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Sony Put Video Service on Hold Due to Comcast Data Caps 348

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the last-mile-conflict-of-interest dept.
suraj.sun writes with more fallout from Comcast's bandwidth caps that give preference to their own video services. From the article: "An executive from Sony said Monday that concerns about Comcast's discriminatory data cap are giving the firm second thoughts about launching an Internet video service, that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March,Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast's own video service would be exempted from the cable giant's 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap. 'These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth,' he said. 'If they start capping things, it gets difficult.' Sony isn't the first Comcast rival to complain about the bandwidth cap. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also blasted Comcast's discriminatory bandwidth cap as a violation of network neutrality. Comcast controls more than 20 percent of the residential broadband market, which means that Comcast effectively controls access to one-fifth of any American Internet video service's potential customers."
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Sony Put Video Service on Hold Due to Comcast Data Caps

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  • by nebaz (453974) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:53AM (#39868819)

    Mergers like Comcast/NBC should be illegal. Once content providers are also content distributers, they can pull shenanigans like these.

    • by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:03AM (#39868971)
      It was illegal until...if I recall correctly, the FCC commissioner approved it. Then, only a few months later, the commissioner resigned to take a high-paying top level exec job at Comcast. Its obvious what happened but unfortunately, this form of bribery is also legal so long as it can't be proven. Back on topic...these discriminatory data caps obviously do not promote competition in business...One could hardly call this capitalism.
      • by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:11AM (#39869101)
        Meredith Attwell Baker. Four months after approving the deal, she was hired to serve as senior vice president for government affairs for the Comcast-controlled NBC Universal. In other words, after approving the deal, she left the FCC to become one of Comcast's top lobbyists. I say get rid of all corporate lobbyists in Washington. They don't belong there.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dishevel (1105119)

          Why in cases like this would vigilante justice be so wrong.
          When the government is compliant in the raping of the peoples rights and refuses to put these people away.

          I do not want free shit from my government. I just want them to protect the playing field and make sure that the rules apply evenly.
          The government does not need to make us all the same. Just give us all the same chance.

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by cpu6502 (1960974)

            I'd have no problem with that (including the Congressman heading the MPAA). But I don't think we've reached that point yet. This order:
            Soap box
            Jury box
            Ballot box
            Ammo box (last resort)

            • by iamhassi (659463)

              I'd have no problem with that (including the Congressman heading the MPAA). But I don't think we've reached that point yet. This order: Soap box Jury box Ballot box Ammo box (last resort)

              Soap box - we've been trying this for a long time
              Jury box - can't, no one will pass laws limiting their corrupt coworkers because they do not want to limit their future corrupt behavior
              Ballot box - wow, we've tried, again and again, but the obvious corruption doesn't stop [philly.com]
              Ammo box - well.... hate to say it, but here we are, this is all that is left.....

          • I just want them to protect the playing field and make sure that the rules apply evenly. The government does not need to make us all the same. Just give us all the same chance.

            I agree with this statement.

        • by Benfea (1365845) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @01:29PM (#39870967)

          Yes, we need to get rid of lobbyists, but the phenomenon you speak of is a different animal. If lobbying were illegal, then she would have received some other cushy job at NBC Universal. This whole "screw over the voters/taxpayers for Acme Corp, then get a cushy job with Acme Corp" routine happens in just about every part of the government, even the military.

          What we need to do is make it illegal for any high-ranking government employee to get a job with any corporation that is regulated by or a contractor for that employee's position. Generals can't get jobs with military contractors, FTC execs can't get jobs with Wall Street firms, FAA execs can't get jobs with airlines, etc., etc.

