NNSquad - Network Neutrality Squad

NNSquad Home Page

NNSquad Mailing List Information


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ NNSquad ] Re: Comcast limits on outbound e-mail traffic?

I think a point that's tangential here, but is still worth mentioning is the
cost of "avoidance" to these restrictions.

I've got Comcast as my HSI provider at home, and have had my email address
(either my POBOX.com or my tarpify.com one) forwarded along to whatever ISP
the time I was using. After Comcast bought AT&T Cable (I live in Chicago), I
figured it'd pretty much be the same service...it wasn't. I travel _a lot_
(every week), and I was spending literally hours at night the first couple
weeks trying to get my home email outlook profile to connect, on the road to
Comcast's server, once they migrated us onto the Comcast.net POP3 server. I
then discovered that you can only slurp your mail if you're on a Comcast
IP...and since their webmail client blows, I ended up deciding to shell out
for hosted exchange ($9.95/month/user) for myself and my wife's account on

I bring this up to illustrate the point that in attempting to "manage" their
network, they most certainly discriminated against traffic from another
network attempting to make a POP3 connection to their server...even for a user
who was a legitimate customer of theirs, and simply wanted to read his email.
Instead, after frustrating me for hours, not being able to find out this
simple fact (one would think that this would make an excellent Q to put on the
support FAQs), and then only finding this out after I wheedled my way into
tier 3 support, I decided I'd rather thrown money at the problem then fight
the system. My rationale for going with hosted exchange...no hotel/café/etc is
going to block Outlook to exchange on their network. Why? Their core business
(travelers/business people/etc) are going to want to be able to download that
last email with the presentation as they're waiting to go to the big

The lesson I learned from this: it's easier to throw money at the problem
(network discrimination) than trying to make some level-3 techie understand
and hope he can talk to someone who can make a difference.


-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+tarpy=tarpify.com@nnsquad.org [mailto:nnsquad-bounces+tarpy=tarpify.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of Bob Frankston
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 12:37 PM
To: 'Lauren Weinstein'; nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: Comcast limits on outbound e-mail traffic?

Long ago when I used Comcast's outbound mail server I did run into such
limits. I don't have the exact details but switched to doing my outbound
mail then to DynDNS outbound mailhop service so I don't have recent

I plan to post my own attitude towards NN issues in the near future. I see
this as more peripheral to NN in that it is an optional service and there
are alternatives though the primary alternative -- sending one's own mail
directly is problematic since AOL and others treat user-originated mail as
spam so you pay a third party like DynDNS for vouching for you.

A problem with many service-provider mail relays is that they have naïve
authentication that depends on being directly connected thus you have to
make other arrangements when traveling anyway. This creates the problem of
hotels intercepting port 25 as a favor to you but a favor you often don't

A related problem is that we have chosen to use mail protocols -- especially
an addressing scheme that creates names relative to a service provider --
that make us unnecessarily dependent upon third parties and unnecessarily
inviting of spam.