Go Back   RGN - Reliable Global News > RGN North American News > Law & Disorder

Law & Disorder Discussions surrounding Law Enforcement

Thread Tools Display Modes

DOJ Probes 'Net Data Caps
Old 06-13-2012
RFMariano's Avatar
RFMariano RFMariano is online now
Site Owner - Administrator
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Florida, USA
Age: 75
Posts: 13,487
Rep Power: 187
RFMariano is a splendid one to beholdRFMariano is a splendid one to beholdRFMariano is a splendid one to beholdRFMariano is a splendid one to beholdRFMariano is a splendid one to beholdRFMariano is a splendid one to behold
Default DOJ Probes 'Net Data Caps

Justice Department probes Internet video data caps

by Steven Musil - June 12, 2012 9:36 PM PDT

Antitrust investigation examining whether cable company data limits unfairly quash online video competition, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Recent accusations that cable companies are giving preferential treatment to online video streamed on their own apps and services have apparently attracted the attention of antitrust regulators.

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to suppress online video competition, people familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal. Investigators have spoken with several major players in the sector, including Netflix, Hulu, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable about the monthly caps placed on the amount of data subscribers can download, the Journal reported.

CNET has contacted the companies mentioned above, as well as the Justice Department, for comment and will update this report when we learn more. Time Warner Cable declined to comment.

The probe comes as TV viewers' consumption habits shift from traditional cable bundles to video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. With that shift, cable companies that have spent billions of dollars building their networks are seeing an uptick in consumer's "cutting the cord" -- essentially making the cable companies a conduit to other content providers.

The Justice Department is focusing its investigation on the data caps cable companies have employed to deal with the explosion in video traffic on the Internet. However, Internet video providers such as Netflix say the caps are designed to prevent customers from defecting to online video services for their programming.

When Comcast announced earlier this year that content streamed directly to the Xbox console via its Xfinity app would not be counted against subscribers' total bandwidth usage caps, critics accused the company of giving its Xfinity app an unfair advantage over competitors. Comcast denied those charges, saying its traffic policies are in compliance with the FCC's Open Internet rules.

"It's really important to us that we make crystal clear that, in contrast to some other providers, we are not prioritizing our transmission of Xfinity TV content to the Xbox (as some have speculated)," Comcast Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner wrote in a blog post.

Related Stories
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been a particularly outspoken critic of the Xfinity exemption, saying in a Facebook post in April that, "Comcast should apply caps equally, or not at all."

Consumer advocates also say the bandwidth cap exemption violates the Net neutrality rules that Comcast had to agree to as part of the conditions for its merger with NBCUniversal. Those rules prohibit broadband providers from favoring their own content on the open Internet over that of their competitors.

The issue has also attracted the attention of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has sent letters to the FCC and Justice Department expressing concern that the Xfinity exemption violates Net neutrality rules and urging the agencies to take a closer look at the arrangement.



Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Copyright RGN - Reliable Global News