Stop and think it through – Broadstripe tech fails to do so

Broadstripe tech calls customer to see if he’s home but the customer’s VoIP line is down. This is entertaining to me, looking in from the outside. A Broadstripe customer’s internet connection has been down for a couple days. A Broadstripe tech was to stop by and replace the cable modem. Turns out the tech called the house and didn’t get an answer. The tech assumed no one was home and continued to his next call. Well, the customer has VoIP with Broadstripe. VoIP cannot function without an internet connection… That is the very reason why the Broadstripe tech was sent out.

http://www.measuredup.com/support-ticket/Broadstripe-phone-modem-28769

Another unhappy Broadstripe customer

In Reed’s blog post he explains some common complaints with Broadstripe in the Seattle area. In summary, poor speeds, network issues and questionable business practices.

What’s really cool about Reed’s experience is that is was very similar to mine. Though a difference is the cancellation procedure. When I initially canceled my service, they honored my request over the phone compared to Reed needing to fax in his request.

I compared Clear with Broadstripe for about a month. My experience was different with my comparison. I saw poor performance with high bandwidth applications on Clear. In contrast, Broadstripe could handle my needs a little better.

Reed, if you get a chance to see this post, please take at my others about Broadstripe and Clear. I think you will identify with my issues of choosing the lesser of two evils. Also, please check UPTUN. UPTUN is working to improve the situation in the Broadstripe served areas. Lastly, send a link to your post to the Broadstripe Twitter account, @earningstripes. You’ll maybe surprised at how receptive they are to your experience.

Some more general resources for Seattle folks:

Muni Networks http://www.muninetworks.org/
Seattle Gov’s Cable Office http://www.seattle.gov/cable/

@Clear your marketing opt out page sucks, so I added you to the spam filter

Partner name? What is that supposed to mean? How about embedding the recipient email address in the opt-out links within your marketing emails? I get the impression you want to make opt-out difficult. It’s similar to your TOS. There’s no opt-out when you sign up for service. This is one of the reasons why a discontinued service.

Your opt-out page is why you are now on my “spammers” list.

Broadstripe in the Central District Rocks!

Broadband from Broadstripe has made great strides. In general, I’m able to accomplish more. I’ve inlcuded more in my backups because of the improved upload speeds. Also, everyone in the house can do what they like on the Internet. We can watch various movies, play games and browse the web all that the same time. These are things we could do only one at a time with Clearwire. Way to go Broadstripe!

First week in this figure is Clearwire, the second is Broadstripe.

Broadstripe is working with the Seattle Central District to improve service

Upgrading Technology for Underserved Neighbors (UPTUN) is holding a meeting with Broadstripe to improve service in the Central District. This is encouraging.

Though, proof will be the completed road map UPTUN and Broadstripe have laid out. Head on over to UPTUN’s site for details.

I do hope a provider can emerge to challenge the other providers to provide better service and productions.

The meeting will be at the Bank of America at 23rd and South Jackson on June 24th at 5:30 PM

Broadstripe Spies on its Customers?

According to another blogger, Broadstripe spies on its customers. The evidence is interesting but not conclusive.

A key point the blogger makes is traffic being routed through the Washington DC area. The blogger concludes the government must be watching you. Washington DC is the center of our government but not the center for our international or domestic intelligence.

If the Government is spying on you, likely they would do it in non-detectable ways. Most likely mirroring traffic as close to your home as possible. Also possibly, where your cable connection terminates to fiber.

From what I can tell in my own testing is Broadstripe’s network is poorly managed. They have markets all over the nation and probably try to consolidate their access to backbones in order to save money.

Comcast did this for many years in my market. For example, when I was with Comcast for the first couple years my traffic exited the Comcast network in San Francisco. This adds latency to the connection and thus slows it down. It’s reasonable to think that this is what is happening with Broadstripe today.

Odds are, they are not spying on their customers any more than any other provider.

We know they use deep packet inspection to throttle P2P traffic. Something Comcast, qwest and all the others do. We know they gather viewing data via set top boxes (gold mine for advertisers).

So what should we do? Consider the information you want to keep out of their hands. You don’t want them to know your browsing habbits? Use TOR Project. Don’t want them to know what you are using Bittorrent for? Disable DHT and enforce encryption.

Our service providers are spying on us. It’s a fact of our modern digital lives. We can control what information they get. For more information on how to protect your privacy, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s: Surveillance Self Defense project.

Further reading about Broadstripe’s alleged spying habits:broadstripespies.com

Clearwire to retain “unlimited” data plans

According to gizmodo clearwire is to keep their “unlimited” data pricing structure.

However, clearwire is not unlimited but rather “unlimited”. If you look closely at their TOS it states they can throttle or cut your service for “excessive” use. What is considered excessive? Clearwire won’t tell. Thus I use “unlimited” when referring to their data plans.

http://gizmodo.com/5555898/clearwire-were-going-to-keep-unlimited-data-plans-alive

Great Resouces – Seattle CTO and @communitynets

I received a Google alert tonight that linked to Community Broadband Networks. Muni Networks, as it’s also known as, is a great site put together by Christopher Mitchell. He’s cataloging the strides municipal networks are making to bring broadband to all. Awesome work Chris!

Muni Networks mentions the Seattle CTO, Bill Schrier. I’m pleased to see Seattle has a thoughtful person in the position.

From what I gather, municipal networks are started due to poor or no competition in the broadband market. This is troubling and encouraging at the same time. The downside is the State and Federal governments have not provided legal power to the cities and counties to regulate broadband. The good thing is, the city is creating competition.

What happens when you don’t have to try and you still get the money? You become lazy. That is what has happen to our broadband providers. The DSL and cable companies have only done enough to keep their monopolies. They have no reason to innovate and provide compelling products at the best price possible.

I hope Seattle deploys their own network. I know the under served in my neighborhood could use it. In the least, I hope Google deploys their test fiber project here.