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somms

join:2003-07-28
Salt Lake City, UT
reply to dagg

Re: Comcast Xfinity for Xbox launching soon (possibly next week)

Click for full size
said by dagg:

downloaded, but cant get it to activate. keep getting error 999 which is not refrerenced anywhere as to what the issue actually is.

»xfinity.comcast.net/profile/?cid···yprofile

Go to above link and confirm that you can stream Xfinity from your browser. I had an issue getting the Xfinity app to register on my 360 until I changed to alternate primary User ID (sample pic above) instead of my private name@email address that I log in by to check my Comcast statement, ect.

dagg

join:2001-03-25
Galt, CA

Thanks, that was part of it, but not all of it.
it finally switched over to an 802 error which lead me to figuring out what you are pointing out (wasnt using the correct user ID) but then went back to a 999. after a couple more attempts it worked.
im guessing a 999 is just a timeout of unknown origin?

for those of you whom it matters to, be aware that once it did finally authenticate, it also reset my cable modem.



somms

join:2003-07-28
Salt Lake City, UT

[BQUOTE=daggfor those of you whom it matters to, be aware that once it did finally authenticate, it also reset my cable modem.
[/BQUOTE

Ditto here...modem had an uptime of >30 days up to activating the silly Xfinity app and now it is back down to 0 days!?

Maybe this has to do with the 'not counting against the soft cap' part of Xfinity stream?


crucialcolin

join:2004-09-12
Roseville, CA
reply to egeek84

ugg I wish it didn't require xbox live gold just to use it like everything else Netflix included. Hate how Microsoft has done that with the xbox.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

2 edits
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

The only way to view xfinity on demand on a xbox is on the xbox in your home on your comcast broadband, and it's only available as an app if you are an xfinity subscriber. Comcast is using their content delivery cable to deliver video to your xbox instead of your STB, no video is being sent over the internet.

Sorry, it makes perfect sense and can be explained to everyone who thinks it all the way through.

You completely ignored what I said - a PC (or an iPad) accessing Xfinity on demand is an STB just like an Xbox for video delivery, and yet the PC gets the cap and the Xbox doesn't. They are both IP devices on your LAN, no more no less, and if you're on Comcast's network you'll never leave it either way.

Besides, what's so special about VOD? It's just another IP app. If the argument is that 'it's on Comcast's internal network', then why do emails or files sent from one Comcast user to another count against the cap? Where do you draw the line?

I'm sorry, saying it's like an STB is way too fuzzy for me. It's ALL IP-based delivery to IP-attached, non-Comcast devices on your LAN from Comcast's internal network.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to telcodad

said by telcodad:

OK, Todd Spangler, in his blog today on the Multichannel News site (»www.multichannel.com/blog/BIT_RA···ork_.php), states:

"Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet), and its using IP instead of [a VoD video] QAM as the transport mechanism."

So, then that confirms to me that Comcast is using their HSI downstream QAMs to deliver this service. Therefore, all the XBox 360 VoD users in my neighborhood will be "hogging" the HSI bandwidth I need for my own mundane web-surfing, emailing, etc. activities!

The statements of "Comcast is delivering VOD to Xboxes over its own network (not the Internet)" don't jive with Comcast's statements that that they only impose the data cap so that data hogs don't disproportionately consume network resources, cause congestion and impact internet performance for their other customers, on their own internal HFC networks.

Comcast never implied that the problem with the "Netflix data hogs" was with them getting the data off the internet.

A comment posted tonight by Phillip Dampier of Stopthecap.com, in response to Todd Spangler's blog post:

"I don't see a whole lot of opposition to Comcast not capping Xbox content. What consumer groups like ours are opposed to is the fact they are still capping everyone else. Comcast is the same company that complained pre-DOCSIS 3 its 250GB cap was to maintain an even customer experience for its shared broadband network and to prevent last mile congestion.

DOCSIS 3 solved that problem, and Comcast has no problem finding unlimited capacity for its Xbox service. But somehow, mysteriously, they still need a 250GB cap on residential broadband service? Amazing that. Apparently last mile congestion is only a problem when you want it to be. Data is data is data. How you treat it and how much capacity you make available to handle it makes all the difference, and that is where the problem is. Plenty of space for Xbox, last mile congestion threat for broadband. It doesn't add up.'

