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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the everyone-should-get-the-same-amount-of-water-and-electricty dept.

The Internet 328

jfruh (300774) writes "Back in February, after a lengthy dispute, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for network access after being dogged by complaints of slow speeds from Comcast subscribers. Two months later, it appears that Comcast has delivered on its promises, jumping up six places in Netflix's ISP speed rankings. The question of whether this is good news for anyone but Comcast is still open."

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Seriously (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757141)

Fuck Comcast

Re:Seriously (5, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46757345)

I love Comcast. Comcast is awesome. And I don't just say that because they're my only real broadband internet option now, and the only real option now for several cities around me now in fact. I say it because they're great! Doubleplus good they are!

Whatever you're smoking... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 months ago | (#46757425)

I want some, cause it's clearly as good as BTL chips.

Re:Whatever you're smoking... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757633)

We don't know what NotDrWho meant to post. His access to Slashdot is through Comcast.

Re:Seriously (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 6 months ago | (#46757513)

Its really easy to feel this way if its also the only real modern broadband experience you've had and things like throttling content to extort money out of content providers seems like completely acceptable behavior to you.

Re:Seriously (3, Informative)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 6 months ago | (#46757631)

I wish I could be so "lucky"... The only choices we have here in KC is AT&T U-Verse, Time Warner, oh and um.... GOOGLE FIBER!!!

Re:Seriously (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about 6 months ago | (#46757699)

In Cherry Hill, NJ the possibilities are Verizon, Comcast, and some others. I think I am on Verizon, but I'd have to go look at a bill to be sure. Haven't used Netflix in a while, so I have no idea if they run any better on one or another at home.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757813)

KC is AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, oh and um.... GOOGLE FIBER!!!

FTFY.

But don't worry, Comcast will buy AT&T Uverse and Google Fiber soon enough too, and unburden you from at that "choice" stress.

Re:Seriously (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#46757721)

...they're my only real broadband internet option now, and the only real option now for several cities around me now in fact.

That's odd. Usually there are two broadband options: DSL and Cable. Are you saying that Comcast owns both?

Re:Seriously (4, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46757869)

Max DSL speed here is 3 mbps, not even fast enough to do HD streaming. Not that I wouldn't use the great Comcast anyway of course! My only real complaint about them is [this post censored for content by Comcast social media decorum services. This is your 2nd strike warning, customer.]

Re:Seriously (1)

OFnow (1098151) | about 6 months ago | (#46757887)

Comcast works here within 10 miles of San Francisco, but DSL maxes out at 128Kb/S because of old copper wires and 18000 feet to the TelCo office as-the-wire-exists. It's the norm unless you live in a narrow corridor near 101 and El Camino on the peninsula. Just one choice.

http://www.linuxadvocates.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757149)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html

Re: http://www.linuxadvocates.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757673)

You must be new here. Or trolling. Or perhaps new to trolling here.

huh? (0)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 6 months ago | (#46757155)

it seems like it's really good news for the people who stream Netflix on Comcast.

Re:huh? (2)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 6 months ago | (#46757271)

What about the folks who prefer Hulu? What about the next great Internet service that now can never happen again like it did in the past? Netflix paying Comcast is not just about gaining access to customers. It's about locking out competition.

Re:huh? (4, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46757603)

One. Nobody "prefers Hulu". Except the people who implemented it but don't actually USE it.

Look at Hulu. It's a mediocre streaming site with ever larger chunks of intrusive video ads. And paying them doesn't make the damn things go away or space them out further or make them shorter ads. That's how the entertainment industry would LIKE people to consume their media. Paying them directly, then supporting them indirectly through ad revenue as well.

NO THANK YOU!

I mostly agree with your sentiments about it being bad that Comcast got paid for content their users REQUESTED and were already paying them to deliver.

Not entirely sure about lock-out though.

Re:huh? (4, Insightful)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 6 months ago | (#46757647)

The ads, or how bad Hulu is, is completely unrelated to the topic WaywardGeek was bringing up.

I assume they meant to ask, what happens with Netflix 2, when there is some new streaming service that's even BETTER than Netflix in every way. Will they also have to go through the same growing pains, eventually forking over cash to get access to the "full internet"?

