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Comcast Hit With FCC Complaint Over Net Neutrality Violations (streamingmedia.com) 109

An anonymous reader writes: Non-profit public interest group Public Knowledge has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission regarding Comcast's Stream TV service. The complaint says that Comcast excludes Stream TV traffic from its own data cap, which is both a violation of its merger agreement and counter to the FCC's Open Internet rules. Stream TV is a $15 per month offering for Xfinity internet customers. It includes local channels, some basic cable, HBO, and the use of a cloud DVR. Most content is streamed over the home network. Public Knowledge's senior staff attorney, John Bergmayer says, "Comcast's actions could result in fewer online video choices for viewers nationwide, while increasing its dominance as a video gatekeeper. If its behavior persists, prices will go up, the number of choices will go down, creators will have a harder time reaching an audience, and viewers will have a harder time accessing diverse and independent programming."
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Comcast Hit With FCC Complaint Over Net Neutrality Violations

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  • Comcast Arrogance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hinesbrad ( 1923872 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @09:50PM (#51650797)
    When we moved from many, many ISPs to just a few Cable Providers in the 1990's we mistakenly made only a few large telco and cable companies responsible for the internet. This is by definition monopoly power. It disgusts me that we trust an organization with this level of evil with ensuring free and fair communication. Why do we put up with this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ummm. Even before, few companies owned the lines. The "others" you are thinking of leased the lines at cost. Most of the lines for dial-up (not really covered in this, as it was local calls instead of a dedicated data line) and dsl were owned by one of the baby Bells. Those were all bought up, and eventually things changed so that companies weren't able to get access to those lines easily enough.

      That is only for phone line services. For cable, they have never leased out their lines to a third party afaik.

      Sp

      • I congratulate you on a well thought out and articulate response. Can we really have any competition or improvement in this space under this model?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The only way would be to make a threat to their monopolies. Google planning to improve infrastructure in a city "without any correlation" has current local providers push thru a wave of upgrades. That is the most obvious response I can give. Some cities have tried, but were stalled or stopped by the state's legislation / governor.

          Frankly, aside some how pooling massive amounts of money to lawyer up and try to force the issue, I would think the only way to get more lines laid would be to some how shame the g

          • Re:Comcast Arrogance (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:42AM (#51651553) Homepage Journal

            Realistically, there's only one way to get competition in broadband, and that's with municipal fiber, owned by the community, maintained through fees charged to the ISPs that lease it to service homes and businesses. The profit motive gets removed from the picture when it comes to the actual line costs and maintenance, which means maintenance is likely to actually get done instead of getting deferred until things break, and the barrier to entry drops massively because companies don't have to maintain their own lines, which means more competitors providing service.

            • congratulations, you just created a municipal Ma Bell model

              • by Anonymous Coward

                congratulations, you just created a municipal Ma Bell model

                You need to get out more. The public utility model, for the delivery of services that carry a natural monopoly (electricity, water, sewer, broadband) are almost always more efficient operations than for-profit equivalents. The current level of suck in U.S. broadband should be more than ample evidence that the private sector is doing a piss-poor job of serving their customers, while doing a stellar job of serving their shareholders. The public utility model makes every customer a shareholder.

            • Re:Comcast Arrogance (Score:4, Informative)

              by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @12:25PM (#51653525)
              Erm, the municipalities are the ones who gave the cable and phone companies monopolies in the first place. Why are you trying to solve a government-created problem with more government control? Europe and Asia have better Internet than the U.S. not because of more government control, but because they were smart enough to regulate their Internet in a way which creates more competition.

              The only way to get competition is to prohibit the company who owns the pipe from selling what's sent through the pipes. This is already done for natural gas and electricity in in most areas. One company owns and maintains your gas lines, but you can choose from hundreds if not thousands of gas providers. The company who owns the pipes usually also sells gas, but only through a subsidiary (in my area, that's the difference between The Gas Company and Sempra Energy), and they're required to allow other gas providers to send gas through their pipes for the same transport fee they charge their subsidiary.

