Sony vs Comcast’s 250GB “Cap”

When major global companies like Sony decide that Comcast’s 250GB ‘cap‘ on data downloading makes entering a streaming video business not worthwhile, then you know things are coming to a head. From Ars Technica, “Sony: Internet video service on hold due to Comcast data cap“:

An executive from Sony said Monday that concerns about Comcast’s discriminatory data cap are giving the firm second thoughts about launching an Internet video service that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March, Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast’s own video service would be exempted from the cable giant’s 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap.

Oops...we've gone over the 250GB 'cap' for the last 3 months! (Click for larger view)

I am growing SO weary of the obvious control Comcast is leveraging in order to protect their own cable TV franchise. Here are posts I’ve written about this in the past, pointing out how Comcast is a monopoly and how the 250GB ‘cap’ is there to ensure Comcast can deliver their video services and keep out competition. Any other explanation I’ve heard from Comcast or others to the contrary is a load of crap.  

As you can see from the Comcast Customer Central image to your right, my household has exceeded the Comcast 250GB cap three months in a row. Are we going to get shut down like this guy? Maybe (especially after this post). The kicker is that Comcast has always classified households like ours as “excessive use“.

I do spend a lot of money with Comcast every month: home TV; home internet; the quite fast business class 50/10 DOCSIS 3 service in my own firm. I also evangelize Comcast’s business class service to others and also run a Minnesota tech site called Minnov8 that would certainly serve as one helluva bully pulpit should I get cut off.

Fortunately I’m certain we’re atypical in our data use in our area. Comcast states on that excessive use page that, “We contact customers who have repeatedly exceeded the threshold in geographic areas where those excessive users are, or could, negatively impact the experience of other customers in their area.” It’s unlikely we’re causing issues for anyone within our network subnet so hopefully we’re safe.

How can we possibly consume so much data? We’ve got a lot of tech that consumes data with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and devices (e.g., AppleTVs, a TiVo box and a Sony Playstation) which stream Netflix. Since we’re avid users of on-demand streaming — and have always found Comcast’s on-demand streaming and access to it a joke — we use what our family considers best-of-breed services. 

With Sony, Netflix and possibly Apple (rumors about them shipping a TV) lining up to battle with Comcast over equal access to the network, I’m really hoping Comcast gets forced to be network neutral. Otherwise we’ll all be relegated to their less-than-good services. Or, as the old joke from the 1990s went about the former monopoly Microsoft vs. Apple, “If it hadn’t been for the Macintosh user interface being invented, we’d all still be using a command line MS-DOS.

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  1. jacob on July 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    no more cap.. you should be ok

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.