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Comcast sued for using home routers in hotspot network

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Dec 2014 8:49 User comments (5)

Comcast sued for using home routers in hotspot network Comcast has been sued by a mother and daughter for the practice of using home WiFi routers as part of its plan for a nationwide hotspot network.
Under Comcast's plan to create an Xfinity WiFi Hotspot network, newer home WiFi routers of customers will activate a second WiFi signal intended to be used by house guests or by Comcast subscribers who have a mobile device in proximity to the router.

In a lawsuit filed by Toyer Grear and daughter Joycelyn Harris in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Comcast is accused of exploiting their customers for profit, reducing the performance of connection / WiFi network and costing customers more money on their electricity bills.

To be fair, the service can be disabled by customers, but the lawsuit alleges that the provider turns it on without their permission and so forces customers to pay the cost of powering its national hotspot network. It cites research from Speedify that finds that Comcast's secondary Internet channel will cost its national users tens of millions of dollars on their electricity bills.

Tests showed that under heavy use, the secondary channel adds between 30 percent and 40 percent more to a customer's electricity bill than the typical cost of powering the router for home use.

Comcast hopes to expand the network to 8 million hotspots by the end of 2014.

The women also dispute Comcast's claim that it will not impact performance or speed, and raised questions about a data privacy risk when external devices are allowed to connect to the router.


Sources and Recommended Reading:
Comcast sued for turning home Wi-Fi routers into public hotspots: www.sfgate.com (by @ChronicleBenny)
Is Your Comcast Public Hotspot Costing you Real Money?: www.speedify.com

Tags: Comcast
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5 user comments

110.12.2014 11:02

UPC Ireland take note.

210.12.2014 20:04

Actually it's true if you turn on comcasts little wifi backdoor the system drops your connection speed by 5 meg's per second i was getting 11 mb per sec. on my home i am now getting 7 mb per sec i removed there modem and went back to my old one and wow 11 mb per second again no way am i using spy modem on my network i pay for the service i am using it with my own modem take your upgraded modem and stick it up your comcasts trucks tail pipe

314.12.2014 3:13

Wow, it makes sense now. No wonder Comcast was requesting all to pick up and switch to their wireless modems for free but urged all customers to do so. I questioned Comcast as to why I should changed out my wired modem with their wireless modem and they said to make sure I had top speeds offered, but I told them my own modem was giving me great top speeds, therefore I didnt want or need their wireless modem. Now I know there was more to this than offered. Thanks for the heads up.

414.12.2014 9:06

If Comcast had offered something, more bandwidth, a subscription discount many would line up to participate. Then again that's not the Comcast way, rather find any and every way to take advantage of its customers, no quid pro go here, Comcast wins, user gets screwed


David Clark

514.12.2014 9:19

Originally posted by visionthg:
Wow, it makes sense now. No wonder Comcast was requesting all to pick up and switch to their wireless modems for free but urged all customers to do so. I questioned Comcast as to why I should changed out my wired modem with their wireless modem and they said to make sure I had top speeds offered, but I told them my own modem was giving me great top speeds, therefore I didnt want or need their wireless modem. Now I know there was more to this than offered. Thanks for the heads up.
Ya know I was talking with Comcast a few months ago, over a service problem, as usual. Out of the blue this agent advises me I'm using an "old" modem, and I should upgrade to the latest Comcast unit. I think for a moment, I have basic (5 Gb) broadband, and my modem is rated @ 5Gb so I gain NOTHING. I asked her "what advantage do I get?" "oh you will be able to do wonderful new things!" "Like what?" "Well I'll need to transfer you to tech support" I said no and moved on. But she piqued my interest. After a little bit of fact finding I called tech support and posed the same question "Well at the moment you would not see any overt difference, but you will be prepared for new advantages we are planning" If they told me it was a beautiful day I'd get my umbrella,lol.

David Clark

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