Originally published: May 17, 2012
Last updated: May 17, 2012 - 9:35pm
Here’s reaction to the Comcast broadband usage announcement.
Free Press didn't seem to find an upside to the Comcast announcement, although the company's new baseline, at least in a couple of testbeds, is 300GB, up from 250GB, with the 250 cap no longer enforced until Comcast figures out the best way forward for all its 18 million-plus ISP customers.
Public Knowledge was a little more optimistic, though Legal Director Harold Feld also saw it as raising the cap, not removing it. "Comcast recognized the need to increase the cap on data 'usage' that the company set in 2008," he said, "and to experiment with additional flexibility for customers. As Time Warner Cable's recent decision to offer a capped plan as a discounted alternative shows, more flexible pricing plans can benefit consumers where they offer opportunities for savings without compromising quality or an open internet. We await further details of Comcast's plan so that subscribers can fully assess how these changes will impact their user experience." But Feld also said unanswered were the questions of how such caps are set, and why, and said Congress and the FCC should be investigating.
Netflix, one of the online video competitors feeling thwarted, appeared somewhat encouraged but underwhelmed. "Increasing the data cap is a small step in the right direction," Netflix spokesman Joris Evers told GigaOm, "but unfortunately Comcast continues to treat its own Internet delivered video differently under the cap than other Internet delivered video. We continue to stand by the principle that ISPs should treat all providers of video services equally."
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