Xfinity User Creates Bot to Tweet Comcast Whenever His Internet Speed Drops

An industrious Comcast Xfinity customer, disgruntled over poor internet speeds, has created a bot that auto-Tweets Comcast whenever his broadband drops below advertised speeds. Redditer AlekseyP used a Raspberry Pi to monitor his internet speed, checking every hour, which sends a Tweet to the official Comcast Twitter account every time it drops below 50mbps.

“I pay for 150mbps down and 10mbps up,” AleskeyP wrote on reddit. “The raspberry pi runs a series of speedtests every hour and stores the data. Whenever the downspeed is below 50mbps the Pi uses a twitter API to send an automatic tweet to Comcast listing the speeds.”

“I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50mpbs down,” he added, “but when they advertise 150 and I get 10-30 I am unsatisfied. I am aware that the Pi that I have is limited to ~100mbps on its Ethernet port (but seems to top out at 90) so when I get 90 I assume it is also higher and possibly up to 150.”

After some redditors accused AleskeyP of recording skewed results, he responded: “We do not torrent in our house; we use the network to mainly stream TV services and play PC and Xbone live games. I set the speedtest and graph portion of this up (without the tweeting part) earlier last year when the service was so constatly bad that Netflix wouldn’t go above 480p and I would have >500ms latencies in CSGO. I service was constantly below 10mbps down. I only added the Twitter portion of it recently and yes, admittedly the service has been better.”

While adding that he is no “fancy programmer”, AleskeyP has made his Raspberry Pi speedtest Tweetbot code available on Pastebin.

Comcast VP Has No Idea Why it Caps Data at 300GB

Comcast, notorious for terrible customer service and arbitrary restrictions, does offer the fastest internet speeds of all the nationwide ISP in the US – Comcast Xfinity has an average download speed of 104Mbps and upload speed of 12.7Mbps – but the biggest bone of contention amongst customers is the 300GB data cap. Does it exist for technical reasons, to maintain the integrity of its network performance, or is it just an arbitrary number plucked out of the air? Considering the words of a Comcast executive, it could well be the latter.

A Comcast customer asked the company’s Vice President of Internet Services, Jason Livingood, what the point of the data cap is via a tweet. Livingood’s response revealed that the cap is not motivated by engineering concerns, but is rather a “business policy”:

Though the data cap only affects less than 2% of customers – most everyone else stays within data limits, month-on-month – the reasoning behind it certainly seems unclear. An arbitrary cap, though, bodes well for the future, since streaming services such as Netflix are increasing bandwidth demand every year. With plans to introduce 4K streaming in the near future the home data usage is set to increase further.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information.

EA and Comcast Team up to Bring New Streaming Service

There are a lot of streaming services that bring games to players on their TV. We all know the popular NVIDIA Grid and the company’s constant attempt to make it more popular. Microsoft and Sony are attempting to bring such services to their consoles too, but they still have a long way to get people interested in the latter.

Now Electronic Arts and Comcast made a partnership to bring cloud gaming to your TVs too. All you need is an Xfinity X1 box from Comcast. The really interesting thing here is that the companies are not relying on controllers, but rather encourage people to use their smartphones and tables as their own personal controllers. All they need is an app called Xfinity Games and then navigate to a website on their handsets, enter a code and you’re done. The controls are made out of swiping and tapping gestures.

But are handsets really good controllers? Well, tests proved they are not! The companies found out that it was extremely difficult to control and navigate the Dead Space title, but found out that the handsets are best at controlling cars, so they went on and added the Real Racing to the list of games. They say that this would be the future of online gaming, but is it really true? There are more things to take into account here.

One of the main issues with online stuff is the user’s internet speed. Ok, you get some games that can be controlled remotely, but you still have to think that despite your efforts of delivering and receiving input and game feedback, ISPs around the world are still struggling to deliver actual speeds to have their customers load up a page, yet alone play a fully fledged game remotely. The second one that is applicable here is the controller. You can get some feedback by the handset’s ability to vibrate, but are most games ready for using virtual buttons? I would like to see how someone would play a fast-paced FPS or even RTS titles controlled via a smartphone or tablet.

Nevertheless, there are around 20 titles available for Comcast customers to try out, including NBA, PGA, and Plats vs Zombies. The list is said to be constantly changing based on user feedback and the companies are even thinking of adding third-party titles to the list in the near future.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information

Comcast Sued For Forcefully Turning Private Routers into Xfinity Hotspots

Comcast is being sued for forcing private routers to become public hotspots. In 2013, Comcast introduced Xfinity hotspots, which used customers’ existing Comcast routers to create a public internet gateway. Though active by default, Xfinity was billed as non-compulsory, with an opt-out option. However, certain users have found that their choice to opt-out has not been adhered to, especially after firmware updates, and that Comcast has been using their router for Xfinity without their permission.

The class action suit against Comcast accuses the company of failing to get the consent of the user before implementing the system:

“(The plaintiff) claims that Comcast saw its millions of residential customers as an opportunity to compete with major cellular carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. Though Comcast does not have cellular towers, its customers’ households “could be used as infrastructure for a national wi-fi network,” the complaint states…In using its customers’ home networks to build a national network, Comcast “has externalized the costs of its national wi-fi network onto its customers,” Grear says in the complaint.”

Comcast customers who own a non-Comcast router and modem are safe from this intrusion, and free from a $10 a month router rental fee.

Source: DSL Reports