My Experience of Internet Services in Brazil: Claro NET

Through the networks facility on my computer I see the names of all Wi-Fi nodes within range of my computer's Wi-Fi transceiver. Practically all of them are protected by encryption, so I could not access them, and rightly so. However, I saw a Wi-Fi node that was not password-locked.

The unlocked node was called "#NET-CLARO-WIFI". So, on 03 October 2022, I tried to log into this Wi-Fi node. It displayed the initial page of a service by Claro NET com­prising Wi-Fi hotspots, which provided free Internet access to Claro's customers. My smartphone operates on Claro's network, so I am already a Claro customer. I thought that if I could log into this Wi-Fi facility with a temporary password, I would be able to access their contract email on my computer where I could read it without any prob­lem and sign up to their residential fibre-optic service. So I decided to con­tact Claro.

I was to discover much later on that this #NET-CLARO-WIFI roaming Wi-Fi service simply doesn't work. The only response I have ever managed to get from it is: "Login service not available, please try again later".

I carefully prepared all the information about the service I wanted, plus all they would need to know about me and the location of my residence. I also asked as nicely as I could if they would grant me a temporary password to their local community Wi-Fi node for the express purpose of obtaining their contract email in order to sign up to their service. I wrote all this information into a PDF file, which I copied across to my smartphone.

Early on 04 October 2022, I opened Claro's WhatsApp channel and sent the PDF file as a message attachment. I got an automatic reply saying that there was nobody available at the time to attend my message. A bit later I received a message from a representative called 'LUCAS'. He asked for my CPF. I replied that all information was in the attached file that I sent above. I never heard anything else from 'LUCAS'. From this I deduce that 'LUCAS' wasn't human but an automated menu, which Oi errone­ously calls an 'Artificial Intelligence' [AI] and which I call an 'Artificial Imbe­cile'. So I guess I have hit yet another blank wall.

I later received a WhatsApp message from a younger relative saying that he bought his Internet plan from a shop in a large shopping mall. He said that he found it much easier to do it that way. I had been given the firm impression that it was no longer possible to buy Internet services from a shop. I had been to shops to buy other things and often told that nowadays they only actually sold stuff via the Internet.

Consequently, I arranged with my younger relative for him to come for me in his car to go to a shopping mall on Sunday 09 October to buy an Internet access plan. We went to the mall and investigated the offerings of the ISPs: Claro, TIM and Vivo. Un­like Oi and Blink, none of these three offered fibre optic direct to an Optical Terminal Unit in the customer's residence. They used optical fibre to convey the signal along the streets to so-called 'aggregation units' that transferred the signal from optical fibre to coaxial cable [coax] from the street to customers' premises.

We went back home and made con­tact with Blink again. Blink discovered that inst­alling fibre optic service in my apart­ment building was impossible because there was absolutely no space left in the building's entry ducts. So on Wednesday 12 October 2022 my younger relative took me again to the mall where I signed up for the Claro NET service.

Background Circumstances

The reason I needed an Internet service at this time was that Oi, the ISP I had been with for well over a decade, decided to end its ADSL service. Oi first unexpectedly cut my ADSL signal on 03 August 2022 but reinstated it intermittently after much complaining. However, on 21 September 2022, Oi cut my ADSL signal definitively and permanently. This left me without an Internet connection, which I need for my work.

Law no. 12.965 of April 23, 2014 CHAPTER II, USERS’ RIGHTS AND GUAR­ANTEES, Art. 7. Internet access is essential for the exercise of citizenship, rights and duties, and users have the right to: ... IV – maintenance of Inter­net connection, unless it is terminated due to the user’s failure to pay for its use;

Oi was supposedly going to install a fibre optical service to an OTU [Optical Terminal Unit] in my apartment to replace the old ADSL service at the same monthly rate. How­ever, after much confusion and lack of consistent and coordinated information, plus not knowing when — or even if — Oi was going to install the fibre-optical service, I had to seek another supplier. It was later discovered that fibre optical cable could not be installed in my apartment building because the building's entry ducts were full of old expanded coaxial cables.

Thus I was left high and dry without an Internet connection. Claro was the one and only option available within my apartment building.

Signing Up With Claro NET

Signing up for the service in the mall shop was a far more welcome and less stressful experience for me than battling with cretinous AIs and automated menus on my smartphone. The shop wins every time. The young sales guy was extremely method­ical and verified immediately that Claro already had a service distribution box inside my apartment building so the problem Blink had with the full cable ducts didn't exist. Claro arranged to install our service on Saturday 15 October 2022.

It should be well noted here that I was not allowed to buy what I actually wanted. I had to buy what Claro NET wished to sell me. And since Claro NET was the only ISP who was able to supply me with an Internet connection, my choice was simply to buy what they wanted to sell me or have no Internet connection.

A full duplex Internet connection
with data transfer speed ≥ 5 Mbps
with no port blocking.
An Internet connection 'package'
called Claro NET Virtua 350 Mega.
No further information available.

COMPLAINT 1: I could only buy a 'Combo' package, not just the service I actually wanted. I don't know if this violates any law but it seems grossly unfair to me, especially since basic Internet access has become a de facto necessity in order for a person to function adequately within modern society, irrespective of their means.

Internet Bill of Rights Chapter II: Users' Rights and Guarantees
Art. 7º Internet access is essential to the exercise of citizenship, ...

I could discover nothing further as to what the 'Claro NET Virtua 350 Mega' package comprised. I searched both on Claro NET's website and generally. If the information is technically available in some corner of Claro NET's website, access to it has been so obstructively de-emphasised that it is obviously not intended to be found. So that is all I had to go on prior to purchase. Consequently, I did not — could not — have much of a clue about what I was buying, except that it was some kind of internet connection.

COMPLAINT 2: Lack of the necessary and sufficient information prior to purchase for making an informed purchase decision. I think this withholding, obscuring or obstr­uctively de-emphasising the buyer's access to such information is a repre­hen­sible practice, which is grossly unfair.

The contract itself didn't reveal much more; merely that its speed [presumably down­load only] was a maximum of 350 'Mega' [which I assume means mega-bits per second] and that it included a fixed telephone line with my original telephone num­ber 'ported' from Oi, my previous supplier.

COMPLAINT 3: Lack of the necessary and sufficient information after purchase for actually knowing what I had bought and how to make full use of it. Same comment as above.

What I Had Inadvertently Bought

I was to discover much later, after what was a difficult and time consuming process, that I had inadvertently [through lack of adequate pre-sale information] bought the following:

  1. A partial Internet connection that is essentially designed for video streaming but which had certain limited Internet functions such as to be able to view web sites and to interact with webmail and social media sites.

  2. An upload speed of about 40 Mbps and a download speed of about 90 Mbps.

  3. All 65535 ports appear to be permanently blocked for listening, with no means, accessible to the user, for unblocking any of them. In otherwords, I have a deaf Internet connection.

  4. A monthly subscription to video/film content that I had no means of viewing and in which I had no interest anyway.

I had inadvertently bought a so-called Internet connection package that was, for the most part, essentially useless to me. From this, I can only assume that Claro NET's modus operandi is to catch the customer any which way, leaving him to discover after the event that he has 'bought a pup' and is grid-locked into an unfortunate contract for a whole year. If this small amount of pivotal information had been available to me prior to sale, I would certainly have declined to buy.

A Chicken & Egg Situation

After installation, when I had an internet connection, I was able to see that once I had signed up, Claro NET had sent me some emails.

It does seem to me to be the height of stupidity to send somebody sign­ificant information by email and expect them to have received it before they have an Internet connection installed. But large corporations seem to be able to get away with being total cretinous idiots.

The first email, sent on 12 October 2022, asked me to confirm the time and date of the installation. Obviously, I could not reply to that at the time. On the 15 October 2022, Claro NET sent another email saying that the installer was en-route to my apartment to do the installation. Obviously, I could not see that before installation either.

The Installation Fiasco

On 13 October 2022 at 15h56 I received an SMS message from Claro 25475:


At 16h04 a woman [purporting to be] from Claro rang saying that the contract had been cancelled be­cause there was no way to run fibre optic cable into the building. I told her that I did not ask for fibre optic and that the man who attended us knew that fibre optic could not be installed into the building. He said Claro already had a coax service in the building and that my service would be taken from that. Yet more confusion. The woman just hung up. I suspected that she was part of a hit.

At 07h20 the following morning [Friday 14 October 2022] Claro [25475] sent a re­peat of the above SMS message:


However, I do not believe that either of the two SMS messages came from Claro. I al­ready knew that the Claro service was present within the building. They were clearly clandestine impersonators trying to divert my request for Internet access to some other provider.

Then at 08h33 a WhatsApp message arrived from Claro's Artificial Imbecile [+55 21 98729 0873] talking as if the original contract is going ahead on schedule [i.e. as if it had not been cancelled]. It asks me if: the service is already connected, I'm waiting for the technicians to arrive or my connection isn't yet working properly. It also gives me the option to cancel the installation. I suspect that this is another attempted hit by criminals. The Claro logo on the WhatsApp caller's conversation window didn't look quite 100% authentic to me. So it wasn't Claro's Artificial Imbecile, it seems that the criminals are using them too.

At 11h15 an email arrived saying that my delivery [presumably of the modem] is scheduled for tomorrow [Saturday 15 October 2022]

At 11h00 on Saturday 15 October 2022, the Claro installation technician José Júnior arrived and installed my Internet connection. He did exactly what I asked, bridging the Claro modem to my own router and switching off its Wi-Fi transceivers. I checked that I could access web sites [including this one] and also that I could do FTP uploads to my site as an FTP client. José said that I could alter the modem configurations later by logging in to the modem's configuration area at address: ''. Shortly after he left, a woman from Claro rang my cell phone asking if everything was working. At the time, I had no positive indication that it wasn't so I told her that it was working.

Inconsistencies on The Service Order

Inconsistencies on Claro NET receipt about materials used in the installatuion of NET Virtua service. Later that same day, after installation, Claro NET sent a further email con­firming that the installa­tion had been completed successfully. This email had a PDF file attached called 'ORDEM DE SERVIÇO DIGITAL - MINHA CLARO RES­IDENCIAL' which is 'ORDER FOR DIGIT­AL SERVICE - MY CLARO RESIDENTIAL'.

And it contained at least 6 inconsistencies:

  1. My three-way splitter with my original input and output [far right] pressure connectors. Photo taken 07NOV2022 It said that the technician had used 6 coax compression connec­tors for the installation: he used the connectors that were already on my cable.

  2. It said he had used a 2-way coax splitter. He used my 3-way split­ter that was already on my cable, which I bought in 2005.

  3. It said that he installed 32 metres of coax. He didn't. My apartment was already fully cabled. All he had to do was connect it to the source at one end and the mo­dem at the other end. NET made a similar claim when I tried their service for a few hours in 2015 to see if it would work: it didn't.

No doubt, if I try to cancel the contract, Claro NET will claim the cost of these mat­erials, plus the fictitious labour involved in installing them, as their cost of invest­ment in the service provided, and thereby justify their substantial severance fee. Yet, as can be seen here, the ingrained dirt and deterioration of the outer sheath of the cable demonstrates clearly that it must be around 20 years old. It obviously wasn't installed recently. Furthermore, there are two grubby old cables, one of which was for W@y TV's set-top box installed in 2005. If Claro NET installed the cable recently, why did they install a second grubby old cable and then cut it short, leaving it disconnected. Claro NET's inconsistencies are all too obvious.

further inconsistencies:

instructions not given on how to use of Claro NET virtua

  1. It affirms that the "Técnico expliquou a funcionalidades as canais digitais APP Minha Claro Residêncial e WhatsApp Claro (11) 9999 10621". Technician expl­ained the features of the digital channels APP Minha Claro Residêncial and WhatsApp Claro (11) 9999 10621. No, he didn't. But this does not matter be­cause I cannot use a smartphone for other than phone calls, SMS and Whats­App because of my sight. Furthermore, I cannot make sense of the automated menus of the Claro WhatsApp service anyway.