          I know what I am proposing sounds draconian, but this tactic has an incredibly corrupting influence over government, and this is the only thing I can think of to put an absolute stop to it. If anyone has any other ideas, I'm more than willing to listen.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:14AM (#39869139)

        this form of bribery is also legal so long as it can't be proven

        That is a feature, not a bug.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by garyoa1 (2067072)

        If it wasn't for lobbyists, the 99% would be about the 80%.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          Yea down with lobbyists lets start with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:25AM (#39869301)

        >>>It was illegal until...if I recall correctly, the FCC commissioner approved it. Then, only a few months later, the commissioner resigned to take a high-paying top level exec job at Comcast.

        Wow.
        Sony just needs to sue Comcast.
        The Sherman Antitrust law is still in effect, forbids companies from using their monopoly or near-monopoly for unfair competitive advantage, and the FCC can't overrule that law.

      • Its obvious what happened but unfortunately, this form of bribery is also legal so long as it can't be proven.

        How much more proven do you need it to get?

        • by TheReaperD (937405) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:56AM (#39869799)

          Sadly, in this case, a document (electronic or dead tree) or recording from Comcast offering the job on the condition that the merger is approved. Of course, everybody knows this so they make sure no such document or recording ever comes into existence.

          Personally, I'm for getting rid of all lobbyists period but, there should, at least, be a conflict of interest gap, say 10 years, between being a government official or elected representative and being able to work for the organizations you had dealings with while you held that position.

          • Personally, I'm for getting rid of all lobbyists period but, there should, at least, be a conflict of interest gap, say 10 years, between being a government official or elected representative and being able to work for the organizations you had dealings with while you held that position.

            I like your idea but congress and the senate would never approve such a bill.

    • by Peristaltic (650487) * on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:05AM (#39869015)

      Mergers like Comcast/NBC should be illegal.

      When you start paying Congress as much cash as Comcast, NBC and General Electric pay, then you can make the rules.

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:14AM (#39869141)

      This is a difficult issue, not as straight forward as you might think.

      There was no problem when the distributors who owned licenses to broadcast over the airwaves were the ones who also provided the content.

      There was no problem when the distributors who owned cable networks were the ones who also provided the content.

      But all of a sudden because the internet is involved, its now an issue - but only in that very select portion of the distributor/provider area, its still not an issue in the above scenarios.

      What you mean to complain about is when content providers and distributors now have a general access product - an ISP element. Thats the problem here.

      What I want to know is whether Comcast have actually denied Sony or anyone else the right to put a service end point within the Comcast network, and run a private line back to their main servers - in the same manner as the Comcast Xbox service - or have refused to exempt such a setup in the same manner. Anyone?

      • by englishknnigits (1568303) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:25AM (#39869311)
        The real problem is that consumers have little to no choice of internet providers due to government regulations. In my area, I basically have the choice between Comcast and no internet. That isn't really a choice so they have a monopoly. The government is supposed to break up and prevent monopolies, not enforce and encourage them. If there were more providers they would be heavily incentivized to have no cap so that they could snatch up mine, and countless others, business from Comcast. I would gladly switch to such a provider and be willing to pay more for the service. We have no such alternative, that is the problem.
        • by Danathar (267989)

          "The government is supposed to break up and prevent monopolies, not enforce and encourage them."

          Welcome to the world of Mercantile Corporatism sponsored by Government. Nearly all attempts at "fixing" the problem of Government being in bed with Corporations results in corporations manipulating government even more.

          More government control = more corporate control

        • by cbope (130292) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @01:43PM (#39871191)

          This is not government regulation... this is LACK of government regulation. Get it right for once.

          It's funny, I live in a small country (Finland) with only 5.2 million people, but I have a choice of at least a dozen internet providers and mobile operators (individually, not combined). Every time I visit the US, it seems at best you have 2 or 3 sources for either and none of them are good. Here we have real competition, good prices and good service. No caps either on broadband or mobile. You have unregulated free market capitalism that is running crazy, but not in a good way.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:36AM (#39869507)

        It's not really the same thing. When broadcast radio and TV "distributors" push their own content and suppress that of others, you have the choice to tune to a different channel. When an Internet operator pushes their own content at the cost of others, you're almost certainly screwed because it's very unlikely that you have a choice to not use Comcast. There is a valid analogy with Cable TV - but that's regulated, they have no choice but to carry all of the local TV stations.

