A Comcast user has created a Raspberry Pi tweet bot that sends a tweet to the Internet service provider every time the connection speed is slower than advertised.
The Comcast subscriber, who goes by the username AlekseyP on Reddit, explains that the Raspberry Pi bot runs a number of speed tests every hour and stores the gathered data. The subscriber has signed up for 150 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed, and whenever the download speeds go below 50 Mbps, the bot sends a tweet to Comcast.
"I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50 Mbps down, but when they advertise 150 and I get 10-30 I am unsatisfied. I am aware that the Pi that I have is limited to ~100 Mbps on its Ethernet port (but seems to top out at 90) so when I get 90 I assume it is also higher and possibly up to 150," says AlekseyP.
The tweet has details of the user's download and upload speeds.
— AComcast User (@A_Comcast_User) January 29, 2016
Comcast responds to the tweets hours after the speed has returned to normal and asks for the account number and address. AlekseyP has never given this information, worried of being singled out, but wants all Comcast subscribers to get the speed the ISP advertises.
According to the post, the significant Internet speed fluctuations often occur when the subscriber's house if empty or at night. The user also claims that they do not torrent and mainly use the Internet connection for streaming TV services or for playing online Microsoft Xbox or PC games.
Some disturbances in Internet speed may occur occasionally due to cable damages caused by animals or weather. A poorly placed router at the consumer's end may also result in Internet speed fluctuations.
While there are many factors that may affect the connection, getting about a third or lower bandwidth than advertised can get very frustrating for customers.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also investigating ISPs in his state, and for users to report their Internet speed.
Neither Comcast nor other ISPs have addressed the issue of lower-than-promised Internet download or upload speeds, but the contribution of subscribers is very significant in the industry.
AlekseyP has also provided the source code of the bot, which could help customers report to Comcast whenever their Internet speeds are slower than what they should be getting.