  2. It affirms that "Técnico expliquou sobre uso de NOW na TV e no APP e fez demonstração de conteúdo gratuito de NOW". Technician explained about the use of NOW on TV and APP and demonstrated free NOW content. He did not. I have no clue as to what NOW is or what it stands for. I assume it is part of the 'package' I had to buy in order to get basic Internet access, the content of which I had no clue about before sale — and still have no clue.

  3. It affirms that "Serviços Claro foram testados durante atendimento e estão funcionando em perfeitos condições" Claro services were tested during the installation visit and are working in perfect condition. In the time available, I could only test two functions: 1) access to two different websites to check that they downloaded, 2) Accessed an FTP server to check that I could upload to and download from it. Neither of these tests could reveal that all the listening ports were closed and factually unopenable.

It is obviously impractical and unreasonable to suppose that I could do all the tests in the short time the installation technician was there to determine whether or not all aspects of a bona fide Internet access service were functioning correctly. Ob­viously they were not.

I did not see this PDF document until after the technician had left. I did not sign or agree to the content of this PDF document.

COMPLAINT 4: Contractual inconsistencies, which give a false view of my situation with regard to the contract.

The Problems Start To Appear

All the following is witness to just how little information or help was forthcoming to me from Claro NET and the incredible extent to which it externalised all the prob­lems, time and labour needed to solve them onto the shoulders of me, the cust­omer, in order to try to obtain an adequately functional Internet service.

Later that evening, purely out of curiosity, I decided to examine the modem config­uration in order to review its settings. I could not enter the modem's configuration area because the default user name and password did not work. Naturally, I tried all the standard default username and password combinations but all to no avail. I had been locked out. The user name and password are not one of the standard defaults as published. They have been changed. The usernames & passwords label on the modem itself contains no information. All its fields are blank.

Front label of Arris TG1692A modem SN517309048591

Thus, at some time after the woman had phoned me, my access to the modem con­figuration area had somehow become locked. That rang a bell and raised a large red flag in my mind. This had happened before. It was in August 2015 when I briefly tried a service provided by an ISP called 'NET'. Then I found that somehow all the listening ports closed shortly after the installation technicians had left and I had answered the phone call from NET's office asking if it was all working fine. Then it hit me. Claro had bought NET. What I had bought was a service by 'NET'. I had just jumped into the frying pan again.

The problem of not being able to access the modem configuration was not absol­utely pressing at the time, but it would have to be resolved. I could still upload my work files as an FTP client. With the NET modem working in Bridge Mode, my own router does everything I need. Its firewall and port-forwarding are all still set up correctly and my four computers are all working on fixed internal IP addresses, which I need for various network utilities involved in my work. However, if the NET modem configuration were ever to become corrupted by such a thing as a power surge or break, as happens all too often during the rainy season, then I would not be able to get in there to reset its configuration.

Activating some very low bandwidth utilities, I notice that NET is [as it was in August 2015] very zealous with port blocking. So now I no longer had the use of conven­iences that, up to a month ago, I could use freely with the Oi 2Mbps ADSL service. In this respect the new NET service is the worst service I have ever had. I am extremely unhappy that I subscribed to this service. I've suddenly realised what I have got myself into. But I am stuck with it now for a year.

Formal Verification Tests

On Monday 17 October 2022, [2 days after installation] I decided to conduct formal tests to see exactly what I had and didn't have with this new service from NET.

  1. I powered up the NET modem at 04h50, having unplugged it from the power the night before in order to get a fresh re-boot.

  2. I went away for half an hour to have my breakfast to give the modem time to stabilise.

  3. On return, I noticed that, although I had asked the technician to switch off the NET modem's Wi-Fi altogether, the lamp for the 2·4 GHz Wi-Fi was on.

  4. I looked in my laptop's and smartphone's Wi-Fi configuration areas to see if there was any signal present from the 2·4 GHz Wi-Fi transceiver of my NET modem. Its appearance was very fickle, but it was there. Notwithstanding, using the Wi-Fi password I had been given, I was unable to connect my lap­top or my smartphone.

  5. I was able to connect both these devices to my own router's Wi-Fi service.

  6. I connected my main computer's RJ45 Ethernet plug to the LAN1 socket on the NET modem. I opened the Firefox browser and accessed the modem's configuration log-in screen at ''. The log-in screen appear­ed with the blank 'User Name' and 'Password' fields. I tried all the general default combinations:
    User NamePassword
    admin(leave blank)
    Admin(leave blank)
    (leave blank)(leave blank)

  7. None of the above combinations allowed me access to the NET modem's con­figuration area. Obviously, I had been locked out.

I later found a YouTube video saying that to enter the modem's configuration you need to enter the Login name as 'CLARO_' followed by the last 6 characters of the CM MAC address and the password [senha] as the entire CM MAC address. That didn't work either.

COMPLAINT 5: I am denied means to choose and configure port blocking options.

"The following principles underlie Internet governance in Brazil:

V – ensuring stability, security, and functionality by technical means con­sistent with international standards and by encouraging the use of best practices;"

The above suggests to me that Item 6 of the summary list of the REC­OMMENDATIONS OF THE BROADBAND INTERNET TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP'S SUGGESTED PRACTICES would be incorporated into Marco Civil da Internet — at least in principle, viz;

  1. Port blocking (or firewall) rules for consumer devices must be user configur­able.

Searching For A Solution

When I researched the Web on this matter, I found references to other people being locked out in this way. On the other hand, I found both Web pages and videos ex­plaining to people in general how to configure the NET ARRIS TG1692A modem. So obviously some people are included and others not. This in itself is contrary to the spirit of Marco Civil da Internet.

The NET service, to which I have had to subscribe, purportedly provides this ridicul­ous data transfer speed of 350 Mbps. I have absolutely no use at all for anything above 5 Mbps. So who would — or even could — make use of such a speed. I can only surmise that it must be networked 'gamers'. Networked gamers need open list­ening ports. So how can they open the necessary listening ports if they do not have access to the modem's configuration area?

After a frustrating search through the Claro web site, I finally found a page about configuring the model ARRIS TG1692A modem. It described the steps for entering the modem configuration area on the assumption that the user name and password were printed on a label on the underside of the modem. Of course, on my modem [Serial Number 517309048591] there was no such label; or, if it existed, it was be­neath a label showing bar codes for the serial number and Wi-Fi MAC addresses.

Underside label of Arris TG1692A modem SN517309048591

Details of the extremely tatty white-on-black label seen sideways above:

Fine detail of underside label of Arris TG1692A modem SN517309048591

The initial lower case text translates as: "This equipment operates on a secondary basis, that is, it is not entitled to protection against harmful interference, even from stations of the same type, and may not cause interference to systems operating on a primary basis", whatever the hell that means! From the dates on the label, I would suppose that the modem originated in 2016-17. That would make it about 5 years old already. When I tried to access the ARRIS web site, I was redirected to this one, which added to my already enormous confusion.

Trying to communicate with Claro NET about this specific problem via the available mechanistic channels of the Internet proved to be impossible. Its Artificial Imbecile on WhatsApp was totally useless, and also developed a system fault while I was trying. The automated help 'menus' on the Minha Claro site were equally useless. I couldn't imagine trying to explain this problem to the typical telephone attendant. Getting meaningful and effective help from these big corporations is always an inevitable and enormous problem.

After much trying, I decided that the only effective channel of communication, in this day and age of the Internet, was to write a letter and send it by post. The letter was sent by tracked delivery at 10h15 on Tuesday 18 October 2022 [3 days after installation].

At 11h33 on Thursday 20 October 2022, a man from Claro phoned asking if every­thing was OK. I told him that no it wasn't because I couldn't access the modem con­figuration area. While I was explaining to him that user name 'admin' and pass­word 'password' did not give me access, the call dropped. He didn't call back. Neverthe­less, I have, hereby, informed Claro that the service, at this point, is not to my satis­faction, although the call could have been bogus. I don't think that this call was in any way precipitated by my letter.

On the following day, I looked on the Claro NET website. The only option I found that slightly related to my problem was to press the 'reset' button on my modem to reset it to factory defaults. I chose not to reset the modem for two reasons:

  1. I was unsure whether or not resetting the modem would reset the user name and password to the factory defaults. I thought this would be unlikely be­cause then an impostor could access the modem configuration simply by pressing the 'reset' button and entering the configuration area using the universally known default user name and password, which would render the modem's password protection irrelevant.

  2. Assuming that the user name and password would not be reset by this action, I would be left with the modem in its factory default state, in which nothing worked because it resulted in double NAPT conversion with conflict­ing IP addr­esses on my local network.

I did some Web research and found articles on accessing and configuring the Claro NET modem. Unfortunately, it assumed that I had the user name and password for entering the modem's configuration area, which of course I did not.

I later found another very well-written and comprehensive article that described my problem of blocked ports, at least in part. This article related that by appealing to ANATEL, a Claro NET customer with blocked ports managed to get Claro NET to open them so he could access his employer's databases from his home-office. I found many blogs [such as this one] on which people complain bitterly about ISPs' almost universal contempt for the Marco Civil da Internet, which they flagrantly disobey with impunity.

I found a YouTube video about configuring the Claro NET modem. I watched it but it assumed that there was a label on the bottom of my modem that stated the user name and password. Of course mine had a label but it didn't contain a user name and password and the label looked very different from the one in the video.

Taking A Deeper Look

On Wednesday 02 November 2022, I decided to watch the video again. This time, I just happened to notice, as the narrator was pointing to the label on her modem, that the user name and password contained bits of the Wi-Fi MAC address. I froze the video and got out my magnifying glass. I was able to construct logically from this fuzzy frame what my username and password ought to be. I entered them and was, for the first time, able to get into the modem's configuration. I set up my virtual servers and disabled the firewall. I then powered down everything, had my lunch and powered up again. The ports I had opened were all still shut. The only way I could see that this was possible was that if Claro NET were blocking all listening ports at their Distribution Router [often referred to as an Edge Router].

I powered down, had a break and then powered on again. I could no longer even access the modem's configuration login page on However, what work­ed initially still worked: I could access web and FTP sites but nothing much else. So the situation was now even worse. Of course, the modem-attached telephone, which was part of the contract, has never worked and still doesn't.

I accessed the Minha Claro web site and went to the menu containing their auto­mated menu for testing my telephone connection. The test 'verified' that my tele­phone signal was present and that it was functioning. Further steps in the menu seemed to get further and further off-topic. Eventually, I had to give up in frust­ration. I still had a telephone that did not work. There was a dial tone but when I dialled a number, all I got was an 'busy' signal. I tried calling my fixed phone using my smartphone. A voice said the number did not exist and that I should check the number I had dialled.

COMPLAINT 6: Fixed telephone not functioning: unfulfilled contractual obligation without any advice as to why, or when or if it will be fixed.

On Thursday 03 November 2022 I did some further Web research and found a site that listed alternative User Interface addresses for the Arris TG1692A modem. I was able to access the modem's user interface on one of these listed addresses [] and managed to view the status data. This was immed­iately visible without the need to enter a user name or password. However, in order to enter the configuration area, I had to type-in the username and password that I had managed to construct from information discerned from the fuzzy video frame.

I had to enter 'NET_' [not 'CLARO_' as it had said on Claro NET's website] followed by the last 6 characters of the MAC address of the 2·4 GHz Wi-Fi as the user name and all of the same MAC address as the password.

