Netflix Chief Blasts Comcast on Data Caps and Net Neutrality Shenanigans

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QUINTIX256

I strongly suspect that on demand videos from set top box leasers are routed and multicast very differently than typical TCP packets, even for AT&T's IPTV service.

TCP is a weak protocol for streaming. UDP has no connection oriented control. Bittorent only helps with storing and distributing bandwidth at the last mile. Anything outside that last mile has a lot of redundant if not out and out identical traffic.

Combined that with the fact that over Ethernet, just about every connection is split into 1.5kb chunks, and even IPV6 forces a connection to use the smallest MTU throughout the connection regardless of jumbo frame support along any part of the connection, and you have a routing and connection managing headache on your hands.

Until there is a standard protocol for streaming and jumboframes are widely adopted, telecoms will continue to use their own transport protocol for getting multimedia to homes.

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An9eL

I believe in Net Neutrality and as such Comcast shouldn't be able to pick and choose what counts towards their caps. By doing so they have clearly proven that caps are strictly for profit. Now is kind of funny coming from a guy that for no particular reason other than profit hiked up and split it's DVD and Streaming services. Where was Hasting's Facebook rant on that one?

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btdog

Awwww...Hastings isn't going to make another billion dollars this year? I hope he survives.

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yammerpickle2

Comcast lines the political leaders pockets, get an exclusive contract with the area and then proceeds to bend over and fleece every person they can in the area as the only ISP in town. It would be bad enough paying the price, but then the craptastic customer service is just adding insult to injury. Personally I hope towns use kickstarter or other methods to build their own network and kick the blood suckers like AT+T and Comcast out.

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NavarWynn

We no longer have Comcast, and won't ever again. This is why. I understand that they are the 800lb gorilla in the room, but unless their customers care enough about their policies to *actively* undercut their income (can you say boycot?), and accept that they (the customers) will have to endure a smidge of hardship as a result of the boycot (putting up w/ spotty sat. reception, or slower internet access (DSL)) nothing will EVER change. (DSL+phone+SatTV is cheaper than Comcast BTW

Expecting mentally deficient, corrupt politicians to mandate change is idiocy, and expecting Comcast to suddenly come to their senses, sacrificing 'shareholder value' is equally idiotic. Vote w/ your dollars folks.

Personally, we've moved to DSL, and even with a Roku, a Wi, and a laptop/desktop streaming *simultaneously* (2 on netflix, 1 on Amazon), we don't see a slowdown. I guess what mystifies me is why Comcast has such a market share in the first place.

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fry

Simple... many people are too far away from their local phone company central office to get decent DSL speeds. Comcast is often the only choice.

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Vecna6667

Comcast also has many cities in an iron grip like contract. If a single house/buisness has a competitor's internet broadband service, Comcast can sue the city for the violation.

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Veni Vidi Vici

Sorry, but when companies get that big with that little competition in an industry that is practically a necessity, the free market doesn't apply. They'll price fix (like they do now) and have all kinds of restrictions (also like they do now).

ISP's are all going to start putting ridiculous data caps on their broadband to combat companies like Netflix, Roku, Hulu, etc. That way you're forced to get your entertainment from them(the ISP's).

Many people only have one choice for broadband so they can't do anything about it. The ISP's know this and charge crazy rates and have data caps. How is that fair business? The government is supposed to protect people from this sort of practice but instead they subsidize it.

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bling581

I don't know the laws and regulations but one would think that collaborating with other ISP's to not compete would be illegal, but then again maybe there's no hard evidence they are. I can tell you that in my state there are 2 big ISP's besides AT&T and their territories never cross each other. AT&T is pretty much everywhere but I don't count them because I think their service sucks. Even if there's two providers to choose from, if they charge the same prices then it doesn't matter.

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Veni Vidi Vici

It's collusion or price fixing and it IS illegal but that doesn't stop them. It's very hard to prove they do it. Gas companies do it as well as insurance companies. When companies get that big in an industry that is a necessity, the free market just isn't enough to keep it fair to the consumer.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if government officials know about it and lets it pass. Have to pay for those reelection costs somehow. The whole system is corrupt.

