For the past 10 months, I’ve lived without a cable TV subscription, solely relying on Comcast cable internet for all forms of entertainment. The cable-free experiment has been great overall (but is certainly a subject for another post).
Though I’ve long detested Comcast’s shady business practices, they were my only option for a sufficiently fast internet connection at my old San Francisco apartment. I was out of range for Monkeybrains wireless, the only other high-speed provider that I was aware of in my area.
But then, about a month ago, a post appeared on Hacker News asking readers to pledge to cancel their Comcast subscription in light of the company’s open support for SOPA/PIPA. In the comments, a user pointed out that Sonic.net offers bonded DSL service that could deliver up to 40mbit speeds. I immediately scheduled an installation.
The installation process has been a bit rocky due to the aging wiring in my apartment building, but it’s all settled now. My apartment now has a ~24mbit connection from an amazing local ISP. The peak rate is slightly slower than my cable internet, but it’s well worth it for a company that’s easily 1000x more deserving of my money than Comcast.
Because I’ve been looking forward to calling Comcast to cancel my service, I decided to draw up a list of reasons why I was happy to be taking my money elsewhere. In no particular order…
Dear Comcast, I’m leaving you because:
- You are openly in favor of stripping constitutionally protected freedoms with some of the most toxic legislation ever conceived, SOPA & Protect-IP.
- You send me at least 1 snail-mail advertisement per month trying to sell me the exact level of internet service I’m already paying for.
- You enforce an archaic 250GB monthly bandwidth limit that was barely sufficient 4 years ago when it was instituted. Meanwhile, you’ve raised service prices while your costs to transfer a gigabyte of data have surely halved or quartered.
- Users who exceed the bandwidth limits are arbitrarily cut off from service with no opportunity to pay for additional bandwidth.
- You enforce arbitrary traffic shaping to severely limit your customers' abilities to use the data they are paying for with the services of their choice.
- You actively lobby against Net Neutrality because it would prevent you from being able to exploit your customers by charging them the type of per-service fees associated with your cable TV subscriptions.
- You think that Netflix somehow owes you money to deliver its data to your customers. You know, the users that are already paying you for their internet service.
- You’re so desperate to act like you aren’t losing cable TV subscribers that it’s generally cheaper to get a package with TV and internet service than it is just to get standalone internet.