Comcast scrambled to repair mistake that reduce some customers’ add speeds by 20%

Some Comcast prospects obtained an unwelcome shock yesterday morning when their add speeds have been immediately lowered from 20Mbps to 16Mbps. Comcast was elevating obtain speeds on its “Excessive Professional” tier from 600Mbps to 800Mbps—excellent news, to make sure—however the plan’s comparatively paltry 20Mbps add speeds obtained a simultaneous 20 % reduce.

Prospects affected by the change complained to Comcast, and two of them emailed Ars yesterday. After we handed these complaints on to Comcast public relations, a spokesperson initially instructed us that “there was no change to the upstream velocity.” However after we identified that prospects have been the truth is getting lowered add speeds, Comcast investigated additional and found it made a mistake whereas rolling out download-speed upgrades for a few of its plans.

“The shoppers who obtained the [download] velocity improve final night time ought to now be seeing the proper add speeds of their utilization meter,” Comcast instructed Ars final night time. “After we pushed the velocity improve in a single day, there was a problem with how the add speeds have been provisioned, which is why the meter and our inside instruments that our care brokers use have been exhibiting the add velocity of 16Mbps. When you notified us, we shortly appeared into it and the whole lot must be right now.”

The repair is rolling out routinely so prospects do not must do something, Comcast mentioned. “For a interval of lower than 24 hours, prospects would have seen barely slower add speeds,” Comcast instructed us. “This subject solely impacted prospects in our Central markets who obtained this [download] velocity improve from 600Mbps to 800Mbps.”

Comcast overprovisions speeds in order that prospects usually get a bit greater than their marketed plan states. This technique can cut back person complaints usually, and it implies that prospects’ uploads weren’t essentially reduce all the way in which right down to 16Mbps when yesterday’s bug hit.

Comcast instructed us that the issue affected customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Comcast usually makes community modifications one area at a time, so we assume prospects in different states will get the download-speed will increase in a while in the event that they have not already.

Confusion for patrons and Comcast reps

The upload-speed reduce prompted confusion for patrons and the Comcast customer-service brokers who fielded their calls yesterday morning and afternoon.

“I known as in and needed to speak with three totally different brokers, then lastly a supervisor,” Wesley, a Comcast buyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, instructed Ars yesterday afternoon. “He mentioned they’ve been getting calls all morning… He mentioned my obtain went as much as 800Mbps, I must be grateful. I defined I’m now working from house as a result of COVID and spend my days net conferencing and want my add velocity. He then tried to speak me into upgrading my plan to Gig, for $20 extra per thirty days, which I am unable to afford. There was no warning, no value discount, solely shock by this shady transfer.”

One other buyer named Andrew in Lansing, Michigan, contacted us about the identical drawback yesterday morning, saying he noticed the modified speeds in his account and ran a velocity check that confirmed the upper obtain speeds and decrease add speeds. “I simply talked with [Comcast],” he instructed us. “Their documentation reveals that it must be at 20Mbps add nonetheless they have been in a position to verify on my account that it’s at 16Mbps. They went forward and made a ticket for it.”

A velocity check Andrew ran on Saturday, just a few days earlier than the change, confirmed speeds of 713Mbps down and 24Mbps up, larger than the marketed 600/20Mbps—proof of Comcast’s overprovisioning talked about earlier on this article. After the change however earlier than final night time’s repair, he obtained 945Mbps downloads (a 32.5 % improve in precise speeds) and 19Mbps uploads (a 20.8 % lower in precise speeds). Andrew’s measured add velocity was again to 24Mbps in the present day, so he is obtained the identical uploads as earlier than however sooner downloads.

Comcast instructed us that add speeds have been “provisioned” at 20Mbps yesterday despite the fact that prospects’ plan particulars have been exhibiting 16Mbps when the error was in place. Now that it is again to regular, prospects ought to see 20Mbps as their marketed add speeds and should get precise add speeds above 20Mbps as a result of over-provisioning that’s usually in place.

Each Wesley and Andrew instructed us the issue had been fastened earlier than 8 pm EST final night time. “I did a reboot of the cable modem, and my add speeds have returned to 20Mbps, and the account on-line stories 20Mbps as properly. Both somebody tousled or Comcast backtracked from what they have been planning on doing,” Andrew instructed Ars.

“Maybe the flood of calls Comcast obtained about this in the present day made them shortly backtrack on this,” Wesley instructed us final night time. “My modem simply rebooted once more, so I checked my account standing and I obtained my [20Mbps] add velocity again… seems like they did the correct factor for the purchasers.”

Comcast makes add speeds arduous to search out

The issue might have gone unnoticed and unfixed for longer if not for eagle-eyed prospects monitoring their add speeds. Comcast makes discovering its add speeds exceedingly tough, as we described in an article final week. For brand spanking new prospects, Comcast’s ordering system would not reveal every plan’s add speeds till you enter a legitimate bank card quantity. Even present prospects have had bother discovering their add speeds, resulting in customer-forum threads the place different customers defined the place to search out them within the customer-account portal.

“I do not know why Comcast thinks add velocity is not vital,” one particular person wrote in a Comcast buyer discussion board final week. “This can be very vital for video conferencing which is a giant a part of our lives now, [and] each bit of information downloaded has to ship affirmation packets again to the server. You possibly can’t obtain with out enough add speeds. Actually dissatisfied Comcast intentionally hides this data, however I get it. If I had such a awful ratio of add to obtain velocity I might conceal it too. It is embarrassing. Max 35Mbps [upload speeds] for the gigabit [download] plan? It is a joke.”

It is good for patrons that Comcast retains elevating obtain speeds—and likewise good that yesterday’s upload-speed reduce turned out to be a mistake that was shortly reversed—however Comcast’s download-speed hikes often aren’t paired with upload-speed will increase. One exception is that Comcast this month raised speeds on its plan for low-income households from 25Mbps down and 3Mbps as much as 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up after complaints in regards to the plan’s low speeds.

The cable trade has been promising larger add speeds for years whereas hyping upgrades to DOCSIS, the Information Over Cable Service Interface Specification used to offer Web entry over coaxial cables. But cable add speeds stay annoyingly low whereas fiber-to-the-home providers that are not as broadly obtainable as cable present tons of of megabits for each downloads and uploads.

Comcast in October 2020 introduced a “technical milestone” that may ship gigabit-plus obtain and add speeds over present cable wires. However the know-how has solely been deployed in testing, and Comcast’s cable add speeds nonetheless max out on the 35Mbps that include the gigabit-download plan. Comcast final week instructed us it has “nothing to announce about will increase to our upstream speeds presently.”

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