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.
Just received a call from Broadstripe letting me there maybe some intermittent outages while they work to upgrade the network in my area.
I always appreciate preemptive communication from my vendors. The call covered the basis of what I wanted to know:
What… Broadstripe Cable
When… Over the next couple days
Where.. My service area
Why….. Upgrading the network to provide new and improved services.
I’ve never seen this from Broadstripe’s peers. Broadstripe seems to be making genuine strides to improve service.
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:
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.
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
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
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.
While the FCC has good intentions, they still can’t grasp the true state of broadband in the US. Freepress does a great job of exploring FCC’s broadband tips. Give it a read and share your thoughts with your legislators.
Broadstripe, guys, read and take notes.