Comcast can solve this PR dilemma in a second by simply removing its 250GB usage cap. It can then do whatever it wants with its network and not have a thing to worry about from consumer advocates like ourselves who see right through the Swiss Cheese holes in their logic for a usage cap they just proved they don't actually need."

Phillip Dampier
Stopthecap.com

GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Nail hit on head.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

said by JohnInSJ:

The only way to view xfinity on demand on a xbox is on the xbox in your home on your comcast broadband, and it's only available as an app if you are an xfinity subscriber. Comcast is using their content delivery cable to deliver video to your xbox instead of your STB, no video is being sent over the internet.

Sorry, it makes perfect sense and can be explained to everyone who thinks it all the way through.

You completely ignored what I said - a PC (or an iPad) accessing Xfinity on demand is an STB just like an Xbox for video delivery, and yet the PC gets the cap and the Xbox doesn't. They are both IP devices on your LAN, no more no less, and if you're on Comcast's network you'll never leave it either way.

Besides, what's so special about VOD? It's just another IP app. If the argument is that 'it's on Comcast's internal network', then why do emails or files sent from one Comcast user to another count against the cap? Where do you draw the line?

I'm sorry, saying it's like an STB is way too fuzzy for me. It's ALL IP-based delivery to IP-attached, non-Comcast devices on your LAN from Comcast's internal network.

You ignored what I said... you can access xfinity on demand from any browser, any network. The content is served to the internet.

The xbox xfinity app will ONLY work on an xbox on your xfinity internet connection in your home - the content is served only to the internal comcast network, not to the CDN to the edge. In that sense it is exactly the same as a STB.

It's not a hard concept.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

Nail hit on head.

With a fish. Since comcast pays peering charges to receive netflix traffic, and pays itself $0 to stream video inside its own network, this is a great apples to guppies comparison.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

GTFan

join:2004-12-03

1 edit
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

said by GTFan:

said by JohnInSJ:

The only way to view xfinity on demand on a xbox is on the xbox in your home on your comcast broadband, and it's only available as an app if you are an xfinity subscriber. Comcast is using their content delivery cable to deliver video to your xbox instead of your STB, no video is being sent over the internet.

Sorry, it makes perfect sense and can be explained to everyone who thinks it all the way through.

You completely ignored what I said - a PC (or an iPad) accessing Xfinity on demand is an STB just like an Xbox for video delivery, and yet the PC gets the cap and the Xbox doesn't. They are both IP devices on your LAN, no more no less, and if you're on Comcast's network you'll never leave it either way.

Besides, what's so special about VOD? It's just another IP app. If the argument is that 'it's on Comcast's internal network', then why do emails or files sent from one Comcast user to another count against the cap? Where do you draw the line?

I'm sorry, saying it's like an STB is way too fuzzy for me. It's ALL IP-based delivery to IP-attached, non-Comcast devices on your LAN from Comcast's internal network.

You ignored what I said... you can access xfinity on demand from any browser, any network. The content is served to the internet.

The xbox xfinity app will ONLY work on an xbox on your xfinity internet connection in your home - the content is served only to the internal comcast network, not to the CDN to the edge. In that sense it is exactly the same as a STB.

It's not a hard concept.

And my iPad/iPhone, using Comcast's Xfinity app on Comcast's network (i.e., my HSI), is different from an Xbox how, and yet counts against the cap? Not talking about accessing it from the internet, it's from my house. The same network my Xbox accessing Xfinity lives on. If it's on Comcast's network it shouldn't count, regardless of whether I can also access it elsewhere.

You really don't get it, nor did you explain how Comcast draws the line for any internal network-only traffic counting against the cap.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

Nail hit on head.

Yes, here are some reader comments to an item on the Slashdot site (»tech.slashdot.org/story/12/03/28···idth-cap) about this issue:

SilentChasm writes:
The problem is the reason for the bandwidth caps to begin with was that the last mile was the weak link (cable being shared, your heavy usage affected your neighbors, thus the cap to get you to limit yourself). Now they want to put data from their service over that same link, causing the same congestion problems but not counting it towards the cap. This limits the spread of competing services that might use enough bandwidth to hit the cap.

