Is Comcast Thumbing Its Nose At FCC's Open Internet Rules By Exempting Xbox VOD From Data Cap?

from the sure-seems-that-way dept

As was somewhat expected, this week Comcast announced its plans to offer Xfinity video on demand via the Xbox 360... which will require customers to subscribe to both Xfinity TV and the broadband service, meaning that this isn't a solution for getting around your cable subscription (of course, because Comcast doesn't want you ditching your cable TV). But what's getting much more attention is the announcement that such streaming video won't count against Comcasts' broadband caps, raising some significant questions concerning whether or not Comcast is following the FCC's open internet rules -- the same rules that were put in place to stop Comcast from degrading certain services in favor of others. Comcast, for it part, insists that the rules don't apply to this VOD service, since it's coming over its private network, rather than the public internet, but it's certainly tiptoeing along a fairly fine line. I think the bigger issue is why the cap exists in the first place. But, in the long run, Comcast is definitely trying to back its way into being able set up "most favored nation" status with certain providers, which really does impinge on the internet's basic end-to-end principles.

Filed Under: bandwidth caps, broadband, fcc, net neutrality, vod, xbox
Companies: comcast

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  1. icon
    Yakko Warner (profile), 28 Mar 2012 @ 12:14am

    I'm at my limit now

    Funny, I saw this and was looking forward to trying it out. But I discovered recently that we already managed to hit the 250GB limit this month, and we still have a week to go. I don't want to hook my Xbox up just to download the app, let alone watch video with it (assuming I trusted their exemption). When my Xbox is on, it downloads more than just the video I want to watch. There are video ads that play in small sections of the dashboard, cover art for games when I view my game list, constant status updates for everyone on my friends list...

    I wouldn't be nearly as paranoid about it and pulling network cables out of my devices if it weren't for Comcast's absurd policy of completely cutting off people who go over the limit.

    The only other viable alternative around here is Century Link, who has the same 250GB limit. I'm not sure what their policy on overages is (funny how they don't make that info easy to find), reviews from around here indicate their customer service is worse than Comcast.

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