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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RE: Why is this a big deal?
4/18/2012 4:32:20 PM
It is not a nice thing, it is not reasonable, it is not fair.
Comcast has entered exclusive contracts with many cities which prevent other companies from laying new cable wiring. This is standard, as it costs a lot of money to lay the wire.
Many people do not have access to DSL or other phone based high speed internet connections. For example my sister lives in a complex where the phone system passes through a gate controller (so if someone calls from the gate box you can buzz open the gate) which prevents DSL from working in the complex. If these people want high speed internet they either have to pay for a cellar data plan or they have to use the only cable provider in the area.
This is what net neutrality is all about, making sure that ISPs cannot manipulate the online world. An ISP should only give access to the internet. If they have internet based services then these services must be separate from the internet service. This is similar to the issue taken with Microsoft bundling MS Office with Windows or bundling Windows Media Player with Windows.
In the past DT has reported on an ISP which wanted to charge $.01 per twitter page and $1.00 per Netflix page. This is a similar scheme except it places the perceived charge on Netflix (Netflix is using my Mb rather then Comcast is charging me more to use Netflix).
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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