It may not be an April Fool's Joke, but it sounds like one. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have moved to assure customers that while Congress has officially passed a law stripping privacy protections from internet users, their data will not be sold and they won't be spying on customers. This begs the question — why did they need the law passed in the first place?
Leo has Comcast at home and he got a warning that he has exceeded his bandwidth cap of 1TB. Leo says he hasn't done anything different than before, however, and he wonders if the metering is accurate. Additionally, Leo has discovered that Comcast uses a man in the middle scheme and can take over his screen if they so desired. That's bad news because privacy issues abound.
AT&T is buying Time Warner for $85 billion. Time Warner includes HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Warner Bros, and more. The reason these carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc are buying media companies is because they don't want to be in the business of being a 'dumb pipe' for internet access. They want to be in the content business. It's expected that the deal will get regulatory approval without issue.
George says that Comcast is pestering him to change his modem. Leo says that he'll want a faster DOCSIS 3 modem anyway, so if he's paying for a modem, he may as well get a modern one. Chances are, when he got it, it was probably already outdated. George should make sure he requests a DOCSIS 3 modem.
Richard gets frustrated with customer service at Comcast. Leo says that support is expensive and companies are trying to cut support because of it. More and more are just chatbots. That's why Leo goes to the store to talk to real humans.
John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.
Leo says he does need to get a modem that's compatible, and he can get a list of compatible modems from Time Warner's website. Leo uses an Arris modem on Comcast, and he thinks that would also be compatible on Time Warner. Leo says you can almost always save money and get a more up to date modem by buying your own instead of renting one from the cable company.
There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.
Tech reporter Ryan Block tried to cancel his Comcast cable account on the phone, but the account rep wouldn't let him. He tried for over an hour to get Ryan to change his mind. Leo says that he's learned the rep loses money on his salary after a percentage of accounts get cancelled, to the point where he ends up making minimum wage. So the representative probably was trying to save his salary. This is a bad way to do business, and Comcast later issued an apology for the hardship that Ryan dealt with.
John's friend uses Outlook and when he moved, Outlook can't find his email server. Leo says that it's likely that Comcast altered settings that prevents him from seeing it. Outlook doesn't support the standard port 25 SMTP port. So he'll have to use the secure SSL ports. He can enable that in settings, and then he should select port 465 or 993. Comcast blocks port 25. Here's a technote on how to use his email client from Comcast.