Dave Burstein's latest DSL Prime newsletter highlights a case in South Korea where a cable broadband provider appears to be blocking users from watching internet-based TV from competitor Hana TV. It sounds like the Hana TV offering is similar (if perhaps more advanced) than a service like Akimbo, where you hook up a set-top box and are able to download TV programming over the internet to watch on your TV. It appears that the cable provider is using two different explanations for blocking it. In an older article in Korea, the company (and some others who are also blocking it) simply claim that it uses up too much bandwidth and must be blocked. That's a red herring, though, because if it was really a bandwidth issue, the companies could simply set up different tiered pricing plans based on bandwidth. However, they choose not to do so, and therefore shouldn't complain when a service comes along that uses up the bandwidth they offered. If they couldn't handle it, they shouldn't have sold unlimited bandwidth. The second reason they give up for blocking the service and not running afoul of regulations in Korea that say they cannot block telco services is that even though this new service runs over the internet, it's really a "broadcast" service, and therefore not subject to the non-discrimination laws. That seems to be skirting the intent here, and probably isn't an excuse that anyone will be able to use for very long.
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