Take a look at this post by Ars Technica about Comcast’s announcement that they will not only start streaming their ‘on-demand’ video on the Xbox 360, but that it won’t count against your data cap. I’m sure Comcast and Microsoft will promote this as a great thing, but it’s pretty damn anti-competitive. Hulu, Netflix and Amazon WILL count against your data cap and those are competitors of Comcast. ISPs should NEVER be allowed to ‘own’ video content. This is just another in a list of reasons why ISPs need net neutrality rules.
EDIT: I encourage anyone interested in commenting on the Ars page. You can get some really good information over there.
Also Edit: AAAAARRAAH! This blog is so freaking slow I don’t even wanna post here!
There is something that’s been bothering me about cloud computing.
Today I saw that Amazon is basically setting up a new version of mp3.com where you can upload your music to their servers and they’ll stream (or download) the music to your various devices. This continues a trend of holding your various data somewhere other than just locally. Sounds cool. Basically it is very cool. I like it.
However, AT&T, Comcast and other ISP’s are putting data caps into their service. This is done in the name of fixing congestion but it is a directly anti-competitive move. These service providers don’t count their own services towards your cap so for example you can watch all the video on demand you want from them, but Netflix, a competitor’s, streaming service is counted towards your cap. If caps are going to be in place for cable, DSL and mobile devices how can cloud computing and streaming services flourish?
Seems data caps, if allowed to be totally controlled by the large ISPs, will stifle their own competition and many new and interesting innovations on the internet. I just see data caps as a lose/lose for customers.