Leaked internal documents from the Internet service provider Comcast caused an uproar on social media, especially due to how the company chooses to (not) address specific issues.
In spite of repeated appeals for the documents to be discarded, the papers still surfaced on popular website Reddit. In the memos, the company instructs its customer service department on how to respond to questions pertaining to the expanded 300 GB broadband plan.
The header and footer of the documents seem to indicate that their source is "Einstein," Comcast's internal network. In the text, employees are told what they should and should not say to customers.
One of the issues addressed in the dossier is the topic of net neutrality, a principle that states that all web data should receive equal treatment in transmissioin speeds. This means, specifically, that corporations should be unable to buy their way into faster services.
The topic of net neutrality is highly debated both in the United States and European Union, as activists from both sides of the Atlantic consider that creating an "Internet fast lane" should be prohibited. The concerned groups claim that creating such a precedent favors global companies, lending them an unfair advantage and ultimately trampling smaller businesses.
Here is the relevant portion of the document [pdf]:
"[Anyone who] calls in with any questions associated with the [300 GB] usage policy and how it relates to Net Neutrality, Netflix or observations about how XFINITY are or are not counted relative to third-party services, do not address these items with the customer. Immediately escalate to the Customer Security Assurance (CSA) Team."
Both emphasizes belongs to Comcast. Xfinity is the media streaming service owned by Comcast.
If you wonder what is the Customer Security Assurance Team is, you can learn more from the official website of the Internet provider.
"[CSA] was established to ensure a safe and secure online experience for Comcast customers," the team's presentation reads.
User dissatisfaction is running high among Comcast customers who see the capping of the Internet plan at 300 GB as arbitrary and unjustified. An objective reason behind the limit would have been data congestion, but according to the documents, it is not the case.
"Don't say: 'The program is about congestion management.' (It is not.)," reads the internal information.
The customer care assistant should tell the client that the cap exists due to "fairness and providing a more flexible policy to our customers."
Comcast understands the concept of fairness loosely: the leaked documents also state that for each 50 GB extra a customer uses, a $10 fee applies.
Just to recap: the company restricts the bandwidth, makes no infrastructure improvements and charges extra for a traffic that it can already support? It sounds like Comcast discovered the quickest route to short-term profit and client outrage in the history of Internet providers.
Slow clap, Comcast!