Netflix: Cap all or none
April 24, 2012
Netflix has complained that traffic management must apply to all or to none. In a letter to shareholders the company states: “Comcast caps its residential broadband customers at 250 gigabytes per month. On the Xbox, the Netflix app, the Hulu app, and the HBO GO app, are all subject to this cap. But Comcast has decided that its own Xfinity Xbox app is not subject to this 250 gigabyte cap. This is not neutral in any sense. The Xbox is a pure Internet device with a single IP address, works over a consumer’s home wifi, and data to the Xbox is Internet data. When the Xfinity Xbox app uses lots of bandwidth, it competes for that bandwidth with all other Internet usage and users in the home. The Xfinity Xbox app “speaks” TCP/IP like any other Internet device. The only difference between the Xfinity Xbox data and Netflix Xbox data is the Xfinity data is favored by Comcast exempting it from the cap.
Comcast could raise the cap and make it apply equally or just eliminate the caps. Net neutrality principles mean a level playing field for all Internet applications.”