Report: DOJ Investigating Whether Cable Companies Are Purposefully Keeping Streaming Media Down



+ Add a Comment


Of course they are.

That is 100% of what Data Caps are all about. The whole "Abusive 1% of customers" thing is a scape goat.

Hopefully, the DOJ is on the ball.



Bottom line: Customers will ultimately want a dumb pipe to the internet that is fast and reliable, and cheap like a utility (because that's what it is!!). But that business is far less profitable than what ISP companies have historically been offering, so they are trying to resist.



"Do you think cable ISPs are up to no-good, or is this much ado about nothing?"

There's no need to even ask such a question because it's a fact that ISP's are up to no good. There's a reason why you can only get 1 or 2 broadband providers in most areas with no real competition. They're always trying to pound out any possibility of competition.



My feeling: A lot of the major ISPs are also cable TV providers. They also want to feel that their on demand service is worth while because it makes them money, not the websites. So it would seem reasonable for them to downplay such websites in order for you to use their on-demand service.


h e x e n

ISP's are always up to no good.



First off what does oil have to do with net neutrality? Come on people stay on topic. Second, this does violate the deal that Comcast made to purchase NBC Universal, because what isn't mentioned in the article is it isn't just the Xbox ap that Comcast is not counting against their data caps it is also there Xfinity TV web site. I have comcast internet, but will not pay for their expensive cable packages. Instead I pay for Netflix and watch almost everything I want when I want, but each month I go over my data cap... as of yet they have not charged me for it, but just throttled my internet. The problem with both the ap and the site is you still cannot access even standard TV shows without a paid cable service (i.e. AMC, Discovery, Cartoon Network, etc). This is in violation of both net neutrality and their DOJ deal. I understand they want to make money just like everyone else, but being underhanded about it is just uncalled for.



....It looks like the Justice Department is getting sick of old media flexing its muscle to keep new media down...

Ha! That's a laugh, The DoJ looking out for the consumer? No, the DOJ is more likely getting sick of old media not paying enough money into their slush fund. The only people that run this country are the ones with the money. The rest of us can only sit back and watch our rights dwindle away little by little. Comcast will do whatever the hell they want to. I have SuddenLink cable and internet. They imposed bandwidth caps on us this past April. They're a little late to the party, but the trend continues. Anyone who thinks the government gives a shit about them is delusional. (not you Brad!) :-/



"Do you think cable ISPs are up to no-good"

Yes... it's pretty obvious to anyone that isn't locked into one of their all in one plans. Hopefully the DoJ can rectify this issue without being paid off by big business or a campaign contribution.

Cable TV is a dead service... netflix, hulu, and such are the future of tv... watch what you want when you want. Hell I can't even choose what stations I want to pay for with cable... that would be a step in the right direction. I only have interest in about 10 tv channels but am required to purchase a package of 300+ channels to get said 10 channels.

When they get done they need to look at the oil industry next... that one is rather obvious, and the reason why we don't have alternate fuel vehicles, or cars that get more than 100 MPG. The Chevy Volt was originally supposed to get 100 MPG... quite interesting that once it came out it only does half that.


Peanut Fox

I agree with your points, I just want to shed what I found on the Volt. Apparently it's 100MPG was a paper number either way. The car isn't an electric car. Had the EPA let them classify it as such you'd have seen it get a 100MPG rating. Instead, it's classified as a Hybrid and gets the much lower 50ish MPG rating.

@John I think you may be right as well. In Britain their fuel costs are much higher, as a result they sale far more high MPG diesel cars than we do here in America.



yeah I know it can run at 98mpg on the electric for 30 miles.



Blame the law of conservation of energy.

The Volt still has to run on 85-87 octane fuel, which only has so much energy to yield in a burn, its combustion system is calibrated to 10.5:1 compression ratio with a 1.4L displacement. Not only that, but that claim that Premium fuel is required. (higher octane)

The Volt is listed has having a drag Coefficient of .287

It weighs 3781 lbs

not only that, but its torque development (100 lb/ft) had to be over engineered to carry its fat American passengers, and still accelerate on the highway, while also braking. Not to mention the other 9000 systems on board to keep the said person from sweating, getting bored, and safe. And more systems to keep those systems from failing and or overheating.

4 points of contact patch equal to about 120^2 inches adds more resistance to the mix

Moving something like that down the road with is not free at all. especially when it has to use gasoline.

Its burning gas at a loss and converting it to physical force energy (50% efficient at best!)

then it converts that to electrical energy (at BEST 80% efficient)

Stores it in a Lithium-ion battery (said to be 80-90% efficient)
By storing energy, this is where the hybrid car actually saves a lot of energy wasted in traditional cars, often more energy then you actually need is produced while driving a gas only car)

The fact that this car manages to drive down the road at better then 40mpg is amazing.

The REAL problem isn't the tech, or lack of hydrogen cars, or fuel cells or battery ONLY cars... THE REAL problem is just about everyone of these new "high energy storage" systems can be turned into massive bombs.

