Skip to comments.Is Cable Trying to Squash Netflix?
Posted on 06/16/2012 5:31:05 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
The Justice Department has begun an investigation into whether Comcast and other cable operators are purposely and illegally trying to squash competition from rival streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
That's according to articles by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.
The Justice Department won't comment on the reports, but the newspaper say the department is probing whether the cable ops are charging extra if their Internet subscribers exceed their data caps in using the rival streamers. Justice investigators are also examining if the cable operators are giving preferential treatment to their own streaming services by not charging extra for them.
The investigation seems to have been triggered by complains from Netflix that Comcast plans to charge subscribers extra if they exceed their data caps when using Netflix on the Xbox 360. However, Comcast has said that subscribers who use Comcast's Xfinity VOD service on the Xbox will not have their data caps affected.
Swanni Sez: Analysis: The Justice Department opens investigations all the time without ever even releasing a report, not to mention filing charges. This could be one of those cases. Comcast's data cap policy appears to be one-sided, but not necessarily illegal or anti-competitive.
But by launching the probe, the Justice Department may be sending a message to cable operators that they better be cautious in how they govern Internet use for streaming and related services. If Comcast or any other cable operator decides to be more aggressive in trying to squeeze the competition, it could trigger a more serious probe and possible criminal and civil charges.
With streaming still in its infancy, the Justice Department wants to ensure that competition flourishes and consumers can use a variety of services without being gouged by their Internet service providers.
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Did Tucker get prevented from building cars?
My question: Does it really cost Comcast for how many gigs I use?
Yes, but not as much as they claim. When their customers use more bandwith ISPs have to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate it.
Since Comcast has a competing product, the only cost is opportunity cost.
Between Netflix and the ocasional pay-movie on Amazon... I’m not about go anywhere near some pricey HBO, Cinemax, etc. subscription. Seems like we’re getting closer to just buying access (i.e. internet connection) and getting the a la carte content (vs. tons of channels I could totally care less about).
There’s very few movies worth paying for these days anyway, most are liberal propaganda, or horny teeny bopper films...so this is mostly irrelevant to me.
Yes it does. I grew tired of having to pay for full service just to watch the half dozen or so channels that I enjoy. It was especially aggravating to be forced to buy a separate package to watch, say, the Military Channel, a separate package for National Geographic and so on. Customers have been demanding a la carte since the beginning of cable and the cable companies have steadfastly refused to offer this. Now they're paying for this refusal.
While Netflix is still in it's infancy, I've gotten very used to be able to select from a wide range of content and watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it.
Reconfigured the cable package 3 months ago. Well, we dropped the cable TV and havent looked back. Whats to miss?
Bumped up the internet speed and we watch what we want, when we want. It only took about 30 minutes to start not missing all the friggin’ commercials. and we havent even caught up with half the tv shows that we missed along the way. Now I “need” to upgrade the computer so I can get the TV to stream from the CPU and....(they get their $$ out of you one way or another, I guess.)
But I havent been warned about my 4 hour erections being a medical emergency in so long Im beginning to think it may have never been a problem in the first place.
Well - DUH! Comcast is definitely doing this. It isn’t even a “hidden” thing. You have a cap that you exceed they charge you. They DO NOT charge you for using their Xfinity streaming product.
There - what more “proof” do you need?
Of course not, silly. There's no marginal cost to serve the next customer. All the routers, switches, HFC equipment, headends, STBs, servers, building space, power, space conditioning, service trucks, help desk personnel, techs, etc are all free.
Cable TV is the next tech dinosaur.
They are getting squeezed out by over the air HD TV on one side (free, and a lot more channels than the past—we’ve go 50 over the air channels in our area) and internet view on demand video on the other side (free or cheap depending on the service).
25 years from now, the idea of a cable provider that has 200 that shows programs on their schedule (not yours) will be as strange to teenagers as only having 3 over the air TV channels (ABC, NBC, & CBS) seems to teenagers today.
