|reply to GTFan |
Re: Comcast Xfinity for Xbox launching soon (possibly next week)
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.
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
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
"By exempting its own service from the companys 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.
Its 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 Comcasts 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."