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Biceps

How is this story more pertinent than what is going on with CISPA? Brin of Google came out and called Facebook the enemy of internet freedom and you guys are reporting (again) on friggin data caps?? CISPA has been in the public eye for two weeks now, and MaxPC has yet to report on an issue that would drastically affect each of your readers. Did you guys catch too much flak from management when you reported on SOPA or something?

Gordon, why aren't your crew reporting on this? All of the other tech blogs are.

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Peanut Fox

Kickstarter ISP

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someuid

"saying the combination of an Xbox 360 and the Xfinity app essentially act as an additional cable box"

All we need now is for a good lawyer to have his Xbox 360 break and legally force Comcast to replace his XBox 360 for free due to his service agreement.

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Scatter

You may be able to argue that point when Comcast starts providing Xboxes with your cable subscription instead of converter boxes. Until then you're hallucinating.

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HKUSPC40

Yes Comcast is a monopoly and yes it should be federally regulated. They are raping the people of this country. If you can't see that then you are either blind or a republican.

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btdog

HKUSPC40 -
You're right - Comcast is a monopoly; you're also wrong, it is federally regulated. In fact, it is the very federal regulations you demand that cause the monopolistic practice. Federal regulations limit the amount of competition and essentially bar companies from entering already-established markets.

BTW, it was democrats (with the help of the telecommunication companies) that set up these anti-competitive Federal Regulations.

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warptek2010

Since when do Republicans stand for monopolies? Sure, regulation would be the last thing they do but they certainly would do something to offer a free market solution and open up competition. Some would even argue that the current state we are in today with these companies is because of too much government intervention and regulations in the first place.

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tekknyne

Repugs typically believe in the "free-market" fallacy where in this magical land the "free-market" just makes everything peachy-keen. So they would be in Comcast favor here. The "free-market" justifies their scorn for government regulation, their contempt for paying taxes and also validates their malicious and unfair business practices. In this magical land you can operate your business in a morally-grey fashion and if someone sticks a gun in your face, you can just cry to the police but THAT doesn't constitute "government intervention". You can also take advantage of the roads, police and fire safety and never pay anything in return.

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slibinz

Conservatives (what you really mean instead of Republicans, as the term has become so broad and watered down to be meaningless these days) are against government intrusion, not against government intervention. Please, spend some time learning the difference.

For you to claim that we're all just blind capitalists, and are in favor of whatever the "free market" will come up with on its own, shows incredible ignorance.

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NavarWynn

I thought you had to be blind (or bought and paid for) before you could become a republican... ;-)

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warptek2010

Oh so Democrats are as clean as the wind driven snow...?? Let's see who their biggest contributors are.... The wacky Hollywood left (there's the perfect image of America), the Enviro Nut Jobs (who are nothing more than the new hippies). Should I go on? I could fill 22 paragraphs.

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tekknyne

spot on

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bpstone

The communications industry in the U.S. is nothing more than a bunch monopolies for the most part.

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Hamburger

This is not competitive, it is anti-competitive. Consider the factors that Comcast is an ISP, a streaming service, as well as owner of NBC, this is also a conflict of interest.

My providor AT&T is doing the same thing for U-Verse. Watch/rent movies from their TV streaming service and it doesn't count against the monthly cap, but non-AT&T services do.

This practice needs to be stop. Stop the data caps (please) or count your own services against your data caps.

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someone87

Are you joking?
You said;
"This is not competitive, it is anti-competitive"
Do you know anything about business? Like anything at all? Do you understand any business concepts? Like selling something for more than you paid for it = profit? Or gaining a larger customer base, = more market power which means your competition has that fewer customers?
Do you understand that by definition, business are exist to make money=profits? Do you understand that business by their nature, are anti-competitive?
You statement is about as intelligent as saying;
"Water is not dry, it is actually wet."
You are basically saying, I hate Comcast because they are a business, and do business things.
If you don't like Comcast, get something else. If you don't have something else available, move. It's not the governments job to make sure you have more than 1 option available to you.
That's like saying there is only one natural gas supplier in my neighborhood. That's not the governments job/problem. If you don't like it, move. Or burn propane, wood, or electric.
Today there is usually 1 or more kinds of wireless internet, DSL, etc. If you live in the middle of nowhere (which many do because of cheap land, privacy, etc.) then you don't get to pick and choose.
Again, you are complaining a business is being a business. That's as intelligent as complaining water is wet.