        It's also more subtle. They aren't banning SONY from transmitting data over their network - they're just imposing bandwidth caps.

        This is clearly a bad thing - we *seriously* need net neutrality legislation to avoid this kind of problem.

        • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:45AM (#39869635)

          No, you don't need network neutrality, you need competition - the whole network neutrality issue is only an issue because there doesn't seem to be healthy competition within the US market.

          In the UK market, we have BT as the main incumbent, Virgin Media as a secondary incumbent and a heavily regulated resale market.

          Anyone here can buy capacity from BT, anything from a single provisioned ADSL line to a full unbundled service (you get the last mile, and then you can do whatever you wish with it) - and the costs of all of that are heavily regulated, to the point where BT Wholesale cannot charge BT Retail less than they charge Joe Blogs Internet Company.

          However, Virgin Media as the lesser incumbent is under no such limitations - you cannot rent capacity on the Virgin Media network at all, other than as an end customer. They have a nice fiber and cable network, but you as an independent ISP cannot get access to that - so its very much like the US market.

          So we end up with the situation where we have a huge competitive ADSL based market, but a minute cable market. Network neutrality is protected by the fact that literally anyone can go and get capacity from BT, and have it available pretty much anywhere in the UK - BT cannot impose limitations on your usage as a network provider, so they cannot force you to not be network neutral.

          • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:52PM (#39870565)

            It would make more sense for the State government to install 50-optical fiber bundles through the streets (which they already own), and then lease 1 fiber per company. Then customers could choose Comcast or Cox or Time-Warner or MSN or AppleTV or.....

            Real choice. And we could tell comcast to "fuck off" when they invent these stupid 250 GB caps to effectively make Hulu, Amazon, Sony video streaming useless.

        • by Chirs (87576) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:51AM (#39869717)

          As long as they apply the same rules to everyone, it could be considered neutral to not count "internal" traffic towards the cap. My own ISP has said that their upstream internet costs are significant and growing so this isn't so far-fetched.

          The logical solution is for Sony to install a local caching server inside the Comcast network--if Comcast were to prevent that, then it would violate net neutrality.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>There was no problem when the distributors who owned licenses to broadcast over the airwaves were the ones who also provided the content.

        They didn't.
        Local stations hold the licenses, not the content creators. And O&O stations are limited to only 10 max for NBC, ABC, etc. It was strictly regulated to separate the ~6000 station owners from the central content creators.

        >>>There was no problem when the distributors who owned cable networks were the ones who also provided the content.

        A

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        The comcast claim that they have to limit outside video providers like Hulu or Amazon or Sony to 250 GB, but their own internet video service can be unlimited, is bullshit. It's the same lines leading into my house. There is no difference except an excuse (per usual) to limit consumer choice. It's the same thing that Microsoft did when they installed IE as Win95's default and blocked installs of other browsers or DR-DOS (though they later relented).

    • I was just before the start date of MSNBC. About 10 to 15 years ago. When Bill Gates wanted to produce a set top box. It was deemed a conflict of interest. Bill Got mad, I assume, and bought 40% of both Comcast and NBC. Thus the birth of MSNBC and a big cable player to carry it. Today MS has a set top box its called the X-box.

      So you can see its not hard to get the votes for things like Merger when one party holds big piles of shares. You can almost expect random votes to push you over 50%.

      It only fo
    • The obvious American solution: Comcast buys Sony in a leveraged buyout. Execs get big bonuses. Provides metered services to Sony content and products at a rate slightly less ruinous than what they charge for competitors. Obligatory layoffs at Comcast and Sony. Comcast products are distributed with integral Sony rootkits and DRM.

