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Pledge to cancel your Comcast in support of SOPA (yessopameansnocomcast.com)
205 points by frankydp on Dec 24, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 63 comments

I think this might be an overreach - the GoDaddy boycott worked because there are plenty of alternatives. For much of the country (and my hometown) Comcast may be the only game in town for cable TV and they are almost certainly the only game in town for high-speed internet. A failure to get a significant number of folks to sign on can be spun as tacit support for SOPA when it's really a lack of suitable replacement services.

If you are lucky enough to have access to Verizon FIOS, RCN, or UVerse, (or have the right terrain features to be able to have satellite TV), I envy you. I'm stuck with Comcast because I need a cable modem for my business so while I sympathize with the cause, I won't be be adding my name to the list.

The TV studios are all behind SOPA as well, so canceling cable in general isn't a bad idea. As a side benefit you no longer have to watch TV. :)

Maybe that's a "young person thing" though. My parents watch a decent amount of TV, the only channel that appeals to me out of the hundreds that they get[1] is Comedy Central... for one hour a day. After going to college and being without TV, I really have no stomach for commercial breaks anymore.

[1] not actually sure about this, Comedy Central is 600-something, I guess they might not all be used though. Still probably hundreds.

I didn't even think of TV. I don't have a TV. Comcast provides my Internet and there isn't an alternative in my area (besides dialup). My parents have FiOS. I wish it were available to me. How do you get your Internet?

Comedy Central is owned by Viacom.

You shouldn't support The Daily Show or Colbert, either. What those programs usually do is omit or distort key facts that make their victims seem hypocritical or otherwise unreasonable and then mock them for it. Much less funny and I got tired of having to worry about whether my opinion about some situation was based only on some misunderstanding I'd received from those shows. Given how sanctimonious Stewart is when it comes to lampooning the media, I have a hard time not concluding that he's an asshole.

Edit: Sorry guys, you're right. Stewart/Colbert 2012! Morons...

Well, I'm glad you see the method of comedy news shows; though I'm sorry you don't see the point of comedy news shows.

Or, maybe I misunderstand you, in which case, happy trolling. Try harder :)

I don't understand the comedy shows presenting themselves as news. Watch Colbert and then watch, say, PBS News Hour. (Actually it's been a year or more since I've seen either.)

Part of me suspects that Colbert turns off some of the same higher functions of the brain that O'Reilly does.

Then you're just not getting the joke. They are comedy shows that mock cable news shows. Stewart and Colbert are very clear that they aren't news. Try watching Fox News for an hour and compare that to the PBS News Hour... then you'll get the joke.

From what hear, the S&C are the primary source of "news" for a lot of the younger crowd.

As if PBS News Hour is somehow the standard of impartial journalism....

I didn't say it was impartial, but that it's categorically different in some interesting way.

They are sometimes clear. As long as its still funny with that clear.

The Daily Show is much worse than other comedy news shows. The tradition Carson/Leno/Letterman format is to present the News story and then say something funny about it. The daily show formula is to misrepresent the facts in a manner that makes them amenable to mocking the intended victim. To the point that most bits aren't very funny if you know the real backstory.

yeah basically the thing is "what if uve got no other choice?" you can't cancel your internet, so you stay with comcast :( heck many would leave it for other reasons than sopa, but can't.

Yea the giant monopolies like Comcast are the true blood sucking squids on the face of America, GoDaddy is just a pesky tick on your taint. But will a SOPA crippled internet be usable to you? For some of us SOPA could spell the end of our businesses.

Great point. This isn't feasible. This is a lot like "boycott gasoline to save the environment". Its very idealistic. It sounds great but it's just not feasible as people need to drive. Same with Comcast. They're the only game in my town for high speed Internet and I cannot switch to AT&T because their lack of speed will kill the web server I run from my home plus I need the speed for my work. Sorry, it's a nice sentiment but I can't get behind it as its not realistic.

If you're in the Bay Area/California, I'd throw a strong recommendation behind Sonic.net and their great Fusion DSL service. $40/month for 20mbit DSL, $70 for 40mbit paired DSL. Plus, their support number is directly answered by human beings who live in the Bay Area.

And of course they're on the correct side of the SOPA insanity.

Wow, thank you for this. I live in SF (Pac Heights) and did not know there was a decent alternative to Comcast (I don't qualify for Monkeybrains).

Just signed up for the two-line Fusion service. Peace out, Comcast.

Not necessarily great from my perspective -- seems like phone junction boxes are typically exposed to outside elements more often than cable boxes. When I was with sonic, data connection became crap when it rained.

I think it depends on your local area. I live in an area with really old telecom infrastructure, we have problems like that all the time. Rather than being in the MPOE, trouble is usually on the poles or in the air -- the bigger lines with bad insulation filling with water or other major equipment losing its battle with the weather.

Areas with newer infrastructure don't seem to have as much of a problem with this.

That's probably an AT&T issue then... they have to use the same lines that AT&T does for their DSL service.

