Netflix Slams ISP Bandwidth Caps In The Wall Street Journal

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NickHale

I sent this article to a close friend that is an high up executive for a VERY large cable company and the simple reply back was “We invested in and built our network why can’t we control it”?  Very land of the free capitalist view. 

 

I do not agree with this.  Give me a reasonably priced internet plan with options and I will be happy. 

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mysterymantis

The simple replies back to this are as follows...

 

1.  You invested money that came from subsidies granted to you by the government, which comes from us.  Why can't we control it?

 

2.  We pay for your service which keeps your company running, which btw, probably has little to no competition to help keep you honest.  Why shouldn't you be regulated?

 

3.  Why can't there be competition in your market to make it so you don't have complete say over what happens with your product?  Tell you what, open it up like that, and we'll see how long bandwith caps still exist.

 

These, or any number of things that should be happening, would have sufficed. 

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Geasadair

Netflix should add a caching capability to allow users to download video during off-peak hours to watch later.

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Dman222123222

It would probably be hacked to download all the movies from netflix that one could ever need.

you see a couple movies you like, download overnight, and have a program running in the backround copying and converting the cache in real time.

 

netflix should start selling digital downloads. thell make a fortune.

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mysterymantis

Currently, ISPs can get away with this becuase, realistically, they have no competition and no regulation.  Up until now, they have gotten away with that, by maintaining a balance of what people want vs. the cost of their service.  Well, the day is comming when that is going to change.

 

There seem to be two mentalities on this.  One says, "Hey, I'm still getting plenty of bandwith, what's the big deal?"  The other says, "They have given us unlimited until now, and they are now saying with the same in place infastructure they can't do that anymore.  And also, at the same time, they are saying that the packages they are offering will satisfy the majority of their customer's demand anyway, which implies they are not having a problem at all.  After all, how are they restricting anything, if they are still giving you more than enough?  Not too mention, just becuase this is how it is now, that doesn't mean that in the future (not even a very far future), that they won't make it worse."

 

There needs to be one of two things happening here.  Either competition needs to be allowed realistically (ala what happened to phone lines back when one company controled all of them in one area), or the internet needs to be turned into a utility, where the ISPs no longer can just do whatever they want regardless of consumer demand.  Either one of those would lead to ISPs being F'ed in the A, but they would still remain largely profitable.

 

Until now, the ISPs hadn't really given anyone a reason to challenge their uncontested control of the interenet in the US.  At least not on a scale where every ISP decided to act in a way that is taking away service from it's customers on a mass scale, where another company stood to have their business be effected by it.  Netflix would have the resources to pursue a challenge, as well as cause.  I hope that this act of hubris leads to a change in the way ISPs are allowed to operate.

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Holly Golightly

I definitely agree with you. The internet is a fairly new concept to regulators, and with that said, explains why there is hardly any regulation at all. Although it seems that all these greedy companies want to simply just hurt this technology that already is improving our lives... For what? For their wallets.

I feel the best way to solve this problem is having the government supply the internet for the people. Granted it probably wont be the fastest, but it will be the most affordable, the most reliable, and the least greedy of them all. I strongly believe they can co-exist.

I am glad that companies like NetFlix is taking a stand against ISPs. They need to get hit hard with the heaviest of regulations. The concept of broadband caps should have never came to reality. Not in America anyway, since it was originally introduced in Europe several years before.

The internet should be unbiased, and really should be free for all people. We are in an age where all of our youth are digitally connected. At this point, broadband is a necessity, not a luxury. It is something we all need, whether it be for job hunting, news, research, donations or boosting the economy with online shopping.

Sure, 250GB sounds like a lot today... Until you start streaming 4K videos on YouTube. Broadband caps only stop progression like 4K video resolutions from being the standard across the web some day. At this point, broadband is a utility, and should be regulated as so. We will soon observe this great change.

