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. identicon
    Chris, 28 Mar 2012 @ 2:05am

    Here's where Comcast gets it's fat cash. It encourages you to watch the video on their "internal network" which by the way uses the exact same line you and everyone else paid for access to the home, and then it riddles them with ads, then tells you that the videos on their "internal network" are exempt from the internet rules of downloading so that way when they start cutting people off they can claim they're still providing enough of a service to make it worth it and that some people just need to control their downloads.

    None of this would be a talking point if comcast would just upgrade their network to handle the users, their greed speaks louder every time they try a new PR stunk. It's good news, in theory, but it's a constant reminder that they put a limit on the amount of "unlimited" internets they give you. I'd be angry if they said they were going to exempt youtube videos of cats on the same grounds. They should have to play by their own rules or admit the limits are arbitrary and designed only to target people who use as much as the service as they can. Why shouldn't it be the ISP's responsibility not to give that customer too large of a pipe? Unless they can prove someone's maliciously abusing their network in a way that damages their equipment they should have to legally back off. The more they try and control what I can and cannot see with the cable money I gave them for a service the less I think this company has any right to exist.

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