I've been pretty happy with our Sonic.net service since we moved to the Bay Area (Redwood City) from Indiana this fall. One caveat is (at least where we are), is that Sonic has to run over the same copper that AT&T does, so you won't get any better signal than what you get from AT&T. And while you get the best service that Sonic can offer, 20Mbit is the upper limit. We get about 6Mbit. I've been seriously considering getting the paired Fusion service to bump that up to 12.

Overall though, I've been very happy with them. The only reason why I've considered switching is the speed. Cable is usually faster, but it's also more expensive and capped. So far though, I haven't been limited by the speed to worry about switching.

Second that. Just ordered Sonic (paired) and if it will show the decent speed, Comcast goes out of the window. I'm having 50Mbit service for $99 with them, company pays. And I don't watch TV since I don't remember when, Netflix filled this niche perfectly.

I had Sonic a few years ago here in San Francisco. They're customer service was awesome and I liked supporting a local company. Plus, they basically don't have data caps and if you're lucky, you might be able to (someday soon) take part in their fiber rollout.

We have Comcast now, who is the anthesis of Sonic, so we're thinking of switching.

If you live in San Francisco, then you can also try MonkeyBrains.net wireless internet. I have a friend that loves it and it's $35/mo for 'up to' 20mbs.


The hardest part about cutting cable, is not finding stuff to watch. It's deciding WHAT to watch. Not only what show, but what episode.

I had Sonic for many years, back in the days of dail-up, but then comcast started offering high speed where I was living - stuck with them after I moved again (out of laziness), but this is the perfect opportunity to go back to Sonic

If you're in a new-ish multitenant building in San Francisco or Oakland I highly recommend WebPass: http://webpass.net

$45/month for 100Mbps up/down

Thanks for reminding me about this; when it comes time to look for a new apartment this list is going to be very important.

Thanks for the recommendation! I didn't know about them, and I hated the fact that I had Comcast. I'll be planning a switch.

For those of us (me) that do not have alternatives, take care to note that the petition makes use of a check box to signal that you support the cause, yet have no service alternatives. It would be helpful for those on the fence and feeling hopeless to read how this will be implemented in the final draft. Do we become targets for Comcast or other such companies (monopolies) with no viable competitors... scrutinized and watched if the petition fails, labeled as a "un"-valuable customers from here on forward?

If you're like me and more of an optimist, I'm hoping that it will be used in such a way that reflects positively on us the consumers.

What does the slogan mean? I read it as either "supporting SOPA means not supporting Comcast" or "yes, SOPA will result in Comcast being shut down", neither of which make any sense.

It means that in order to support SOPA, you should make a promise to cancel your Comcast. Because you have a Comcast.

It was almost certainly intended to mean something different.

I'd drop Comcast immediately if I could, and not because of SOPA. They have horrible service and expensive prices. Frequent outages and slow speeds, awful customer service.

Unfortunately, what are you to do when its the only internet provider in the area? =(

You can write to your local county internet/cable charter and complain about the service quality.

The godaddy boycott worked. This won't.

How do I know? Because I wouldn't be prepared to give up comcast, and I hate SOPA with every ounce of my being. I could never promise something like that.

People aren't prepared to give up their internet access (ironically to save the internet) when comcast is the only ticket in town in many places.

The cable companies are losing subscribers for the first time in history. Every headwind matters to them. Just as important, getting the idea out there that Comcast is against a free and open internet will undermine their marketing towards those consumers who do have a choice. It matters.

This, plus PR!

If PR didn't matter to them, then neither would advertising, but they advertise like crazy in spite of zero differentiation between themselves and their competitors.

It's like why Internet fundraising is so valuable -- yeah, individual contributions pale in comparison to corporate money, but it can be enough to make the difference -- and at the same time it creates the kind of PR and public awareness that big companies wish they could create, and in fact pay agencies big bucks to try to accomplish via social media initiatives.

What if people pledged to reduce what they purchase from Comcast? Maybe turn off cable but keep internet services. It would not have the same impact, but it would still hurt their bottom line.

The way Comcast bundles services in their pricing, it's cheaper to get TV + Internet than Internet alone. At least that's the way it is here.

The only alternative to Comcast where I live is 3G, which would require giving up online gaming and streaming video. It also is not significantly cheaper than my current plan with Comcast. This isn't acceptable to me. The local telephone company (Frontier) doesn't even service my house with DSL, which is surprising considering they have two large offices within two miles. I'd love to be idealistic but I can't really justify it.

The "downgrade" option needs to be more prominent. Many people are dependent upon Comcast for Internet (and perhaps phone), but might consider dropping the cable TV portion of their service to a lower level if not altogether.

A problem with Comcast is that they lock their pricing into "packages" and contract periods that can be difficult to escape/avoid. (Another example of the scumminess of the industry.)

I think this is a great idea but the title for the url could be better. In my mind I read it as:

    Pledge to cancel your Comcast *in support of SOPA*
I think a better title could have been:

    Comcast support SOPA. Make your pledge to leave them.
Best of luck! I watch from across the pond with awe and admiration.

