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In our area we do not have viable cable and internet service options. It seems Comcast is the sole provider to offer a high-speed internet connection. The corporation worked hard to eliminate competition using many sales people visiting houses, for instance, enticing homeowners to switch their telephone service to Comcast. (It seems many people are lured into their business because they want slightly cheaper telephone bills; I am not sure if they were aware that Comcast is aiming at the monopolistic domination as a provider of internet and cable TV services in our area. I am glad we had stuck to another telephone carrier, which works even at times of power outage.) If internet services are always in perfect working order I don’t have much problem with the company. However, we often lose internet and cable connections in addition to experiencing frequent pixilation on TV broadcasting: for instance, a few days ago the TV football coverage of our home team was pixilated so much that it was unwatchable.)

Yesterday evening I noticed the internet was not working. Then, I noticed the streaming device was not working either. So I called up Comcast to get information regarding its technical difficulty. Since such a problem is not infrequent I was expecting a recorded announcement that would inform us about the problem and the time of recovery. However, the first voice that greeted me was the sales-pitch for a high-speed internet upgrade. Since we already have high-speed internet service, the pitch was for the “super high-speed” internet service. This pitch, loud and screeching, was followed by another pitch, which I no longer listened to, and then another. Since the voices were grating in their tone of intimidation and accusation (for instance, it reprimands one that one has not upgraded one’s internet service, etc.), I kept the phone receiver away from my ear until it became a little quieter. Finally, when a live person came to the phone on the other end of line, the tone was also accusatory. It said that we did not exchange our old modem with the new one, etc… The voice did not suggest any temporary measure to activate the internet. The only solution was to exchange the old modem for a new one. Then, I remembered that I had had similar problems in the past and how I had fixed the problem by turning the modem off for a few minutes. So I disconnected the modem, and a few minutes later I reconnected it. And it worked. I suspect this “new modem” is the one that creates hotspot around our house so that Comcast can sell the internet connection service to the passers-by. (I came to know about this disturbing business practice by watching local TV news several weeks ago. It’s mind-boggling to know that Comcast can sell such a service while keeping its customers unaware of their parasitic practice endangering our internet security and privacy. I wonder why such a parasitic practice is legal.)

Frankly, I want to have another internet service which uses cable or fiber optic, but because we live in a small town we do not have any other good option. We feel as if we are prisoners of Comcast because we do not have any reliable alternatives. It is discomforting to realize Comcast is succeeding in their monopolistic ambition year by year. Is monopoly no longer illegal in the USA?

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