Here we are, just after Thanksgiving... And Comcast has started its annual Xmas screw job!
On the plate this year we have:
Netnews is shutting down. The Ex-ATTBI customers, who have been enjoying virtually unlimited USENET access, will be transitioned to Comcast's crappy dealio with Giganews.
To soften the blow, Comcast is granting us a boon - they're increasing everyone's Giganews service from 1 GB/month to 2 GB. And now it won't include headers. Of course, that's still only 2/30 of what we had under @Home. And it's Giganews' short gigs.
Comcast is beginning to roll out 5.9% price increases.
Basically, there is no catch . . . Earthlink is cheaper. Now the long version:
If there are any limits on Comcast OR (Earthlink through Comcast) service, I haven't noticed. Your web browsing on either service is unlimited, and the e-mail has the usual anti-spamming restrictions (unless you are indeed a spammer, you'll never hit those restrictions). But there are limits for the Comcast news servers. One is being deactivated and the other is limited to (I think) 1 Gig per month. But that doesn't apply if you sign up through Earthlink.
With Earthlink, you get the discounted rate for Comcast's cable modem service. That is, if you sign up for Comcast cable modem service you pay X for cable modem service or X-Y for cable modem service if you ALSO buy cable television service from Comcast. If you sign up for (Comcast cable modem service) through Earthlink, you get the discounted rate for your cable modem service WITHOUT having to subscribe to Comcast television service. For example, in our area, the undiscounted rate for Comcast cable modem is $60/month, but I get the exact same service for $45/month as I signed up through Earthlink.
Speed of service is dependent on area. But, it was 1500/256 before the download speed increase. Most Comcast areas are 3000/256 (down/up) now, I believe. I just verified that 3000/256 is the speed my (Earthlink through Comcast) cable modem service is provisioned at, as I am typing this.
Oh, you need to be aware that Comcast is the actual provider. Comcast will send you the bill, even if you sign up through Earthlink. But, there are two advantages to signing up through Earthlink besides just lower cost:
1) Earthlink's news server is better than Comcast (at least, that was the way they were when I used them both)
2) Earthlink gives you limited (but free) dial-up hours each month (handy for travelling) -Dave
Of course it is all shared. But with DSL, the sharing happens far enough from the end user, that the end user doesn't notice any slow-downs unless they affect the whole Internet. With cable modem, you can look forward to your service slowing down every night during peak usage hours in areas that are over-subscribed (that would be most areas currently, and all of them eventually). Those nightly slow-downs do NOT happen with DSL. -Dave
DSL fanatics seem to forget that the internet is ALL a shared resource. Just because they have their own line to the DSLAM, doesn't mean they don't have to share all the servers, routers, and backbone bandwidth to anything they want to reach on the internet.
First, your first generalization isn't quite true. I have never experienced the slowdown you describe after about 7 years on cable. And if you think there aren't any oversubscribed DSL systems around, I would suspect you are mistaken. But then I don't have to be within a few blocks of the local office to get 3mbps service from cable, either.
For a long time, Charter Cable offered their internet access in this area at $25 if you subscribed to the extended digital TV plan. Sadly, this is no longer the case, but I get 3mbps/256kbps service for $40. For my needs, this is quite workable, although I would like to see them match the 384kbps upstream speed offered by other cable services.
The sharing of capacity issue in cable comes in the "last mile" - the coax between the CMTS and the user. The sharing capacity issue in DSL is at the DSLAM, which is the entry point, and the only entry point to the "last mile". The effect is the same. The traffic cannot be routed around the bottleneck to avoid the bottleneck.
There are no "nightly slow-downs" on cable when it is not oversold, but there are "nightly slow-downs" on DSL ISP's who oversell the capacity on the DSLAM.
You can kid yourself all you want, but a bottleneck at the only entry point to the last mile is no different than a bottleneck on the last mile itself.
Hah, I went to the Comcast site to look for how much it costs for the "discounted cable modem service" - they already show a 5.9% increase over what's on my current bill. So my next bill probably will have the higher rate. I can save about $200 over the next 12 months by switching, with the
3-month @ 1/2 price which Earthlink offers. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
I guess I have been pretty lucky. I have been with Comcast since they first came to my area, think it was in 97 or 98. I have lived in two different areas during that time, but the same county. I have yet to notice an appreciable difference in my speeds during the evening versus any other time. My cable modem service has been very good to me over the years.
Dropping the news server after going away from @Home to Comcast.Net, was really no big deal for me. I suscribe to Giganews service anyway, gives me great retention, and a good volume of downloads per month should I need them. If that helps keep our speeds up, then I am all for it. After all, not everyone needs more than 1 or 2 gigs a month, or any for that matter.