Some Comcast prospects acquired an unwelcome shock yesterday morning when their add speeds had been all of the sudden lowered from 20Mbps to 16Mbps. Comcast was elevating obtain speeds on its “Extreme Pro” tier from 600Mbps to 800Mbps—excellent news, to make certain—however the plan’s comparatively paltry 20Mbps add speeds acquired a simultaneous 20 % reduce.

Customers affected by the change complained to Comcast, and two of them emailed Ars yesterday. When we handed these complaints on to Comcast public relations, a spokesperson initially informed us that “there was no change to the upstream speed.” But after we identified that prospects had been the truth is getting decreased add speeds, Comcast investigated additional and found it made a mistake whereas rolling out download-speed upgrades for a few of its plans.

“The customers who received the [download] speed increase last night should now be seeing the correct upload speeds in their usage meter,” Comcast informed Ars final evening. “When we pushed the speed increase overnight, there was an issue with how the upload speeds were provisioned, which is why the meter and our internal tools that our care agents use were showing the upload speed of 16Mbps. Once you notified us, we quickly looked into it and everything should be correct now.”

The repair is rolling out mechanically so prospects do not must do something, Comcast mentioned. “For a period of less than 24 hours, customers would have seen slightly slower upload speeds,” Comcast informed us. “This issue only impacted customers in our Central markets who received this [download] speed increase from 600Mbps to 800Mbps.”

Comcast overprovisions speeds in order that prospects usually get a bit greater than their marketed plan states. This technique can scale back consumer complaints usually, and it signifies that prospects’ uploads weren’t essentially reduce all the best way right down to 16Mbps when yesterday’s bug hit.

Comcast informed us that the issue affected customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Comcast usually makes community modifications one area at a time, so we assume prospects in different states will get the download-speed will increase afterward in the event that they have not already.

Confusion for purchasers and Comcast reps

The upload-speed reduce prompted confusion for purchasers and the Comcast customer-service brokers who fielded their calls yesterday morning and afternoon.

“I called in and had to talk with three different agents, then finally a supervisor,” Wesley, a Comcast buyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, informed Ars yesterday afternoon. “He said they have been getting calls all morning… He said my download went up to 800Mbps, I should be grateful. I explained I am now working from home due to COVID and spend my days web conferencing and need my upload speed. He then tried to talk me into upgrading my plan to Gig, for $20 more per month, which I can’t afford. There was no warning, no price reduction, only shock by this shady move.”

Another buyer named Andrew in Lansing, Michigan, contacted us about the identical downside yesterday morning, saying he noticed the modified speeds in his account and ran a pace check that confirmed the upper obtain speeds and decrease add speeds. “I just talked with [Comcast],” he informed us. “Their documentation shows that it should be at 20Mbps upload however they were able to confirm on my account that it is at 16Mbps. They went ahead and made a ticket for it.”

A pace check Andrew ran on Saturday, just a few days earlier than the change, confirmed speeds of 713Mbps down and 24Mbps up, larger than the marketed 600/20Mbps—proof of Comcast’s overprovisioning talked about earlier on this article. After the change however earlier than final evening’s repair, he bought 945Mbps downloads (a 32.5 % improve in precise speeds) and 19Mbps uploads (a 20.8 % lower in precise speeds). Andrew’s measured add pace was again to 24Mbps as we speak, so he is bought the identical uploads as earlier than however quicker downloads.

Comcast informed us that add speeds had been “provisioned” at 20Mbps yesterday although prospects’ plan particulars had been exhibiting 16Mbps when the error was in place. Now that it is again to regular, prospects ought to see 20Mbps as their marketed add speeds and should get precise add speeds above 20Mbps as a result of over-provisioning that’s usually in place.

Both Wesley and Andrew informed us the issue had been fastened earlier than 8 pm EST final evening. “I did a reboot of the cable modem, and my upload speeds have returned to 20Mbps, and the account online reports 20Mbps as well. Either someone messed up or Comcast backtracked from what they were planning to do,” Andrew informed Ars.

“Perhaps the flood of calls Comcast received about this today made them quickly backtrack on this,” Wesley informed us final evening. “My modem just rebooted again, so I checked my account status and I got my [20Mbps] upload speed back… looks like they did the right thing for the customers.”

Comcast makes add speeds laborious to search out

The downside might have gone unnoticed and unfixed for longer if not for eagle-eyed prospects monitoring their add speeds. Comcast makes discovering its add speeds exceedingly tough, as we described in an article final week. For new prospects, Comcast’s ordering system does not reveal every plan’s add speeds till you enter a sound bank card quantity. Even current prospects have had bother discovering their add speeds, resulting in customer-forum threads the place different customers defined the place to search out them within the customer-account portal.

“I have no idea why Comcast thinks upload speed isn’t important,” one particular person wrote in a Comcast buyer discussion board final week. “It is extremely important for video conferencing which is a big part of our lives now, [and] every bit of data downloaded has to send confirmation packets back to the server. You can’t download without adequate upload speeds. Really disappointed Comcast deliberately hides this info, but I get it. If I had such a lousy ratio of upload to download speed I’d hide it too. It’s embarrassing. Max 35Mbps [upload speeds] for the gigabit [download] plan? It’s a joke.”

It’s good for purchasers that Comcast retains elevating obtain speeds—and in addition good that yesterday’s upload-speed reduce turned out to be a mistake that was shortly reversed—however Comcast’s download-speed hikes normally aren’t paired with upload-speed will increase. One exception is that Comcast this month raised speeds on its plan for low-income households from 25Mbps down and 3Mbps as much as 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up after complaints in regards to the plan’s low speeds.

The cable trade has been promising larger add speeds for years whereas hyping upgrades to DOCSIS, the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification used to offer Internet entry over coaxial cables. Yet cable add speeds stay annoyingly low whereas fiber-to-the-home companies that are not as extensively accessible as cable present a whole bunch of megabits for each downloads and uploads.

Comcast in October 2020 introduced a “technical milestone” that may ship gigabit-plus obtain and add speeds over current cable wires. But the expertise has solely been deployed in testing, and Comcast’s cable add speeds nonetheless max out on the 35Mbps that include the gigabit-download plan. Comcast final week informed us it has “nothing to announce about increases to our upstream speeds at this time.”