Updated: Shaw, a Canadian ISP that has a broadband cap of
250 GB per month750 GB for its fastest tier, said this week that its online video service would be exempt from data caps. It also offers an unlimited plan as well.Update: Shaw clarified its position on this, releasing a statement that said customers streaming the content over their set-top boxes would not have their content count against caps, but those using tablets or getting the content via the web would see the content count against its data caps. (Ed. note: original story follows)
Such a move places Shaw’s upcoming Movie Club service at an advantage to a competitive movie streaming service such as Netflix which is already having to downgrade its default service in Canada because of bandwidth caps.
The move would be akin to Comcast exempting customers of its Xfinity service from its data cap (it doesn’t), something that would raise the ire of regulators and consumers here, much as Shaw’s move could do in Canada. Shaw’s plans came out in a two-week long hearing of Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decision to let wholesale broadband providers charge their customers new rates. We covered some of the fallout from that decision, and the hearings themselves are providing pages of transcripts providing a critical look at how download limits and anticompetitive tactics from ISPs can hurt consumers and innovation. Maybe we could get those going here in the U.S.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Rick Harris.