      Wait a couple of years. Comcast decides Sony is dead weight. Lays off more people, execs get big performance bonuses. Sells off Sony. Execs get big retention bonuses. Sony lays off m

    • Mergers should be illegal?

      Your post implies that shenanigans should be illegal. Where do you think you going with this?

      The whole idea of a business competition is to abuse/exploit/break/violate existing rules in a more industrious (and that's the etymology of the word "industry" for you right there in this adjective) way than your competitor.

      Corporations may be became people now, but that does not mean that Supreme Court decree also enriched them with morals.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Mergers like Comcast/NBC should be illegal. Once content providers are also content distributers, they can pull shenanigans like these.

      I say, "look north". When Global TV foundered here, Shaw, Rogers and Bell bought up bits and pieces of it, and this happened way quicker than the whole Comcast/NBC merger!

      It's why Canadians get screwed - the CRTC is in the pockets of the big guys and has no balls to demand consumer-friendly regulations.

      UBB was just the beginning, and only when the government threatened to pa

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:55AM (#39868843)

    I'm nowhere near my monthly data c

  • dirty dealers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phusion (58405) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:56AM (#39868859)

    Comcast has been up to no good for years. We all remember the torrent throttling and god knows what else. They need to have the thumb screws put to them so they stop trying to squeeze every penny out of every MB by throttling traffic, applying data caps and the like. I hate Comcast's business practices but they're usually pretty damn fast.... there needs to be another choice. 20% is too large for a dickweed company that pulls this bull-shlaka.

    • by The Moof (859402)
      Don't forget about them degrading VoiP traffic when they deployed their own voice service. That warranted an investigation by the government, which they were found in the wrong. No penalty for that finding, mind you.
  • This is confusing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth"

    Yeah, but you own a bulk of the content they provide. Don't allow Comcast the rights to broadcast Sony properties, including working with PS Network. I'm sure Comcast would concede.

    • by XiaoMing (1574363) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:07AM (#39869049)

      Don't allow Comcast the rights to broadcast Sony properties, including working with PS Network. I'm sure Comcast would concede.

      Ahh and there's the beauty of it. Who would you believe to be violating some form of neutrality, if you were watching a hulu/youtube/redtube;) clip and it was blocked to you by the content owner because they didn't like your choice of ISP?

      The thing is Comcast simply said "Oh normal data is so expensive, woe is us! But we're able to provide XFINITY content through a magical data pipe that doesn't need to worry about this!" With that, it becomes Sony's (and Netflix's!) fault for obviously creating (or having, in Netflix's case) a product that uses up so much magical interpipe juice.

      Although what you say is very true, aside from signing distribution deals with Xfinity, the only way for the content providers to not get reamed (in the ATT pays Apple per iPhone sold sense), is to play some form of hardball with the ISPs. But my example of what the public perception would look like is exactly why these companies are taking the more passive and whiny route for now.

      • in the ATT pays Apple per iPhone sold sense

        How evil! Apple actually makes AT&T pay for their product? The DoJ better step in to right this heinous wrong! This isn't fair to alll those other phone manufacturers lose out on tons of revenue since they obviously give their phones away to AT&T for free.

        • by XiaoMing (1574363)

          ._. Not sure if trolling or fanboy...

        • by XiaoMing (1574363)

          If you had any common sense, or were awake for the last half of a decade, you'd understand where my ATT+iPhone comparison was coming from, especially in regards to how a company could sell their product (either content for Netflix and Sony, or monthly phone service for ATT) to a large number of customers and still end up making very little profit due to their "partners".

          Case(s) in point:

          The $200/phone that ATT doesn't pay to "all those other phone manufacturers"
          http://www.edibleapple.com/2011/10/26/sprint-p [edibleapple.com]

  • by MukiMuki (692124) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:00AM (#39868935)

    "Aragon reportedly said Sony was 'waiting on clarity' ...about whether regulators would allow Comcast to exempt its own video services from the broadband cap."