If you want to see how over the air HD TV is killing cable, go to zap2it.com, put in your zip code, and choose broadcast (antenna). You’ll be pretty stunned just how many broadcast stations there are. And, over the air HD is as good or better than any cable HD.
Yes, if they have to put in more capacity.
Think of your internet service like a road. Whether 1, 5, 10, or 20 cars are on a two lane road doesn’t make much difference. But, at some point you get so many cars on the road that they only way to maintain the speed is to add another lane.
With more and more people using streaming internet services, internet provides have had to expand their network to handle the extra demand.
I don’t have a problem with my internet provider charging me more for heavier usage. I do have a problem with them charging some people extra, but not others.
We recently subscribed to Netflix. Just yesterday the scroll featured several gay movies. So cable won’t have to kill Netflix. We will kill it off our own TV. We will not support any media pushing the Marxist agenda.
Comcast among others have also been proven to be throttling customers who use other streaming products like Netflix.
This is from the comcast forums:
06-30-2011 04:20 PM
Comcast ~is~ definitively throttling your data download speeds whenever you go to Netflix. I’d been fighting Comcast for 6 months on speed issues, and have written two in-depths analysis on the problem.
If you want to see for yourself (and I recommend you try this test yourself, just for your own peace of mind that you are not crazy!), read this article:
This article is a follow-up to an earlier analysis showing how Comcast support personnel will deliberately have users test their download speed using a ~Comcast~ speed test (because Comcast does not throttle their own servers!) and simply pass off the problem as a slow computer or “network problems” with the sites you are visiting.
As you can see from the Netflix before and after tests... This is all complete BS: you cannot deny that throttling is happening and it is specifically aimed at a competing streaming video provider.
You are paying for bandwidth you are not really getting.
See the following for the above: http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Connectivity-and-Modem-Help/Re-Throttling-down-Netflix/td-p/853513
That is of course from a 2011 thread, but you can find numerous other fora with the same type of thread/complaint.
I have heard some people claim they throttle to the extent of not having Comcast’s digital telephone service while streaming.
I pay Comcast $60 a month to use their internet service, five times more than I was paying a decade ago. At this price, they should be able to find a way to pay for the infrastructure.
Comcast owns both parties. That’s why they get away with being a monopoly.
Just delete the movies you don’t want. After awhile, you will find suggestions based on what you actually watch. Look on your Netflix website and you will find a *remove* button under every offering. Down rate anything offensive and those sorts of choices will vanish from your screen.
I don’t understand a total boycott because a vendor offers choices you dislike. They are _choices_. Netflix is just a vendor. They offer a range of products trying to draw consumers with a variety of tastes. There are plenty of offerings that are not Marxist or any more agenda driven than any other entertainment venue, from books to films.
If only cable had offered ala carte programming, priced as low as Netflix and w/o commercials, we would not have left. We sub to GBTV for The Real News. I rarely watch Glenn’s TV show, but then, when I have an afternoon to kill, I will surf through a week’s worth of his show, watching what I want and ignoring the rest. So convenient and w/the watch later option, I don’t need a DVR.
Streaming services will utterly kill cable because it is choice-driven. I have discovered that re-runs of network TV shows that are now offered on cable were cut for commercials. Watching them on Netflix, the continuity now makes sense. The same is true of some movies. If we want to watch several episodes of something at one sitting, we are thrilled to not have to pay $40 for a set of DVDs.
five times more than I was paying a decade ago.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
I realize I am being rhetorical here, but remember that union tech and his/her little playmates are also getting 5 times what they were, plus all the other little add ons.
“They” raise taxes so your wife has to work to pay them so they can get more revenue and you in turn have to hire baby sitter(s) so you can work which (these days) generates more tax revenue...
I remember years back (early 70’s or so) when they first proposed taxing the ‘silent community’ - lawn mowers, baby sitters, and the other little handyman type jobs that slipped through the cracks.
