimer: im a comcast engineer.

    what tfa fails to mention is that there's 6 million unhappy DSL users left to target with our fresnel laser of doom. rest assured, (and we've tested this,) customer complaints are a thing of the past after exposure to the futuristic beam of a laser that blots out the sun.
  • Delusional (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:19PM (#52750789)

    Comcast is delusional if it thinks speed is the major bottleneck between subscribers and happiness. It is but one of many issues, though it is somewhat significant. By far, the bigger issues are:

    1) Price. High speed Internet access in America is way over priced, and way under-delivered.

    2) Lack of choices. We need the municipalities to own the infrastructure, and multiple, competing private companies to administer it. It's the only model that works.

    3) Availability. High speed Internet is available in probably 10% (or less) of America, despite decades of massive tax cuts to Internet providers for the sole purpose of connecting America. The corruptions needs to stop, and we need to get our money back.

    • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

      3) Availability. High speed Internet is available in probably 10% (or less) of America, despite decades of massive tax cuts to Internet providers for the sole purpose of connecting America. The corruptions needs to stop, and we need to get our money back.

      I don't want our money back. I want ownership of the cables transferred to the localities that paid for them via those tax incentives etc. (Solves #2 as well) With the ownership issue resolved, things can change much more quickly.

    • Comcast is delusional if it thinks speed is the major bottleneck between subscribers and happiness. It is but one of many issues...

      Most services typically face periods of sluggishness. Based on my experience with slimy telecom marketers, they'll suggest that those periods are due to not having high enough "speed". Naive customers may just fall for it.

      In reality, those periods of sluggishness will likely happen regardless of "billed" speed. I've purchased higher speed mainly because it was bundled* with some

    • but they can charge you extra for speed, it costs them virtually nothing and their sales reps can at least pretend you got something in exchange for the last round of price increase (up to $75/mo in my neighborhood, yay!). But hey, it beats that commie "municiple" broadband, amaright?
  • I have DSL that used to be cheap but they made me get a phone line and it almost doubled in price. (i don't need or use the phone line). I called comcast and they said i can get internet only for 44$ per month. I don't need tv because i get all i need from an OTA and the internet. Is that price for real or is there hidden prices that despite my asking about will still get tacked on my bill. I'm in central NJ, only choices are Verizon DSL(what i now have) and Comcast.
    • by cusco ( 717999 )

      I would keep the land line. People don't think about it, but in an emergency the cellphone network is almost immediately overwhelmed (even bad rush hour traffic in our area). For that matter many (most?) of the towers don't have backup generators so will shutdown as soon as their batteries run out in a power emergency. I live in the Pacific Northwest, we have earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and a 70 mph windstorm will bring down so many Douglas Fir trees that it can take two weeks to restore power to som

      • a 70 mph windstorm will bring down so many Douglas Fir trees that it can take two weeks to restore power to some areas. During any of these our land line will continue to work as long as the phone line itself isn't broken,

        What makes you think the lines are separate? I've had my power go out from downed douglas fir trees numerous times. Never had my cell phone go out in the PNW once. If I was designing a system to provide emergency communication in a disaster area I wouldn't rely on physical wires to every destination.

        • by cusco ( 717999 )

          What makes you think the lines are separate?

          Experience. Phone lines, especially major feeders and trunk lines, are buried as often as possible. That's not possible for high tension and major electrical supply lines except in downtown areas where that type of very expensive infrastructure makes financial sense. The 'last mile' electrical cable between the substation and your home may be buried, but the lines to the substation are almost certainly not. Phone lines are easier to fix, don't require major e

    • by dysmal ( 3361085 )

      That might be $44/month but then there's the taxes and other charges including modem rental fees. I don't know what Comcast's modem fees are but TWC is $7.50/month which is a joke.

    • Where are you at? In most of the US the phone company is restricted from requiring phone service to get DSL. Call your provider and ask for "naked DSL". I know Frontier and CenturyLink offer it in most/all of their territories.

    • They are not conning you. DSL is the con for 1/5th the speed at 200% the price. Nobody should be on DSL these days if there is a decent cable connection available. It's the worst value in internet.