    This is probably how discussion on Net Neutrality starts. Hopefully this leads to some sort of law forcing ISPs to provide real evidence to justify implementing any sort of bandwidth cap.

    As it stands, it's all bullshit. The difference between a light and a heavy user, as far as the ISP is concerned, is that the heavy user continues downloading/browsing/streaming heavily on off-peak hours (read: overnight). About the only major cost for the ISP, assuming they even HAVE the capability to lower their system capacity at night, would be the extra power usage for their network hardware, and even THAT becomes substantially cheaper at night.

    As this is Slashdot:

    It's like charging cars by the number of hours spent on the road because of traffic congestion, and as a result, taxing cars at a heavier rate for driving at 3 in the morning, when there's no congestion to contribute to.

    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:05AM (#39869033) Homepage Journal
      Why would Comcast want to agree to net neutrality now? They've just shown the value of being able to dictate the terms of use to people intending to serve data over the internet. They'll probably strike a deal with Sony where Sony pays them several million a year and in exchange doesn't get hit by Comcast's data caps. It's a huge new untapped revenue stream for an ISP. The fact that they can decide not to play ball with companies that might compete with its own cable service is just icing on the cake. You can bet that Comcast's senators are getting well greased right now and are ready to go to bat to prevent anything like Net Neutrality from ever really being implemented.

      I can see the ads already. The government is trying to tell the internet how to operate! Call your senator today and tell him you don't want big government interfering in the Internet!
      • You can bet that Comcast's senators are getting well greased right now

        Holy shit can we see that on Comcasts PPV?

  • by tkrotchko (124118) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:01AM (#39868943) Homepage

    I remember when Comcast put on the extremely low 250GB caps per month, a lot of people around here said that anybody using more than 250GB a month was probably a pirate.

    Does anybody still believe that?

    What 250GB caps really means is that your ISP won't invest in infrastructure, because its expensive.

    • It may have been at the time though.

      The major issue with traffic* caps is that they need expanding periodically to keep up with the fact that people's expectations grow. Ironically, I see more evidence that operators are reducing traffic caps rather than increasing them. Look at T-Mobile: Unlimited, replaced by 10Gb, replaced by 5Gb, and now they're encouraging people to go to 2G. Wait, what?

      * The correct term is traffic. Bandwidth measure of information per second. Ethernet cable has a bandwidth cap.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      I'm about to get a new laptop. As soon as I do, I'm going to be loading in the range of 300-600GB as fast as my connection will allow - probably 1-3 days, depending on how fast my off-peak bandwidth is. All entirely legal, from my Steam account and MSDNAA account, and at least one Linux distro to dual-boot.

      All I have to say is thank GOD I don't have Comcast anymore. Verizon's cellular division is as bad as any other (worse, even, in some respects), but their fiber-to-the-home division hasn't yet given me an

  • AT&T 150GB cap (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:02AM (#39868957) Homepage

    AT&T capped my 6mb DSL account at 150GB a month.

    What happens if you exceed your data plan?

    You will receive a notice the first time your usage exceeds the data plan. We will send you alerts if your usage approaches or exceeds the amount of data included in your plan. If you exceed your monthly data plan a third time we'll charge you $10 for each additional 50 GB of data provided to you that month. You'll be charged $10 for every incremental 50 GB of usage beyond your plan.

    AT&T.

  • Simply the worst. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tommy Bologna (2431404) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:03AM (#39868989)
    There is a reason Comcast won Comsumerist's Worst Corporation in America contest in 2010. Comcast should be disassembled and shot into space toward the sun.
  • by danaris (525051) <danaris AT mac DOT com> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:04AM (#39869011) Homepage

    Let's hope that this will draw more attention to the issue of caps in general, and biased caps in particular, as being detrimental to things that ordinary people want to use, and big companies want to sell.

