Thursday, August 2, 2007

Comcast Vs. Cincinnati Bell And The Coming Email Tax

The conversation about Cincinnati Bell's email issues continues to rage over on The Cincinnati Beacon.

Komarek posted a comment mentioning that he had spoken with a "Fuse tech" who in turn fingered Comcast, a name that has been mentioned before in that thread.

Apparently what is going on is that Comcast will only allow a certain number of emails a day from Fuse.

So I'm thinking, "Oooooh ... it's the 'GoodMail' Internet email blackmail tax thing again."

Of course the very first thing I'm thinking is, "Who in the HELL is Comcast and why are so many Fuse people trying to email Comcast people?"

Is Comcast big in Northern Kentucky or something?

Well, first of all, of late it looks like Comcast has been serving their customers with notices that the customers can no longer sue Comcast, but Comcast can still sue the customers.

But, looking a little further back, we discover that Comcast has been cutting off service to customers it deems "abusive" of bandwidth usage.

Oh, that's nice.

So, probably, if I understand this correctly, Comcast has it in its head somehow that Cincinnati Bell is "abusing Comcast's pipes" by [[gasp]] sending emails.

Well, ordinarily this should not be a big issue. As I've mentioned, it seems that the "business model" for getting your email from your ISP no longer works. $45/mo. is just not enough to keep a decent email system going so you should be able to switch to an advertiser-supported email service like AOL, right?


Well, if you want to use the crappy web interface you're fine.

Actually, if you're ready to sober up to the modern realities of the email scene and start using a web interface you ought to start using GMail. As a matter of fact, send me a note at and I'll send you and invite.

But, let's suppose that you simply can't wean yourself off Outlook, Eudora, Pegasus, or some other antiquated email client. You can just connect Outlook to AOL's IMAP servers, right?


Apparently a few years ago many Fuse customers were hit REALLY hard by mass emailing worms and the only way they could figure out to put the kibosh on all this traffic was to block their users from hooking up directly to any SMTP servers besides Fuse's.

Now, for some reason, for instance RoadRunner never had to do such a thing.

God forbid that Cincinnati Bell should put in a little creativity or spend a little money to find a system that can distinguish between, for instance, The Dean coming home from a long day of trying to defend the good people of the Greater Cincinnati area from incompetent technical support and checking his email from AOL's IMAP servers, and some virus-laden PC sending billions of emails to email servers all across the fruited plain.

But, yes, I can tell it's coming. No matter how much we fight it, no matter what we do, eventually the mentality of "you're using OUR pipes, you have to PAY" will, at very least, result in something like an "email tax".

Much like the personal income tax, it will probably start out small - maybe $.001, but will slowly but surely rise to the $0.20 cent range like with text messages.


Because people will be fool enough to pay it!

But, until then, I wish all y'all would just come over to RoadRunner. I mean - good God, people - I've heard there are people who WORK for Cincinnati Bell who are eligible for FREE Zoomtown/Fuse service who DON'T take it and pay CASH through the NOSE for RoadRunner because, well folks, RoadRunner WORKS (although don't get me started on THEIR email system) ...

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At January 16, 2008 at 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both SUCK!

At February 18, 2008 at 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your right about that ... I have had both.

Road Runners support tech are either morons or a_ _holes. I get service outages almost daily (probably the damn government installing listening devices) and some of the highest latency i have ever seen.

Not much choice around here thanks to the Time Warner Monopoly.


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