I took screenshots of the entire settings of the ISP's modem just in case I became locked out again. However, I set it into Bridge Mode so that it would simply pass IP packets 'as is'. Consequently, the modem's port forwarding [and other] settings were irrelevant.

I traced the route to a particular host I know:

traceroute to **************, 64 hops max
  1  0.334ms  0.233ms  0.181ms 
  2  15.585ms  11.846ms  11.977ms 
  3  16.877ms  14.969ms  14.942ms 
  4   ....

I checked the IP address my TP-LINK router was seeing and also the Internet IP addr­ess I appeared to have when viewed from the outside Internet. I then construct­ed what appeared to me to be the arrangement through which I was connected to the Internet, as shown in the following diagram:

The arrangement through which it appeared to me that I was connected to the Internet by Claro NET.

With the ISP's modem in my study set to Bridge Mode, I expected my WAN-side IP address of my own TP-LINK router to be its currently dynamically allocated Internet address. I looked in the status and configuration area of my own TP-LINK router. It showed my WAN-side address as, which didn't look like an open Internet address. From my TP-LINK router's point of view, the address of my remote web server in the USA to which I was connected appeared as, which it isn't.

These addresses are within the range [–], which is a range of 4194304 IPV4 addresses officially reserved for ISP subnets. My conclusion, therefore, was that there must be an additional intervening Network Ad­dress and Port Translation mechanism somewhere along the route.

My Subnet IP address [shown in the diagram as] changes from time to time. This indicates that it is dynamically allocated and not fixed. Furthermore, in its present state, my Internet service is subject to double NAPT and that if the ISP's modem/router in my apartment were not in Bridge Mode, it would be undergoing triple NAPT!

I would not expect the ISP's Distribution Router to perform IP address translation, although I would expect it to block certain ports — such as 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 445, 1434 — which are used as listening ports for daemons providing services within a single computer or local area network. Some ISP's [especially in Brazil] also block ports 21, 25, 53, 80, 110, 443, and 587, which they should not do, although having these ports open is pointless where the customer does not have a fixed IP address. Notwithstanding, this latter group, if blocked, should be blocked by default only in the modem installed in the user's premises, with the user having full control for liberating them if required [see item 6 below].

There exist many peer-to-peer protocols that can operate under dynamic IP. They maintain session connections by using a session ID exchanged at initial hand­shaking with known peers. Notwithstanding, these do need one or more arbitrarily allocated listening ports. And these must of necessity be fixed allocations by the end-user. I use networks operating with such protocols to enable colleagues to pick up my published files if, as and when they choose. The only alternative to this modus operandi is to push all my published files at all my colleagues, which would be a thorough nuisance to one and all.

In order to be able to allocate arbitrary listening ports for this purpose, it is neces­sary that some listening ports at least be unblocked. But the Claro NET service that I have been lumbered with blocks all 65535 ports, so there is no way that a daemon running in my computer can listen for requests from colleagues.

COMPLAINT 7: PORT BLOCKING: done in violation of:


  1. ISPs should avoid blocking ports unless they have no reasonable alternatives available to avoid unwanted traffic and protect users.

  2. ISPs that can provide their users with opt-out clauses or exceptions to their port blocking policies must do so.

  3. ISPs must publicly disclose their port blocking policies.

  4. ISPs should provide communication channels for feedback on port blocking policies.

  5. ISPs should review their port blocking policies regularly and re-evaluate whether threats that required port blocking rules remain relevant.

  6. Port blocking (or firewall) rules for consumer devices must be user configur­able.

Art. 7. The agent in charge of transmission, switching or routing must adopt transparency measures designed to ensure that users understand the reasons for implementing network management practices that result in the discrimination or degradation referred to in article 4, such as:
I – including provisions in service contracts entered into with final users and application providers; and
II – disclosing information on network management practices on their websites, using easily understood language.

Sole paragraph. The inform­ation contemplated in this article must contain at least:
I – a description [of] mentioned practices;
II – the effects the adoption of mentioned practices on the quality of users’ experience; and
III – the reasons and need for adopting the practices.
— page 33 of PDF file: Brazil's Internet Bill of Rights: A Closer Look.

§3. Subject to the provisions of this article, the content of data packets may not be blocked, monitored, filtered or analyzed in Internet connect­ions, either paid or free of charge, or in transmission, switching, and rout­ing. — page 63 of PDF file: Brazil's Internet Bill of Rights: A Closer Look.

However, in the case of the Claro NET service, in addition to the additional inter­vening NAPT mechanism, there was also something blocking all 65535 ports for listening. I speculate that this additional NAPT and total port blocking must be being done by what I have termed a 'District Router' [often referred to as an Aggregation Router] in the above diagram. This performs the task of an Optical Node, although I don't see why an Optical Node should include port blocking. Thus it appears that direct Internet access is not delivered to my premises. I am simply on a District Subnet, which I obviously share with many other Claro NET customers. We are all — at least, logically — on the same coax-based LAN.

One of my questions is, how big is this Sub-net LAN? With how many other Claro NET customers am I sharing this coax-based Local Area Network? Is it just with people in my own apartment block? Is is everybody in my street? Where is the Aggregation [District] Router? Is it on a post in the street? Most likely, since it is probably coincident with the fibre-to-coax node.

At this point, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what Claro NET is doing. It is economising on IPV4 addresses. All my neighbours and me on the Sub-net LAN have the same IPV4 Internet address. Perhaps this is fixed but it is most likely dyn­amic. This can be done because each neighbour on the Sub-net LAN, at any given time, can communicate with the outside Internet via Sub-net ports allocated by the NAPT of the District Router. Assuming that each neighbour, at any given time, does not need to use more than 8 ports, that means that Claro NET can hang up to 8192 neighbours on the same IPV4 Internet address. But the consequence is that none of these neighbours can have so much as a single listening port because the District Router can never know to which of the neighbours to send the IP packet.

This means that the same NAPT rules are being applied to all the Claro NET users on this same Subnet. And those rules are set such that all 65535 ports are blocked for listen­ing — for everybody. Consequently, in order for my required listening ports to be liberated, I would need access to the District Router, to which I do not have access. Only the ISP can liberate my listening ports. They are outside my control.

The fact that my Subnet IP address is dynamic is problematic. In order for me to have specific ports forwarded by the District Router, my Subnet IP address would have to be fixed. I can see that this is very messy to set up just for me and is probably one reason that Claro NET is so reluctant to resolve my problem of closed listening ports. Notwithstanding, they could remove the NAPT function altogether at the fibre-to-coax convertion box, without any loss of security for anyone. But this would necessitate each neighbour having a separate Internet IPV4 address as required by Marco Civil da Internet.

If all this were not the case, I don't see why the bridging between the fibre-optical Distribution Network and the coax Subnet cannot be done at Layer 2 and thereby avoid involving the Internet Protocol, which is at Layer 3.

Thus, it is no surprise that Claro NET was in-communicative about my lack of access to the configuration area of the modem that had been installed in my apartment. This is because my access to this modem's configuration area is irrelevant. What­ever changes I would make to its configuration [such as opening listening ports or setting up virtual servers] would have absolutely no effect anyway because all list­ening ports are blocked further up the line.


I could try hacking into the District Router, re-password it, create my virtual servers and give myself a fixed Subnet IP address. But I do not see why I should have to resort to such means in order to obtain my legal rights. Others might not be quite so disinclined if thus provoked. And rightly so.

What would be, in my opinion, a somewhat frumpy solution — although nonetheless a workable one — would be for Claro NET to upgrade the NAPT software in its Dist­rict [Aggregation] router to PCP [Port Control Protocol RFC 6887]. Personally, I don't like this idea. It complicates the already overcomplicated NAPT process. The compl­exity of the solution is vasty greater than the inherent complexity of the problem.

A better solution would be to use the District Router as an interface be­tween a fixed IPV6 Internet address and a fixed IPV4 Subnet address [with no blocking or Port Translation]. There are well sufficient IPV6 addresses for everybody in the world to have several. This is possible because there is also a well adequate number of IPV4 addresses to give a unique address to everybody on a Subnet.

I remember in 2015, when I had the same problem with the then NET ISP, the installation technician proffered his little pile of IT bullshit that the problem was because they were in the middle of changing over from IPV4 to IPV6.

A proper solution, under currently recognised Internet technology, would be to go all-out to replace IPV4 with IPV6 and in so doing, eliminate completely the whole need and complication of network address and port translation, connecting all net­works at OSI Level 2. The ultimate solution, in my opinion would be to extend the IPV4 address by a further byte [bringing it to 40 bits] to be used merely as an end-point identifier; then implement the navigation-based routing strategy I mentioned in the Introduction to this series of essays. But this technology is not known or recognised by mainstream Internet authorities, so it is a non-starter.

Of course, business customers, for whom all necessary listening ports are open, must have their connection service delivered directly from the fibre-optical Distri­bution Network and not from a Subnet on which all listening ports are blocked. They are treated differently. This again seems to me to be contrary to the spirit of Marco Civil da Internet.


The agent in charge of transmission, switching, and routing must give all data packets equal treatment, regardless of content, origin and destina­tion, service, terminal or application.
— Marco Civil, Section I: Net Neutrality, Art. 9.
— page 62 of PDF file: Brazil's Internet Bill of Rights: A Closer Look.

Finally, I did speed tests via various speed-test websites. These averaged 91·2 Mbps for download [26% of the contracted 350 Mbps] and 41·7 for upload. But as I have said, for me, speed is not a problem.

Questioning The Legality

This situation certainly appears to me to be in clear breach of many clauses within LEI Nº 12.965, DE 23 DE ABRIL DE 2014 and also ignores of the recommend­ations of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group's Suggested Practices.

In my opinion: just because the majority of customers in a certain place at a certain time do not choose to exercise a particular right or freedom granted by the law is no valid reason for an unelected com­mercial power to forcibly deprive everybody of that right or freedom. The fact that business customers are treated differently also violates clauses of the above law. Everybody must be treated the same, except in so far as they pay according to the data transfer speed they contract to buy.

In 2015, as expounded in detail in a previous essay, I had exactly the same problem with the ISP called NET in which ANATEL intervened at my request so that I could freely take up the service of another ISP. I signed up this time with Claro NET solely because it was the only ISP available at my location. And it seems that despite its takeover by Claro, its behaviour has not improved.

I can understand why Claro NET is so bloody-mindedly obstructive with regard to requests by individual customers to unblock listening ports. It is because whatever ports they unblock for me become unblocked for everybody on the district Subnet. And some of those on the Subnet may decide to start running commercial web servers or the like. The motive for adopting this somewhat dysfunctional network architecture is most likely to save infrastructure cost.

Notwithstanding, according to the content of the Marco Civil da Internet, I do have the legal right to demand and receive the means to open whichever ports I need to listen on for my chosen legitimate use of the Internet. So do I accept that Claro NET is a very large and powerful corporation and thereby has the power to disobey the law with impunity? Or do I try to enforce my right, first by appealing to ANATEL?

I am bound to say that I cannot consider the Claro NET service to be a bona fide Internet access service because, in my direct experience, it not only violates the Marco Civil, but also fails to meet the minimum necessary and sufficient conditions laid down by the Recommendations of the Internet Technical Advisory Group's Sug­gested Practices for Broadband services, as follows:

  1. It bars me from accessing the configuration area of the installed modem in order to adjust it to my preferences and usage, I have never known any other service that does this.

  2. All 65535 ports are blocked for listening, thus locking out my use of certain low-traffic utilities necessary to my Internet activities. This now means that in order to use these, I need to go visit a friend who has a different service.

I truly wish I had never signed up with Claro NET. But one cannot know these things before purchase. If such information indeed be accessible somewhere on Claro NET's confusing advert-laden website, it's prominence must have been obstruct­ively de-emphasised sufficiently for me to be unable to find it. Both verbal and formally written requests for such information are ignored. This too violates identi­fiable clauses within the Marco Civil.