              Of course if you choose to buy gas from company ABC, the methane atoms that come into your house don't all come from company ABC. They all get mixed together in the pipeline. But as long as you use x cubic feet of gas, and company ABC inserts x cubit feet of gas into the system on your behalf, the numbers all balance out.

              We tried a similar thing with DSL for a while - forcing local phone companies to lease their lines to other DSL providers for the same price as their own DSL service. It worked on the pricing side. What sank it was (at least in my area) Verizon gave priority to fixing physical line problems when the line used their DSL service. Getting them to fix a line problem when using a 3rd party DSL service was like pulling teeth - they'd keep blaming the DSL company for the problem. In the face of that kind of malfeasance, the only solution is to entirely prohibit the company who owns the pipe from selling what's sent through the pipes.
              • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

                Erm, the municipalities are the ones who gave the cable and phone companies monopolies in the first place. Why are you trying to solve a government-created problem with more government control? Europe and Asia have better Internet than the U.S. not because of more government control, but because they were smart enough to regulate their Internet in a way which creates more competition.

                Europe and Asia mostly have government-owned wires. It is impossible to have functioning competition in wire providers. The

          • Need to convince people that what they have 256 Kbps or 1.5 Mbps isn't good enough.

            Says who? You? Who are you to tell others what they want or need?

      • AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are the Baby Bells that merged back together. There are still some Bells by name in the smaller local spaces but most of them have merged back together.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:26AM (#51651399) Homepage

      I think that as long as carriers aren't separated from content providers we will continue to see this problem.

      The only content a carrier shall provide is a customer support interface to allow them to file trouble tickets and manage their service.

    • Why do we put up with this?

      Because big players can make deals with local politicians and say something like "Give us a monopoly, and we'll give internet to a low cost housing unit (or something like that)" and the politician will agree. Because the next time they run they can say "Look at what I did! I enabled a program which provided internet to a low cost housing development." which is way easier than saying "I resisted breaking the principles of an open marketplace." The latter being rather fuzzy, especially in the minds of voters

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        This is yet another reason why all fiber pulls should be done by the government and owned by the community. The government will provide the physical connectivity to the low-cost housing units and high-end housing units alike, and then require all companies to offer service to anyone who is willing to pay, without prejudice. The entire reason the problem exists in the first place is because the governments are allowing for-profit businesses to deploy physical infrastructure in areas that are profitable, r

        • This is yet another reason why all fiber pulls should be done by the government and owned by the community.

          Except now you've just given the same people who have a monopoly on quite a few other things (regulations, law enforcement, etc.) a monopoly on communication. Considering that ability to communicate is one of the big checks and balances against the government in a successful democracy, I'm not sure that that's such a good idea. Having "community ownership" of it mitigates that slightly, but it's all too easy to manipulate a small community into making a series of decisions they probably wouldn't have made

          • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

            That's why you require the corporation, by law, to lease bare fibers to anyone who is willing to pay, without prejudice, and without any restrictions or limitations.

    • We put up with it because we have to. The people who make the rules are handed quite a bit of money to keep it this way.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Respectfully disagree. This mess lies squarely on the shoulders of the Bush administration and their push for classifying internet access as an information service around 2005. There was no reason for the FCC to rule as they did back then except for the overbearing influence of political agendas (i.e. campaign cash).

      Now the termites are firmly entrenched within the walls and it's going to be very difficult to get them out.

    • Re:Comcast Arrogance (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @10:14AM (#51652835)

      When we moved from many, many ISPs to just a few Cable Providers in the 1990's we mistakenly made only a few large telco and cable companies responsible for the internet. This is by definition monopoly power. It disgusts me that we trust an organization with this level of evil with ensuring free and fair communication.

      Why do we put up with this?

      It was no mistake. It was Lower Prices Everyday [TM].

