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Comcast is going to turn people's Houston routers into public WIFI hotspots

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#1 Anonymous persona

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:15

I found the following interesting: Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle reports (warning: paywalled) that Comcast plans to turn 50,000 home routers into public Wi-Fi hotspots without their users providing consent. Comcast plans to eventually convert 150,000 home routers into a city-wide WiFi network. A similar post (with no paywall) by the same author on the SeattlePI Tech Blog explains the change. From the post on SeattlePI: "What's interesting about this move is that, by default, the feature is being turned on without its subscribers' prior consent. It's an opt-out system – you have to take action to not participate. Comcast spokesman Michael Bybee said on Monday that notices about the hotspot feature were mailed to customers a few weeks ago, and email notifications will go out after it's turned on. But it's a good bet that this will take many Comcast customers by surprise




#2 +Brando212

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:17

is this legal? i wouldn't think they'd legally be able to do something like this without consent



#3 trag3dy

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:18

Stay classy comcast.



#4 OP Anonymous persona

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:19

is this legal? i wouldn't think they'd legally be able to do something like this without consent

well according to comcast they sent out a notice... I'm not sure though



#5 spacer

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:19

Why are they waiting to send out emails until after the change? Just send it out now and after. Email is free.

 

This is some major scumbaggery, regardless of when that email is sent out.



#6 xrobwx

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:23

I'm a Comcast customer in NW Florida and you can bet your ass I'll be watching this.  :crazy:



#7 Lizardslap

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:24

I wonder how this will effect people with data caps especially since Im sure most of it will be moocher neighbors anyway



#8 xrobwx

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:26

I use this: http://www.nirsoft.n...rk_watcher.html

To watch connections on my router.



#9 Slugsie

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:36

BT do a similar thing in the UK. The public WiFi part is completely separate to the private network the subscriber has. Any data used on the public side doesn't count against any private data caps. It's a great system as any BT customers can access the BT WiFi hotspots when you're away from home for no extra cost. If Comcast do the same then there shouldn't be anything to worry about.



#10 trag3dy

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:38

BT do a similar thing in the UK. The public WiFi part is completely separate to the private network the subscriber has. Any data used on the public side doesn't count against any private data caps. It's a great system as any BT customers can access the BT WiFi hotspots when you're away from home for no extra cost. If Comcast do the same then there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

 

Except for people hogging your bandwidth when you want it.



#11 siah1214

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:50

They already do this if you don't know how to set up your router. By default it creates an "Xfinity" wifi that's available to anyone with a comcast account. I have yet to find a residential area in my city where I couldn't get free wifi. 



#12 Slugsie

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:50

I guess that depends on where you are and how much bandwidth you have. I have no knowledge of how/if BT do any form of traffic shaping, but you would hope that the subscriber whose line it is gets priority.

 

Where I am I doubt anyone ever uses the public side of my broadband.



#13 Roger H.

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:57

Don't they already do this? The "Xfinity" boxes all do this already with Cablevision and other MSOs seeing $$$$$ in it and jumping on the bandwagon too.

 

My sister has Comcast in DC area and her's was already setup with a "Xfinity" SSID separate from her chosen in one. I turned it off but yeah, they are already doing this AFAIK.


Except for people hogging your bandwidth when you want it.

 

This doesn't use your bandwidth FYI - it's on a separate VLAN.



#14 +Brando212

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:58

This doesn't use your bandwidth FYI - it's on a separate VLAN.

if that's truly the case then i have less problem with the idea



#15 Showan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 19:01

Why are they waiting to send out emails until after the change? Just send it out now and after. Email is free.

 

This is some major scumbaggery, regardless of when that email is sent out.

 

 

wow this planet is small... We are in the same state... :woot:


This sucks...  

 

I use to have Comcast...  But I never use their hardware...

 

Own my Motorola Surfboard modem... And I own my cheesy Linksys Wireless router...