Comcast Makes It More And More Difficult To Opt-Out Of Internet Sharing

As we learned back in June, Comcast has decided to turn every cable router on its network into a public wi-fi access point. While this may sound like a good idea – free Internet for all Comcast subscribers everywhere is the goal – the reality clashes with the Internet user’s sense of freedom and control. And, unfortunately, Comcast is making it harder and harder to opt out of their service.

DSLReports has noted that many users have found that even after disabling the sharing updates to the firmware re-enable it automatically.

Wrote one user, Moulder3:

So again, my ability to turn WiFi off via the “Users & Preferences” page did not exist. Calling the 800 number and going to internet support gave me someone who only suggested trying to disable & re-enabe bridge mode (which didn’t eliminate ‘xfinitywifi’). He then suggested I (get this!) read up on the Comcast customer forums on their website as “there are constantly updates to the firmware in our modems and this is probably just an update that has an issue at the moment.”When I told him that wasn’t acceptable, he transferred me to the WiFi department (who actually seemed to be both U.S. based & knowledgeable!) This rep empathized with me and admitted that although I have the WiFi set to ‘off’ and I have my gateway in bridge mode, he could apparently see that xfinitiywifi was active on my account. THIS DEPARTMENT SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY ONE ABLE TO DISABLE THE XFINITYWIFI ON GATEWAYS AT THE MOMENT. Their direct # is 855-308-9453 (I’m glad I asked the clueless tier 1 tech for it before being transferred) I can confirm that this person was able to ultimately able to fix the issue.

The only solution, according to forum members, is to “buy your own modem/router,” a solution that seems quite simple. Sadly, however, there are also complaints of Comcast failing to remove router rental fees even after multiple requests. While most users are obviously fine with Comcast sharing their bandwidth, this Kafkaesque experience for those who dare think a bit different looks quite frustrating.