      My ISP changed names about 4 times as it got bought by bigger and bigger companies. Because the bigger companies had more efficiencies of scale. They could buy goods and services in bigger volumes, thus achieving more profitability than their smaller rivals. They could afford to buy smaller rivals outright. And it's a positive feedback loop. The bigger you are, the bigger you can get - nothing succeeds like success.

      A lot of people who worship The Free Market as a god have this mental image that a totally free market can exist where all buyers and sellers have equal power.

      For the most part, you only get that with gross commodities and small startup costs. Dry cleaning establishments, independent eateries and so forth.

      A Capital Market is different. If you need to raise capital just to get started, you're already seeing market freedom drop out. Relatively few people are willing (or often even able) to risk substantial amounts of money to build a plant, tool it up, obtain raw materials, invest in warehousing and shipping infrastructure (even outsourced, there are expenses), and hire the various people to keep it all running. What retail customers end up with is typically an asymmetric take-it-or-leave-it set of choices from an extremely limited set of suppliers. But Please Stay on the Line, Your Call is very important to us!

      Granted, an ISP isn't exactly your classical Dark Satanic Mill. My original ISP was a guy who'd installed some surplus racks in a spare bedroom and operated over dialup POTS. His successors probably spend about half as much for 10 times as much capacity because they have Economies of Scale. He probably wouldn't even be able to get a foot in the door these days.

      And that's not even counting the infamous Last Mile where the fewer the number of players digging up the neighborhood the better.

  • As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.
    • As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.You have a basic misunderstanding of "Net Nutrality".

    • by silas_moeckel ( 234313 ) <silas&dsminc-corp,com> on Sunday March 06, 2016 @10:02PM (#51650871) Homepage

      Sure till its effectivly a walled garden. This es exactly what net neutrality has to protect us from. Then its the refusal to get enough bandwidth to any but preferred sites.

      • Then its the refusal to get enough bandwidth to any but preferred sites.

        Once you go from 'sites wholly owned by the ISP' to 'preferred sites' it's breaking Net Neutrality.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:52AM (#51651595) Homepage Journal

          No, it should include sites wholly owned by the ISP, too. There's no reason Comcast's video-on-demand service should get preferential treatment over Netflix. There's no reason Comcast's own VoIP service should get preferential treatment over Skype. The main point of Net Neutrality was precisely to prevent first-party services by monopoly ISPs from engaging in unfair competition against third-party services. ISPs favoring one third-party service in exchange for monetary compensation has always been of secondary concern.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            on that same note, netflix should not be charged by comcast for traffic when comcast's own streaming service gets by a) without such charges (nor could you even calculate such a thing as comcast would simply be paying comcast), b) gets exempted from caps, and c) comcast users are already paying for that bandwidth; or even for simply placing a caching server on comcast's network to significantly reduce comcat's own upstream bandwidth consumption... comcast is the one that should be paying netflix for that, n

          • There's no reason Comcast's video-on-demand service should get preferential treatment over Netflix.

            The reason would be peering agreements. If you've found a way to keep costs down by keeping everything in network, channeling data internetwork could cost you more.

        • If you let them skip NN for wholly owned they will vertically integrate and now you choice in ISP is you choice in streaming media, voip, gaming, etc etc. I have no issue with them pushing their own stuff it's cheaper for them and if the price/performance works out great. The caveat is they have to be held to task around their peering and transit connections insuring they are not over capacity etc. Oddly if there are still ever increasing penalties for an oversubscribed link it will get fixed quickly.

    • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @10:06PM (#51650879)

      ... it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP....

      That's unfair advantage. Especially when companies like Netflix are paying Comcast to get on Comcast's network.

    • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @10:08PM (#51650887) Homepage

      As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.

      Bzzzzt. Wrong. Sorry. That's not the correct answer. This is almost exactly the same thing as that offer from Sprint to allow streaming videos from certain providers not to count against data usage. This is precisely what net neutrality is meant to guard against.. preferential treatment of any data. They need to uncap it all, or it all counts against cap.

