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Summary:

While on the conference call to announce the TV Everywhere initiative being promoted by Time Warner and Comcast, I asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts if the content being streamed as part of this new effort would be free from the 250GB-a-month bandwidth quota his company has […]

While on the conference call to announce the TV Everywhere initiative being promoted by Time Warner and Comcast, I asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts if the content being streamed as part of this new effort would be free from the 250GB-a-month bandwidth quota his company has started imposing on this customers.

His answer: No. The streaming bandwidth consumed when watching videos using the TV everywhere system. would be counted towards the total monthly bandwidth usage quota. He said (and I paraphrase) that since You’re not going to get close enough to hitting the monthly quota anyway, he said, so why worry? We (and many of our readers) disagree. We feel that while 250GB might look very generous today, it isn’t much when you start streaming or downloading HD-quality video.

I think it’s also disingenuous for the company to promote the usage of web-based video (and thus the consumption of more bandwidth) while imposing a meter on the bandwidth and at the same time charging for the same video (as cable subscription.) Now that’s some double-dipping, baby!

  1. So this would be network-neutral streaming? Interesting. I just wish they had an unlimited offer above the cap for power users.

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  2. Stacey Higginbotham Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Om, if they excluded it from the bandwidth cap, the FCC might come down on them for violating net neutrality by giving their service a competitive advantage over alternative online TV offerings. Or that’s the likely rationale from Comcast. Plus, this may be a good thing since they have said that as usage rates rise, the cap will rise.

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    1. One of the many reasons why the advocates for supposed “network neutrality” are totally wrong-headed.

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      1. How is this an argument against net neutrality? If anything, it’s an argument against bandwidth caps …

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  3. [...] asked a good question about whether or not this video consumption online would count towards Comcast’s bandwidth [...]

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  4. Your RSS (in Google Reader) and your article do not line up in a very important way… the response that Brian gave is shown as “yes” in Google Reader and “no” in your article. Big difference, I imagine you would agree.

    Here is what your RSS summary says in GR:

    “While on the conference call to announce the TV Everywhere initiative being promoted by Time Warner and Comcast, I asked Comcast CEO Brian Roberts if the content streamed as part of this new effort will be free from bandwidth quota his company has started imposing on this customers. His answer: yes. He explained…”

    Note that this is identical in every way EXCEPT the one that really tells us what Comcast’s feelings are on this. Although we can infer from the rest of the article that the answer was “yes,” it also makes me wonder whether you heard what you thought you heard.

    Thanks for the clarification for one of many big fans of your blog.

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    1. Chris,

      I tweaked the post to be clear and concise, and hence you might be feeling the confusion. To clarify, the answer is yes: the streaming bandwidth consumed when watching videos using TV everywhere would be counted towards the total monthly bandwidth usage quota.

      Hope that clarifies it.

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  5. yeah that is true Stacey but it is precisely what they want to do — circumvent network neutrality.

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  6. Comcast loves to do what they can to charge you more. It’s a shame they’re the only game in town around here when it comes to broadband internet. The way they do business irks the heck out of me.

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  7. Perhaps I am being a bit Pollyanna about the whole thing, but Comcast has repeatedly stated they are really only looking to catch the < 0.5% of the customer base that use substantially more bandwidth than the average user. I suspect as more and more people actually watch streaming media online (be it from a Comcast-authorized source or otherwise), driving the average usage numbers up, we'll start Comcast adjust this "cap" (which is more of a guideline anyway) upward.

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  8. Comcast has absolutely NO incentive or interest in raising caps when doing so would LOWER revenue.

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  9. @Chuck.

    yeah, because of a LACK OF COMPETITION.

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  10. Umm…this is a good thing in a weird way. It’d be a very very bad sign if Comcast’s own streams were excluded from the cap, which meant that they would most _certainly_ lower or freeze the cap where it is. At least now, they have to raise the cap over time to match their own video customers’ consumption pattern.

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