Comcast's catch 22

Summary:Comcast is in a tough spot: It has to upgrade its network to compete with incoming competition from Verizon FioS. But to do those upgrades it has to have outages.

Comcast is in a tough spot: It has to upgrade its network to compete with incoming competition from Verizon FioS. But to do those upgrades it has to have outages.

And these outages tend to alienate customers. On the bright side at least my opening sentence on this post about Verizon FioS was accurate.

Monday it was a three hour outage. Today it was six. The response from Comcast was an automated message saying the company was aware of an outage in our area and working on it.

Only until I looked in my neighbor's back yard did I get a better answer. A tech was fiddling with the cable box.

I asked: "What the hell are you guys doing to the cable?" Tech said: "We're upgrading. I'm replacing all of this. Should be back in a few minutes."

My guess is that these upgrades are for Comcast's turbo boost effort, which is designed to get broadband speeds up. Now I understand by the numbers that it makes sense to do outages when folks are at work. But tell that to the people working from home--and all the kids who are asking where Noggin, Disney, Sprout and Nick Jr. went.

In any case my time with Comcast is down to hours. Verizon FioS gets installed tomorrow. The talkbacks on my prior post were very helpful in outlining what to expect. Thanks much.

Topics: Verizon, Outage

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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