Sony Holding Off on Streaming Video Services Because of Comcast Data Caps

Sony said earlier this week that it is holding off on launching a video service online because of Comcast's data capping policies and its preferential treatment to its own video services. Sony executive Michael Aragon told Variety on Monday that Comcast's discriminatory data caps are giving the company concerns about launching an Internet video service that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast's video service would be exempt from the 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap subscribers have to adhere to.

Sony went on to say that it was "waiting on clarity" from regulators on whether they would allow Comcast to exempt its own video services from broadband caps. Netflix complained about this very practice last month, and opponents of the Comcast NBC Universal merger predicted that – if given the chance – Comcast would give its video content priority over other video streaming traffic.

"These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth," said Aragon. "If they start capping things, it gets difficult."

Comcast holds more than 20 percent of the residential broadband market, which is why so many video streaming and entertainment services are peeved that they are giving special treatment to their own services. But what everyone is really wondering is why the FCC seems to be ignoring what Comcast is doing..

Source: Ars Technica

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  1. 0
    Craig R. says:

    "If people don't like the service enough they will switch to a different ISP or demand better service."

    Been demanding better service for years. And yep, now I've got data caps to show for it.

    As for different ISPs, you must've been living in a cave the last decade if you think that many people have real choices. Most areas are duopolies, and that's if you're lucky.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Well, it is debatable how 'internal' their network is.  Since it connects the public to other public over a public network, it could be argued that it is not an internal issue.  It should also be noted that this same argument failed when voice telecom companies tried it.

    Secondly, at this point, most people have no choice in ISP.  Since the rules that used to decouple the line provider from ISP were removed (only effected DSL anyway), you are stuck with whoever has physically run lines in your area, which for most people is only one company.

  3. 0
    Sleaker says:

    Like I said in the previous topic that talked about this: The reason the FCC wont tackle this issue is because comcast is serving it's customers data over it's INTERNAL network, just as if the company is sending digital data for a TV Show.  The data might be encoded differently, but the data transfer still only affects their internal network, and is handled similarly.  The only differences are the devices that can decode the data.

    The issue with comcast that needs to be tackled is bandwidth limitations, not whether or not the company can push data to a client that doesn't count against their customers limit.  Example:  No one complains about T-Mobiles '5' family/friend numbers that you can call to for free without using your minutes.  Similarly, no one complains about Verizons in-network calling that does not count against your limits..  

    These all use data in a similar fashion, shouldn't these be restricted too if you want to restrict comcasts ability to send data to it's customers that doesn't go against their total bandwidth limit? 


    In the end, I think this is a non-issue.  If people don't like the service enough they will switch to a different ISP or demand better service.  I have a business account so I'm uncapped, I pay relatively the same amount as a residential customer, get better service (same day often), and more features.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I don't know, seems to be working pretty well considering they got Sony to rethink their streeming service

    Comcast's caps were never about protecting their network.. they were all about stopping internet video services from competing with thier cable packages.

  5. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Data capping is senseless for Comcast right now anyway. They are 100% DOCSIS 3.0 deployed right now. There is little to no congestion in the nodes anymore. Save the traffic shaping money and use it to spend on legal fees for suing the people you know and can confirm are violating copyright and/or running a kiddie porn ring on their network.

    Leave you paying customers and the services those paying customers want to use alone.

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