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757775)

Hulu has way less ads then on television the last time I watched TV.

Re:huh? (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 6 months ago | (#46757689)

Hulu is partly owned by Comcast. They weren't affected in the first place.

Re:huh? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46757367)

it seems like it's really good news for the people who stream Netflix on Comcast.

Soon that will be about 50% of the entire United States. You go with Concast or you go without broadband.

I Pay (5, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 6 months ago | (#46757157)

1. I Pay Comcast for internet access at X speed.
2. I Pay Netflix to send me movies via that line that I pay for.
3. Comcast holds my content hostage, wanting an extortion payment from NetFlix.

I see.

Re:I Pay (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46757283)

While I agree with you in principle, it is a little more complicated than that.

What Netflix is paying for is a peering tie-in inside of Comcast's data centers.

Re:I Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757357)

Comcast is providing a service - if customers want access to netflix (within SLA) then comcast should foot the bill

Re:I Pay (1, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 6 months ago | (#46757433)

If Netflix wants unlimited bandwidth access to Comcast customers, they need to pony up. Comcast provided access to the web and Netflix was in the equivalent of Internet BFE on the Cogent network. Maybe Netflix should stop going with the lowest bidder for bandwidth, then they might not have these problems.

Re:I Pay (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 6 months ago | (#46757679)

I don't understand. What exactly is the problem with going with the lowest bidder for bandwidth if they're, y'know...providing the bandwidth? If Cogent isn't doing their job then it's Cogent's responsibility to improve their peering or whatever. Not Netflix's.

Re:I Pay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757719)

Hmm, unlimited? As far as I know they can't use more bandwidth than the sum of what their Comcast-bound customers are paying Comcast for, and that bandwidth has already been paid for. If we lived in a competitive ISP market then slow Netflix speeds from and ISP would reflect badly on the ISP, not Netflix, and the ISP would have an incentive improve the situation for their customers before they switched to a competitor.

This is only a problem because we developed an oligopoly on broadband internet with only a few providers, few of which directly compete in the same markets. But unless that can be fixed I'll just stick with the moral belief that ISPs shouldn't restrict bandwidth on high-bandwidth services that are delivered to their own customer that ALREADY paid for the used bandwidth, while simultaneously paying them for my monthly internet bill anyways because I still value internet access more than I dislike them.

Re:I Pay (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757373)

I've set up a VPS to access netflix through my comcast connection, but it doesn't allow comcast's throttling. My video quality has much improved. This anecdotally proves to me comcast is manipulating netflix's traffic.

Re:I Pay (5, Informative)

Alternate Interior (725192) | about 6 months ago | (#46757807)

Have a local ISP who pipe through Time Warner. Around the end of December, Netflix connections went to crap. Complained and ISP threw Netflix under the bus, saying they've over-saturated their bandwidth. Tried a SOCKS proxy via VPS and magic, works fine. Told ISP and they seemed genuinely amazed.

Comcast is still the devil- but VPS is a very viable workaround.

No... (5, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 months ago | (#46757445)

What Netflix is paying for, is a bribery fee so that Comcast quit throttling them. The proof?

As soon as the agreement was reached, I could finally stream Netflix in 3D. Oh, and we all know they didn't get their peering equipment in within 3 days....

Re:No... (1)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 6 months ago | (#46757653)

The ONLY way to stop this shit is to label all ISP as common carriers. This is the most important issue of our time because if the ISP's knock down net neutrality they can easily force us into PIPA and SOPA.

Re:No... (2)

DriveDog (822962) | about 6 months ago | (#46757783)

Yes. Common Carriers. That's what they are, and how they should be treated. What they're doing, discriminating traffic, is going to get Safe Harbor provisions removed, and they'll have to filter everything. They won't mind that, except they'll be sued for not catching things. Do they care about the long term? Nope, just next quarter's profits.

Re:I Pay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757449)

'What Netflix is paying for is a peering tie-in inside of Comcast's data centers.'

Why should that cost anything as long as the traffic is to Comcast customers?

Internet access should include the cost of data transport between the peering point and the customer.
Netflix did all the transit and bent over backwards to make the peering point as easy as possible for Comcast.