Either congestion on the last mile is a problem requiring caps or it isn't. It shouldn't matter what's in the data packets or where they're from.


nolife writes:
They have inconsistent acceptable use policies with data transfers or different definitions of public and local network bandwidth? I don't know, I am more confused now.

This is from »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···essive22 [comcast.com] stating that the cap indeed still applies for XfinityTV.com which I would assume is on the Comcast local network just like the Xbox service. It was last updated 3/9/2012.

"Q: Does the Comcast Usage Meter measure data that I consume from XfinityTV.com?

A: Yes. XfinityTV.com is an Internet web service from Comcast that you receive using your XFINITY Internet service. Comcast treats its affiliated services the same as it treats any unaffiliated services that you use your XFINITY Internet service to access. All data that travels over the public Internet on our high-speed Internet service (and all data that XFINITY Internet users send to one another using the service) is counted toward the monthly Data Usage Threshold, regardless of the source."


Lorien_the_first_one writes:
I think the point is abundantly clear in the following article:

»readersupportednews.org/pm-secti···s-a-ruse [readersupportednews.org]

Designate Comcast as a common carrier and watch how fast they split their business between content and carriage. For as long as Comcast is connected to a public network carrying data from other networks to their customers, they are a common carrier, no matter what the FCC says. If Comcast wants to remain a private network, they can cut their connection to the Internet and provide their own content to their users.


MobyDisk writes:
Part of the deal to purchase NBC Universal required that Comcast offer equal access to NBC content over other networks. But making it free bandwidth for your customers, but not for other customers, seems to violate the intent of that requirement while perhaps adhering to the letter of it.

*This* is why you cannot have one company as the service provider and the content provider.

Prior to the merger, the justice department released a Competitive Impact Statement [justice.gov] which is concerned with Comcast not allowing access to NBC (and others) content. But it did not consider the possibility of Comcast offering special benefits to the content for their subscribers. Now that I think about it, nothing stops Comcast from offering content cheaper, faster, better quality, in 3D, etc.

Comcast's web site has the regulatory approval document [comcast.com] which explains their limitations. It doesn't seem to specifically say they can't do this, but it looks like other people figured they couldn't do this. This blog entry from Mediapost [mediapost.com] says that the ruling:

"Does not disadvantage rival online video distribution through its broadband Internet access services and/or set-top boxes. Does not enter into agreements to unreasonably restrict online distribution of its own video programming or programming of other providers."

So I think most people believed that this was illegal.


Master Wolfe

join:2009-04-04
Panama City, FL
reply to GTFan

I'm a bit confused. I can use my Xfinity app on my Android phone anywhere, but I can't use my Xbox anywhere. Not sure I understand your comparison.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to telcodad

Mandating common carrier status and allowing access to allow comers is indeed the answer to the HSI monopoly/duopoly problem, and is exactly what Europe and Asia have done with great success. People seem to forget that these lines were built with government protection and subsidies.

Unfortunately our Congress (and by extension, FCC) are bought and paid for, so this will likely never happen.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

1 edit
reply to Master Wolfe

said by Master Wolfe:

I'm a bit confused. I can use my Xfinity app on my Android phone anywhere, but I can't use my Xbox anywhere. Not sure I understand your comparison.

Sure, I get that. What I'm saying is that if I use that app at home, on the same network my Xbox lives on, why does the traffic then count but the Xbox's doesn't? It never leaves Comcast's internal network either way, and that's the argument they're using to say the Xbox doesn't count.

And then, if you accept that it seems odd, where do you draw the line? Why does sending a file or email from my PC to another Comcast user's PC count against the cap? After all, it never left their network.

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

said by GTFan:

Nail hit on head.

With a fish. Since comcast pays peering charges to receive netflix traffic, and pays itself $0 to stream video inside its own network, this is a great apples to guppies comparison.

The point you missed was that the justification for the cap was to keep the last mile clear for all users. If the Xbox can eat all it wants, that argument is no longer valid.

GTFan

join:2004-12-03

I believe the smoking gun that will reverse this exemption from cap for the Xbox can be found in the FCC's approval of the Comcast-NBCU merger. Specifically, sections 94-97 starting at page 38 which prohibit Comcast from favoring it's own IP video delivery (via cap or otherwise) vs. unaffiliated content.

