Comcast customer’s Raspberry Pi bot tweets every time internet speed drops
Just imagine, you want to an email an important office file and your internet slows down. Or, you have entered details of your credit/debit card for online payment and the payment gateway screen comes to a halt. It can really be frustrating at times when your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not providing the performance you are paying for. Many ISPs refuse to do anything unless your speeds are truly glacial, even if the slowdowns create serious problems.
Unhappy over poor internet speeds, a clever Comcast Xfinity customer has created a bot that auto-Tweets Comcast whenever his broadband drops below advertised speeds. Redditer AlekseyP used a Raspberry Pi that constantly performs speed tests every hour to check if the internet is up to scratch, and which sends a Tweet to the official Comcast Twitter account every time it drops below 50 mbps, or a third of the 150Mbps he is supposed to be getting.
Here is what the bot tweets :
Hey @Comcast why is my internet speed 29down8up when I pay for 150down10up in Washington DC? @ComcastCares @xfinity #comcast #speedtest
— AComcast User (@A_Comcast_User) January 29, 2016
The approach saves him the trouble of calling out Comcast himself, and catches those speed drops even when the house is empty.
“I pay for 150mbps down and 10mbps up,” AleskeyP wrote on Reddit. “The raspberry pi runs a series of speedtests every hour and stores the data. Whenever the downspeed is below 50mbps the Pi uses a twitter API to send an automatic tweet to Comcast listing the speeds.”
“I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50mpbs down,” he added, “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 ~100mbps 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.”
Comcast customer service reps regularly respond to the tweets hours later, but Aleksey never gives them his info. He wants to prove a point.
“I do not want to singled out as a customer; all their customers deserve the speeds they advertise, not just the ones who are able to call them out on their BS,” he said.
That’s a bit counterintuitive when ISPs rarely do anything without a formal complaint in hand. Still, the auto-tweeting bot is incredibly useful for those that have an ISP that refuses to look into service quality problems issues and often requires you to fight to get it looked at.
AlekseyP has open-sourced the code so that others can use it, if they have issues getting more than 30mbps on a connection that promised 150mbps speeds.