Sadly, although, in my opinion, the Brazilian Law on this issue is very well drafted, it would seem to have effect only in Fairy Land, at least, up until now.

Apart from costing almost 3 times as much, this Claro NET service is a real step back­wards from my previous Oi ADSL 2Mbps service. But I guess I'll have to live with it for a year. I will need to obtain a judicial order to ensure that the service is term­inated definitively on 14 October 2023.

Dysfunctional Television Facility

In the afternoon of Monday 07 November 2022, feeling incensed at having to pay 3 times the price for what wasn't even a proper Internet connection, I decided to re­search the television facility that I appear to have inadvertently bought. I discov­ered that it was accessible through a web address '', which redir­ected me to a Claro NET address. I discovered almost immediately that it was im­possible to use this 'service' on my television. If I want it to work on my television, I must incur the further expense of buying a new television, for which I have no use.

The only option for watching anything was on my computer. By the end of the day, when I want to watch television, the last thing I want to do is stay sitting at my computer. I want to relax on the sofa. The glitzily presented content seemed to be for the most part infantile cartoons, foreign films with sub-titles and channels that I could receive perfectly via the antenna of my television anyway. In other words, it offered me nothing. So here is another case of the Microsoft Windows Tax: a facility I never wanted, have no means of using but have to pay for if I am going to avoid having Claro NET use its corporate instrument of extortion called Serasa-Experian to prize the money out of me.

I think it is self-evident that all this is grossly unfair. I don't think that I should be forced to pay for things I don't need, don't want and have no means of using. But conversely, I do think that I have an inalienable right to be able to buy — at an accessible price — a basic service, which is nowadays, by default, an essential and obligatory part of social infrastructure.

An Attempt at Conciliation

In conciliation, I would be happy to accept from Claro NET another channel through which to re­ceive a bona fide Internet service such as 4G radio or a short-range 5G street post to apart­ment link that can provide me with the open listening ports I need.

Otherwise, if Claro NET cannot supply me with an adequate service, then in view of the facts that:

  1. Claro NET would give no detailed information about the service prior to sale, particularly that all 65535 listening ports appear to be permanently blocked and not user-configurable,

  2. Claro NET explained nothing about what I had bought after sale. I had to search the Web to try to find out what NOW meant,

  3. the phone doesn't work and has never worked: it can neither make nor receive calls and no information has been forthcoming as to when or if it will become operational,

  4. the supposed TV content is not viewable on my TV and no information was given pre or post sale as to what special type of TV was required.

I think it proper that the service should be terminated without cost to me so that I can seek an ISP who can supply me with a bona fide Internet connection. If ad­equate information had been supplied prior to sale then I would not have had to waste my time investigating the situation and writing this report.

Appeal To Claro NET Ombudsman

I decided to give Claro NET plenty of time to reply to my letter, which I posted by SEDEX [tracked delivery] on 18 October 2022. Then I would write and send my appeal to ANATEL together with an accompanying letter, plus a copy of the contract and the installation receipt. I waited until Monday 14 November 2022 on which at around 06h30, I accessed the ANATEL web site with the intention of registering my complaint.

I must say that I found the whole process of registering a complaint with ANATEL daunting. I had tried to register a complaint a month before regarding my treatment by Oi. Then I found it impossible to register a complaint via ANATEL. I simply could not get into ANATEL's site because of the impervious security system. The ANATEL app on my cellphone was even worse. It always returned a server error. I therefore had to register my complaint with '', the upshot of which was that nothing was resolved.

This time, however, after battling through its complicated and convoluted system of security, I was eventually able to get into the ANATEL site. In the past, it had been far easier, in fact, no trouble at all. Now it is getting close to the point at which it will become easier to hack into the site than to enter by the legitimate route. I expect this is to reduce the number of people who are able to register complaints, especially the old and infirm.

On entering the ANATEL website, I saw that I must first complain to Claro NET's om­budsman. I cannot register a complaint with ANATEL without a Número de Proto­colo issued by the ombudsman. I entered my shortlist of 4 complaints listed in the letter that I have prepared to send to ANATEL and got the following response on Mon 14 Nov 2022 07:19:34 -03

Registro cadastrado com sucesso! Confirmamos o registro de sua mani­festação na Ouvidoria da Claro. Vamos avaliar e entraremos em contato por telefone, WhatsApp (através no número (11) 99991-0621), SMS ou e-mail. O prazo para solução é de até 10 dias corridos. Atenciosamente, Claro. Protocolo 39092115.

I know full well from the past that this is a futile exercise and a total waste of time, especially since Claro NET has not responded to my SEDEX letter. I surmise that it might achieve a partial resolution like making the phone work or being able to see the video content I am paying for on my television. However, I am certain it will not resolve the issue of the 65535 blocked ports, which for me is the real problem. So I must now wait until 24 November 2022 to register the complaint to ANATEL.

Claro NET's First Service Bill

That same morning, of 14 November 2022, I received an email with a PDF attached with Claro NET's first service bill. It was for the initial partial month of service. Of course, it charged me as if I were receiving the full service as contracted. The Document, which extended to 3 pages was a blaze of colour, with large areas of red. The sheer cost of printing this would use the best part of a black plus colour ink cartridges on my printer. It would have cost me more to print the bill than the amount of the bill. I think this is totally ridiculous and is another prime illustration of a corporation externalising as much ancillary costs as possible onto the customer.

To try to reduce my costs in this matter, I marked an took a screenshot just of the area around the barcode on the second page. Then I edited and printed it using GIMP [Gnu Image Manipulation Program]. I am hoping the bank's ATM will be able to read the bar code. Of course, if I don't pay — even though the stated services have NOT been rendered — my name will be placed on the Serasa Experian bad debtors' list rendering me a financial persona non grata. But really, should I, as a customer, have to do all this just to pay a bill?

The obvious purpose behind this is to put me off from paying by bill and bully me onto direct debit. But obviously that is not going to happen. I don't want the inevitable cost, stress and delay of having to get a Judicial Order to stop Claro NET continuing to debit my account for services not rendered when I am able to cancel the contract and move to a different ISP. It's a kind of instrument of extortion that corporations can use to bully individuals into paying bills irrespective or whether or not the bill is valid. In my opinion, I should, by self-evident moral right, be able to refuse to pay for services not rendered without suffering any penalty. But the law of 'Might is Right' always prevails.

As a foreigner, I am forever intrigued by the way in which Brazilians submissively accept this. The law of 'Might is Right' is an accepted part of the culture. The corp­orate is king. The individual is simply a second class citizen.

Appeal Sent To ANATEL

Early on 24 November 2022, I registered my complaint with ANATEL. Unfortunately, I used the original protocol number 013221220445685 issued by Claro NET when I first complained through the normal website form. I should have entered the Om­budsman's protocol number 39092115. Notwithstanding, this correct protocol num­ber was in the header of each page of the report and request file, so they should see the correct one when they read the report. The ANATEL site flagged me that the ombudsman did not have a complaint registered under the protocol number I gave but accepted the complaint anyway. I now must check the ANATEL site periodically to see if there has been any reaction.

Further Investigation

I read in an article that if you want open listening ports, Claro NET requires you to register as a company [an expensive proposition] and buy the plan under your com­pany registration number [CPNJ]. This means that in order to have a normal bona fide Internet connection that meets the minimum requirements of Marco Civil da Internet, I must establish and maintain a company that does not trade, has no in­come but must go through all the expensive rigmarole of annual returns and other legal obligations of a functioning company. And I am retired on a small pension.

The prices of Claro NET's 'company' plans [of R$110 to R$250 per month] is not a problem. They are less than those of a minimum domestic connection in the United Kingdom [R$392.43 per month for a 4G connection and R$196,21 for fibre optic] and Canada [R$270,92 for 30Mbps and R$331,57 for 100Mbps fibre optic]. But the prohibitively expensive requirement, imposed by Claro NET, to set up an 'inactive' business in order to have some open listening ports cannot be perceived as any­thing other than plain bloody-mindedness on the part of Claro NET. Non-commercial users are just social riff-raff that don't matter, to be managed with contempt like colonial slaves through the standard commercial protocol of false politeness.

Response From Claro NET re ANATEL

At 09h34 on Monday 28 November 2022 a woman called saying she was from Claro regarding my complaint to ANATEL. She would not talk to me, only to the signatory of the contract, who was not available at the time. The woman said she would call back later but didn't. At 10h25, I received the following WhatsApp message:

"Olá, eu sou Assistente virtual da Claro. Esse é o nosso canal oficial de Whatsapp. Estou entrando em contato referente a sua reclamação na Anatel, protocolo 202211242887839. A pessoa responsável para seu caso está disponível para falar sobre a resolução da sua solicitação aqui no Whatsapp, basta responder essa mensagem das 0h às 23h, que eu te transfiro para o atendimento da nossa equipe. O atendimento funciona de segunda a sábado."

"Hi, I'm Claro's Virtual Assistant. This is our official WhatsApp channel. I'm contact­ing you regarding your complaint at Anatel, protocol 202211242887839. The person responsible for your case is available to talk about the resolution of your request here on WhatsApp, just reply to this message from 00:00 to 23:00, and I'll transfer you to customer service from our team. The service operates from Monday to Satur­day. — 09:35 October 28, 2022"

I received repeats of the same WhatsApp message at 18h18 on 29 November and 17:13 on 30 November. However, I am now very wary of WhatsApp messages pur­porting to be from Claro. I was nearly sucked into a phishing hit with one of these that asked for full personal details including bank account number, which I refused to divulge. I think Claro should find a more secure way to communicate with cust­omers. For instance, Claro could send me an email, which I could verify from the context of its content and its return IP address. Or even a letter by post.

At 16h26 on Tuesday 29 November 2022, I connected my main computer directly to the Arris modem in bridge mode. My WAN-side address was '', which is still an ISP subnet address. I used a port checker service website to test my requ­ir­ed listening ports. My Internet address seen by the port checker from the out­side Internet was ''. With all relevant listeners running, the port checking website couldn't get a response from any of my listeners. All ports are still blocked.

If Claro NET intends to resolve my problem, why don't its technicians simply open the ports on the Aggregation Router? Claro NET doesn't need a Virtual Assistant to contact me by WhatsApp to arrange for someone to talk to me, neither does it need to arrange to visit my premises nor involve me in any way in order to open the ports on the aggregation router. Why don't they just get on and do it?

During this time, one of my listeners managed to get an open listening port using IPV6. However this was to a server on IPV6. The vast majority of Internet users are on IPV4 still. And this is not going to change significantly any time soon. So I still can't listen for data updates in real time from IPV4 peers. Consequently, open list­ening ports on IPV6 can't solve my problem.

Early on Thursday 01 December 2022, I accessed my complaint process on the ANATEL website.

I must say that I found this in itself a complicated, confusing and stressful process. I did not realise for quite some time that, in order to access my current complaint process, I had to go through the procedure for starting another complaint process before I got to the list of pending and past processes. Not exactly what I would call logical!

At 08:15 on 01 December 2022, I downloaded a PDF file of the current status of the pending process. It merely intimated that Claro had initiated their treatment of my complaint.