See order here and read for yourself. Yes, it's lengthy but readable.

»hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···-4A1.pdf


Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1

Comcast, Time Warner Cable don't go for HBO Go on Xbox

By Dan O'Shea
Fierce Cable
March 28, 2012

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) subscribers undoubtedly were happy this week when they found out that Xfinity on Demand content delivered over their Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox would not count toward their bandwidth usage caps. But, it turns out that Comcast and Microsoft may not be best buddies just yet, and that Comcast still wants to maintain control over what content Xbox viewers are allowed to see and how.

HBO Go launched on Xbox yesterday, but neither Comcast nor Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) users are allowing access to it via Xbox. HBO Go is available through most Xbox service provider partners, but not these companies in particular, though their users can get access to HBO on Demand.

Comcast does offer HBO content through its mobile TV viewing applications, and may be trying to steer users to its own applications, and more specifically to its Xfinity on Demand Xbox application, which reportedly was set to launch this week and may include more HBO content.

»links.mkt1985.com/ctt?kn=190&ms=···t=1&rt=0

For more:
-read this post at The Verge:
»links.mkt1985.com/ctt?kn=154&ms=···t=1&rt=0
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

said by JohnInSJ:

said by GTFan:

Nail hit on head.

With a fish. Since comcast pays peering charges to receive netflix traffic, and pays itself $0 to stream video inside its own network, this is a great apples to guppies comparison.

The point you missed was that the justification for the cap was to keep the last mile clear for all users. If the Xbox can eat all it wants, that argument is no longer valid.

I did miss where comcast officially listed that as the purpose of the cap. I believe they have a congestion management system in place for the last mile.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

And my iPad/iPhone, using Comcast's Xfinity app on Comcast's network (i.e., my HSI), is different from an Xbox how, and yet counts against the cap? Not talking about accessing it from the internet, it's from my house. The same network my Xbox accessing Xfinity lives on. If it's on Comcast's network it shouldn't count, regardless of whether I can also access it elsewhere.

You really don't get it, nor did you explain how Comcast draws the line for any internal network-only traffic counting against the cap.

Comcast draws the line at the xbox xfinity app, streaming to your house.

Because comcast views the app running on the xbox in your house as a STB.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

GTFan

join:2004-12-03

And how is this different from the app running on an iPad in your home, other than it's not connected to your TV? The answer is that it's not.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 edit

The problem that I have with the exclusion of the Xbox 360 VoD app's data from Comcast's residential HSI service cap is that it contradicts the rational that Comcast has been using to place the cap on it in the first place - to avoid having certain heavy users (aka "Data Hogs") in a given area degrade the service for most of the other users.

The arguments citing the current Network Neutrality rules probably won't go anywhere because of the many loopholes in them and Comcast's claims that they are only using their internal network/servers vs. the public internet.

However, I think the latest arguments, that the cap exclusion for the Xbox 360 VoD app violates Comcast's agreements that it made as part of its take-over of NBC Universal last year, are valid.

That agreement (»transition.fcc.gov/transaction/c···bcu.html) states that any Comcast service involving "caps, tiers, metering, or other usage-based pricing" shall not treat affiliated network traffic differently from unaffiliated network traffic and offer the same facilities and capabilities to others on commercially equivalent terms.

See: »dwmw.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/co···trality/

So, what then, do I think Comcast should do?

Some different possibilities:

1) Remove the cap on residential HSI service

2) Raise the cap to something more reasonable, like 1TB or more

3) Have the cap vary by HSI speed tier, with higher tiers having higher caps (e.g., Economy: 250GB, Performance: 500GB, Blast: 750GB, Extreme: 1 or 2TB, etc.)

4) Allow users to pay an extra fee for a higher cap (or an unlimited connection), regardless of speed tier

Personally, I'd favor either #3 or #4, as having no restrictions at all for everyone would probably lead to actual service slowdowns, especially during prime usage times.

If some users paid more for a higher cap (or no cap) then Comcast can use that extra income to add more capacity in problem areas.

