Posted by darren on Monday, December 07, 2009

I have been paying for 12 Mbps high speed internet for the past year, ever since they upgraded the network in my area and automatically 'upgraded' my service. Never have I gotten above 5 Mbps.

Yet, each month, I dutifully fork over my 57 dollars because I have no other choice. Comcast is a dinosaur. A 20th century company doing business with 21st century bits. Hopefully, they'll go the way of Charter and AOL, soon.

After yesterday's Comcast saga, I was hesitant to wade into the murky waters again with this complaint about their slow speed. After all, if they didn't care about no service, why would they care if I got 4 Mbps? I should be happy with the meager scraps they throw my way, right?

But for nearly 60 bucks a month, I think I deserve more. So, first a trip to the Comcast website which instructs you that if you are getting slow internet speed you should clear your cache, realize that speeds vary depending on RAM, disk space, yada, yada, yada. Obviously - I wasn't going to get any satisfaction here. What I wanted was, "After you've checked all that, you should try X, Y and Z, or call one of our technicians." No such luck. Simple instructions would be too easy.

So, once again, I spent a couple of hours, googling for answers, checking forums, trying different internet speed tests. Apparently, Comcast only believes in their own speed test. Which, I guess makes sense, since it's closer to their nodes and therefore must be faster. Fair enough. So I went to and tried again. Same results, just over 4 Mbps in the middle of the day. Finally entered the Comcast forums. Of course, you have to have a username - which apparently I did create. Reading the forums I found two pieces of interesting info:

  • There has been some testing of new cable modem firmware in the northwest
  • An incorrect configuration file can cause modem speed problems

So, I called them up, and spoke with a friendly representative named Sakina. She said everything seemed fine from Comcast's end, the ping rate was good, etc. She said they could send a technician to check out the modem and the connection. I asked about the configuration file. She said that the configuration file loaded on my modem was correct but that she could load it again to double check.

I shut down my computer. She rebooted the modem, reloaded the file and I restarted my computer.

I went to the Comcast SpeedTest page to try it out. Immediately, I got speeds of 12-15 Mbps. More than triple what I was getting before.

Amazing. I'm now using the wifi and enjoying the same speeds.

But yes, when there is an alternative, I'm still dumping Comcast.