Reluctantly, I decided to respond to Claro's WhatsApp Virtual Assistant. I responded with the following message:

"Ainda estou esperando a Claro abrir minhas portas de escuta para IPV4, que presumo estarem bloqueadas no seu roteador de agregação ou nó óptico. Claro pretende fazer isso? Se sim, quando?" — 09:34 01 dez 2022

"I am still waiting for you to open my listening ports for IPV4, which I pre­sume are blocked at your aggregation router or optical node. Does Claro intend to do this? If so, when?" — 09:34 01 Dec 2022

I am awaiting a WhatsApp response from Claro. In the meantime, I discovered that an email had finally arrived from Claro about this matter. It was dated Wednesday 30 November 2022. It merely said that, in order to resolve my problem, it will be necessary to converse by telephone. I can't see why Claro's opening of my listening ports at its aggregation router needs a telephone discussion with me, but there you go! I guess that among all the Claro telesales calls to my cell phone, one or two of them might have been to resolve my problem. Notwithstanding, the phone would only ring 3 times before hanging up, giving me no time to answer the call. I don't know if this was by design or simply impatience.

A reply to my WhatsApp message came at 14h39 [5 hours later]. "Olá, meu nome é Iasmin, sou de Claro e estou entrando em contato para tratamento de Reclamação Anatel de número 202211242887839 e ficarei responsável por ela." I replied: "Então, vai resolver meus problemas de portas de escuta IPV4, o telefone e TV que não funcionam? Todo explicado em o meu arquivo de reportagem."

I'm awaiting a reply. In the meantime, at 16h05 on 01 December 2022, I decided to look at the Arris modem's configuration. And guess what? The user name and pass­word with which I was able to enter the modem's configuration from 02 Novem­ber 2022 no longer work. Somebody must have changed it remotely. The message I get when entering the original user name and password that worked from 02 Nov­ember 2022 is:

Invalid user name or password!
Please enter the Wi-Fi Network Passphrase (sometimes referred to as "Pre-Shared Key" or "Network Key") that is printed on the label for this device into the password field.

This message is new to me. I never saw it during all my previous attempts to hack into the modem's configuration area. Perhaps the user name is still correct but only the password is wrong. Who knows? Notwithstanding, there is not, and never has been while I have had it, any Wi-Fi Network Passphrase, Pre-Shared Key or Network Key on any label anywhere on this modem! Once again, I have been locked out. I tried again the following morning. Still locked out.

This is one reason why I always use my own router for my local area network. I am fully in control. The ISP cannot interfere with it. I never trust a router that can be reconfigured or otherwise messed about with by the ISP remotely. Any router instal­led by an ISP must operate in Bridge Mode.

At 08h30 on Friday 02 December 2022, Iasmin from Claro NET phoned and arranged for a technician to come to our apartment tomorrow to rectify the problem of the blocked ports on IPV4 and to fix up the 'NOW' television viewing.

The Claro NET Technician's Visit

At about 10h00 on Saturday 03 December 2022, a young technician arrived at my apartment. I explained that I wanted all ports above 10000 to be open for listening. He contacted his boss at Claro NET by cellphone. His boss asked which specific ports. I said I wanted them all openable so that I could open the ones I needed at any particular time. The boss started ranting but eventually conceded.

The young technician then tried to put the Arris TG1692A modem/router into Bridge mode as I wanted. Apparently all previous attempts to set it into Bridge mode did not succeed. It always fell back to NAPT mode. The technician connected my com­puter directly to the Arris TG1692A modem/router. My own TP-LINK router was not involved. When attempting to log into the modem with the correct user name and password, the same strange message appeared [mentioned above]. Eventually, it became impossible to access the modem's configuration page at all.

The technician consulted his boss again who gave him a command to enter into my computer. He did some complicated procedure which obviously pertained to Micro­soft Windows. My Linux machine ignored it. I think what he was trying to do was look at the interface configuration but neither of them knew how to do that. So I hit the terminal icon to open a terminal and typed "ifconfig". The young technician did not know if this was what his boss wanted.

The boss then started ranting that the whole problem was Linux, which of course, is pure bullshit. The operating system of the computer has absol­utely no connection with configuring a modem/router through a web int­erface. Besides, most modem/routers run Linux or a derivative of it such as OpenWrt. Linux is essentially Unix, upon which the Internet is based.

Eventually, they both gave up on the old Arris TG1692A modem/router that had been installed on 15 October. The boss asked the technician to get another modem from his car. He brought what looked like a new Humax HGB10R-02 modem/router. He connected it to the coax and to my computer. Then we re-booted everything for a clean start and waited for the new modem/router to acquire its signal.

One way or another, it would seem that the technician's boss had some means of opening the ports specifically for me. Perhaps he allocated me a fixed Sub-net address. Perhaps he has put me on a different Sub-net carried on a different set of frequencies on the same coax. There are many ways of doing this. Anyway, it seems that I now have a normal domestic connection with certain ports still blocked but with all 'high' ports liberated. At least, on the Sub-net [WAN] side of Claro NET's Humax HGB10R-02 modem/router.

The technician asked me to check if my ports were open. I started two programs that listened on specific groups of ports. The first program showed that it had open ports. The second showed that its listening ports were still closed. I said I would have to do more work and take more time to verify whether the ports were open or not. At 12h30 the technician left.

Almost immediately afterwards, I discovered that the open port seen by the first program was on IPV6. It just happened by chance to hook up with an IPV6 server. All IPV4 ports were still closed. As with the old Arris TG1692A modem/router, the tech­nician couldn't put the new Humax HGB10R-02 modem/router into bridge mode. Apparently, the new Humax HGB10R-02 modem/router didn't even have a Bridge mode option.

My only option at this stage was to configure the Humax HGB10R-02 mo­dem/router to work in double NAPT with my own TP-LINK router, which is not recommended. In fact, it would be operating in triple NAPT with Claro NET's district [or aggregation] router. Definitely not recommended.

But I had no choice. I logged in to the configuration web interface of the Humax HGB10R-02 modem/router with the user name and password that were now actually printed on a label on the modem. And they worked. I had access. After battling with the frumpily designed web interface of the Humax, I finally managed to configure its NAPT to pass unsolicited packets on the listening ports I required. And lo, my ports were open. My interactive programs worked.

Unable to Enable TV Streaming

At 11h50 on Monday 05 December 2022, a Claro NET technician arrived to fix the problem of my not being able to view the Claro TV+ [formally called 'NOW'] tele­vision streaming content on my television receiver. He was unable to download the required 'app' into my television set. So I cannot receive the TV streaming service. The technician left at 12h10.

I sent a message to Iasmin via Claro NET's WhatsApp: "O Técnico não consigiu fazer NOW funcionar no telelvisão. Por isso quero tirar serviço NOW do contrato." Iasmin replied: "olá boa tarde, o acesso ao Now é gratuito, o sr só paga alguns conteúdos que cobra, mas muitos são de graça de mesmo."

I don't think that Claro NET is a philanthropic institution. There's no such thing as a free lunch. The costs of all 'free' additions in a 'combo' are obviously loaded into the final price. Saying that I shouldn't pay any less because the addition is 'free' is a universally known salesman's deception. So, as an old age pensioner, who cannot see films on a small computer screen, let alone a phone, has to effectively subsidise those who can receive the streaming service on their television sets. That's just the way it is.

Claro NET Reply to My ANATEL Appeal

The text in green is taken from Claro NET's formal response to my appeal to ANATEL.

"We inform you that, after a technical evaluation, we found that mainten­ance is being carried out on the network that provides a signal for the location complained of, with a forecast of normalization in" [sic]

I never suggested that there was a lack of or fault in the signal. I simply said that my listening ports were blocked. The text terminated 'in mid air' as shown above. It didn't say when the service would be 'normalized'.

(there are no problems in the region, however in follow-up with the technical sector [a visit to the customer was arranged] for verification on 03DEC2022 from 08:00 to 11:00 maximum period until 12:00)). [sic]

The symptoms of blocked listening ports do not even suggest to me that there is a network problem in the region when the internet itself is otherwise working. There was really nothing that needed doing at my premises regarding the blocked ports.

However, due to unavailability in the period of more than 30 days, we granted the amount of R$70.00 (25DEC2022).

Appreciated, but it is not even a drop in the ocean of what all this lost time and the appeal to ANATEL has cost me. This highlights the real cost of this kind of behaviour on the part of ISPs that they externalise onto the shoulders of the customer.

regarding the question of the internet service and the access to NOW [the TV streaming service] it was explained that this requires an on-site visit by technicians, which was made for 03DEC2022 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, maximum period up to 12:00 pm,

Obviously the blocked listening ports were not a customer site problem, although my exclusion from the modem's configuration facility perhaps was. However, as it transpired, I got a new modem, which worked and to which I had configuration access. During the technician's visit, the listening ports were unblocked by a remote operative at whatever point in the network they were blocked, which was not, of course, at the modem at my premises.

and regarding the land-line phone, it was explained that there was an error in the conclusion of the portability, making it necessary to contact the original operator (Oi), and check if the line was [still] active. If not, it will be necessary to activate it [so as] to [be able to] request the port­ability of the number again. Later, by message, the customer confirmed that the line had been cancelled by the other operator and informed that he may be left without any fixed number.

Of course this problem with the transference of the landline number from the old Oi service was entirely the fault of the incredible fiasco of confusion created by Oi in changing from copper to fibre optic delivery.

...therefore, the customer regarding follow-up by scheduling an appoint­ment to check the internet and NOW. [sic]

A separate appointment had to be made for a different technician to visit me in order to set up Claro NET's TV streaming service called 'NOW'. The TV technician explained that it was impossible to install the Claro NET app on my Samsung TV. I could download the app onto my cell phone and watch the content [films etc.] sitting at my computer or on my phone's 63 × 110 mm screen!!!!! Quite! Other than that, I would be much better off opening a Netflix account or watching You­Tube, both of which were available on my TV.

"We remind you that technical visit and follow-up requests can also be requested through the Minha Claro Residencial application, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store."

As I explained in my report, whereas I have no problem whatsoever reading text on the screen of my computer and can adeptly use its keyboard, I cannot read much on a phone screen. It is simply too small and inflexible, as is the ridiculous touch 'keyboard' with keys a quarter the size of my finger tips. So the Minha Claro Resid­encial phone app is unusable for me. Yet another form of enforced digital exclusion.

"...we take the opportunity to clarify that we have an ombudsman, which could help you, in case your request has not been resolved in our service channels."

This strongly suggests to me that the Claro NET person didn't read my report. The protocol number of my appeal to their ombudsman is the first item in the header of every page. I appealed to the Claro NET ombudsman and waited the full 10 days that Claro NET stipulated for a response. It was only then, in the absence of a resp­onse from the Claro NET ombudsman, that I launched my appeal to ANATEL.

At about 11am on Tuesday 06 December 2022, I tried to send my final evaluation report to ANATEL in response to the above response from ClaroNet. On the second attempt, I managed to log into the ANATEL site. I have to say that I find the ANATEL site very confusing and difficult to use. In the past it was so much easier and better.

On trying to upload my response file I found that the ANATEL site provided no way for me to do this. So I tried re-opening the complaint. This, apparently gave Claro NET 3 more days to respond. With the complaint open again, I tried to upload my final report. I could find no means on the ANATEL web page for me to do this.

I waited 3 days for Claro NET to enter a reply to my re-opening. But by 09 Decem­ber 2022 Claro NET still had not responded. So I had to leave the complaint in limbo. Consequently, my final evaluation report could not be seen either by Claro NET or ANATEL.

At 11h31 on Friday 09 December 2022, Iasmin from Claro phoned me in order to close the complaint. She had just entered a response to my re-opening of the complaint. It was not there earlier that morning when I checked the ANATEL site. The content wasn't particularly meaningful to me and explained that I could watch the TV content on my cell phone!!! That to me is just plain ridiculous and ignores the government's initiative stated in Marco Civil Art.25 II that applications must seek to provide:

accessibility to all interested parties, regardless of their physical-motor, perceptive, sensory, intellectual, mental, cultural and social capacities...

So I'm included twice in there: I have sub-normal eyesight and I am high-function autistic. So viewing on a TV is fine: no problem. But a cell phone: don't even think about it.

