Comcast, modems, and MAC addresses

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Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Comcast, modems, and MAC addresses

My broadband internet connection is via Comcast; I really have no other choice. Too far out for DSL, and satellite is still far too expensive.

In recent months, they have "upgrade their service" and their fees, of course.

Some weeks ago, I was told that I needed to register my modem MAC address to my account. Recently, I got a letter saying that if I didn't do it soon, I would lose my internet service.

When I called, they said they needed my Modem model number as well. So now they have that and the MAC address.

Can someone tell me why they need this information?

IAC
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Joined: 06/03/2008 - 11:34am
Did you get your modem from

Did you get your modem from Comcast? If YES, they should already know the address. Note that this assumes a level of competence that might not exist.

If you went to Walmart and bought your own cable-modem, they would need its MAC address to know which customer their network is talking to.

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
I bought my modem some years

I bought my modem some years ago, and had the cable guy come out to get things set up, since I brought cable in only for that purpose. I would assume that if they needed that info, they recorded it during installation.

If not, why have things been fine for years without it, but now they 'need it?'

IAC
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Joined: 06/03/2008 - 11:34am
I'll make another assumption.

I'll make another assumption. You do not have a fixed IP address. Rather, it changes every now and then. That is, Comcast can't correlate Mel Udall to some known network address. If they have your MAC address, they can.

Does Comcast have a FAP = Fair Access Policy? Usually this puts a limit on your usage in terms of gigabytes/month. In order to enforce such a policy, they have to know who is using how much, hence the need to have the address. If your next porno movie cuts out in the middle, you'll know you have been FAPped.

Average Joe
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Joined: 10/23/2003 - 12:01am
The "mother-ship" hardware

The "mother-ship" hardware knows only the mac address of the subscriber; it usually doesn't record the subscriber name, address, etc. That information has to be maintained in an external database. It could be that they hadn't kept good records of who is who, or that data was lost, or somehow in the upgrade it was wiped out. Probably should have been unnecessary, but to link up the account with the subscriber, this was probably necessary.

How else could they let you know that they had to throttle down your excessive AMG bandwidth usage?

Melvin Udall
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
I am not paying for a fixed

I am not paying for a fixed amount of data. I am paying for a delivery rate, according to them.

So they shouldn't care how much data I download or upload.

mirgliP
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Joined: 01/06/2003 - 1:01am
The MAC (Media Access

The MAC (Media Access Control) address is the physical (hardware) address of your modem and is unique to your modem. Many ISPs will not provision a modem unless they can associate the MAC with a customer. The request for MAC address is not unusual.

Average Joe
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Joined: 10/23/2003 - 12:01am
Oh, they care how much data

Oh, they care how much data you download or upload, believe me, regardless of plan.

charlie neville
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Joined: 10/17/2005 - 6:31am
The days of internet

The days of internet anonymity are long gone. Big Brother knows who and where you are. The old days when you connected dial-up and were assigned an address for that session are history. At least there's no identifiable serial # assigned to each CPU as was proposed some years ago. (Or is there?) If I want to torture Big Brother I go to the library or Dunkin Donuts to connect. Of course there's still the video cameras to give you away.

charlie

Mid-Coast Mainer
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Joined: 12/11/2007 - 7:22pm
I have a non-COMCAST modem

I have a non-COMCAST modem and they have not asked me for the MAC address. Maybe they already have it or maybe they are less concerned about my views (just kidding............ really just kidding...)

Kevin R
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Joined: 06/21/2005 - 12:01am
Charlie this will help you

Charlie this will help you stay warm and not have to fo outside when you want to tweak big brother. hide your IP

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