I read today this alarming report on Yahoo News that Comcast admits to censoring and blocking Internet use of its subscribers.

(Story here.)

My specific complaint is that where I live, Comcast is the only broadband provider. If there were an option that would provide me with the same speed, I’d consider switching. They are expensive, and their support varies widely (sometimes super – sometimes not).

So since they have a local monopoly, should they be restricted from dictating my USE ?

Or, shouldn’t I get a discount for packets I request and they refuse to send?

I pay over $100 a month for Internet access from Comcast and that’s WITH the multi-service discount (they are also the only cable TV provider I have access to.)

As an interesting side note. Early this week I saw a Television news clip about this web site http://www.comcastmustdie.com/

I went to the local Comcast where Bob Garfield and his readers and poster express their frustrations with the customer service quality at Comcast.

A couple days ago I went to the local Comcast service office because (without telling me) Comcast changed their protocols so that the Cable receiver boxes they lease to me can no longer order pay-per-view events (Like the UFC).

I’ve order, been charged for, and NOT been able to watch several shows and been told by Comcast customer service on each occasion, “Sometimes there is a problem with the feed”.

It was ONLY when I searched the web for other people having problems ordering the UFC on Comcast and called Comcast service that they admitted, “oh yea, those boxes are like 10 years old, they don’t work with our PPV network any more” that I knew I needed new boxes.

Since I had to make the drive anyway, I thought I’d get new cable modems. One of my Broad Band Comcast Internet connections was needing to be reset (un-plug the Cable Modem) once or twice an hour.

So I showed up to the Concord, NH Comcast service office with all my hardware.

At first it seemed strange to me that the lines of people waiting for service stood in front of bullet-proof glass barriers that went all the way to the ceiling (and I flashed back to the TV story about bad Comcast customer service.)

The woman who was at the counter (when it was finally my turn) was rude-as-could-be. She was apparently mad that I came in with multiple tasks that needed to be solved. But, we got all the changes done.

When I got home and plugged it all in. NOTHING WORKED.

None o the cable boxes worked (I have 3). All channels on all three TVs showed a message “Service Not Authorized”.

When I tried to browse to ANY web page, all my computers redirect to a Comcast page that said either:

“Your operating system is not supported.” (Linux)

“Click here to download software.” (Windows)

The “software” was this huge .exe. No one can tell me why I need it, what it contains completely, and no one will PROMISE me that it does not contain software that does not compromise my privacy in any way.

So, I called Comcast tech support.

The guys I got were AWESOME! I wish I could remember their names. (One for TV and one for Internet)

They’re fixed ALL my problems quickly and politely.

My Internet problem seems GONE and this weekend I’ll have UFC on PPV !

Now – how do I find out if they are censoring my Internet without trying to download something illegal ?