The only way I see that Comcast is not charging twice is if we haven't yet noticed that they are charging thrice.

Re:I Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757751)

Why should that cost anything as long as the traffic is to Comcast customers?

You get data from Comcast at speeds determined by your plan. The problem was at the other end, Netflix was trying to use more bandwidth than they were paying for.

Re:I Pay (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 6 months ago | (#46757577)

Netflix also offered to set up their server inside the Comcast DC's, that way there would be no peering, it'd be on the Comcast network all the time. Comcast declined.

Re:I Pay (5, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#46757291)

Well, not just from Netflix, what they really want is to make the Netflix experience so terrible that you'd rather buy pay-per-view movies from Comcast instead. Barring that, they'll take money from Netflix if they can get that, too.

Comcast's end game is being your only source of content. Internet, TV, movies, music, phone service, all through Comcast and no one else. If they have to break Netflix and Skype to do that - "oops." After all, net neutrality is currently unenforceable in the United States.

Re:I Pay (5, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46757531)

This is worse than net neutrality. IMO it violates the Sherman antitrust act.

Re:I Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757859)

Plausible Deniability...

Re:I Pay (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46757617)

That sounds like AOL.

Re:I Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757475)

1. I rent a post office box.
2. I pay Amazon to ship me products to that PO box
3. The USPO doesn't guarantee overnight delivery unless Amazon pays them the premium rate.

Not sure I see the issue.

Re:I Pay (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 6 months ago | (#46757663)

Perhaps the issue is weak analogies are called such for a reason.

Re:I Pay (1)

drakaan (688386) | about 6 months ago | (#46757919)

This Netflix situation is more like:

  1. I ask my cousin in N.Y.C. to drive to Auburn, Maine with a package for me
  2. He arrives later that day and we reminisce about family over drinks
  3. The next day, I move to Vermont, and ask him to deliver another package, but it takes two weeks for him to get there because my cousin can't afford to pay a fee to the state of Vermont to be able to travel at speeds over 5% of the posted speed limit

...or at least it's no worse an analogy. It's equally bad at describing what the fuck is actually happening, which is that Comcast is extorting other companies because it can.

Re:I Pay (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 6 months ago | (#46757477)

No, you pay Comcast for internet access at UP TO X speed. It's all in your contract, they promise nothing.

Re:I Pay (5, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | about 6 months ago | (#46757549)

1. You pay Comcast for Internet access at X speed.
2. Netflix pays Amazon and others for Internet access at Y speed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org] )
3. You pay Netflix to send you movies via those lines that you both pay for.
4. Comcast holds your content hostage, wanting an extortion payment from NetFlix.

The point about NetFlix paying for bandwidth is important, since Comcast keep claiming things like "they shouldn't get a free ride" and "somebody needs to pay for the infrastructure", but they *were* paying for infrastructure; just not Comcast's (directly, anyway).

A win? (4, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 6 months ago | (#46757181)

I hope we at least have water neutrality where we don't get charged more for using water for showering as opposed to washing the car. thats where its all going folks.

Re:A win? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757541)

We have this scenario where I live and I'm sure it's more common than you think. Incoming water is also charged a sewer fee, essentially doubling the cost. I can put a separate meter on my outside nozzle so that when I fill the pool, wash the car or water the garden, I'm not also being billed for the (not directly used) sewer fee. I have to foot the cost of the meter, but if you fill a good sized pool just once, it's pretty much break even.

Re:A win? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757667)

We have this scenario where I live and I'm sure it's more common than you think. Incoming water is also charged a sewer fee, essentially doubling the cost. I can put a separate meter on my outside nozzle so that when I fill the pool, wash the car or water the garden, I'm not also being billed for the (not directly used) sewer fee. I have to foot the cost of the meter, but if you fill a good sized pool just once, it's pretty much break even.

I have a private well but am tied to the public sewer so my sewer bill is based on the average water meter reading in the area. I could install a water meter on my well (out of my own pocket) and use that reading for them to calculate my sewer bill but I'm not about to pay $200 just to find out if I use less (or more) water than the average household in the area.

Re:A win? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46757563)

From what I heard they want to do that in places like California. So beware.