      • As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.

        Bzzzzt. Wrong. Sorry. That's not the correct answer. This is almost exactly the same thing as that offer from Sprint to allow streaming videos from certain providers not to count against data usage. This is precisely what net neutrality is meant to guard against.. preferential treatment of any data. They need to uncap it all, or it all counts against cap.

        Pretty sure you should have said T-Mobile, not Sprint.

        • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
          Sprint did it first, T-Mobile followed. The other providers have toyed with it in markets across the country for the last few years.
      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        This is almost exactly the same thing as that offer from Sprint to allow streaming videos from certain providers

        Was this case involving "certain providers" delivering content over the Internet (between AS's), or was it delivering content from within the private network of the carrier?

      • This is almost exactly the same thing as that offer from Sprint to allow streaming videos from certain providers not to count against data usage.

        But almost exactly, and exactly are not the same. It's possible to draw lines. If Sprint (or potentially T-Mobile) owns the servers/service then I would say it's all in their network and fair game. But if they don't own whomever created/licensed the content, and the source of the bytes is coming from out of network, then that's a plan which does break net neutrality.

        • This is almost exactly the same thing as that offer from Sprint to allow streaming videos from certain providers not to count against data usage.

          But almost exactly, and exactly are not the same. It's possible to draw lines. If Sprint (or potentially T-Mobile) owns the servers/service then I would say it's all in their network and fair game. But if they don't own whomever created/licensed the content, and the source of the bytes is coming from out of network, then that's a plan which does break net neutrality.

          BZZZZZZTTTT! Even more wrong. This is precisely the kind of behavior we DO NOT WANT, ESPECIALLY this. NN is there to prevent this. We do NOT want content provider/internet provider conglomerates giving preferential treatment to data sourced on their own network. I don't. It gives a disadvantage to outside content providers. This is golden breakage of NN. It's also at the same time the best case for saying NN is bad. "omigosh but it's our own intranet!" No wrong, because you are competing with the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Except that, as the summary states, this goes against their agreement with the FCC for the approval of the merger with Time Warner. They just figured: "we can do whatever we want, who are you going to run to?"

    • As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.

      That would almost make sense if they similarly exempted traffic from any server co-located in their data centers, like the free CDN solution Netflix offers ISPs to reduce congestion on their external links. Except they don't do that, they charge Netflix AND count it against the cap.

      I don't think you understand net neutrality, or how ridiculous Comcast is.

    • As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.

      Putting caps on competing services is slowing it down.

      • Putting caps on competing services is slowing it down.

        I'm pretty sure there's a difference between not offering anymore service, vs. slowing service down.

        • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:34AM (#51651423)

          Of course there isn't - they're slowing the speed of the other services to 100GB per month, while not similarly slowing the speed of their own service.

          The fact that "speed" is not measured across a second, but a month in this instance is irrelevant, it's still quantity of data per fixed amount of time.

        • I'm pretty sure there's a difference between not offering anymore service, vs. slowing service down.

          No, there isn't. Preference of one service over another is the opposite of neutral.

    • Yeah, I'd have no problem with data caps either, if data caps were headgear with memory space. As opposed to limits that result in slower connection, no connection, or additional fees.

    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:32AM (#51651415)

      If there are caps on their servers, but not on yours, then their servers are by definition slowed down. They can transfer a limited amount of data in a fixed set of time, yours can transfer an unlimited amount in the same time. Thus, theirs are slowed.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      It will still break the NN since you will have to pay to get the content from other sites but not from the ISP, it doesn't matter if the cap is bandwidth or monetary, it's still not neutral.

      Ban the ISPs from providing any content except for providing a customer relation UI.

    • -- As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive, it seams reasonable to me to put caps on
      -- out of network usage, but no caps on usage from servers which are wholly owned by the ISP.