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bling581

"I feel the best way to solve this problem is having the government supply the internet for the people."

Right, because it's not enough they're already trying to regulate something they don't own. Why not just let them provide it for us too so they can have complete control.

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Carlidan

I like how you see government in the post and you have to comment it with an absurd statement . You bitch about government but when you need them I don't see you tell them to fu*k off. 

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bling581

Of course not, but when they start to overstep their boundaries then it's the people's right to complain. Last time I checked the people have the say in a Democracy (or they are supposed to). I have the right to disagree with that they do and not everything they do is ridiculous. You are the one making absurd statements.

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Carlidan

Not saying you can't complain. But explain your position as to why you think at this situtation that "government" has overstep their "boundary".  It seems that we have less reguation on this situation which causesed this whole fiasco of data capping and bandwith capping. Wouldn't you thnk so? I not saying all regualating everything will make everything better but we need some regulations to level the playing field a little. Give rules to how business should be operated.

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SrKag

We all see it just trying to stop it is another thing. ISP's want control of your wallet and your caps, so their wallets can get fatter.

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livebriand

ISPs, this is rediculous. If it barely costs you anything to offer me plenty of data, why all the caps? 1 cent for 1GB. Hmm... that means that for my 250GB comcast cap it costs them a mere $2.50. Nothing compared to the $60 or so per month I pay. What are you, cell phone providers? And besides, even with a cap, you are NOT going to make me more likely to quit using netflix and start using your cable service. Seriously. It's all crap anyway. I cancelled my cable TV a while ago and since then have used off-the-air programming and Netflix. That's all I need. Netflix seems to have all the things I want to watch anyway, and the news is on the air. And no amount of caps will make me go back to cable TV. It's too bad that there's no alternative to these big asses. Otherwise I would switch.

They seem to be forgetting that they're supposed to be just providing internet service, NOT telling me how I'm supposed to use it by using bandwidth caps to try to discourage me from using Netflix. Granted, 250GB is easily enough for me, but it's the thought that counts. Negatively.

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praetor_alpha

I haven't really watched TV in years. I pay for 0 channels, and there's never anything on. Just the way I like it.

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Tristan Heitkemper

I have no cap on my connection!

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Cache

How long until Netflix starts up a competing cable operating company?

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stige

this idea has merit.  i would like to see it happen.

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Vausch

As a person who suffers with a 7.5gb bandwidth cap on a 30 day drop off period, I fully agree these caps are ridiculous. The knowledge that people in my area have no other options but satellite internet or dial-up allows these people to jack up prices to the point of absurdity while giving us speeds that wouldn't be acceptable for low end DSL.

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maleficarus™

While you are on the extreme low-end of download caps being 7.5GB. Most caps are in the 40GB to 60GB range which is more then enough for general surfing, light gaming and even Netflix downloading. You must be purposly paying for a low-end service because you are simply too cheap to pay a bit more. Then you try to justify your actions by crying the blues that the prices are just too high. Have you ever heard the saying you get exactly what you pay for? In your care, you are getting exactly that, a very low cap for a low price. I personaly have a 80GB cap limit for which I pay $65 CAD for. I have never gone over my cap and I download movies, play online games and my two kids surf YouTube everyday after school!

Stop crying about your service, take out your wallet and pay for what you need. If that means an extra $20, then stfu and pay it. Stop blaming everything on everyone else when you're the one penny-pinching your own service!!

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Red Ensign

Did you completely miss where they say "THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION" or is your reading comperhension level that of a 3rd grader? I pity the education system of whatever country you're from that it has to claim you are a product of it.

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maleficarus™

Read below. He does have an option but chooses to not buy it!!

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Vausch

Wow, you get 80 gigs for 65? Lucky, because if I paid 70 to go to the next package, I'd get a whole 4.5 more gigs to go up to 12 a month. I could go higher, but the highest cap available is 17gb a month and that's 120 dollars a month.