This is much more difficult than switching registrars. Where I live, there is a duopoly for broadband internet; Verizon and Comcast. And Comcast is by far faster and provides more reliable service; Verizon FiOS is supposed to be reasonably fast, but for some reason, they only offer it in the suburbs, not in the city.

If there were an alternative that were even remotely competitive, I would go with it. As it stands, Comcast is the only game in town unless I want to dramatically cut my connection speed for only a modest reduction in price.

edit: Actually, I just checked. Even Verizon DSL is not available to me. I guess I live in a monopoly market. I've tried checking if RCN is available, but their system always chokes on my address (the street name has "Saint" in it, which is often abbreviated to "St" in databases, which confuses some address matching algorithms for obvious reasons).

I tried contacting RCN when i moved, in the Philadelphia area they're only in like west chester, not even anywhere reasonable

Are we sure that Verizon doesn't support SOPA? I'm not seeing them on the list but I still find it hard to believe.

Yeah, I find this hard to believe too. My perception is that Verizon is somewhat less corrupt than Comcast overall though. When I lived in Baltimore City, Comcast pulled off some maneuvers with the City Council to keep their monopoly and keep FioS out. I'll be moving soon, so look at Verizon and smaller vendors if I can.

I work for Comcast and I can tell you that yes, Comcast has lost what they consider to be a 'few' subscribers in the big scheme of things. Not sure if you know it or not, but they have already 'bought' NBC/Universal, and they have already partnered with Dish and Direct TV. Comcast is the primary cable and internet provider in most markets. However, they've already positioned themselves to take over or purchase any competitors when the time is right with all these partnerships. Even Verizon is not safe. They have recently 'partnered' with their cellphone/wireless division too. Wonder why?

In the end, they are all the same and the majority of the people that this will put a hinderance on are the non higher-up employees and the end users. However, if this is something you are passionate about, go for it. It's your right to boycott and not utilize the services of anyone or any place you do not agree with. Unlike the federal government that tries to force you to utilize a service or embrace a policy or standard...sorry rant for a different day.

I live in the bay and I can't buy anything else. I'm not just going to give up having internet service at home.

That's cool. I'd love to live in the bay. Underwater dwellings are awesome. I've always assumed that I'd have no Internet access down there, though, so I never seriously considered the move until now.

"live in the bay" - do you mean the San Francisco Bay Area? Sonic.net and ATT are possible alternatives if so

Switching to AT&T for this reason doesn't make any sense at all. Although I don't see them on the list of SOPA supporters, their history of sharing data with the NSA shows that they're clearly not on our side. As bad as Comcast is, I would never use AT&T.

If you can't cancel Comcast, send a complaint to them (call, fax, write, email) as a current customer. Figure out how much you've spent over your lifetime with them, and include that figure in your mail. Ideally get your message sent to someone in the line of business but not in the support organization, and maybe it's worth sending letters to lots of random people within their upper management.

I think 10k people sending letters to individual comcast execs about this issue would have more impact than 10k cancellations, and at far lower cost to the individuals. (I live far from the CO, so Sonic.net Fusion doesn't work well at my residence; webpass is not available, so the only option with good bandwidth is Comcast Business).

Does anyone have any decent Comcast alternatives for South Florida (Palm Beach area)? I'd love to flip off Comcast over this but I'm not sure where else to put my money. I will be needing internet access, after all.

Can we all just slow our collective roll a bit here?

1) This won't work, w/r/t Comcast.

2) This won't stop SOPA even if it could work. Comcast doesn't get to choose whether or not it passes.

3) SOPA isn't the end of the world. If indeed it passes, it will just accelerate the actual technical fix to the problem, which is excessive US government centralized control over the Internet. I actually support SOPA because its passage would cause the long-term solution to come about a lot faster than it would otherwise.

It's good to say "fuck you" to big media companies, indeed. But stop using SOPA as an excuse.

Are there any competitors that openly oppose SOPA?

Lots of negativity here about this. I agree that it is much harder due to the monopoly that Comcast has in many areas of the country, but most people have the ability to at least downgrade their TV service. I've actually been planning to do that anyways, this just nudges me over the line to actually take some action on it.

And switch with what? The bastards have us by the balls. I'm in favor of the idea, but I don't see a viable alternative.

I would love to do this, but sadly I have no other (good) choice. We've basically got AT&T, Clearwire, or Comcast. Comcast is fast and expensive, AT&T is okay but cheap (and their tech support sucks), and Clearwire is just shit, plain and simple.

If I had any other options, I would switch.

Do make sure the company you switch to isn't supporting SOPA either, cause that would be embarrassing.

Actually, it wouldn't matter that much. Comcast is a big enough wig that attacking them would be good, even if others in the area supported SOPA.

Good to see the Marine reserves standing up for freedom like this. http://www.killfoot.com/ being the mailing list host and all.

So instead of paying for my television programs, I should pirate them?

Are there any media sellers who do not support SOPA?

Sadly, even NameCheap supports the morality clause which is so vague it might be considered worse than SOPA.

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