    "Net Neutrality" is a confusing thing to most people, but "Sony won't sell you videos on demand because of Comcast's biased data caps" is much easier. I think even Congresscritters might be able to understand that one.

    Dan Aris

  • Why? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by bmo (77928)

    Why do you hate the free market, Sony?

    --
    BMO

  • It's time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:08AM (#39869067)
    to come down with hard regulation on such ISPs.

    If they want to have the advantages of a common carrier - free access to rights of way, and a monopoly on services, then they better behave like a content neutral common carrier. If they want to take the attitude that it's their network and they can control it any way they want, then they can also negotiate rights-of-way individually with the millions of property owners whose land their cables cross.
  • Eventually it will come down to capping speed or total usage. I don't think the backbone infrastructure is designed to handle so much traffic, and I doubt Comcast is willing to spend millions on upgrading.
    • Re:Speed vs Usage (Score:4, Informative)

      by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:04PM (#39869939) Homepage

      Got that right.

      One good example is Cox in Phoenix. They have one of the most capable systems and most recently upgraded, at least according to subcontractors and employees I have talked to.

      Their configuration is a fiber link from the head end to each neighborhood node. This link runs at 1-3GB with the newer ones at 3GB. It might be possible to run this link in the future at (maybe) 10GB but that would require a lot of new hardware at both ends. Connected to the node are either 500 or 1000 homes - they are splitting up the 1000-home nodes to make 500-home nodes, but that is as far as they are going. You can expect a lot of systems in the US to be running 1GB to the node and 1000 homes on the node.

      A little simple division makes the problem pretty clear. Assuming there is no cable TV anymore on the head end to node link that means there is 3GB available to 500 homes in the best areas and in the oldest, slowest areas it is 1GB for 1000 homes. That is 6Mb/sec best case for every house or 1Mb/sec at the worst. There is no more capacity that that.

      Oh, and the cable TV offerings are taking a pretty big slice of that bandwidth today, so it is far more likely that even in the best areas there is a max of 1Mb/sec to 500 homes - if they are all using it. For the last five years or so it has worked wonderfully because 1 in 10 (or more likely 50) homes was using any sort of streaming IPTV service. So instead of 1Mb/sec per home it worked out to be more like 10Mb/sec for the homes using it. The rest? Just email and web surfing. Now, you move 50% of the homes to trying to use IPTV services and the whole system collapses - the bandwidth simply isn't there. And, it is unlikely that it will be any time soon. The last time the cable systems were upgraded it took about 10 years from start to end. Maybe if we are lucky by 2020 we could have guaranteed 20Mb/sec to every home on the cable system which would require a 100GB fiber link from the node to the head end. I don't know about you, but I don't think there is any 100GB link that goes any distance.

      Maybe what is required is a separate fiber run from every house to the head end. Yeah, that would work. You can get that today if you don't mind spending about $3K a month and I don't think it is going to get a lot cheaper any time soon.

  • by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:20AM (#39869219) Homepage
    Ok "Free Market" Dick Breathers, let's hear your rationalizations.
    • If it was a free market Comcast wouldn't have exclusive franchises with the municipalities it operates in and you'd have multiple ISPs to choose from.

      • Thank you. My dad lived in a test city for a second cable provider way nack when. AT&T came in to challenge Comcast. Cost plummeted and suddenly the cable box was replaced wih a nice modern digital one with fiber optic.

        In a lot of places businessea and politicians gang up using the old socialist fraud that tere isn't enough market for something and therefore government gets to pick one business to win, and uses its guns to keep competition out.

  • Sounds like a straight-up case of anti-competitive business practice and why content producers in the content delivery business should be fairly and soundly regulated if they're allowed in the first place.

    In the UK this would doubtlessly be referred to the Competition Comission.

  • go back to its great company status Comcast is probably doing everyone a favour as who know what DRM scheme/root kits would be involved in order to watch the Sony video streams.