So allow me to also say this: you don't know my financial situation, you don't know if I'm suffering from the recession and barely making it week to week, you don't know that I have to drive 30 miles a day to go to work.

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igoka

OMG !!!! You are proud to have 80Gig and you are blaming someone for being too cheap to have 7.5Gig cap ??? What is wrong with you ? I live in USA and for me 7.5 and 80 Gigs caps are just ridiculous.  I really don't want to live in Canada were you being raped and you are proud of it. 

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maleficarus™

Well you can have your unlimited bandwidth while we have free health care!

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Ghok

He's a bit of an odd one. For some reason he can't imagine why some other family would use the internet more than his own.

Some countries are really bad with bandwidth, perhaps the poster with the 7.5 gig cap lives in one of them.

I'm also Canadian, and I pay something like 35 dollars for 300gigs. I never go over 100, but my usage has pretty much doubled in the last two years so I like the buffer. With the summer Steam sale, I'm pretty sure I'll be well over 100gigs this month. Luckily, my ISP appears to be more honest than some, and doesn't put a huge premium on bandwidth.

I remember when a long distance phone call used to require a mortage. Criminally inflated costs. I use the internet A LOT. I don't mind paying for my bandwidth, but I want a fair price. Most places only have limited choices for ISPs, so this doesn't really work out.

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maleficarus™

Here is the truth of the matter. No one actually needs unlimited. I know big shocker but this is the truth. You do not need to be downloading every torrent file you see online. You do not need to be streaming every single TV show online. You do not need to be downloading for the sake of downloading. That is digital-hoarding. How is that any differnt then one of those slobs on the TV show "Hoarders"?

If you actually think that it is ok to do this, then you are a selfish, greedy bastard that takes, takes, takes. I personaly have no use for people like this! DOwnloading the odd file, the odd game patch, the odd music tune and even the odd movie from Netflix is not gonna ever require unlimited internet. 80GB per month is more then enough for this, seriously...

The Americain way of thinking has always been take, take, take!!! The Canadian way has always been give, give, give and only take what you actually need!

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Vausch

That's the worst part. I live in the USA but because I'm in a slightly rural area I don't have any other options. My neighbour gets cable internet but because we're about a thousand feet from him we're out of range of the service.

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maleficarus™

Then move...Just because you live out in the woods somewhere milking your cows and feeding your chickens dosen't mean you should get unlimited super fast cable service like everyone else that lives in the city. Are you for real here or what?

If you get poor cell phone reception are you gonna cry and demand the phone company change just for your farm out in the woods?

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Tenhawk

Can I just say here that I'm a Canadian and I claim NO connection to this dip$hit?

His concept of finances would seem to indicate that his mom is still paying his internet bill, and he certainly has no freaking idea that Canadian medicare, while a GREAT institution, is absolutely NOT 'free'. 

He's also apparently unaware that there are strong movements in Canada it CUT his 80gig cap to a fraction that size because the big telecoms have been trying to gain leverage to shut down the unlimited offerings of their smaller competition. There are people out there fighting every day just to keep things from circling the bowl while he sits around talking about how great things are.

My cap is 35 gigs, and that's the highest option I have officially. Unofficially they let it slide a little, but that's not in the contract so if they have to they can cut that from me without warning.

We can within a hairbreadth of losing that wiggle room this year, and the fight is still ongoing. That 80 gig cap he's proud of is on shaky ground.

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maleficarus™

Listen you idiot. It is free in the sense that you do not have to pay for surgery or pay for hospital vists. Yes we pay higher taxes but that goes without saying. You get what you pay for!! Sick to death of people claiming Canadian health care is not free when in fact is 100% is since the day I was born...

On to the topic at hand though: There are no cuts in the works, stop trying to spread FUD around the internet!!

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iceman08

Sadly, I can't read the whole article on wall street journal. any way to do that besides subscribing?

