Category Archives: What The Hell?

Comcast Doesn’t Care (At All)…

Well, Comcast is at it again.

In another one of its seriously crazy business decisions, Comcast has decided to charge customers that actually use its Internet service data fees if they use more than 1024GB of data in a month.

They will charge you $10 for each 50GB over that amount of data, up to $200 more per month in total if you were to carry your usage to 2048GB or more (in addition to your regular bill).

There is an option to pay for “Unlimited” data, but that will set you back an additional $50 per month to forget about data.  (And, you have to call them to do it).

They claim it’s all in “fairness” to their customers who, they say, average only 60 GB of usage a month (according to a response I received when I filed a FCC complaint).

It used to be that when an ISP charged for service, they were charging you one flat monthly fee to “access” the Internet.  Now they are metering your usage, so anyone who streams will likely incur this excess charge.  (Cable cutters like me, perhaps?)

BUT…

EVEN if you are an “average” user according to their letter in response to my complaint, they won’t “reduce” their monthly fee for you, even though you’re only using 6% of your allotted amount.

So … they have figured out how to get paid from the “average” user, AND get paid MORE for the power user (like streamers, video watchers, gamers etc.).

You can go here if you wish to file a FCC complaint like I did (for whatever it was worth), complain to Comcast, or file a BBB complaint.

But my suggestion is to do something, because it can only get worse from here folks (AT&T users, I’m looking at you).  I can firmly state that Comcast doesn’t care, at all.

This starts an era of the bigger corporations making it very hard to leave their services and go to the competition.  There isn’t much competition (Comcast certainly made sure of that), and if you want to access the Internet, you’ll pay for it … way too much for it.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Don’t let Comcast trick you by saying “fairness,” this isn’t fair, it’s only a way for them to get more money out of you because you use the service you’re paying for.
  • Comcast has some X1 with Netflix offer, don’t fall for it.  They are trying to get you back on their cable TV program, and include Netflix as part of a package.  You’ll likely pay for it, in spades.
  • And DON’T let Comcast try to pull the “Well, we will just charge everyone on a per unit basis for data…” because then everyone will be paying them just like a power company.  They aren’t even close to reliable enough to be a power company for Internet.

I truly hope the FCC will investigate Comcast for this, and any other company that follows suit.  I’m afraid the reality is we will be gouged for using the Internet.

Net Neutrality, which Comcast states that it supports, doesn’t allow Comcast to “block” access or “throttle” your service.  Instead, Comcast has found a way to monetarily do almost the same thing to streamers, Netflix users, gamers etc.

Panama Papers: More Information to Consider

This Panama Papers information is reprinted here with permission from the author.

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.

But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this tooand helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”

What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

Ford Foundation
Carnegie Endowment
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland. A superannuated UK peer or two will be sacrificed – someone already with dementia.

The corporate media – the Guardian and BBC in the UK – have exclusive access to the database which you and I cannot see. They are protecting themselves from even seeing western corporations’ sensitive information by only looking at those documents which are brought up by specific searches such as UN sanctions busters. Never forget the Guardian smashed its copies of the Snowden files on the instruction of MI6.

What if they did Mossack Fonseca database searches on the owners of all the corporate media and their companies, and all the editors and senior corporate media journalists? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on all the most senior people at the BBC? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every donor to the Center for Public Integrity and their companies?

What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every listed company in the western stock exchanges, and on every western millionaire they could trace?

That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don’t have to tell me that. What if you look at things that we might, here in the west, be able to rise up and do something about?

And what if you corporate lapdogs let the people see the actual data?

UPDATE

Hundreds of thousands of people have read this post in the 11 hours since it was published – despite it being overnight here in the UK. There are 235,918 “impressions” on twitter (as twitter calls them) and over 3,700 people have “shared” so far on Facebook, bringing scores of new readers each.

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.