Friday, December 11, 2015

Comcast Stream TV and Net Neutrality

Klint Finley:

Comcast says this isn’t a violation of network neutrality law because, although you’re viewing Stream TV on your computer via your Comcast broadband connection, the service isn’t technically offered over the Internet, but over Comcast’s cable television network, much like its Xfinity Xbox 360 service, which allowed Xbox users to view video that didn’t count against their data limits and was shuttered last summer.

This arrangement won’t affect many Comcast customers, at least at first. The company only imposes a 300GB limit on users in 15 areas so far. According to Ars Technica, which first reported that Stream TV won’t count towards those limits, some parts of Maine within the greater Boston area are the only areas where Stream TV availability and data limits overlap. But Comcast plans to expand Stream TV into other markets, and it might expand its data caps into other regions as well. As it does, network neutrality advocates will surely challenge Comcast’s claims.


But Comcast is in a unique position: under the terms of its merger with NBC Universal in 2011, Comcast is specifically barred from zero-rating its own services while counting data from competing services against a data cap.

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