      So, I pay my ISP to connect me to the internet, their "Internet Service". I don't understand why it's OK to you to have to pay for that same connection/service multiple times, regardless of if it's slowed down, let run at-speed, or whatever. It's not OK to me to be multiple-charged by my "

    • "As long as competitor content isn't slowed down to make your content more attractive"

      Except this is the actual complaint.

  • Comcast is like a Succubus. Or a crack dealer. You start out with a reasonable rate, and six months later, you look at your bill for $200 and wonder how you got here for a few channels and Internet. Comcast thinks that because they have essentially a monopoly (and why was it not OK for Microsoft, but it's OK for Comcast), that they can continue to squeeze people. Unfortunately, they are probably right.

  • 'Comcast's actions could result in fewer online video choices for viewers nationwide, while increasing its dominance as a video gatekeeper," Bergmayer says. "If its behavior persists, prices will go up, the number of choices will go down, creators will have a harder time reaching an audience, and viewers will have a harder time accessing diverse and independent programming.' - Note active voice "Comcast's response is that Stream TV doesn't go over the internet, but is delivered over the same closed path as its cable streams, and so is exempt from the rules. It calls Stream TV a cable service, not an OTT service." - Note passive voice
    • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @10:08PM (#51650891)

      ...Note active voice "Comcast's response is that Stream TV doesn't go over the internet, but is delivered over the same closed path as its cable streams...

      That's a diversion. It's the same coax going into the house, it's the same overall bandwidth on that coax. Comcast is playing with words.

      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        That's a diversion. It's the same coax going into the house, it's the same overall bandwidth on that coax. Comcast is playing with words.

        If it doesn't leave their AS, is it really "Internet"?

        Remember, the FCC issued an "Open Internet Order", not an "Open Private Network Order".

        (Maybe you have to get really specific and the service has to stay on the same layer 2 LAN? :)

        • If it doesn't leave their AS, is it really "Internet"?

          Yes, absolutely. An ASN is NOT required to interconnect private networks.

          Remember, the FCC issued an "Open Internet Order", not an "Open Private Network Order".

          The Internet is an interconnected global federation of public and private networks. Lets break down the particulars of stream service using this definition.

          "Interconnected networks":
          Yes - Comcast is interconnecting with customers network. Two separate networks. Both privately owned and managed by respective parties.

          Global federation - Yes, from same network address customer uses to access stream they can access any peer in the glob

          • Global federation - Yes, from same network address customer uses to access stream they can access any peer in the global federation.

            If they use NAT, that might not be true because they will have internal and external addresses. Also, the SERVER isn't globally federated (because you can't access it from another ISP.)

            • If they use NAT, that might not be true because they will have internal and external addresses

              Customers public IP address is used the whole way.

              Also, the SERVER isn't globally federated (because you can't access it from another ISP.)

              Customer is accessing server from the Internet thus stream is delivered over the Internet. Caps apply to user not server.

              • Also, the SERVER isn't globally federated (because you can't access it from another ISP

                Customer is accessing server from the Internet thus stream is delivered over the Internet.

                The customer isn't accessing the server from the Internet. The server and the customer are on the same WAN.

                • The customer isn't accessing the server from the Internet.

                  What makes you say that?

                  The customer has an Internet IP and is using it to communicate with another private Internet network.

                  Is there some kind of distance requirement how many networks you have to transition before it is considered the Internet? If so can you point me to that definition?

                  The server and the customer are on the same WAN.

                  The customers network is a LAN which interconnects with Comcast's network just like every other node on the Internet interconnects with each other... One gigantic WAN.

                  • Is there some kind of distance requirement how many networks you have to transition before it is considered the Internet? If so can you point me to that definition?...

                    The customers network is a LAN which interconnects with Comcast's network just like every other node on the Internet interconnects with each other... One gigantic WAN.

                    No. The Internet is a series of interconnected networks. It isn't centrally managed. A WAN is a single network (that is centrally managed) with nodes in multiple geographic locations. (A LAN is a single network (centrally managed) with nodes in a single geographic location.)