Result of the Appeal to ANATEL

1 The modem is not configurable
by the user.
The new modem is configurable
by the user.
2 All 65535 ports blocked for
listening beyond the modem.
All ports open except those that
are blocked as per the norm for
residential connections.
3 The landline phone doesn't work. The landline phone doesn't work
because Oi made my number no
longer available for portability.
4 The video/movie content ‘NOW’
cannot be played on my TV.
Situation hasn't changed because
the technician couldn't install the
'NOW' app on my television.

As a result of this time-consuming appeal to ANATEL, I now have a basic Internet connection, costing R$85 per month, with ports 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 445, 1434, 21, 25, 53, 80, 110, 443, 587 blocked according to the norm for residential con­nections, which is what most ISPs provide in the first place. It is essentially the same as the 2 Mbps ADSL service, at R$36.15 per month, I had from Oi until Oi cut my signal on 21 September 2022. The only difference is that I now have a 90 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload speed for R$85.00 per month, plus the cost of all the lost working time and effort I have had to expend in writing and mounting my appeal to ANATEL, which was certainly not insignificant.

Of course, after all this, my Internet connection still does not meet the minimum necessary and sufficient requirements of Marco Civil da Internet, but at least it's a start. And I can work with it. Not a good result, but I can't see it being resolved any further.

Counting What It Cost Me

So after 49 days with a deaf Internet connection, it is now able to hear. Marco Civil da Internet has become upheld — at least in part: the part that I need. Not being able to do what I was supposed to be doing during this 49 days, rather than do nothing, I naturally and understandably spent my time writing about why I couldn't do what I was supposed to be doing.

For a home-based programmer requiring access to his employer's data­bases in order to work, his loss for the 49 days would be on average in Brazil R$44532.95 [US$8,521.53]. Claro reimbursed me R$70 [US$13.39].

As a result of an appeal to ANATEL, I now have some openable listening ports but the standard ports are still blocked and my IP address is still dynamic. So it is still not a bona fide Internet connection that can be used interactively peer-to-peer the way the Internet was originally meant to operate. But with this, I can at least work.

But why should it cost me all the time and effort to appeal to ANATEL just to obtain some of my basic rights under the Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights? Shouldn't ISPs naturally, and as a result of due course, provide a service that meets a customer's legal rights in the first place, without them having to be enforced by ANATEL?

My final verdict is that Brazil is not the place for work that involves anything other than a very trivial use of the Internet.

The Inevitable Downtimes

dead deaf 15OCT2022 16:50 03DEC2022 12:00 49 days
dead alive 03DEC2022 12:50 12DEC2022 07:30 09 days
dead dead 12DEC2022 07:30 27DEC2022 12:00 16 days
------- alive 27DEC2022 12:56 24 JAN2023 15:00 28 days
------- deaf 24 JAN2023 15:00 26 JAN2023 12:55 2 days
------- alive 26 JAN2023 12h55 31 JAN2023 07h50 5 days
------- deaf 26 JAN2023 12h55 01FEB2023 00h00 1 day
------- alive 01FEB2023 00h00 ?? ??? ????? ??h?? ...........

deaf Working passively but all 65535 ports blocked for listening.
alive All ports open for listening except those normally blocked for resi-
dential connections. Nonetheless, this doesn't meet the minimum
necessary and sufficient requirements of Marco Civil da Internet.
dead No connection between the ISP's terminal device and the Internet.
------- The phone was never implemented because Oi eliminated my old
phone number before it could be transferred to Claro NET.

On Monday 12 December 2022, after barely 9 days from when my Internet conn­ec­tion was finally working, and only 2 days after I had final­ly concluded my compl­aint to ANATEL, down it went! Once again: no Internet. That was the small problem. The big problem was trying to communicate with Claro NET to tell them about it.

I tried their service number 1072 but that didn't work. I tried again. The ensuing confusion just drove me out of my mind. It offered me all kinds of Claro NET's ridiculous 'plans' and all kinds of 'atendimento' that was absol­utely nothing to do with my problem. After all this confusion I received two SMS messages with the following information:

fone 25276 09h39 12/12/2022 protocolo 20221413600428
fone 25276 09h40 12/12/2022 protocolo 20221413607625

Although it is difficult for me, at 10h22, I managed to send a message via WhatsApp on my cell phone to Claro NET's automatic cretin. It gave me a list of services from which I selected '3-Ir para Claro Residêncial'. Then came its second list from which I selected '2-Suporte técnico'. Then another list from which I selected '1- Suporte técnico (com login)'. Then it opened a Claro NET website in my phone's Chrome browser, which of course was far too small for me to read! I tried to log in but on the minuscule touch keys of the phone 'keyboard' I was unable to get the username or password correct. It's rather like trying to drive a car with a one-inch diameter steering wheel. Of course I have absolutely no problem entering data on my com­puter. I gave up. Dead end.

Then the cretin sent what it called a 'token' by SMS. This was a number to enter in the WhatsApp field. I looked it up and entered it. Then came another idiot list on which none of the choices remotely applied to my situation. I decided to try again. Came full circle through the same menus. I went through the same stupid proced­ure 3 times. It was obvious that I was going round in circles getting nowhere. I tried another round. I selected '3-Claro Residêncial' again. This time, the cretin purport­edly did a test and said that there was nothing wrong with the signal in my locality and consequently could not help me any further. And that was it!

I searched and searched for a telephone number to call for Claro NET service to tell them about my Internet being down. But I could not find one anywhere. There are plenty of numbers on which to call Claro NET, but only for sales: nothing for service.

I decided the only thing to do was phone the ombudsman on 0800 701 0180. Of course, the ombudsman is not human: he's simply an Artificial Imbecile, like every­body else at Claro NET. And guess what? He had a system problem and couldn't attend to my request. I tried several times. Then the artificial ombudsman didn't recognise the protocol I had been given by the service cretin.


More than half the day is now gone. Yet so far I have drawn a complete blank as to how to simply report to Claro NET that my Internet isn't working and to ask them to fix it! I'm currently at a dead loss. I tried again and again. Eventually I had to concede that it was impossible.

At 13h57 on 12 December 2022, I struggled to try, as best I could, to enter the required details on the ombudsman's web page using my cell phone. It said that Protocol 20221415189679 that I had been given by the service cretin was invalid. I squinted with my magnifying glass and verified con­clusively that the protocol num­ber was correct as entered. Of course, this meant that I could not report my prob­lem to the ombudsman so conse­quently 'he' didn't issue me with an ombudsman's protocol number. So strictly, I can't appeal to ANATEL. There was no more I could do. End of the line. I now see only 3 options:

  1. stay forever paying for a non-existent service, or

  2. write to ANATEL by post [SEDEX], quoting only the service protocols, or

  3. simply refuse to pay the monthly bills until Claro NET mounted a process against me for not paying for the service it was not providing. That way, I might eventually get to discuss the problem with a human being.

Notwithstanding, in the latter case, I have to ask myself, would that human being be any more cogent that the stupid AI?

So, what should have happened?

I should have had a phone number to call to talk to a human technician and say to him: "My Internet is down. Power ON, DS ON, US FLASHING, Online OFF, Ethernet ON.". His reply: "probably the fibre-to-coax unit on the street post isn't getting your up-signal. OK I'll get it fixed". Done!

But not in Brazil. Here bureaucracy is king. As the customer I need to spend indeter­minable hours battling with stupid automated menus and getting nowhere. In the long term — and it is a very long term — I must try to enter a complaint through a web form that says the protocol number the AI gave me is invalid. My only recourse then is to try to complain to an unreachable ombudsman, who is also an AI that doesn't accept the protocol number that the webform gave me. My only option then is to appeal to ANATEL, which I can do only through an Internet connection that doesn't work. So I must ask a friend [luckily I have one within reachable distance], who has a working Internet connection, if I can please come over and use her Inter­net to launch my complaint to ANATEL [assuming that this time, ANATEL's website is actually working]. Then I must wait for Claro NET to respond and send some irrit­able technicians to correct the fault. Of course they have to come to my apartment and mess with my modem, complaining that correcting the fault isn't possible because my computer is running Linux instead of Microsoft Windows. Of course, the fault was obviously in the street at Claro NET's post unit or beyond. In the mean­time, I lose at least a week's more working time for which I receive no com­pen­sation. I believe my lesson here is: caveat emptor.

One last-ditch effort. I installed the Minha-Claro Residêncial app on my cell phone. On the tiny display I managed to find a spanner [wrench] symbol, which I assumed stood for technical help. I touched it and got a screen on which was an option that I had NO SIGNAL. I touched it. The procedure took me through the age-old process of checking that all the cables were located correctly, unplugging the power and re­con­necting it after a minute. Then it asked me if each status lamp were lit appropri­ately. It gave me one option to proceed: to click if they were all correct. It gave me no option for saying that no, they were not all illuminated correctly [Brazilian logic]. So I couldn't convey that the lamps were as stated in the small inset bock of text above. I clicked that the lamps were all OK, which of course was not true. I was then given the option of booking a technician's visit, for which I would be charged.

NOTE: you've always got to scrutinse their invoices. They have a habit of super-loading them with charges they hope you won't notice. Like the weekly charge on my cell phone bill that started appearing for an answer­ing service, which I never use, never asked for and which was not part of the original contract. However, getting rid of such thieving is always im­possible without a lot of work appealing again to ANATEL.

So, after a full day of exhausting work trying to inform Claro NET that my Internet connection is down, I still have been unable to do so; Claro NET is none the wiser and it looks as it I will have to continue without Internet unless or until I can some­how get an appeal to ANATEL.

Amazingly, at 18h50, the modem suddenly acquired its up-signal and achieved an on-line connection for a few minutes. Then it lost the up-signal and fell back off-line. This evinced a fault that was arbitrarily intermittent. The cabling was dry, solid and undisturbed within my apartment and the apartment building. The intermittency of the fault suggested that it was outside in the street or beyond. Since we were in the period of very heavy tropical rain, a likely reason is that rain could have penetrated the fibre-to-coax aggregation router on a street post to the extent that it shorted out its up-signal receiver. Or it could have been rain penetra­tion into some other active circuitry somewhere en-route between Claro NET's edge router and my apart­ment. What I do know with certainty is that it is nothing to do with the cabling be­tween my computer, my private router and Claro NET's modem. Nor is it anything to do with the fact that my computer is running Linux and not Microsoft Windows or any other kind of technical bullshit.

06h00 Tuesday 13 December 2022: the second day of my new downtime. I must work hard today trying to find some way of communicating with Claro NET, al­though I have, as yet, no idea how to start.

NET_CLARO_WIFI login Claro NET 'provides' roaming Internet access to its customers via an extra 2·4 GHz Wi-Fi channel in customers' residential routers. This would give me Internet access when my own connec­tion is down. The problem is: it doesn't work. Each time I try, the response is the same as shown at the top of the adjacent illustration. It says: "Login service not available, please try again later."

So obviously this is not a channel I can use to communicate with Claro NET when their proper connection goes down. Thus I can neither use it to receive emails from them nor to access their Minha Claro website to report a fault. I'm left high and dry.

Perhaps I could prevail upon a neighbour to let me use his computer. He could sign me in to his work area, thereby giving me access to all his private information and leave me alone for some hours while I fiddle my way through the time-consuming automatic menus of Claro NET's exasperating website. With the level of security I need for my work I could not think of letting anyone else into my computer this way. But obviously this is what Claro NET expects somebody to do for me.

Alternatively, my neighbour could give me his Wi-Fi password so that I can enter his wireless network using my laptop. Then, of course, he would have all the trouble of devising a new password and installing the new password in his router and all his other devices. Lots of time-consuming work flagrantly externalised by Claro NET onto the shoulders of the customer — and of course his neighbour! This is all neces­sary because my neighbour's Wi-Fi net­work would otherwise be thereafter open for me to use such that I would no longer need the Claro NET service at all.