Re:A win? (1)

chis101 (754167) | about 6 months ago | (#46757605)

They do that where I live, too. They use your winter water usage as a baseline on the assumption that you aren't watering your lawn or washing your car during the winter months. During the summer months any usage over your average winter usage is charged at a higher rate, on the assumption that this extra usage is being used for things such as watering the lawn or washing your car.

Re:A win? (1)

Willuz (1246698) | about 6 months ago | (#46757593)

Actually we're already there. My water company will setup a separate meter (for a monthly fee of course) for water used outside the house. This excludes the outside water from sewer costs which are twice as much as the water itself. So yes, shower water does cost 66% more than car washing water.

Re:A win? (1)

Mycroft-X (11435) | about 6 months ago | (#46757665)

Yeah, that would be like all these other instances where differing rates depending on usage of a utility are acceptable:

1. Charge people with electric heat a lower electricity rate
2. Charge people buying food and clothing less or no sales tax
3. Charge large trucks higher tolls and registration fees than lighter vehicles
4. Charge more for diesel fuel if it's used to run a truck than if it's used to run a tractor

and probably a dozen more. With multi-gigabyte Netflix streams being the big trucks of the internet world, why doesn't it make sense to charge differently for their impact on network congestion, bandwidth utilization, etc. Netflix has basically paid Comcast to build a special lane on their highway that gives Netflix traffic priority.

Re:A win? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757691)

Aren't there states/cities in the US that ban washing cars during their dry seasons? I assume they don't ban taking showers during the same time.

Re:A win? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757855)

Comcast charges you extra to watch Netflix movies versus YouTube? A better analogy is trucks that use the turnpike all day and night have to pay more in tolls than I do for my occasional trips. Netflix uses a huge amount of bandwidth compared to most web sites.

If Comcast was honest.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46757183)

They would have offered to play netflix streaming server mirrors in their regional Headends to give real speed boosts.

Re:If Comcast was honest.... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#46757241)

But how does that get them more money?

Re:If Comcast was honest.... (2)

unrtst (777550) | about 6 months ago | (#46757467)

But how does that get them more money?

They would have far less traffic transiting other networks, greatly reducing the thing they kept complaining about, which supposedly costs them money, so this would save money there.
It would also provide a benefit to many of their customers experiences.
This is all very similar to Akamai and other CDN's. As an ISP, it's a win-win, especially if the provider (netflix/akamai) foots the bill for their hardware.

Of course, they may be making more cash from this agreement with Netflix... but that's not really a good thing for anyone.

Re:If Comcast was honest.... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#46757865)

Of course, they may be making more cash from this agreement with Netflix...

Of course they do. Otherwise they wouldn't have demanded the payment.

but that's not really a good thing for anyone.

Sure it is: Comcast which was my whole point. Comcast did what made them more money not what would benefit anyone else. And now that Netflix paid up they'll just do it to others.

And, no, I'm not defending Comcast but it's naive to think they would have done anything other than what gets them more money.

Nice little service you've got there... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46757193)

Really, netflix, congratulations. Very disruptive of you and all that. And the transition from a primarily USPS model to a substantially streaming service (barring that one really embarrassing fuckup that you could hardly have handled worse, oh how we chuckled over here...) Really sticking it to the stogy incumbents.

Now, it would be a pity if your customers were to... experience service disruptions... would it not?

that was quick! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757211)

it's barely been a month & comcast's already completed all those network upgrades? you know, all that capital investment that was required b/c of netflix that they didn't have the $ for until a month ago? that's impressively fast considering how long it takes them to fix the most basic problems for individual customers!

Re:that was quick! (3, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#46757375)

it's barely been a month & comcast's already completed all those network upgrades?

Apparently there were no network upgrades. The Netflix deal sounds like what happened is that Netflix is paying Comcast to allow them to hook up servers directly to Comcast's network instead of having to route in from outside Comcast. Which would explain why it happened within a month, if all Netflix did was set up some new servers inside some Comcast data centers.

Re:that was quick! (4, Informative)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 months ago | (#46757453)

It happened basically over night.

It was merely throttling policy.