      • If speed and price are the only considerations, maybe.
        I live in a rural area in NC. While DSL would be insufficient for my needs (I have Spectrum/TWC), friends of my parents are totally happy with the local telecom. Sure, it simply doesn't have the speed that cable does, but it's more than enough for them. Furthermore, the large cablecos cannot touch the level of service that is standard with the local telecom. If they ever have problems, a guy is usually there within 45 minutes.
        So it all depends on what
      • I can get 1000Mbit DSL (fiber to the building, DSL to the demarc).

        The fastest cable I can get is 20Mbit. I tried the 20Mbit cable for a day and was never able to get speeds above 5Mbit.

        I currently have 60Mbit DSL. It is reliable as hell and consistently 60Mbit no matter which speed test I use or time of day.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      I have DSL that used to be cheap but they made me get a phone line and it almost doubled in price. (i don't need or use the phone line). I called comcast and they said i can get internet only for 44$ per month. I don't need tv because i get all i need from an OTA and the internet. Is that price for real or is there hidden prices that despite my asking about will still get tacked on my bill. I'm in central NJ, only choices are Verizon DSL(what i now have) and Comcast.

      Comcast internet price they quoted you is a deal and will be a higher price after 6 months. That is the price they always quote, the deal price, never the real price.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:25PM (#52750865)

    ... to 6 million very unhappy cable customers.

  • How much of those numbers are outdated? For instance, Centrylink is very aggressively replacing all coper lines with fiber lines in the Pacific Northwest. 8 months ago I could sign up for DSL service through them still. 7 months ago, I couldn't, because they made the switch in my neighborhood to fiber, and now no longer offer anything lower than 40mbps fiber connections with no option at all anymore for DSL. Upon finding this out, I promptly switch from cable (municipal ISP) over to their gigabit fiber, bec

    • I am also a CenturyLink customer.

      I use their 60Mbit DSL service. I could go with gigabit DSL (DSL down to the demarc) but I just don't need that kind of speed (I tried it for a few months but couldn't justify the $150/mo, especially since streaming HD content was no faster/better than 60Mbit).

      I am pretty happy with the reliability and speed of the service. So... don't count me as one of the 6 million DSL subscribers Comcast is referring to.

  • It's hilarious that they think I'm unhappy. Since I canceled my Comcast service I've never been happier. My 20Mbps Centrylink DSL is fast enough and reliable.

    As for them being "slow" to roll out new service. They offered fiber at my condo in Salt Lake City six years ago. It was expensive and I had to spend $1500 to run it from the pole but it was available. From what I understand they're upgrading the lines in my current neighborhood to fiber as well.

    Funny how things work when there is competition. My cond

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Monday August 22, 2016 @03:32PM (#52750923)
    My girlfriend and I finally reached the breaking point with Time Warner and cancelled our "working when it wants to be" 100 megabit service for a perfectly stable 7 megabit DSL connection. It was a matter of maintaining sanity and we are much happier with it. Also, no more burning up mobile hotspot bandwidth every time it flaked out.
    • This was why I stuck with stable DSL as opposed to cable that slowed drastically during peak hours and had ping times that made online gaming a surreal experience.

  • I switched off Comcast a few months ago to a regional ISP that's deploying fiber-to-the-premises all over the place. Their current offering in my neighborhood is FTTN, which is basically fiber to a box near my house, then DSL from that box to my living room. I have two DSL lines bonded for a 50Mbps down, ~8Mbps up connection (that is, faster than Comcast in uploads) for about a third what I was paying Comcast. That's to tide us over until the ISP gets around to replacing that last mile, which they've actual

  • I was an unhappy cable customer who switched to DSL. Best thing I ever did for my internet connection. Sure, cable can be faster... when it works. But after many weeks of it going down several times a week, usually at least once a day, and many service calls, I had had enough. DSL that works 24/7 is far better than spotty cable even if it's a bit slower.

    On the plus side, I also get to work with a local company with legendary amazing(ly good) customer service, who are proud of their company and act it, and I

  • I've had sucky ATT DSL here in Chicago, - 6Mbps, for years. We could get comcast but it would mean changing to new email domains, which I am too lazy to do. If Comcast weren't just as sucky, customer service wise, there might be a compelling reason to move.
  • Offer a cloud server of the user's choice of operating system with every signup, and you'll have DSL customers beating down your doorstep.

