Cable Monopolies

After three tries, Comcast finally hooked up my cable modem. It shouldn’t have been difficult since the apartment is already wired. The 1st service rep didn’t know how to access the cable box in the back of the building, and the 2nd rep’s installation of a bad cable modem happened to coincide with a local broadband outtage that made troubleshooting particularly difficult. 3rd time was the charm and I’m now buzzing along at about 1.3 mbps.

It wouldn’t annoy me so much if I had any choice for broadband service. After a discount period, they’ll be charging me about $60/month. At that price I’d have used my Verizon EV-DO card, but there’s no reception here. Given what I imagine to be the proportion of wealthy and closely packed Internet-using professionals in my neighborhood, it’s surprising that no one has set up a competing Wi-Fi or other alternative network. Someday perhaps FIOS will be here.

And a curious thing, Comcast forces you to run a “self-install kit” on your computer in order to register the service (after which you can use a router). Perhaps this is some mechanism to prevent theft of the service, but makes me wonder what they are up to.

2 thoughts on “Cable Monopolies

  1. Right, to prevent service theft I think. The Comcast software is registering the MAC address of your cable modem with some kind of authentication server. They used to have you call to register the device, but now have made it harder to go that route, preferring to automate it instead.

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