Comcast Says Its Xbox TV Streaming Doesn't Have to Play by Its Own Rules

Illustration for article titled Comcast Says Its Xbox TV Streaming Doesn't Have to Play by Its Own Rules

Here's what happens without concrete net neutrality policy in place: Comcast's impending video on demand service for Xbox 360 won't count against your monthly data cap. Which is great for your data cap! But an awful, awful precedent.

Ars Technica says Comcast's Xfinity streaming powers—which, admittedly, will be pretty great if you're a cable subscriber and own an Xbox—will make zero dent against the 250 gigabytes customers are allotted every month. This makes some sense, as you're getting TV shows delivered to your Xbox that you're already paying for on your TV. But by blatantly favoring your own service against rivals—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, et al.—Comcast is wielding an unfair grapple against the rest of the internet. Even if Netflix provides a superior service, hypothetically, Comcast is pushing its customers into using the in-house stuff to avoid going over the perilous data cap.

Strangely, streaming Comcast's media onto your computer will still count against your cap, says Ars, which belies its claim that the Xbox exemption is fair, since those videos are "being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet." Whatever that means. [Ars Technica]

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DISCUSSION

Couldn't this be said about accessing OnDemand with just a regular cable box now?

If you have a Comcast Cable Box, you can access Xfinity OnDemand directly on it. The data used for this doesn't count toward the 250gb cap. That would really suck if OnDemand did count toward the 250gb cap.

This is the same thing, except it gives those without an official cable box the option to use an xbox instead (such as myself with a TiVo box, where OnDemand is not accessible). And just like a cable box, the data used won't count toward the 250gb cap.

I suppose the technology could be a little different, but that must be where the private IP network comes in.