Comcast customers — and I’m one — look out:
Comcast customer Ronaldo Boschulte didn’t know exactly what he was getting when the company swapped his malfunctioning modem for a new one. The cable modem doubles as a Wi-Fi router—that much he was expecting. But he didn’t realize the router would, by default, broadcast a public Wi-Fi network that anyone with a Comcast account could connect to.
“I didn’t know it had a hotspot,” Boschulte told the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota.
Comcast started adding the public hotspot to its modems by default in mid-2013, as we reported at the time. Customers can turn the second signal off if they choose, but it’s definitely an opt-out program rather than opt-in.
Solution: Buy your own WiFi router and even your own cable modem, should Comcast decide to “upgrade” your existing wifi-free modem with something more… sinister.
Honestly, this is some of the creepiest customer service I’ve ever seen. Somewhere right now, Sergey Brin is slapping his forehead and wondering why he didn’t think of it first.