The only practical option is to transfer all necessary data onto my laptop and take it to the residence of a trusted friend who will give me the name and password for her Wi-Fi network. That is workable because when I am not at my friend's residence, I am way beyond the range of her Wi-Fi network. This is what I did during the downtimes the 49 days of signal cuts by Oi and the 21 days with no internet after Oi cut my signal, plus the following 49 days that my Claro NET connection was deaf. It was all an awful lot of disruptive inconvenience, but I survived. So this is what I must do now. I must arrange to travel to my friend's residence, which I can­not do very often for practical and health reasons, and use her Internet connection to try to rattle Claro NET's cage. However, for this I must wait until a weekend, thereby hav­ing to waste my working days for the rest of the week.

What I shall probably have to do is write a letter to Claro NET, as I did before, and send it by SEDEX [tracked postal service]. Of course, as before, Claro NET will not respoind to it. Consequently, I will not give Claro NET a month to reply. I shall send it same-day delivery and give Claro NET a stated 3 days only in which to contact me regarding my dud Internet connection. On the 4th day, an appeal goes to ANATEL. If this fails, another appeal goes to both '' and also to the private complaints site 'Reclamar Aqui'. And after that to certain people concerned with the formulation and implementation of Marco Civil da Internet. I cannot afford to lose so many days. I desperately need this to move.

Why? Because I need to be able to do my work. And there will be, without doubt, accumulating in my email box, bills and invoices [including from Claro NET itself] that I cannot know of, cannot access but which I must pay on time. My failure to do so will result in my being fined, charged interest and perhaps even have my name placed on the ubiquitous corporate instrument of extortion called Serasa-Experian. The absence of Internet access is no excluse. I am supposed to somehow be able to know the amount, its payment bar code number and pay it.

I think that indeed, Brazil has a very long road ahead before it arrives anywhere near a cogent theory of justice for the individual, let alone the practical implementation of such.

After 3 hours solid work on this problem, at 09h03 Tuesday 13 December 2022, I tried one more time with the Minha Claro app on my cell phone. I got through to the 'NO SIGNAL' option. The sheer illogical stupidity of the design of this facility boggles my mind! The only option into which it finally railroaded me was a technician's visit to my home, which is totally unnecessary and inappropriate and for which I would be charged R$90. I had absolutely had enough.

Certainly, from my point of view, the virtual assistants and automated menus of Claro NET's 'Minha Claro' website, its WhatsApp channel and its telephone 'help' lines appear to be intentionally designed to be as obstr­uctive as possible to the user for doing anything other than buying a new product or service. I'm trying to report a fault on the service I have, and what do I get? Flashy adverts and constant rhetoric for service plans with higher speed and more facilities. The effect on me is totally negative. It is anti-advertising. What on earth would motivate me to buy a faster more comprehensive service plan when the one I have doesn't even work!

I drafted a letter to Claro NET. The previous letter I sent to Claro NET was forth­right­ly ignored. Consequently, at 09h13 on Wednesday 14 December 2022, I posted the finished letter by SEDEX next-day delivery in which I gave Claro NET until Saturday 17 December 2022 to reply, or at least leave me a WhatsApp message. I don't con­sider this unreasonable since I gave them a whole month last time and they didn't respond, so I reasonably suppose that they won't respond this time. I certainly can't afford to spend another month off the Internet. I sent the letter this time simply as a witnessed formality before mak­ing my appeal to ANATEL from my friend's house.

Why, as it is abundantly clear from the vast plethora of complaints I see on the Web blogs, does Claro NET not respond, with the result that fines are imposed upon it by ANATEL when the user complains? I can only sur­mise that to Claro NET, it is a simple risk-benefit calculation. The benefit gained by ignoring the complaints of the many outweigh the fines im­posed by ANATEL as a result of the few who take the trouble to complain.

On Saturday 17 December 2022, I arranged to pay a visit to a friend in order to use her Internet connection to submit my official new complaint to ANATEL and to up­date my web­site and cloud backups. My complaint is registered under ANATEL pro­to­col number: 202212172926254. Claro NET has 10 days to respond.

I must now wait for a response, which hopefully will be by phone. But did you notice the absurdity? In order to monitor the progress of my complaint, I must go to the ANATEL website. But my complaint is about my not having an Internet connection, which means I obviously cannot access the ANATEL website. So I won't know what the progress is, except each weekend when I can hopefully arrange to go to visit my friend to use her Internet connection.

The Final Straw

Message 1 from Claro NET's Virtual Assistant. At 20h02 Monday 19 December, I received a WhatsApp message from Claro NET's virtual assis­t­ant in connection with my complaint [protocolo 202212172926254] to ANATEL. It said they needed more information in order to proceed with my case. It asked me to reply to the message, whereupon it would transfer me to the person responsible for my case. Since it was late and way beyond working hours, I decided to wait until the morning to reply. On Tuesday 20 Dec 2022 at 09h18 I replied to Claro NET's WhatsApp message. The virtual assistant then sent me another message telling me that in a mo­ment the person responsible for my case would speak to me right there via WhatsApp.

Finally, at 16h06 [after 6 hours and 48 min­utes] the virtual attendant sent another WhatsApp message saying that the human attendant had concluded his task of attend­ing to my problem.

Message 2 from Claro NET's Virtual Assistant. I kept my cell phone with me the whole day, fully expecting a WhatApp voice call from Claro NET's human assistant. DURING THE WHOLE OF THAT 6 HOURS AND 48 MINUTES, NO HUMAN ASSISTANT FROM CLARO NET CALLED ME. There was no record of any attempted WhatsApp call. I think I have reas­onable grounds to suspect that, because I have launched a second complaint to ANA­TEL in a month, Claro NET must be deliber­ately ghosting me by its non-attendance to my problem.

The virtual assistant then asked if it could assist me with anything further? YES NO buttons were presented. I answered YES, after which the virtual assis­tant displayed the same dead-pan list of basic help that was obviously going to lead nowhere. Neither in this list, nor in any sub­sequent one, was there any option through which I could convey to Claro NET that nobody had attended me or even contacted me.

I selected to continue with the Claro Resi­dential Internet service. Then I was presented with a menu asking if I wanted to question my bill, technical support, change my password, activate a chip, the Claro NET roaming Wi-Fi service [which doesn't work], buy or change products, details of my plan, or the NOW TV streaming service [which doesn't work]. I sel­ected technical support and then to verify the signal in my area. I was, once again, told that there was nothing wrong with the signal in my area. Thereafter, the virtual assistant just rolled me round and round in circles through the same stupid menus without any exit to a human operator. The system was just flagrantly jerking me. And as far as Claro NET is concerned, my complaint about them to ANATEL has been resolved.

It is abundantly clear to me now that Claro NET has absolutely no intention of rectifying my problem, despite my complaint to ANATEL. My only option is to cancel the contract, which I shall require to be done without onus: that is, without my having to pay any cancellation penalty. In fact, with the vast amount of working time this has cost me, Claro NET should be compensating me — rather heavily! I can think of no other option. I have absolutely had enough. Once again, exactly the same situation as with NET in 2015.

Without an Internet connection, of course, I cannot go to the ANATEL website to see Claro NET's response. Neither can I go to the Claro NET website to cancel the contract. However, I managed to find a phone number [10621] through which I am told I can cancel the contract. I called the number using my cell phone.

ClaroNET's cancellation access screen! An automated voice told me that there was a very easy way to interact with Claro NET and to watch my phone's screen. The content on the right app­eared. If you're viewing this on a standard 4k 24-inch computer screen, that's the size it appeares on my phone and I find it very difficult to read.

It's essentially an advert. The red "Mais opções" [More options] button just takes me to Claro NET's standard incomprehesible website with its confus­ion of glitzy adverts. The WhatsApp button takes me to the same 'virtual assistant' channel with its highly restricted language of endless automated lists, none of which contains the option I am so desperate to find. The 'Voltar a ligação' [return to the call] button returns me to the original call I made where the automated voice starts again from the beginning to bring me back to this screen. So the only practical option I have to try to cancel this non-service is Claro NET's website. For this, I will have make another journey to prevail once again on my friend to ask her if I can use my laptop on her Blink Internet connection.

At 10h00 on Thursday 22 December 2022, I made the journey to visit my friend with the Blink Internet connection. I checked the status of the ANATEL appeal. Claro NET had not yet responded.

At 09h47 on the morning of Saturday [Christmas Eve] 24 December 2022, I recei­ved another WhatsApp message from Claro NET's Virtual Assistant. It was the same as that shown in the first illustration above. I could not imagine any human oper­ative responding to my problem on a Christmas Eve on a Saturday. So I ignored it. However, upon reconsideration, I thought I would play the same game. So I resp­on­ded at 09h00 on Christmas Day with the message "All details are in the [PDF] files attached to the complaint [on the ANATEL site]". The Virtual Assistant immediately responded with a repeat of the message shown in the second illustr­ation above.

I suspect from the way my previous claim to ANATEL was handled that the human operatives can't be bothered to read attached files. Of course, no human operative attended to me that day. The Virtual Assistant didn't even contact me again as it did the last time to say that the human operative had concluded his attendance to my complaint. This could mean, that the last time, a human operative actually told the Virtual Assistant that he had completed attending to my complaint when in fact he did nothing; and that on Christmas Day there was no human operative to do this.

09h00 26 December 2022: A woman from Claro NET called and arranged a techni­cian's visit to my home between 11h00 and 14h00 tomorrow [protocolo 41125970]. Why a technician's visit? I explained that my modem's On-Line lamp is off and that DS is on [i.e. it has a synchronised downstream signal], which shows there's nothing wrong with the physical coax connection. The US lamp is flashing [i.e. the upstream signal is being sent by my modem but the upstream equipment isn't responding to it]. This clearly points to a problem upstream from my modem. 12:55 the Claro NET WhatsApp Virtual Assistant asked me if there was anything further it could help me with. I answered 'no'.

27 December 2022: the deadline set by ANATEL for Claro NET to respond to my complaint. My Internet connection has now been dead for 16 days. At about 06h15, I switched on Claro NET's Humax modem/router, my TP-LINK router and my main computer. I accessed the Humax's configuration area and enabled the 2·4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi transceivers.

I checked the settings for the 4 virtual servers. I found that in 3 cases, the Humax had somehow changed the port protocols from the way I had originally set them. They were now all set to TCP, whereas one of them should have been for TCP+UDP and two others should have been UDP instead of TCP. I tried to set them back but couldn't. It's a very frumpy user interface design.

The set up program asked me for the virtual server's address. Before, the DHCP had always allocated the first available address but now it was not doing this. I tried disabling DHCP on the LAN side of the Humax, whereupon I could no longer access the configuration area. Consequently I could no longer set anything. It appeared that disabling LAN-side DHCP permanently locked me out of the configuration area. I don't see why this should be. The configuration web address is fixed for the Humax itself: it is not something the Humax's DHCP allocates to a device on its LAN. So why should it become inaccessible?

At 07h33 DS and US synchronized all of a sudden and the 'on-line' lamp came on solid. At 07h37 the lamps reverted to their original states: DS=on, US=flashing, On-line=off. Both Wi-Fi signals went off. Seems as if someone was messing with the network somewhere up-stream. I powered off, waited and powered on again. Same situation except that both the Wi-Fi lamps came on. I tried to access the Humax's 2·4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi transceivers via my laptop and then my phone. In both cases, the given password was not accepted. At 10h10 DS and US synchronized all of a sudden again and the 'on-line' lamp came on solid. At 10h15 the lamps reverted to their original states: DS=on, US=flashing, On-line=off. Both Wi-Fi units went off air.