Here in America everything that comes out to the big dumb fatties has to be COMPLETELY idiot proof, because some jackass will figure out a way to blow himself up somehow.

FACT: right now you can use the grid power in your house (.pennies per Kwh) to extract hydrogen/oxygen from hose water (pennies per many gallons) then use more grid power to compress that hydrogen into tanks and modify a simple combustion engine to run hydrogen/oxygen air mixture.
HOWEVER - make a mistake in your extraction device and BLOW uP your house, make a mistake in the fuel storage device and BLow up your car!, make a mistake in the engine and blow your face off!. make a mistake while driving this vehicle and your car explodes on impact. Make a mistake and convert to Muslim and BAM! you now have a bomb factory. all it takes is 1 time. And BAM, here come the REGULATION people in suits.

People in general make mistakes.

oh yea, you dont see fuel cells because its possible to do horrible things with those too.

And thanks to the internet, we can all be physics experts and makes bombs from tennis balls.



needless to say their are plenty of diesel cars that get much better millage... and cost less... just not available in the US. The volt is an epic waste of time built to appease the president. Who is also an epic waste of time.



Thanks for the insight! Certainly fact-filled :)



oh yeah and gasoline has never blown up

as for the fuel efficient diesel vehicles in Europe,
the US EPA wont allow them in the states!
It isn't that BMW an Mercedes don't want to sell
these cars here, YOUR GOVERNMENT won't allow them to!



gasoline does NOT blow up, nor will it burn by itself.

In order to blow up you need a VERY specific mixture of air.

gasoline boils at about 180F, from most gas stations.

this property means you can't damage things without getting the gas on them in liquid form, or make powerful bombs without large area's of volume to properly mix the air, which is very hard to do with gasoline.

so ultimately it can not be used very effectively on a large scale, not like a 6000 psi tank of pure Hydrogen that fits in a compact car can. Hydrogen has a boiling point of -423 F. So anywhere you go on the Planet, its going to be a gas, thats n*n^3 more surface area for combustion.

So yea. Compared to H, Gasoline is like Playdoh is to C4


John Pombrio

I cut my cable TV last summer and have saved $1,500 in a year by doing so. What irritates me is that I cannot get any sort of decent 15-20 channel option for basic cable for my local channels. What a ripoff. Need to buy an antenna!
As for the oil industry, there would be NO Prius is the price of gas was still a dollar or 2. When the gas prices rises, alternatives start to become much more attractive (as well as driving less).



Antenna all the way. I bought a channel master 4228 and never looked back. All the local channels in HD. My friends came over after I did that and asked if it was satellite or cable... I said antenna and showed them. They almost fell over. I am north of Toronto and pick up Buffalo too.



I know Comcast's Xfinity service uses it's own private pipes, but so do all other streaming services. Comcast just happens to be an ISP with it's own streaming service.

Also, what Comcast has been doing is anti-competitive, as using competing services can hinder your ability to use the internet. Watching lots of HD movies on Netflix or YouTube can deny you access to online resources, services, and other stuff. Xfinity doesn't, and that allows Comcast to get away with offering consumers a bad service, and getting away with it.

We need to ban this sort of practice, because it can prevent people from using better and more affordable services. If Comcast wants more people to use Xfinity, they should have to make Xfinity better than Netflix, YouTube, and all those other competing services. Capitalism 101.


John Pombrio

I am sure there is a lot of back door dealings going on here. Since none of the ISPs is in good control of their rapidly changing business, they will instead try to warp things to maximize profits. The same goes with wireless providers.
I know for a fact that what the cable companies offer and what they are capable of are two completely different things. Until I cancelled my cable TV, my internet connection with my new Docsis 3.0 modem speedtested to 72Mbps. After cancelling my TV, my rate immediately dropped to 31Mbps and has stayed there. They simply throttled my premier internet package to their desired speed limit.
If they keep this up, local governments and other companies will step in and open the pipe back up, breaking these monopolies. Let's just hope it's soon enough.



From 2005 - 2008 we've had TWC triple play package. For the most part things have been fairly good except for the internet. On certain days my internet connection would be so slow I could swear that dial up was faster. Around 2007 our Co-op had an agreement with Verizon to install fiber optics throughout the building. Ever since FiOS came my TWC internet has been rock solid and very fast (10 Mbps). It's my belief that people in the Co-op switched over and alleviated the congestion on other TWC subscribers in the building.

I genuinely believe that the cable infrastructure is taxed and needs to be updated.



Forgot to add: Is it really the infrastructure, though? Time Warner realized they were losing the farm in your building and 'fixed' the non-existent problem so they wouldn't lose everyone. No competition meant they wouldn't care if your data had to be transmitted by smoke signal. Now they have to care.



Investing in infrastructure ruins profits. Besides, when is the last time Time Warner zipped through my neighborhood to run new cable? They were all over it 35 years ago, but since then? Just the usual patch and walk away routine.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.