My Comcast Internet and Phone service went out last night for three hours.  It was a unique widespread outage — I might lose either Phone or Internet, but in 10 years I don’t recall ever losing both of them at the same time with no modem lights — and I was secretly hoping Comcast were finally doing their free “double speed” upgrade for our area they’d been publicly promising for weeks in an attempt to tamp down Verizon FiOS infiltration into their broadband power user neighborhoods.

In the past, I’ve written about Comcast Data Caps and I was happy to see Comcast suspend data caps for the 2012 Summer — because that makes for great Big Brother live stream viewing — and I wondered if the cap suspension was because of the planned doubling of internet speed so users could get used to the added speed without having to worry about going over their broadband usage limit?

As I understand it, when the caps return, they’ll be set at 350GB instead of 250GB and you will no longer be cut off if you go over 350GB per month — you’ll just be additionally charged $10 for every 50GB you use over your limit.  That’s a welcome and fair resolution to the previous policy of cutting off your internet service if you go over the broadband cap.

When Phone and Internet service were restored around 9:30pm last night, I did some Internet speed testing and was amazed by the results.

My ordinary Comcast Blast connection can peak, on a really really really good day, at around 35MB down and 12MB up — my new speeds were 44MB up and  79MB down — it felt like NYU WiFi speeds!

I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I went to speedtest.comcast.net and tested my connection and felt the same amazing whoosh of speed:  66MB down and 80MB up!  WOWSER!

I also did some Big Brother live streaming tests and the clarity and speed were incredible and wonderfully welcome.  No more video tearing.  No more stuttering feeds.  I fell asleep dreaming of faster pings and quicker iTunes downloads.

Then, I woke up this morning.

Everything was down again.  No Comcast Internet.  No Phone.

I checked the Comcast network status page.  The whole region was having trouble again.

Three more hours passed.

Phone and Internet were restored.

I immediately loaded up the Comcast speedtest page — and was crushed.  We had fallen back to the ordinary and expected:  35mb down and 10MB up.

I don’t know what happened overnight.  Maybe Comcast had upgrade problems and they decided to roll back the whole upgrade to the previous broadband speeds.

However, the taste of that broadband speed doubling was a real treat, and even though I only had access to it for a couple of hours before I fell asleep — I am now officially complaining about my “slow” internet speed at 35MB down — only because Comcast showed me last night was is really in store for us all as our new ordinary and expected.

13 Comments

    1. You can say that again, Lillian! I’m still sitting here feeling a bit slow and let down. I’ve been longingly looking at the speed screenshots I took of those high speeds for this article and wanting it all back again! SMILE!

  1. Hi David,

    I work for Comcast. I can reach out to my contacts to look into this. If you’re interested in my help, please feel free to contact me with the phone number associated with the account and a link to this page.

    Thanks and I am sorry for the trouble.

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

    1. I’ll pass, Mark.

      I’ve had bad experiences in the past with Comcast — and written about them in my Blogs Network — only to be met with a public show of support from Comcast that, when taken private, turns into a Big Nothing.

      Comcast has social networking responses down to a science, but they never follow up behind-the-scenes to solve an actual problem when it really matters.

      1. I was thinking they had to have something similar to a Google Alert – when the Comcast name comes up in webland, they jump on it. You just ascertained my theory.

        1. That’s exactly what they do, Lillian, and the first time it happens you feel great and special and then they never respond to your or follow up in private. They just ignore you. It’s all PR and zero substance.

    1. My upload speeds are slightly improved from what they were previously — not doubled, but a bit better. Download rate is unchanged — and perhaps just a wee bit slower than what I have come to expect.

      I think Comcast rolled back the upgrade because the upload speeds were way way way too fast for what they want to offer. Uploads were more robust than downloads and that’s likely a PR problem for Comcast as upload servers across the world would cry for mercy. SMILE!

        1. In my experience, they post a public reply once on Twitter or on a blog or whatever and never return. If you contact them at the information they provide you sometimes get a follow up email from someone else you can tell your friends about — but it usually stops there because Comcast is highly regionalized when it comes to customer service and the Social Networking people work out of Philadelphia, so they really can’t do much if you’re in another party of the country.

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