Re:that was quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757625)

It was peering. For many folks, myself included, traffic to/from Netflix goes directly from Comcast to Netflix. Turning up a private peering session can be done in hours when both parties are in the same building. Heck, at my last job I turned up a 10G session in about 2 hours. Only delay was getting the building's technician to run the fiber.

As it is Comcast, Netflix, and many others have physical presence in the same buildings and facilities. IIRC, both are customers of Equinix in many areas. So, private peering really is a matter of heaving port space on each end, and Equinix running the fiber which can often be done same day.

Re:that was quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757533)

The upgrade they performed was installing a Netflix content mirror attached to their backbone thus reducing the number of potential bottlenecks between the end user and the content.

Netflix wanted to do this for free (like they are with other ISPs) but Comcast insisted that Netflix pay them for the privilege.

Re:that was quick! (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46757643)

Why didn't Netflix get a colo with a data center already backboned on Comcast and use that, to avoid paying Comcast?

Re:that was quick! (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#46757873)

Probably because that would have cost more than the deal they got from Comcast. There's no free lunch.

Consumers pay (5, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 6 months ago | (#46757233)

Obviously Netflix will just pass the cost on to its subscribers (where else would they get the money from?). It's very unlikely they'd implement this as a surcharge for their Comcast subscribers only (I wish they would, but I expect their contract with Comcast prohibits it), they'll just absorb it into the single subscription price. So in fact non-Comcast customers will effectively be indirectly paying Comcast to subsidise other users' access.

From an engineer's point of view it's all baffling (Netflix and their customers are both paying for a certain amount of bandwidth, so where's the need for anything more?), but when you view it through the lens of capitalist incentives it all makes perfect sense.

Re:Consumers pay (2)

Njovich (553857) | about 6 months ago | (#46757457)

If Netflix could get away with raising prices without losing too many customers, do you think they wouldn't have done it regardless of this event?

For 95% of non-commodity products, the only factor in setting a price is what the client is willing to pay for it. Cost has some influence there, but it's not nearly as direct as many people seem to think.

This will probably just eat into the margins of Netflix.

Re:Consumers pay (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46757611)

If you have negative margins it ceases to be a business. That sounds like a good reason to jack up prices to me.

Re:Consumers pay (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 6 months ago | (#46757879)

This. Increase costs, and the point of maximum profit may increase even if the number of subscribers at that point decreases.

Re:Consumers pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757623)

As I remember, Netflix is now paying less to stream to Comcast customers because the traffic goes more directly to Comcast networks instead of paying to go through Level3/Cogent to Comcast. Netflix got a better deal on the bandwidth they are paying for with Comcast now. Should Netflix's customers that have Comcast pay more to subsidize higher cost interconnects to other customers' ISPs?

As a customer of Comcast (any ISP), you are paying for an "up to" level of bandwidth, and I bet if you use Speedtest and other testing tools, you may see that speed. But once it gets out of Comcast's "control", they caveat the shit of speeds you will receive.

Re:Consumers pay (1)

Mycroft-X (11435) | about 6 months ago | (#46757819)

From an engineer's point of view it's all baffling (Netflix and their customers are both paying for a certain amount of bandwidth)

You're paying your cable ISP for a certain amount of bandwidth from your home or business to their CMTS. Netflix is paying for a certain size pipe from their facility to their provider's data center. Everything beyond that (and, to a more controllable extent, before) is subject to capacity limitations that may or may not be within the control of your ISP.

If you think that buying 50Mb cable modem service guarantees you a 50Mb connection to every portion of the internet, or even a 50Mb connection between any two points that have a >50Mb connection to their own ISPs, then you must be a different kind of engineer than most on this site.

Netflix made a deal with Comcast that makes sure that ALL of the traffic between Netflix and Comcast customers is within the control of either Netflix or Comcast, which allows minimum standards to be set and adhered to.

"The question of whether this is good news..." (5, Informative)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about 6 months ago | (#46757249)

"...for anyone but Comcast is still open."

It was never a question, nor open. The answer is no. It is painfully obvious this benefits Comcast and hurts everyone else.

Re:"The question of whether this is good news..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757397)

this benefits Comcast and hurts everyone else.

Well, you could always go to one of Comcast's competitors.

