Netflix CEO Rants About Comcast's Xfinity, Net Neutrality on Facebook
April 16, 2012 12:18 PM
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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings claims that all Internet apps on Comcast count against the data cap except Xfinity
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has a bone to pick with Comcast. Hastings made a Facebook post yesterday saying that Comcast is failing to follow net neutrality principles due to its unfair favoritism toward its own on-demand Xfinity service.
Comcast, as an internet service provider (ISP), places data caps on video services. When services like Netflix and Hulu are used, it counts against the cap. However, Hastings found that not all internet apps are created equal -- at least not where Comcast is concerned.
Hastings made this discovery over the weekend when watching
internet video apps
like Netflix, Xfinity, HBO Go, and Hulu through his Xbox 360. When playing any of the apps other than Xfinity, it counted against the data cap. But when Xfinity was used, it didn't count against the Internet cap at all.
"When I watch video on my Xbox from three of these four apps, it counts against my Comcast internet cap," said Hastings' Facebook post. "When I watch through Comcast's Xfinity app, however, it does not count against my Comcast internet cap.
"For example, if I watch last night's SNL episode on my Xbox through the Hulu app, it eats up about one gigabyte of my cap, but if I watch that same episode through the Xfinity Xbox app, it doesn't use up my cap at all.
"In what way is this neutral?"
Comcast defended itself by saying that the Xfinity service is delivered over its private IP network, not the public internet.
Just last month, Hastings said he wanted
Netflix to join forces with cable companies
in order to compete with the likes of HBO GO, but Comcast later said it
wanted nothing to do with the video streaming giant
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That's not a rant
4/16/2012 12:46:47 PM
That's a legitimate complaint. ISPs never said "excessive data usage requires expensive peering agreements", which would be false. Smaller companies paying for transit (access) through a larger ISP would be affected, but not Tier 1 providers. And it's the Tier 1's that want to place the caps.
What they said was "excessive data usage requires a larger infrastructure", which means more routers, switches, etc... Private/internal traffic uses those same routers, switches, etc... So Reed is correct, Comcast, and companies following in its footsteps, are lying and not playing fair.
RE: That's not a rant
4/16/2012 1:31:37 PM
It's possible for something to be both a rant and a complaint about legitimate issues. :)
Anyway, this is why I feel that providers of physical infrastructure should not be allowed to offer other services; there is a VERY clear conflict of interest. As long as infrastructure providers are offering non-infrastructure services (i.e. xfinity on demand), they will find ways to use the situation to their advantage - giving their services a leg up over the competition in a way that generally will not be beneficial to the consumer.
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