Edit: I have now posted a poll thread for CHSI forum users to express what they think Comcast should do about the data cap now: »[Caps] What do you think Comcast should do now about its data ca



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

Another good article about all this on the Raw Story site:

Comcast exempts its new streaming video service from bandwidth caps
Raw Story - March 28, 2012
»www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/28/c···th-caps/

An excerpt:

"By exempting its own service from the company’s bandwidth caps, Comcast places its content rivals at a disadvantage that, on its face, appears to violate the principle of Internet neutrality, which the Federal Communications Commission mandated for the public Internet in rules (»www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/01/f···-agenda/) issued two years ago. Internet neutrality stipulates that all web traffic must be treated equally, which would seemingly prevent big corporations from prioritizing their traffic over small businesses, activist groups and others.

Comcast is getting around those rules by delivering Xfinity over a “private IP network,” it explained in a customer FAQ published this week. By drawing a distinction between “the public Internet” and its own high bandwidth “private” network, Comcast has proved its critics were right to suggest that weakened neutrality rules would lead to the creation of “super tiers,” (»www.itworld.com/internet/130565/···et-costs) where more bandwidth would be available to the owners, operators and, potentially, anyone who can pay enough.

Comcast and Netflix did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Internet freedom activists have long warned that the “cableization” of the Internet was coming, and if Comcast were to open up its own “private IP network” to other major content providers — for a fee, of course — it would represent the creation of a super-tiered Internet of sorts, where moneyed players essentially run the show, forsaking the public Internet for the private Internet and hauling millions of users along with them into a new environment with entirely different rules.

It’s also not the first time Comcast has used its bandwidth resources to hurt a competitor and enrich itself: in 2010, Netflix partner Level 3 was forced into paying a reoccurring fee to “transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content.” (»www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/30/c···r-video/) They agreed under protest, saying their highest priority was averting service interruptions, which Comcast threatened if Level 3 did not pay up.

Critics compared the move to extortion and blackmail, but it was perfectly legal because no regulations at the time had addressed network operators charging tolls or blocking content. Now that those rules are solidified and “public Internet” traffic must be treated equally, network owners have been eyeing ways to further monetize their bandwidth resources.

Xfinity, it would seem, is just the beginning."



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
reply to telcodad

Michael Powell, former Chairman of the FCC and now the head of the NCTA, not surprising, disagrees with Public Knowledge's alarm at the cap exclusion - "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Washington Advocacy Run Amok" (»www.cabletechtalk.com/tech-discu···un-amok/).

Public Knowledge has, in turn, posted their response to his:

Michael Powell Works the Ref On The XBox360 Play
By Harold Feld, Public Knowledge - March 29, 2012
»www.publicknowledge.org/blog/mic···360-play

An excerpt:

"Michael Powell, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and now the head of the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA), professes confusion and consternation at our raising the alarm about Comcast’s decision to exempt its Xfinity app for the XBox360 from its 250 GB bandwidth cap. Rather than addressing the issue, Powell basically argues that the only reason PK (or anyone else) could possibly see anything here to worry about is because we're either crazy alarmists or because we are "trying to get another bite at the regulatory apple." In sports, we refer to this kind of behavior as 'working the ref.'

Happily, we don’t have to take PK’s word for it that this kind of conduct raises some pretty serious competition questions worthy of examination. The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DoJ) explained why conduct like this raises alarm bells back when Comcast bought NBCU last year. In fact, DoJ even put a merger condition directly on point. Ah yes, here it is:

"If Comcast offers consumers Internet Access Service under a package that includes caps, tiers, metering, or other usage-based pricing, it shall not measure, count, or otherwise treat Defendants’ affiliated network traffic differently from unaffiliated network traffic. Comcast shall not prioritize Defendants’ Video Programming or other content over other Persons’ Video Programming or other content." (Emphasis added)

You’ll note, btw, that the condition refers to “network traffic” and makes no distinction between whether the “network traffic” is running over the “public Internet” or Comcast’s “private IP network.” It also does not require malicious intent on the part of Comcast. There’s a reason for that. As the DoJ explained in its competitive impact statement and in the Complaint, the combined Comcast/NBCU would have enormous incentive to protect its highly lucrative cable subscription and video-on-demand service from competition from online video distributors (OVDs). Because Comcast is both an MVPD and a broadband access provider, Comcast might set rules on the broadband access side that give an advantage to its traditional cable and VoD services – such as counting competing services against the bandwidth cap but not its own services.

