Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has publicly come out swinging against Comcast, saying that its version of net neutrality and its data caps are horrible. Hastings takes issue with the fact that services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go on Xbox count against Comcast customers' broadband data caps, but Comcast's own video service on Xbox Live – Xfinity – doesn’t.
This means that users might be more inclined to watch video on the Comcast's service than on other services. It also means that Comcast lied about giving its video preferential treatment when it went before the FCC and the Justice department prior to its merger with NBC Universal. Groups like Public Knowledge warned that Comcast would do this, but the company promised that it would not give its video services preferential treatment over other video services.
"I spent the weekend enjoying four good internet video apps on my Xbox: Netflix, HBO GO, Xfinity, and Hulu," said Hastings. "When I watch video on my Xbox from three of these four apps, it counts against my Comcast internet cap. When I watch through Comcast’s Xfinity app, however, it does not count against my Comcast internet cap."
"For example, if I watch last night’s SNL episode on my Xbox through the Hulu app, it eats up about one gigabyte of my cap, but if I watch that same episode through the Xfinity Xbox app, it doesn’t use up my cap at all," he continued. "The same device, the same IP address, the same wifi, the same internet connection, but totally different cap treatment."
Hastings goes on to ask how this practice is somehow "neutral."
Comcast contends that the video it delivers through Xfinity doesn't count against broadband caps because it uses its own IP network, while video that comes from other services uses the public Internet.