                    Comcast's WAN includes connections to customer LANs using cable modems. Comcast manages the cable modems, even though they are located at the customer site. (Even in cases where the customer OWNS the cable modem, only Comcast and not t

      • That's a diversion. It's the same coax going into the house, it's the same overall bandwidth on that coax. Comcast is playing with words.

        That is incorrect; you don't understand how coax works. It is the same coax cable, but not the same bandwidth. Video is delivered on a separate spectrum in coax cable. [gigaom.com] Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) is used to transmit "classic" cable video and consumes spectrum. Most likely Comcast is reclaiming spectrum and using that to stream tv. Separate bandwidth, just as HAM radio and 4g cell networks consumer separate bandwidth.

        They also are likely sourcing the content closer to the end user so they don't hav

    • so will they force you to rent software / hardware to view it change outlet fees per system like they do on there cable tv system?

    • "Comcast's response is that Stream TV doesn't go over the internet, but is delivered over the same closed path as its cable streams, and so is exempt from the rules. It calls Stream TV a cable service, not an OTT service." - Note passive voice

      Ugh, so flagrant violation of NN it's sickening. And defending it by saying 'omigosh, its OUR OWN intranet!' It's a good defense, and precisely why content providers need to be separated from internet providers, or be forced to play by NN rules. This is exactly what NN exists to prevent. Almost feels like Comcast looked at pro-NN discussion and decided to pick the most blatant violation they could find and do it.

      Does rather feel like a gauntlet being thrown down at the FCC, "We're violating NN rules. W

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Ugh, so flagrant violation of NN it's sickening. And defending it by saying 'omigosh, its OUR OWN intranet!' It's a good defense, and precisely why content providers need to be separated from internet providers, or be forced to play by NN rules. This is exactly what NN exists to prevent. Almost feels like Comcast looked at pro-NN discussion and decided to pick the most blatant violation they could find and do it.

        Comcast has always pulled this shady crap [gigaom.com]. They make sure first-party services are unaffected b

    • I don't think you understand what active and passive voice are. (Hint: both statements are active voice. "To respond," "to travel," and "to say" are active verbs.) Also, Comcast isn't quoted directly; they are paraphrased. Thus, you can't split hairs about the active voice/passive voice of the statement you're reading because it's not what Comcast actually said.
  • I am not familiar with this product. Could someone please explain the details so that I may decide for myself whether this is an internet service -- should be common carrier -- or whether it is an other type of services -- that should be exempt from common carrier.

    • Comcast's argument is that this comes from a server on Comcast's network. It's not on the public Internet (because you can't get to the server if you're on another ISP.) Once you travel outside Comcast's network, then you're on the Internet.
      • Is this a website you access using your computer? Are there any types of MAC address / Comcast customer login restrictions? Do you view it from your TV / Xfinity set-top box?

      • Once you travel outside Comcast's network, then you're on the Internet.

        Customer network is outside Comcast network.

        • Once you travel outside Comcast's network, then you're on the Internet.

          Customer network is outside Comcast network.

          Right. But the customer network isn't the Internet either. Dumbass.

          To get to the Internet, the customer goes to Comcast's network, which forwards them to the Internet. To get to this service, the customer goes to Comcast's network, which forwards them to a different server on Comcast's network. It doesn't forward them to the Internet because the server that streams this stuff isn't on the Internet.

          • Right. But the customer network isn't the Internet either. Dumbass.

            The Internet is nothing more aggregate of all networks in the global federation.

            The customer network is *part* of the Internet just the same as AS15169 is *part* of the Internet.

            To get to the Internet, the customer goes to Comcast's network, which forwards them to the Internet

            Comcast's network is part of the Internet. The customers network is part of the Internet. Anything Comcast forwards packets to is part of the Internet. Every public or private network in the federation is part of the Internet.

            If I connect to my neighbor down the street using their public IP who also happen to have Comcast I am us

      • So a peer connection to a friend also on Comcast in the same area, wouldn't shouldn't use any data as well, because it is not internet, it is only on the LAN?
        People start mirroring ad nausea, and see what Comcast argues about data utilization.