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Rivethead

Copy the title on the WSJ article and go over to Google News.  Search for it and pull it up there from the results list.

Direct linking to WS articles is killed off, but you can get the full articles in "referrals" from searches.  Yes, a PITA...but what can'ya do?

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iceman08

thank you Rivethead

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bpstone

I think it is ridiculous that companies are putting out caps.

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ShyLinuxGuy

Maybe Netflix should sue every ISP with a bandwidth cap on the grounds of "loss of potential business". If some chick can sue and win for spilling an obviously hot cup of coffee in her lap, then Netflix can sue these ISPs.

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Torqumada286

Just to clarify something:  The woman who got the burns was an elderly woman.  She got 3rd degree burns on her thighs and groin.  Her family went to McDonalds and said they just wanted them to pay the cost of her medical bills, nothing more.  McDonalds said "No" to paying tens of thousands in bills, so they got sued and lost and had to pay almost $3 million.  During the trial is was found out that McDonalds had ignored about 700 other similar incidents where people told them their coffee was too hot.  The temperature they were serving the coffee at would cause third degree burns in about 2 seconds.  Watch the documentary "Hot Coffee" for all the real facts of the case.  It wasn't a frivalous lawsuit, as I had first thought it to be.

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Wingzero_x

It was a cup of coffee which is supposed to be HOT!!! What don't people understand what hot means?  Stupid bitch, stupid lawsuit, stupid state of Arizona!! If the old bat sticks it between her legs and drives around with shit deserved what she gets...not $3M, or even her medical bills paid! Oh, and about your source seems a bit biased to me...not that I would ever watch it.

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Torqumada286

So you would much rather soldier on in ignorance than actually look at any evidence?  No source is fully without bias and I recognize that fact and do other research too.  Until I learned all the facts, I thought much like you did.  1)  She wasn't driving.  She was a passenger.  2)  They were sitting in the parking lot at Mcdonalds  3)  The temperature that Mcdonalds was serving their coffee was known to cuase 3rd degree burns in 2 seconds and the industry standard was around 140F, rather than the 180-190F that they were serving the coffee. 4)Mcdonalds had ignored 700 previous instances to fix the problem.  Now, while the woman in question did bear some of the responsibility for the incident in question (she did spill the coffee on herself instead of opening the coffee on a strudy surface like a table), if McDonalds had fixed things after, say the 699th event, she wouldn't have sustained 3rd degree burns.  It as much stupidity and greed on their part as stupidity on hers.

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Ghok

She was actually found partially responsible.

The other guy may be biased, but at least he tried to learn about the case.

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ddz49

But you look over the fact that the very reason many ISPs have bandwidth caps are because many also have a television service, which Netflix has been stealing customers from. So you can say that some ISPs are implementing the bandwidth caps because of "loss of potential business."

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goku_dsv

You can't steal something that willingly goes. Maybe if the ISPs stopped giving us garbage programming and shows for exhorbitant pricesn we wouldn't have to go toNetflix and the like. and they need to stop lying in their ads.  "unlimited internet"...."ummm yeah our definition of 'unlimited' isn't the same as the rest of the world's. In factn we change the meanings to a lot of words to best uit our need and greed"  sound 'bout right?

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ddz49

You do realize I was arguing FOR Netflix, right?

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kevaskous

I sure didn't. Perhaps you should rethink your post then.

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ddz49

I think I used the phrase "stealing customers" too freely. If you had analyzed my post beyond that statement, I stated that the reason some ISPs were implementing the bandwidth caps was because of the "loss of potential customers." I quoted the OP because I thought he/she was being sarcastic about how Netflix was somehow "overreaching their boundaries," but after reading some replies, he/she was referring to a lawsuit against McDonalds which, in the OP's opinion, is even more ludicrous than Netflix suing for loss of potential customers. In hindsight, I could have put my statement a little more eloquently and clearly.

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TitanPC

I fully agree.

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