(I’ll note in passing that the FCC reached similar conclusions and has a similar but somewhat differently worded version of this condition in its Order permitting Comcast to buy NBCU, but since it is fashionable in some circles these days to dismiss the FCC (particularly on the subject of net neutrality) as a tin plated over bearing swaggering dictator with delusions of godhood, I shall leave them out of this for the moment. We’ll just stick with the acknowledged experts on pure antitrust at DoJ who saw that Comcast might do something exactly like this and regarded it as a danger to OVD competition.)

Whether Comcast’s decision to architect its system this way actually violates the Comcast/NBCU consent decree, the FCC Merger Order, or the Open Internet rules, I leave as an open question for the moment. If we brush aside Powell’s posturing, we get to a substantive legal argument at the very bottom of his blog post. Powell argues that Comcast’s video streaming on Xbox is essentially the same as using a third-party Cablecard enabled device except instead of using Cablecard, it uses IP. Accordingly, whatever competitive advantage the Xfinity app has because other services trigger the cap is nothing new, and is already permitted under the rules that allow a bandwidth cap in the first place. That’s a perfectly valid argument to make, although I don’t know if it carries the day."



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

Looks like Comcast is starting to do some "wordsmithing" in order to defuse this controversy:

Comcast updates Xbox FAQ, cuts reference to its ‘private IP network’
GigaOM - March 29, 2012
»gigaom.com/video/comcast-xbox-faq-update/

"Earlier this week Comcast came under fire for possible net neutrality violations after it was revealed that streams of on-demand video that it delivers to subscribers via Xbox Live won’t count toward its monthly 250 GB bandwidth cap. Well, the way Comcast delivers that content hasn’t changed, but the language it uses to describe the delivery method has been updated, perhaps in an effort to draw less attention to the issue.

For those who forgot, the pertinent part of the FAQ previously tried to distinguish its VOD streams from those of competing video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, saying that its content on Xbox was “being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet.” As a result, since Comcast’s Xbox Live streams are essentially a managed service being delivered and cached throughout its own in-network CDN, the cable company argued that those bits wouldn’t count towards the cap.

That was seen as anticompetitive by many, especially since Netflix streams — and even those from TV Everywhere partners like HBO and others — do count against the cap. And it reeked of possible net neutrality violations, for providing favored access to its own content but not others. But the reality of the situation is a lot more nuanced, as Stacey Higginbotham wrote earlier this week.

Now it looks like Comcast is changing its tune and doing away with the whole public/private network argument altogether. The FAQ (»xbox.comcast.net/faqs.html) now reads:

Q: Will watching XFINITY TV directly on my Xbox 360 use data from my XFINITY Internet monthly data usage allowance?

A: No; similar to traditional cable television service that is delivered to the set-top box, this content doesn’t count toward our data usage threshold. The Xbox 360 running our XFINITY TV app essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service, and our data usage threshold does not apply.


Frankly, the new language doesn’t change much, especially considering those Xbox streams are delivered over IP, and aren’t that different from the streams that go to its iPad app or those that are viewed through its XfinityTV.com website. The slippery slope here is that down the line, Comcast could argue that those screens aren’t any different than what you watch on your TV, either through the Xbox or a Comcast set-top box.

It’s worth noting that the content available for Comcast’s VOD offering is different from what’s on the iPad app and website — they’re different services and Comcast has negotiated different rights for each. And they aren’t delivered in the same way: VOD runs over the internally built Comcast CDN, while iPad and web streams go over the Internet through third-party CDNs.

It’s also worth noting that what Comcast is doing isn’t that different from IP delivery of video via Verizon FiOS or AT&T’s U-Verse. And that we’ll likely see more of these types of services, especially with the introduction of new multimedia gateways that will soon route IP-based TV streams wirelessly throughout the home and onto whatever devices users want to watch them on.

For now, though, Comcast is hoping to soften the rhetoric by telling us that the Xbox isn’t any different than another set-top box. That’s cool, dudes. Just as long as you’re not saying your video is running over a private network."



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to GTFan

said by GTFan:

And how is this different from the app running on an iPad in your home, other than it's not connected to your TV? The answer is that it's not.