  • Albeit I've only read a few articles regarding Net Neutrality violations that have lead to nowhere and then had my own experience, I've come to the conclusion Net Neutrality as passed by the FCC is fucking lip service. It doesn't mean shit to service providers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wireline Isp's that have data caps are stealing from their customers. Data is cheap and plentiful for an ISP.

    Quick math:

    Fact: Most cable companies can run the cable and support the network connectivity for about $15 / month / connection.
    Fact: Quick price grab of commercial IP transit. $2600 for 10Gbps. this reduces down to $26 per month for 100Mbps transit.
    Fact: Lets pretend the cap is 100TB of data. This is approx 10Mbps at 95th% usage. This costs $2.60 per month in transit costs.
    Fact: Tier 1 pr

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @12:44PM (#51653663)
    Quick tip for those trying to argue against this. You can't simply argue "Net neutrality good!" There's a real lowered economic cost with the way Comcast delivers these services - they locally host the servers which contain the streaming data, so the data doesn't have to get to them over the Internet. Consequently it doesn't cost them any bandwidth so they can provide it to you at lower cost. And since the data never has to travel over the Internet to get to them, net neutrality doesn't really apply.

    The way you have to argue against this is that they're mingling the accounting between two different operations. Unless they can prove the service costs them exactly $15/mo per user or less (minus their normal profit margin), they're essentially taking money from other cable subscribers to subsidize this service. That should be pretty easy to prove given that HBO Now just by itself is $15/mo. Thus they're pricing it below their own cost, which given the local monopoly they hold is illegal. Add in the fact that they initially refused to accept the local servers Netflix offered to them for free precisely to eliminate the bandwidth charges, and you have a slam dunk of an anti-trust case.

    Fundamentally, the problem is that the company which owns the pipes is also selling stuff transported through those pipes. That gives them an unfair advantage over competing companies trying to sell stuff transported through their pipes. The solution is to prohibit the company who owns the pipes from selling anything which is sent through it. Break the company up into two separate entities - a pipe maintenance company and a pipe content company.
    • Quick tip for those trying to argue against this. You can't simply argue "Net neutrality good!" There's a real lowered economic cost with the way Comcast delivers these services - they locally host the servers which contain the streaming data, so the data doesn't have to get to them over the Internet. Consequently it doesn't cost them any bandwidth so they can provide it to you at lower cost. And since the data never has to travel over the Internet to get to them, net neutrality doesn't really apply.

      Quick tip for those arguing on economic grounds. There is a real economic cost to send a packet across town vs across continents. We should all pay more for packets sent "long distance" to other countries, right?

      I can't wait for the Internet peering "channel" lineups...

      Basic Internet
      - Cogent
      - HE
      - NTT
      - AT&T
      - XO

      Expanded Basic Internet (Includes all basic "channels")
      - Tata
      - Orange
      - DT
      - PCCW
      - Vodafone

      Given falling cost of high density links and insanity in the R&D pipe I would even challenge the premis

    • Consequently it doesn't cost them any bandwidth so they can provide it to you at lower cost.

      Comcast leave money on the table? LOL they spend all of this time decoupling and inventing fees such as broadcast TV fee's, HD technology fees, sports fees, insane rental fees all as separate line items not subject to contract terms absent from advertised costs and you think the armies of Comcast marketing goons are going to give something away? Wouldn't they have done this already with co-located CDN infrastructure? No of course not.

      And since the data never has to travel over the Internet to get to them, net neutrality doesn't really apply.

      No. The customer network is just a part of the Internet as any other n

    • Another quick tip for those trying to argue on economic grounds: costs are not prices.

  • Isn't T-Mobile Binge On also doing the same thing - http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/... [t-mobile.com]

    Why are they allowed to do it?

You had mail. Paul read it, so ask him what it said.

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