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germanogre

Am I to assume that if a gallon of gas or milk suddenly jumped to eight dollars a gallon everywhere, you would be okay with that? Technically, no one needs gasoline or milk to survive. Would you simply shrug your shoulders and, without a trace of bitterness, say "That's capitalism for ya"?

This kind of treatment isn't illegal. They can make up whatever excuse they want to explain inflated pricing, and there is nothing we can do, though I would be okay with charging all the top executives of the greediest corporations 10 times the price for every commodity the buy. At what point is this officially considered Price Fixing? When I pay more for basic cable than rent?

My parents cut the premium stations from Comcast when their cable bill exceded the cost of heating their home and two-story, three car garage in the winter. At least Comcast was nice enough to leave them 10 or 20 spanish speaking stations as part of their basic cable, but, since they don't speak spanish, those channels are COMPLETELY WASTED!

I wish I could say "Comcast, AT&T, suck my balls". Unfortunately, due to DRM requiring internet access, I would also have to say "Entire videogame library, new Blu-Rays, suck my balls".

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someone87

If gas or milk jumped, in a free market it would be because of supply and demand.
There are enough players in that market, someone somewhere would have a lower price, and steal/take business. The free market always balances itself.
I have never said Comcast charges a fair price, or that their customer service is awesome. I hate Comcast as much as the next person, but complaining they run their business, as a business, is just plain silly. I am also simply trying to point out, that the major complaint about Comcast being a monopoly, is that the government allowed it. Obviously they took advantage of it, probably lobbied for the laws that allowed it, maybe bought off some politicians that allowed it, but it's the government that's forcing/allowing the monopoly.

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Ghok

The government regulates or provides plenty of services to their citizens. The matter is which it should or should not provide, not if they should provide any at all. Unless you'd also like to be in charge of getting your own police force, roads, and water. Which might sound like a great idea if you're wealthy enough to and can control these things. But for the vast majority of people, it's better not return to the middle ages; as we'd likely all spend our summers maintaining those roads for our lords.

Either way, it's really nothing the original poster was talking about... except that many people feel broadband internet is something of an essential service that should at least have some regulation. In many cases, governments have provided funds to telecoms to develop their infrastructure, and consumers expect a little more back for that too.

So what was your original point? That it's stupid to complain about a business engaging in anti-competitive behaviour? Uh, why? Why exactly shouldn't anyone complain about a business doing things that discourage ones available choices? If a business doesn't do something I like, I can't even COMPLAIN? It's not unreasonable as a consumer to desire choice. That doesn't make you anti-business! That's all the poster did.

Love the water metaphors, so here's another - your argument doesn't hold any. :)

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someone87

I always enjoy your replies Ghok. You always seem to think about things, and are willing to carry on a civil conversation.
Your examples of police, roads, water and so forth are great. While governing municipals are granted the authority to provide certain services covered in the constitution, regulating ISP's are not in that list.
The major diff is a city/county will say "Comcast, we pick you!" You will be the only cable (there are other options) provider for our residents." Then proceed to give them $$$$, and help them lay cable lines/create the infrastructure. This is dramatically different than roads, because the government owns/builds/maintains the road. In an area where Comcast or Charter are picked as the cable provider, you have an instant cable ISP monopoly. Because the citizens of that area only have one cable (again, there are other options) choice, Comcast is able to implement caps, and do whatever they want more easily, because they have no/less fear of losing customers.
Again, I never said don't complain, just that what you are complaining about is by nature what they exist to do. Like water is wet. If it's in your house, don't complain about water being wet, complain about your roof not keeping it out.
I'll mention that if Comcast, or AT&T are braking their contract in any way, sue them. Contracts/agreements can/should be upheld by the government, that is their roll. But if they aren't doing anything illegal, and you hate them, take your business else where, if the government will let you that is.
My ideal solution would open it up to the free market, let someone else build/maintain the lines/cables, and let the ISP's rent linage, and sell to the end customer. Kinda like ITC and DTE VS Consumers. Sad thing is, the government already screwed it up, and everyone is going to ask the government to fix it. Which will just make things worse.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITC_Transmission
BTW, if everyone got together and voted that internet is a right, and everyone should have it, and they amended the constitution, constitutionally, fine. But that hasn't happened, and thus, it's not a right, it's a service provided by a business. Just like your car, house, etc.