  • I always think about over the air (OTA) broadcast and not have to deal with streaming video issues (throughput, routers, IP addr conflicts, bandwidth issues, data dropouts, corp shenenigans, etc.) though antennas can be a pain particularly if you are living in a condo. OTA already exists but TV stations are garbage these days, I remember in 20th century when local TV stations played movies (older movies when women dressed like women).
  • > Comcast's discriminatory bandwidth cap as a violation of network neutrality

    Forget about network neutrality, this has "Microsoft flashback" written all over it. And if you think that Microsoft sticking its IE as default into OS was outrageous, how outrageous is this?

  • These caps are super anti-competive in areas where companies like Comcast have exclusive franchise agreements that prevent other companies from offering uncapped high speed cable based internet. Sounds like a good reason to quit bitching to the FCC and start complaining about the uncompetitive behavior to the cable franchise boards instead...

  • Is there an advantage to having the media libraries inside Comcast's network so that Comcast does not need to pay at their border? Does Comcast get charged upstream for their bandwidth?
    Also, Comcast wants to serve media via its xfinity web offerings. Cannot Sony leverage that since many of those titles will belong to Sony?

  • OK, let's say you work out a deal with a McDonalds to sell you hamburgers at half price as long as you buy 100 at a time. So you set up a stand across from the McDonalds and start selling hamburgers cheaper than McDonalds does. You have incredible sales for the first week or so.

    Of course, based on that you get a couple of friends to loan you money to expand your business and start trying to negotiate a similar deal with a different McDonalds across town.

    How long do you really think it is going to take McD

  • I know I have a 250GB cap on my Cox account. Cox doesn't necessarily degrade connections after that but the penalties right now are nebulous.

    And I know Time Warner also plays games with caps. The FCC needs to step in and stop this bullshit post haste!
  • A company only cares about money, if it can compete unfairly, it will. Regulation is necessary where competition is limited.
  • Comcast has 22.8 million subscribers. They have a market cap of 87 billion. So that is $3815 dollars per household, Spread over 2 years that is $158.00 probably exactly what you are paying right now. Just fucking buy the assholes out. Fire all the executives and turn it into a coop.

  • Roughly how much is a two hour movie in terms of MB/GB? Is it really a concern of someone using a Sony/Netflix service that watching a movie per day would put them over the limit?

  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:22PM (#39870203) Homepage

    There probably is something else here, and Sony may just using Comcast's capping as an excuse...

    a) Comcast's cap is not a "cap and charge overages", but a "cap, warn, and terminate or get them to upgrade to uncapped business service": Actually enforcing the cap for Comcast is very costly, because they lose customers. This makes it far less anticompetitive than other caps, but really targeted against abuse of service.

    b) Comcast's cap is reasonably large. Netflix's HD stream is ~1.8 GB/hour, and other streams are less. So a 250 GB cap is >4.5 hours of HD video a day through streaming, which is a LOT.

    I have a serious problem with other ISP's much lower "Cap and Overage" model, where the goal is to use the cap to increase revenue. And such caps are far more likely to be anticompetitive.

    I suspect its Sony having issues with TV networks and other interests, and they are using Comcast's cap as an excuse.

  • by noc007 (633443) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @01:40PM (#39871135)

    Get their business service branded as Business Class. Pretty much the same price without any new sign-up discounts, no contracts, no credit checks, no caps, 4hr resolution SLA, generally burst speeds are higher for longer, and you can run your own server within the TOS. Sure you have to lease their crummy SMC router/cable modem at $7/mo or go find yourself a SB6120. The down sides are it's a completely different account, your house will get classified as a business address in their DB, their CSRs can get confused at times even though I call the residential number for my TV service and the business number for the internets.

    If they start asking a whole lot of questions of why you're not getting their residential service, just say you work from home and may hit that residential cap. If you have their residential TV as well, you'll still get adverts for their residential internet service.

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