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