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Ghok

Thank you for your kind comment on my posts, and clarification of your statement. It is appreciated. Seriously. Things here seem to have been a lot stupider and nastier lately, so it was really nice to read that.

I don't share your incredible dislike of nationalisation. Or more accurately, I don't see privatisation as being any better through any inherent quality. We obviously just don't agree on that. In regards to how I think broadband should be, I'd (very) basically like the government to own the infrastructure, and rent it out to as many ISPs as can afford to do business.

I understand what you were saying in regards to the nature of business. I just don't think that the original poster was displaying any expectation of business to behave that way. He was just complaining. If I complain about water being wet, I may not be suggesting that water shouldn't be wet, I might just not like being wet. It might not be the water's fault specifically, but that doesn't mean the person doing the complaining doesn't know that. It just seemed a little harsh.

Peace.

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someone87

Thanks.

My biggest reasons for wanting the government to stay out, is because anytime they get involved, in any way, prices go up, service goes down. There is not a single instance (that I am familiar with) where when the government got involved, things improved.
The private industry controls/maintains the power, water and gas grid, even with the government screwing a lot up, it's quite reliable and works well. I see no reason why the same wouldn't be true for ISP's, if only the government would get out of the way, and stop creating monopolies.
Anyhow, back to life....

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dgrmouse

You are actually very wrong, and the derogatory nature of your tone suggests that you're also an asshole.

In most areas, cable companies are very much tied to municipal governments. The government provides access to the right-of-way to lay the cables, regulates prices for re-broadcast services, and actually plays party to cable monopolies.

If someone complains about air quality, are you going to suggest that if they don't like the air they should breathe something else?

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someone87

Yes you are right.
That's why I said the government is to blame for granting Comcast the power they have today.
The government shouldn't be in the regulation business, and the free market should decide for itself.
You just admitted the government helped/or provided Comcast the ability to become, and maintain the monopoly they are today.
If the government got out of private business (because everything they touch turns to crap, and costs go up), the ISP problem would clear itself up in no time.
So your air example is stupid. My water example wasn't to suggest use something as a replacement for water, but rather it's properties. Internet isn't necessarily for life, nor is it something the government is granted permission to regulate in the constitution.
Now before you start saying the internet is vital to some people's business, and thus it is necessarily to "life" in that context, allow me to ask this.
If I built a saw mill in the middle of the desert, is it the governments job to pave a rode out there for me to haul my lumber? Electricity to run my mill? A river for boats to pick up, and deliver my wood?
No, if I need internet (or any other free market commodity), I should locate myself appropriately.

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someone87

I should also add that yes, the government is partially to blame. With all their regulations, cost, and so on, it's very expensive for a new ISP to start. If it was truly a free market, you would see more competition, diff tech and more options. The government, through their regulations and favoritism laws, gives Comcast the power they have to snuff out small guys, or prevent them from starting in the first place.

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Morete

Wow. When did Peter Baci get out of prison? I thought he was in there until 2013.

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someone87

Yes, clearly Peter Baci was doing illegal stuff, being deceptive, lying, breaking contracts etc.
To my knowledge this conversation is about Comcast supporting it's own services and not their competitions. It would be like your car dealer saying their oil change is better, and giving you a discount on it. It's called business.
Now I have no idea if Comcast is braking their contracts, or doing something illegal in that manor. If they are, they should be brought to justice. But in the context of this story, I don't see how that applies.
BTW, to be consistent, you should demand your car dealer not give you a discount on your oil change, or give you the same discount for their competitions oil change. Obviously that's ridiculous and crazy, as was your comment.

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