At 11h50, two technicians arrived. They tested the signal on the cable and added a balun to the cable in the first junction box where the cable entered my apartment. It transpired — contrary to what I had thought — that the problem was that the Humax modem was not recognizing the answer to its own up-stream signal re­turned to it by the up-stream equipment. They replaced the Humax modem with another Humax modem of the same type. They configured the new modem. They gave me the username and password to the modem's configuration area. They gave me the username and passwords for logging in to the Humax modem's Wi-Fi transceivers. They helped me configure the forwarded ports I needed. They were conscientious and very helpful.

So, at 12h56 on 27 December 2022, after 16 days off the air, I was back on the Internet with the open listening ports I needed. We'll see how it goes.

Claro NET's Written Response

On 29 December 2022, I finalised my complaint process on the website of ANATEL. I was not impressed with what Claro NET wrote in response to my complaint.

Claro NET said that it attempted to contact me on my cell phone number. There were calls, but each time the caller allowed only 3 rings and hung up before I could physically get to answer the call. Claro also said that they tried my fixed phone number. I do not have a fixed phone because Claro NET was unable to transfer my original fixed phone number from Oi and this was a condition I set for having the fixed phone at all. Besides, even if they had managed to implement my fixed phone, it would not be working anyway if my Internet connection was down, which it was. Claro NET said they also sent me an email, which obviously I could not receive with my internet connection not working.

Claro NET reported that there was active maintenance being carried out on their network in my area so allowed me 7 days credit on my next bill. The network maintenance is complete fiction. Every time their Virtual Assistant had tested the network at my request it returned that the signal was completely functional and without problem in my region.

The real reason for the failure of my Internet connection was not network mainten­ance in my region. It was, as stated to me by the technicians at my home, a second dud modem. The downtime was 16 days since I first reported the fault on Monday 12 December 2022 through Claro NET's service num­ber 1072: not 7 days as Claro NET stated in the ANATEL response.

Claro NET then had the audacity to 'remind' me that requests for technical visits and follow-up can be made via the 'Minha Claro' website. This I had tried prior to appealing to ANATEL.

Claro NET also had the audacity to 'clarify' for me that they have an ombudsman through which I can resolve issued not resolved through the normal channels. I had also tried unsuccessfully to resolve this issue through their automated ombudsman and that is why I did not have an ombudsman's protocol number as I had explained fully in the report files I submitted with my ANATEL complaint, which clearly they did not read!

Thus I am distinctly unimpressed with Claro NET's completely fictional response and obvious lack of integrity.

It should be well noted that the ANATEL website no longer gives the complainer the option to answer the ISP's [in this case fictional] response to the complaint. which of course the ISP well knows. So my response under the above subtitle is not recorded by ANATEL.

09h06 a woman from Claro NET phoned. Rung off almost immediately. Obviously an exercise to register that they had tried to contact me once again.

On 12 January 2023 at 17h40 I received a letter by post from Claro NET. It reprod­uced the content of my complaint to them via ANATEL. It said that the contents of the complaint had now been addressed. thanked me for using their service. It did not address any of the content of my PDF file addressed to ANATEL itself, including the request for paper bills.

Listening Ports Blocked Again

On Tuesday 24 January 2023, I noticed that my listening ports had been closed yet again. Of course, I checked that the port forwarding hadn't changed or become re­set within both Cllaro NET's modem and in my own TP-LINK router. They were all still as they were.

I logged in to the Claro NET website to report this. But, of course, the website con­tains no mechanism for actually reporting this simple thing. This is because it is not one of the problems anticipated by Claro NET's automatic menu system. So I had to be taken once again through the tedious rigmarole of Claro NET remotely verifying that its signal was present and correct at my modem and that my modem was functioning correctly. I had no way of simply telling either a robot or a human being that my ports had closed again!

The only option was to request a technical visit to my premises to correct some­thing that was obviously up-stream. So I had no choice but to request a technical visit scheduled for Thursday 26 January 2023 "PROTOCOLO: 013231242016190 Número da Ordem de Serviço (OS): 2399676730".

On 24 January 2023 at 17h35 01127559989 3 rings and hung up. At 17h51 another call from the same number. It was a woman from Claro NET technical services con­firming the visit on Thursday 26 January between 08h30 and 11h30. She asked if I had a signal. I told her that yes I had a signal but that my listening ports had been closed again contrary to instructions from ANATEL as a result of my last complaint. I told her that I had already made two complaints to ANATEL about this and I didn't want to have to make another one. So, at the moment, my Internet connection is, once again, deaf.

On Thursday 26 January 2023 at 08h03, the Claro NET technician [William Batista de Almeida] arrived. The port forwarding on the Humax modem had not been changed since I originally set the 4 required listening ports 54662, 54665, 54672 and 47862 with their respective protocols on 03 December 2022. The technician cleared all forwarded ports and re-entered them all. With aMule and Gnutella run­ning, I checked the ports using ''. All were still closed from the outside Internet as verified by the indicators on aMule and Gnutella.

I repeated the tests while the technician was testing the ports directly within the modem's configuration area via his phone application. He found them to be open. Then we noticed that each time he did a port test, that port would open to the outside Internet for a few seconds and then fall back to closed. It seemed that the action of testing the port was necessary to open it to the outside Internet. However, on repeating the external open port test via '' after a few seconds, the port was found to be closed again.

Each port would open, for a short time only, immediately it was triggered by the technician doing a port test on it. Some form of port triggering was clearly at work here. Or rather, the modem wasn't maintaining its speci­fied configuration because of some kind of hardware latching failure. The modem was faulty.

The technician decided to try a new modem. We had to wait for ages for Claro NET to register the new modem to my account.

New Modem from 26 January 2023
HW 3.00
FABR.: 02/2018.
INPUT 12VDC 30W 2.5A
Versção SW:
S/N: 318040755672

We repeated all the above with the new modem. Same result. The technician said that he would have to refer the problem to a more senior technician [called Erasmo]. He arrange for Erasmo to contact me by phone. The technician left at 10h15 with the problem unresolved.

At 12h55, I managed to get the ports to stay open. It appears that the old Humax modem did become defective on Tuesday as regards forwarding ports. The problem with the new Manaus modem was as follows. The DHCP of the old Humax modem always dynamically allocated, by default, the LAN IP address to my TP-LINK router, which acts, in effect, as the server to which the ports are forwarded.

However, the DHCP of the new Manaus modem was not activated. In this case, as it would seem, by default, any device attached to:

RJ45 socket 1 is automatically allocated the address
RJ45 socket 2 is automatically allocated the address
RJ45 socket 3 is automatically allocated the address
RJ45 socket 4 is automatically allocated the address

So, with my TP-LINK router plugged into RJ45 socket 1 of the Manaus modem, I had to clear and re-enter the port forwarding details into the Manaus modem under IP address Then, after re-booting the modem, it all worked. A re-boot is essential for changes to take effect.

At 12h55 on Thursday 26 January 2023, my connection was once again working.

At this point, I feel that I must comment on the fact that this is the 3rd modem I have had in my 4 months with Claro NET. The last time I had a modem failure before signing up with Claro NET was in 1984. That's about a decade before all the separate networks were integrated to form the Internet. Searching on the Web for complaints about Claro NET's service, I found one complainer who was on his 5th modem. It seems that Claro NET has an enormous propensity for faulty modems.

Listening Ports Blocked Yet Again!

At 07h50 Tuesday 31 January 2023, I discovered that my listening ports had closed again. My Internet connection was, once again, deaf. Being a little wiser now as to the idiosyncrasies of Claro NET, I looked at my TP-LINK router's WAN IP address allocation. It had changed. The Claro NET modem had, for some reason best known to itself, 'decided' to change it from to

I can only surmise that somebody at Claro NET had decided to mess about with my modem's configuration remotely. In fact, I had never understood why the modem allocated in the first place. I could find no place where that address was specified as any form of base address. I had thought from the beginning that it should be because that was the start address specified throughout in the DHCP tab of the Claro NET modem.

I entered the configuration page of the Claro NET modem. I found my way to Port Forwarding. I deleted the 5 ports forwarded to IP address and re-entered them for IP address I powered down everything. I waited 10 minutes. I powered everything up again. My ports were open. But the question re­mains: why did I have to do this? Why did the address allocated to the one and only device, connected to the LAN-side of the Claro NET modem, change at all? What changed it? Who knows?

Since this event very much disrupted my work for that day, I justifiably decided to report it in my Downtime Table as 1 day of deafness.

Charged For The Visit

On Thursday 16 February 2023 I received by email the bill for the month from Claro NET. It included a R$90 charge for the above-mentioned technician's visit to replace the faulty modem. I do not think that they should have charged me for replacing their faulty modem:

MODELO: HGB10R-02 [ClaroNET],
FABR: 07/2018
S/N: 11818685850055809805

on 26 January 2023 with a new one:

MODELO: TC7337NET, HW 3.00
FABR.: 02/2018.
S/N: 318040755672

Note that even so, the technician left without the modem configured properly. He did not seem to know what to do but entered a DMZ [demilitarized zone] address for some reason, which seemed to confuse the modem's start addresses for LAN device allocation. The technician's visit, for which I was charged, thus did not re­solve the problem.

Before he left, the technician arranged for another, more experienced, technician to contact me by phone. I never heard from this other technician. I had to spend con­siderable time to work out how, and then reconfigure the new modem myself. Of course, I do not know what kind of story the technician told regarding the problem that I was having with my connection. But that is something internal to Claro NET.

During the morning of Thursday 16 February 2023, I laboured for well over an hour trying to find out how to access any facility on Claro NET's website where I could make a complaint about the amount they had charged on the bill. I could find out how to get a second copy of the bill, pay the bill on-line, buy a more advanced plan and much more. But I could find no means of complaining about the inappropriate charge. All was totally obstructive to my attempt to question Claro NET's bill.

The question was now: do I pay the overcharged bill and complain afterwards, or do I just not pay at all as a means of rattling their cage and answer the case when they enter my name on the national bad debtors' register? I decided to pay and then pursue the complaint.

I finally managed to connect to the complaints number 1052 and was given a proto­col number 2023227228302, which I verified twice by getting the robot voice to re­peat it in full. After getting nowhere in this labyrinth of audio menus, I decided to write a complaint to the Ombudsman. The entry form for the Ombudsman declared that the protocol I had been given was invalid. I could proceed no further.

On Saturday 18 February 2023, I decided to use 'Protocolo: 013231242016190' of the technician's visit itself as a means of accessing the Claro NET Ombudsman. The Ombudsman's complaint entry form accepted my complaint details, which were as follows:

Fui cobrado R$90 pela visita do técnico, em 26 janeiro 2023, realizada sob o número do protocolo 013231242016190.
Esta visita foi para substituir um modem com defeito:
    MODELO: HGB10R-02 [ClaroNET],
    FABR: 07/2018
    S/N: 11818685850055809805
com um novo modem:
    MODELO: TC7337NET, HW 3.00,
    FABR: 02/2018,
    S/N: 318040755672
A visita técnica para este fim não é cobrada. Como já paguei a conta, será necessário que você me credite esse valor nas duas contas segu­intes. Eu vou aceitar isso.

To my great surprise, at 13h52 that same day, a lady from Claro NET Ombudsman's office phoned me [Protocolo 44914296] saying that they accepted my argument that the charge should not have been made and that the amount would be credited back to me over the following two bills. Excellent.

© October 2022 to January 2023 Robert John Morton

I was not the ISP's actual customer, that was somebody else, who subscribed to the service on my behalf. However, throughout this essay, for clarity of prose, the first person singular has been used to indicate either or both of us. The other per­son has no knowledge, involvement or responsibility regarding the content of this essay.