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     Comcast and the POP3 and SMTP servers
    What do we know?
    When the Adelphia deal was finally inked after their corporate scandal and subsequent bankruptcy, Comcast and Time Warner acquired and split up the cable assets. I became a Comcast customer who had their Time Warner franchise taken over as part of the divestiture agreement between both companies. I expected very little problem with my cable TV, as I only subscribe to basic cable. The cable companies currently provide very little to those with HD TV unless you pay an exorbitant fee. I did expect major changes with my internet service, as my e-mail addresses were changing from (Roadrunner) to

    Overall, I have been happy with the original site installer and repairmen (who have been contractors). When the cable failed due to weather, I was up and running with a brand new cable and equipment on the power pole outside the house within a day. I have been happy with the high speed network service, which started at 2 Mbps downloads six years ago and have increased to 5 Mbps according to the speed tests. I plugged in my router, configured the security, and away I went with DHCP.

    I have used different internet browsers, FTP and telnet clients with no problem. I have used a number of different Linux and UNIX systems on my internal network with no problem. Just do not call Comcast for internet service support. Comcast contracts out to a national help desk located in Canada. The support folks are instructed to give minimal help. Their chat software has some canned instant responses like, "Our network appears to be working here", and, "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

    Their first line tech support only knows how to configure Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. As far as I am concerned, using the e-mail support is the biggest concern. I use Outlook 2007 now, and used Outlook XP for the previous six years as my POP3 SMTP client. I have had numerous issues with the server and SMTP server ( The errors all point to a problem on their end.

    In one instance I told the chat room support about how they should change one of their SMTP settings ( "soft bounce" and it should be set to "no" so that it reports: "550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable (e.g., mailbox not found, no access, or command rejected for policy reasons)" instead of "450 Requested mail action not taken: mailbox unavailable (e.g., mailbox busy)" ). I have not seen that problem since. For a number of months I experienced POP3 errors. I was told to turn off my Antivirus mail checking. I actually raised this issue through the escalation department. They never responded, but this problem seems to have trailed off lately.

    The local support to provide the wiring and signal is a different matter. I now realize that in order to work with Comcast local tech support is to have some basic technical knowledge of how cable broadband service works. This way you will either get the support person to "talk up" to your level immediately or switch you to someone that knows. You will never again be told to unscrew your cable from the router and blow the dust out (true story).

    If your signal fails, BEFORE you call tech support, Power down everything and restart in this order:

    - cable modem (wait for it to boot and show the signal LED)
    - router (wait for network traffic to start)
    - then the computer.

    Even if you know this will not fix the issue, do it. Then take the router out of the loop and do it all over again. Then when you call, tell them you did all this already. This will save time.

    For example, if you buy your own modem, NEVER say, "I need my new modem INSTALLED." Say, "I need my new modem PROVISIONED". Most support people will know right away what you need and will not bother asking you about your PC configuration and you will be on-line 15 minutes later.

    Get to the status page of your modem (usually [] but may vary depending on model).

    Your downstream signal needs to be between -10 and +10 dBmV.

    Your downstream SNR should be above 33.

    Your upstream power should be between +30 and +50 dBmV.

    If your signal drops because of a splice in the line gone failing, you can tell Comcast "my downstream power is -16, which is out-of-spec, I need a tech to take a look at this".

    Posted on Friday, July 27, 2007 @ 13:05:22 UTC by BB
    "Comcast and the POP3 and SMTP servers" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment
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    Re: Comcast and the POP3 and SMTP servers (Score: 1)
    by BB on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 20:20:49 UTC
    (User Info )
    In April 2007 I was getting this error

    Receiving' reported error (0x80042108) : 'Outlook cannot connect to your incoming (POP3) e-mail server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'

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