We’ve made the case several times now that Comcast’s data cap scheme is absolutely horrible for the open Internet, particular since it’s decided to exempt its own Stream TV service from any usage limits. Essentially, Comcast is creating its own separate Internet in which its own TV streaming services don’t face the limitations that rival services such as Netflix, Hulu or Sling TV have to face thanks to Comcast’s usage-based billing. Writing over at Medium, Harvard Law School professor and longtime cable industry critic Susan Crawford explains that the best way to combat Comcast’s data caps isn’t through additional regulation but through more competition. More →
I’ve observed in the past that Comcast’s data caps look specifically designed to discourage cord cutting and the revelations that Comcast has created its own IP TV service that will not be subject to any usage restrictions has only confirmed my suspicions. However, this really only scratches the surface of the cynical math behind Comcast’s data caps, which are going to do far more damage to rival video streaming services in the coming years than what they’re doing right now. More →
Logos and slogans are spectacular marketing and branding tools that flood our lives. Many of them enter our vocabulary and we end up automatically associating some phrases with certain companies forever. But one graphic designer wants to change all that with his “Honest Slogans” website, which imagines what these logos would say if they cut through all the marketing speak and told the truth. More →
Comcast often seems to be in the news for all the wrong reasons and lately, that has been the case even more so than usual. The company recently announced that it was expanding its data cap program into eight additional markets for a total of 27, and we explained why the company’s data caps are a huge problem not just for Comcast subscribers, but for all of us. Then our attention turned to the company’s new Stream TV service, for which Comcast took a page out of T-Mobile’s net neutrality bending playbook.
But is Stream TV really as bad for net neutrality as it seems? Sadly, it’s even worse than many people think. More →
Imagine a world where America’s interstate highway and local road systems work a bit differently than it does today. They look the same, but the governing bodies that oversee our nation’s highways have cut deals with certain car makers. If you own a Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, Kia or Hyundai, you’re free to travel the highways whenever you like. If you own a car from any other brand you can still travel from state to state, but you’ll have to stick only to smaller roads and side streets.
Would you ever consider buying a car made by a company other than the five listed above? Would new startups like Tesla even bother trying to enter the market?
In less than two weeks, Comcast will roll out its home broadband data cap program in eight additional cities, bringing its total up to 27 different markets across the United States. Under the terms of the program, Xfinity broadband subscribers may use up to 300GB of data per billing period. If they use more data for any reason, Comcast will charge an additional $10 for each 50GB used until the next billing cycle begins.
For Comcast customers, this is obviously bad news. People in the U.S. are used to treading lightly with wireless data, aggravating though it may be, but home broadband services have historically offered unlimited data. Now, Comcast subscribers in 27 markets will have the same thoughts creep into the back of their minds each time they sit down to use a service like YouTube or Netflix: How much data does this use, and am I close to my cap?
But Comcast’s data cap program isn’t just bad news for the company’s own subscribers, it’s bad news for all of us. More →
So we already know from Comcast’s own internal documents that its data caps have nothing to do with managing congested networks. Instead, the company is insisting that these new caps are all about “fairness” — that is, customers who use less data shouldn’t have to pay more per month to subsidize all the “data hogs” and their fancy-pants BitTorrent streams. It’s just like Comcast to always look out for the little guy, isn’t it?
Well, no, it’s not. And you won’t be surprised to know that its data cap policies have absolutely nothing to do with fairness.
Picking apart Comcast’s business and policies has become an Internet pastime as subscribers blow off steam following years of poor customer support, but the recent document leak has taken things to an entirely new level. We discussed the leaked Comcast document a few times last week, and one of the biggest revelations to come of it was the upsetting admission that Comcast’s 300GB data caps have absolutely nothing to do with network congestion.
But the leaked Comcast documents have more information to offer, including an interesting tidbit that discusses how the company responds to customer inquiries covering touchy subjects like Netflix and net neutrality. More →
One of the inherent problems with Internet providers is that the largest among them also happen to be cable providers. So as consumers increasingly look to cut the cord, it’s far too easy for a company, like, oh I don’t know, say Comcast, to roll out data caps with overage fees in an effort to restore some balance to their bottom line.
Comcast can be counted among a number of large Internet service providers in the United States that are consistently listed among the least liked companies in the country by their customers, and the ISP’s latest move will do little to change that. In a quiet update earlier this week, Comcast changed a frequently asked questions page on its website to list eight new cities where subscribers will see their home Internet service capped at 300GB lest they want to pay overages. More →
Oh, Comcast. When will you learn that your customers just don’t like you, no matter how much rival ISPs screw up? Comcast recently tried to bash Google Fiber on Facebook after Google Fiber’s services went down in Kansas City during the first game of the World Series featuring the hometown Kansas City Royals. Although it looks like the post has since been removed (I sadly couldn’t find it on Xfinity’s Facebook page this morning), it has been preserved for all time on this Imgur page and it is glorious. In short, Comcast’s post was flooded by people who defended Google Fiber while giving Comcast an earful on customer complaints. More →
If you’re a cord cutter who lives in an area where Comcast has implemented its data caps and you constantly find yourself running up against your monthly limit, there may be a good reason for that. The Associated Press recently published an interesting report on Comcast’s plan to meter the Internet through data caps and what really stuck out for me was a quote from one Comcast customer who pointed out that these caps are just the right size to discourage people from getting all their television through streaming services instead of through a traditional cable TV package. More →