The xbox only streams content from the xfinity app, which is only functional if you have both xfinity tv and xfinity broadband. There is no requirement for xfinity broadband to stream xfinity content via the web.

This is the difference.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Which, again, has nothing to do with what I said. I give up, we'll have to agree to disagree.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

A blog item on the Media Matters for America website:

Degrading Net Neutrality In Plain Sight
By Simon Maloy, Media Matters for America - March 29, 2012
»mediamatters.org/blog/201203290003

An excerpt:

"When the FCC passed the Open Internet Order in December 2010, which put in place regulatory strictures for network neutrality, a number of public interest groups raised the alarm over potential loopholes internet service providers could exploit to get around the spirit of the rules. Andrew Jay Schwartzman of the Media Access Project said the rules "foreshadow years of uncertainty and regulatory confusion, which those carriers will use to their advantage." Craig Aaron of Free Press said they "don't do enough to stop the phone and cable companies from dividing the Internet into fast and slow lanes, and they fail to protect wireless users from discrimination."

It's looking like they were prescient on this one. In the last month, two internet service providers have proposed new plans that, while they appear to technically comport with the FCC's Open Internet Order, nonetheless threaten the principles undergirding net neutrality.

Outside The Xbox

On March 23, Comcast quietly announced that usage of their soon-to-be-released XFINITY streaming video service for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console will not count against the 250 gigabyte cap the ISP puts on monthly data usage for residential customers.

Per Comcast's FAQ page on XFINITY TV:

[Note that the original wording of it is shown here, not the latest revised one (»gigaom.com/video/comcast-xbox-faq-update/) - telcodad]

Q: Will XFINITY On Demand content a customer views via the Xbox 360 go against their bandwidth cap?

A: No, since the content is being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet, it does not count against a customer's bandwidth cap. XFINITYTV.com and the XFINITY TV app stream content over the public Internet and count toward the customer's bandwidth cap.


What Comcast is doing by offering this streaming video all-you-can-eat buffet through their private network is prioritizing their own content. Think of it this way: if you're a Comcast subscriber and you want to watch a movie online but are worried about bumping up against the monthly data cap, you're incentivized to watch that movie via XFINITY on your Xbox, rather than through "public internet" providers like Netflix. It has less to do with consumer choice than it does with which services Comcast favors.

The FCC says companies like Comcast that provide "broadband Internet access service" shouldn't use that service to prioritize their own content (or enter into financial arrangements with outside content developers to favor their content) because it's wildly anti-competitive. What's at issue, though, is how the FCC defines "broadband Internet access service."

The FCC order's definition of "broadband Internet access service" specifically excludes "content delivery network services," which is what Comcast is using to deliver their streaming video to the Xbox. To borrow from the late Sen. Ted Stevens, if you think of the internet as a tube, then content delivery networks are smaller tubes within that tube devoted exclusively to providing specific services. There's a techno-wonky debate over whether content delivery networks should count as part of "the internet," but since the FCC says no (at least from the regulatory viewpoint), Comcast can argue that they're still in compliance with the Open Internet Order.

Consumer advocacy groups like Public Knowledge say Comcast is violating the "spirit of net neutrality" by transforming "the competitive online video marketplace into a two-tiered world, where its own online video doesn't have to play by the same rules as everyone else's.""



Nalez2

@ekholm.org
reply to egeek84

This is interesting. The service states that comcast internet is required; yet when I attempt to use this application with my xbox and my premium comcast business class Internet; it says comcast internet is required.

I do have comcast Internet; and I am paying more than your other comcast internet users.



somms

join:2003-07-28
Salt Lake City, UT

said by Nalez2 :

I do have comcast Internet; and I am paying more than your other comcast internet users.

Just because you overpay for CHSI doesn't mean you will get any better service or speeds and since the 'soft cap' isn't very well enforced...well you see the picture I'm trying to paint!


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to Nalez2

said by Nalez2 :

This is interesting. The service states that comcast internet is required; yet when I attempt to use this application with my xbox and my premium comcast business class Internet; it says comcast internet is required.

I do have comcast Internet; and I am paying more than your other comcast internet users.

You don't have Xfinity Residential internet and Xfinity residential video service. You need both of those.
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