  • In fact, Comcast says the company still has around 6 million DSL subscribers in its territory, many of which are likely frustrated by outdated speeds.

    And what does it say about Comcast as a company when there's 6 million people willing to suffer through crappy DSL rather than have to deal with Comcast?

  • Comcast cable tv sucks next to all other systems.

    There internet is good but there HD lineup sucks + now they are doing rate shaping as well. Also there channel map sucks.

  • What's the beef? With modern compression algorithms, DSL is plenty fast enough for video streaming, who needs more than that? If I wanted, I could potentially stream 250 GB a month, imagine what that would cost on a wireless contract. DSL reliability is incredible; in 10 years it's been out maybe 3 or 4 times for a few hours. When the power has gone out for days at a time, DSL still works, as does my landline phone. There are no rental charges; my modem was free and it still works. Best of all, I don'
    • I am a DSL guy too.

      It's all about the reliability.

      Speed is just fine. But it is the most common story for people to be without their cable internet connection for days at a time.

      I know that when I lived with a friend for a few years, his cable would go out all the time. Sometimes for a day or more.

      Never had that issue with DSL.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      I think it depends on whose DSL you are using. My mom was paying $95/month for phone+DSL that was slow when it worked, and often didn't work at all. When she complained, AT&T reduced her monthly bill to make up for the poor performance, but even then she was paying $75/month for phone+Internet service that was inadequate and painful to use.

      Eventually we switched her Internet and phone lines over to cable (Comcast), and now she is much happier, can stream video reliably, doesn't call me up regularly to

  • Why anyone would switch TO Comcast for ANY reason is beyond me; their lousy service is only eclipsed by their lousy CUSTOMER service!!

  • Release countermeasures! Take evasive action!

  • We're one of three houses on our street (in Brookline, MA) that Comcast won't serve because we're too far from a utility pole. They don't seem too interested in doing anything about it; we've called repeatedly. So we're stuck with damnfool 1500/368 (kbit) DSL. Feh.

  • ....about to become unhappy Comcast users.

  • I'm an unhappy DSL user with sonic.net but I'd switch over to two tin cans and a length of string before I sign any contract with Comcast.

  • Well, truthfully, I switched a month ago, after having Verizon DSL since 1999 or so. I have no love for either mega-corp, but 150mpbs via Comcast is blowing the doors off my old 6mb connection (it's more $$ as well, as expected). Had Verizon actually rolled out FIOS in my area, for convenience I would've stayed with them, but a birdie from the company told me it's never going to happen. The sucky thing is, Verizon will never officially tell you that and keep stringing you along.
    • I too am in the camp that just switched from ATT Uverse to Comcast within the last 3-6 months.

      The reasons were several... First of all, I was paying for ATT Uverse Internet/TV/Phone package, and the bill I was paying was $154/mo (which was their promo pricing still). The promo pricing was ending, and I calculated what the new price would be for all of this, and it was over $170/mo. My family decided it wasn't worth it, and we were 'cutting the cord' for TV.

      With that price from ATT, I was getting 18/2
      • That reminds me, I've got to buy a modem, right now I'm still renting. I'm glad I started off that way though, as it removed an excuse for Comcast to blame my gear when I reported disconnects. Initially, right after signing up, I had crappy levels (especially upstream) that were making the modem reboot, but I got them to send a tech out, told them the issue had to be at the pole, and he replaced the tap, which resolved the issue. I have great levels now. Not sure I'm going to continue to pay for the 150mb
  • While there are a lot of people incapable of getting decent service with ADSL there are a lot of people like myself who have only ever subscribed to ADSL or Fibe (two places I lived I got fiber, and not from Verizon, but local companies or via municipality public utilities) because of the manipulative tactics of Comcast and similar cable companies. ADSL is better in that you get what you pay for (pretty much always, I've never gotten 4mpbs on 25mbps advertised pipes for example, unlike I've experienced nume

  • Do they wish to make them even more unhappy?

Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton

Working...