Believed the FIRST step was ‘offering’ a tax credit if you admitted to using these services.
My wife started to jump all over it and I advised her not to as once ‘they’ found out who your baby sitter was, they would go after her for taxes and as a result the rates would go up.
Hell, she didn’t listen but I was on the right track - look at today, baby sitters are ‘out’ but govt authorized/controlled ‘day care centers’ are alive and well.
Plus using the tax money to construct on job site day care centers, forcing people to work so they could afford the centers plus ...... a very, very vicious cycle with no end, other than to stop and start over again.
Like the saying was/is
If you think health care is expensive now, just wait till it is FREE.
Look into what COMCAST calls “XFINITY”.
That is one conspiracy.
COMCAST XFINITY = wireless COMCAST “services” = control over streaming = crushing of NETFLIX
They do not need more capacity. We need cable a-la-carte program selection instead of all channels bundled.
You have good points. I had not studied the operation enough to understand the process you describe. I am just so sick of having stuff shoved at me. That was my only complaint with Netflix. I like non-commercials and the continuity of episodes. I’ll give it another look. Thanks.
At first I was disappointed as their channel selection, outside of Netflix and HULU, seemed pretty lame. I had already milked Netflix of all their golden oldeies and see nothing interesting in the new releases. HULU is mostly old sitcoms that I never watched anyway.
Somewhere I found THIS SITE , which changed my perspective. LOTS of goodies - foreign news channels for one and I am still exploring. As with anything else, lots of dreck out there also, but you have the ability of saying "no thanks".
I wonder will such a suit even have meaning within ten years. Thanks to the rollout of IPv6 and superfast broadband (over 100 megabits per second download speeds), pretty soon even your cable channels will be nothing more than TV quality streaming videos, each sent from its own unique IPv6 address.
Apple will soon transform the home entertainment industy the same way they did with the music industry (iTunes, iPad) and the cellphone industry (iPhone).
Not saying that's a bad thing. Innovation is good. The cable industry has been stagnant for a long time and their overall content gets worse and worse. I'm sick of supporting MSNBC, CNN, MTV and all those godawful cooking shows with my monthly cable bill. I only want to support programming that I actually watch. We need a new business model and a la carte is the way to go.
It is a shame what Comcast is doing. but netflix has its own problem. read a lot of complaints last year when the service increased fees. Most of them were about the quality of the service and justifying the increase with out improving the service. There are alternatives though. Like RedBox and Amazon pipe. I am sure the Comcast thing affects them too.
Meanwhile the data caps thing is very controversial. Time Warner’s roadrunner had to stop a test of it in 2009 after negative feedback. I’m on a service with data caps but as you yet have not gone over the monthly limit. So far things are working out well for me. It is a high enough limit that I don’t do enough to go over.
Google is a rival of Apple these days after a public betrayal. Google is cooking up a few things. They have just entered the market of offering internet, tv and phone. But the talk about them creating new streaming channels was all hot air from what I found so far. I thought they were really going to roll out with free online channels. But they were wrong. It seems to be more like youtube “channels” or rather accounts with video clips. Not what I wanted. Unless I am confusing things.
I left the service Clear for AT&T after they began throttling my usage and slowing down video streams and downloads. Clear even got sued.
Good point. And all those things cost Comcast twice or thrice as much as they would cost you if you went out to buy them!
Yes. You share bandwidth with other subscribers. Assumption is each will use maybe a half dozen gigs per month. Then you come along and soak up a hundred times that. Yeah, upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate you is going to cost them.
I dont think in the terms of channels. I think of in terms of shows.
Channels are a waste of time, carry vulgarity and do not have room in my house.
Shows that I choose, OTOH, they are welcome.
Quest where I live is all switched digital now, that basically makes all channels demand channels I guess. With UnDecillion unique ip addresses anything that plugs in can have one. Big Brother is much more perverse than Orwell could have imagined.