Oh wait, you can't?? Well then, better get used to it, dipshit. You answer to Comcast now, slave.

bad news for everyone (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#46757255)

On a long enough time-line, this is bad news for everyone; and not just netflix or comcast users. It's a slap in the face to network neutrality. Dane-geld in a manner of speaking; Will all ISP's need to pay for preferential access to content for their customers? Sure netflix can afford to pay, for now.. but how does a new player ever enter the market if they can't afford to pay for access to customers? =/

I suspect they throttled them down intentionally (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757269)

Which they could not have done with net neutrality. In other word, all consumer lost, as the price for them will rise.

Microsoft and Sony will be next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757279)

I have a feeling they'll be shaking down Microsoft for xbox live customers. I

Danegeld (3, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46757287)

Sums it up nicely.

Comcast (1)

w-wright (3525625) | about 6 months ago | (#46757307)

I can see why Comcast did this. They wanna make sure people still stick with Cable.

comcast vs net neutrality (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757331)

This is ground zero for the net neutrality fight. We need strong Net Neutrality to keep this BS from happening. Comcast is gaining a position where it will implicitly own a share of every company delivering service to its customers. The Comcast and TWC merger is going to make things infinitely worse.

Time to Join the Collective (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about 6 months ago | (#46757451)

The other evil empire (AT&T) is royally screwing us via U-Verse, jacking up every fee, every month.

We are thinking about dumping U-Verse and getting JUST internet from Comcast (no land line, no cable).

We can get about 50 digital channels over the air, plus streaming.

YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

Re:Time to Join the Collective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757923)

Here's the problem with the Comcast internet-only scenario.
Comcast TV and Internet: $80/month
Comcast Internet Only: $75/month

Comcast isn't price competitive with AT&T if you just want Internet. It also doesn't have the uptime of AT&T, at least in my neck of the woods.

Re:Time to Join the Collective (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 6 months ago | (#46757925)

Heh. I'm thinking about switching from Comcast to Uverse because it looks like I can get substantially similar service (minus some channels I don't use) for half as much. I've been trying to figure out what I'm missing that will make it actually not a savings.

the pink elephant in the room: capitalism. (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 6 months ago | (#46757481)

Capitalism, american capitalism, basically encourages this twisted practice of squeezing as much cash by hook or by crook out of anyone even remotely related to your service. Looking to companies to solve the problem is like looking at a cigarette lighter to fix your burning house.
br. America has no recourse for evil companies, in fact it prides itself on this fact.

Re:the pink elephant in the room: capitalism. (0)

neminem (561346) | about 6 months ago | (#46757723)

The problem is, capitalism is *supposed* to regulate that by means of free market competition. Which would totally work, if there were any. The problem you mention is totally an issue when it comes to moral questions, like "should a company dump toxic waste in the ocean", or "should a company hire hitmen to cover up the fact that they're dumping toxic waste in the ocean". When it comes to screwing over their own customers, though, the problem isn't capitalism, it's the fact that our recourse *should* be to find a better ISP, except there aren't any anymore.

Only Comcast cable here... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 6 months ago | (#46757519)

So, does TIVO work with OTA HD signals?

Re:Only Comcast cable here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757797)

Yes, as a matter of fact, it does, but only the basic model will work with OTA HD antennas. The Plus and Pro models will only work with cable.

Re:Only Comcast cable here... (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | about 6 months ago | (#46757875)

TiVo works with FiOS as well, not just cable.

Re:Only Comcast cable here... (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | about 6 months ago | (#46757851)

I had TiVo... once... for a couple months... don't go there if you've not already. Save yourself the grief!

A great chance for the competition (1)

Monoman (8745) | about 6 months ago | (#46757571)

Now is a great chance for the competition to "listen to their customers" and increase Netflix performance on their networks without charging Netflix or their customers (directly).

You know, do what they are supposed to do but spin it to make Comcast look like worse than they already do.

AT&T also sucks (2)

Bruinwar (1034968) | about 6 months ago | (#46757573)

So Netflix ponies up the money & Comcrap is able to provide no-stutter streaming. It appears to be true. At my girlfriend's place (Comcrap) we couldn't watch Netflix but now it runs fine. At my house (Uverse... Uvile?) we could watch Netflix but now, as in the last two nights, it stutters & is unwatchable. Purely anecdotal but yea, they both suck. Maybe I change providers again... back to Wide Open West!!

