Report: The Feds Are Investigating Cable Companies Over Data Caps

Illustration for article titled Report: The Feds Are Investigating Cable Companies Over Data Caps

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is looking into whether the country's huge cable companies are using data caps on their internet services to keep streaming video upstarts from taking hold. Is anti-trust action against the giants imminent?

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In particular, the WSJ says that DoJ officials have spoken to both independent video-on-demand services like Hulu and Netflix as well as to cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner. The streaming video services complain that data caps are being unfairly used by the big companies to prop up their cable businesses. Indeed, when Comcast said that its competitor service, Xfinity, would be exempt from data caps, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (rightly) went on a tirade about net neutrality. Cable companies, on the other hand, argue that they need to cap data to keep excessive bandwidth from bogging down their networks.

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There have been rumors that several federal agencies had taken an interest in data caps, but this is the most concrete report we've heard to date. While the WSJ doesn't name its sources, the investigation makes sense given that data caps are definitely being used in sketchy ways. It's impossible to know for sure what's going on right now, but for the sake of your Netflix queue, let's hope the report is true. [WSJ]

Image via INCH

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Government involvement in anything is bad news...

I also think either these cable companies redo their infrastructure and drastically increase data caps, or just get rid of it..

We in the US already pay far more money per month than like Asia for Internet, even at much lower speeds.

We need to get over 90% of the country with fiber optics high speed connections, and we need more Wi-Fi hotspots in the country.

This country is severely failing behind Asian and many of the European nations..

"...cap data to keep excessive bandwidth from bogging down their networks."

That's total BS since we know that this "excessive bandwidth" is nothing but just garbage. In an age where digital is becoming more prevalent, this should be an issue (even if it's imaged) that is taken care of ASAP.

People are streaming TV shows, streaming movies, downloading digital content for their game consoles, doing more of their shopping online, making videos for YouTube uploading, etc.

COME ON!!

These ISP's are getting ridiculous. I've had the overall displeasure of paying so much money for a TV + Internet package from Comcast. The price (after the promo period was over) was gonna be like $140 a month. I called in, and they told me I had no contract with them on my account and that they could lower my bill to the current like $70 - something... This is after I told them I was considering to switch over to Verizon FiOs, which they just installed here in central PA...

Prices need to be lowered

data cap needs to increase or eliminated

dl and ul speeds need to increase