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2008 04 05
This Browser Officially Hijacked

This is what you’ll see when your household exceeds the bandwidth quota allotted by Rogers.

You’ll be sure to see it. Rogers will hijack your browser and show it to you.

And your browser window will wind up looking like this:

But I refused to believe it this morning when it happened to me. What -- over 60 gigs? Just in March? No way. I monitor every last drop of bandwidth percolating through the router. No way.

That’s what I said when I finally got through that crazy voice recognition system of Rogers’. No way.

“Well,” replied their living and breathing tech support fellow, “what does your record show?”

“20 gigs -– give or take a few,” I growled. All indignant.

So we compared daily bandwidth records. And it turned out I was totally wrong. The 20 gigs I’d been looking at? Corresponded with the last 10 days’ use. Only.

“Alright, fine,” I relented. “But how confident are you guys in tracking everyone’s bandwidth? And what will you do when individuals dispute your readings? How will you resolve that?”

“Pretty confident,” he said. “We’ve been testing the hell out of it. Of course, computers do make mistakes. And in such cases, customers self-tracking their bandwidth will stand a good chance of getting credited.”

“Ok, but why do it at all?” I asked. “Didn’t your high-speed customers sign up for unlimited use?”

“We have no choice,” he replied. “We pay for bandwidth and now it’s getting to the point where some customers are using 200 gigs. More even. That’s what’s wrecked it for everyone else.”

Ok. Fair enough. But still. The link provided by Rogers to view one’s bandwidth usage -- rogers.com/keepingpace –- is not accessible. In fact, Rogers’ website has been down all day. How to trust Rogers’ bandwidth tracking everyone –- when Rogers can’t even keep their own website up?

I’ll keep right on self-tracking, thank you. And this whole browser hijacking thing? I’ll have to think about that some more. Because, going by first impressions –- it just seems like some sort of security nightmare. But first, I’m gon’na find out who’s been abusing the torrents @ my household last month. That’s one mystery won’t require much brilliance detecting.

[Peter Fruchter teaches in the Division of Humanities at York University.]
[email this story] Posted by Peter Fruchter on 04/05 at 07:03 PM

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