VERIZON! (3, Interesting)

itsenrique (846636) | about 6 months ago | (#46757601)

I'm in Tampa, and my service for Netflix has gone down slowly but surely for many months. At this point during peak access it shows me video that looks akin to 240p YouTube clips. Fingers crossed that these clowns overstep their bounds and force some net neutrality legislation.

Re:VERIZON! (1)

itsenrique (846636) | about 6 months ago | (#46757613)

To clarify, I pay for 50/25. I don't know if its "Quantum" or not, but it quantum sucks for streaming video. Service is being disconnected the 28th of this month.

Re:VERIZON! (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46757743)

The evidence suggests that 'quantum' has a lot to do with it.

Another question (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 months ago | (#46757619)

Is it in the realm of possibility, at the prices that customers are willing to currently pay, to deliver on demand content near blu-ray level quality to a whole neighborhood? If 25% of my neighborhood suddenly decided to stream the new Hobbit movie, I doubt Verizon could cope with a few dozen households suddenly demanding reliable streaming of upwards of 50GB of content unless that content was hosted on servers with preferred QoS rules or something.

Net Neutrality Now (3, Insightful)

prefec2 (875483) | about 6 months ago | (#46757669)

If you have a company and pay for Internet connectivity, then you already paying what is necessary for that volume of data. The speed should be the same for everyone. Otherwise new businesses cannot form on the net on equal terms. This is important for freedom and even for the market economy. However, without net neutrality will end up in a time of monopoly (or oligopoly). Only this time the monopoly is not governed by the state and at least in theory controlled by the public.

For the US, dropping net neutrality makes sense from a corporate state viewpoint, as all big Internet services are US-based (beside those in China). If you hinder any other new service you can guarantee that those corporations stay in business, because the ramp up cost for new players would be too high. Also peer-to-peer technologies which could flourish with IPv6 can be crippled right before they become dangerous for the establishment.

It would be a shame... (4, Funny)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 6 months ago | (#46757677)

It would be a shame if ... something ... happened to that nice video streaming business you got there.

Netflix doing this on purpose (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757761)

I'm beginning to wonder if Netflix did this on purpose, to gain sympathy and to highlight the actual problems around net-neutrality.

It makes sense, instead of making bold claims about what might happen, they went ahead and just let it happen..

It's sort of like a person going into a bad neighborhood, getting roughed up and then telling everyone about how much of a bad part of town that was, look he's even a victim!

This chart is easy to show to politicians and policymakers, and it exposes the simple fact that Comcast clearly **had** the capacity before these payments, they were just withholding.

Personally, I think it's a very smart move on Netflix's part, they are playing the long game.

A Good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757763)

The question of whether this is good news for anyone but Comcast is still open

Seriously?

Seriously????

Question remains open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46757767)

No it doesn't; it's clearly been answered. This is like asking the question if a protection racket or a mob run union stoppage is good for business in a community. Comcast might as well go throw bricks through Netflix's office and demand protection insurance.

So Netflix wants to change how it connects (0)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 6 months ago | (#46757793)

with Comcast. This allows Netflix to stop paying others for connecting their services to Comcast's network and gives Netflix's servers a direct link to Comcast. Comcast says "Sure, but pay us to do that." Netflix weighs that cost vs current costs and the benefits to them of ensuring faster streaming and says "OK." Sure they would like to do it for free but ultimately decided paying was the best option. Comcast no doubt wants to find ways to make money as streaming becomes more popular than cable and this is one way to do it. Netflix needs to keep customers happy and Comcast has a way to do that, at a price; and as a result that make a deal. It's a simple business decision on both sides.

While it would be nice to have everything streamed at max speed the reality is Comcast (and others) need to manage the network for all users; and if Netflix is a major bandwidth user then throttling them makes sense; even if it means degraded performance. If this agreement allows fast streaming and has less of an impact on other users then the users benefit as well from the deal.

It is called "Extortion"... (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | about 6 months ago | (#46757815)

We have laws against that... unless you have lots of money, then laws are irrelevant! :-/
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