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Question: Will Suddenlink Cap Data Usage?
Yes - 5 (100%)
No - 0 (0%)
Uncertain - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 5

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Author Topic: Suddenlink Is Capping Usage!  (Read 9877 times)
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« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2012, 10:01:04 am »

Are bandwidth caps about easing congestion, or protecting television?

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The dirty secret

ISPs imposing data caps claim that “data hogs” — loosely, customers pulling down more than 250GB a month in data — are disproportionately consuming network resources, causing congestion, and impacting Internet performance for other customers. However, it’s important to remember that broadband providers like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and others are delivering their television content to their customers via the same IP network infrastructure that supports their broadband Internet service.

If a television customer watches the average four hours and forty minutes of programming a day in high definition (or, perhaps, has multiple televisions or DVRs accessing standard-definition content) they are already consuming bandwidth in the same ballpark as data usage the providers categorize as abusive. Of course, television and broadband Internet access are separate services for which providers bill separately, but from the point of view of network congestion, it’s all just data going down the same pipes. In general terms, average television users utilize the provider’s network as heavily as “data hogs.”

The data usage is the same.  The only difference lies in who gets the money.
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« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2012, 10:59:11 am »

The difference is they get to push television data across their local infrastructure. The local infrastructures have vastly more capacity than data going to/from the internet. If you're on suddenlink, and you're accessing a site that is on suddenlinks local infrastructure, then there won't be any network congestion. But suddenlink doesn't host very many sites...
Internet data, such as netflix or youtube, will have to traverse several different company's networks to get to you.
Same scenario if you run any servers at your house. Access to/from your local server across your switch isn't congested at all, especially compared to internet traffic.

When ISP's complain of "data hogs", they aren't talking about local traffic like TV. They're talking about traffic that flows in and out of their network. So the article is correct, data is data... but it doesn't specify where the data comes from. Thats what matters the most.
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« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2012, 11:55:43 am »

Follow the money.

On a Pay-Per-View/Streaming service, the cable company wants their subscribers to pay them for that service, not Netflix or Amazon or Hulu+ or CinemaNow or VUDU or any other service.

But increasingly that's the direction we're moving.  When content providers decide to go direct-to-consumer and bypass local content redistributers, the local cable TV service will become obsolete.  And that's what they're fighting against.





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« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2012, 01:52:57 pm »

While its true that content providers are increasingly targeting users directly, I do not agree with that being the reason bandwidth caps are being imposed.
I don't care how many shows and movies netflix and hulu have. Until you can use netflix or hulu to watch the superbowl, a UFC championship, or some other event live in HD, there will always be a market for cable/satellite television.

Honestly, I blame the economy. Rising costs associated with providing internet access means you may need to raise prices. But that can be a double-edged sword, and can (and does) cause people to buy service elsewhere. One way to continue to provide the same level of service without increasing prices is to institute bandwidth caps. So instead of raising rates, which can make lots of people angry (example: netflix), they chose to put a cap on the service.

Also, these aren't "hard caps". They don't shut your internet off when you reach your cap. They just bill you more for the extra data.

Netflix and similar services aren't a total replacement for television service, or pay-per-view.
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« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2012, 03:45:11 pm »

@ Marty:

Oh, absolutely agreed!

Like I said, follow the money.  There are many factors influencing data caps.  Self-preservation is only one.

Quote
Netflix and similar services aren't a total replacement for television service, or pay-per-view.

Not yet.  However:

Quote
A comprehensive study of the digital lifestyle and online behaviour has found that those with online access use the Internet more than they use the TV.

From: Internet Now Used More Than TV  Monday, 11 October 2010 (nearly two years ago)

We've seen a major decline in print media over the past few years with several major newspapers and magazines either closing or moving to online versions only.  And television isn't far behind.

The Industrial Age, the Automotive Age, the Space Age, and now the Digital Age have all lead to major historical changes.  A paradigm shift is already occurring in the broadcast industries.  Where we'll end up is still anybody's guess.

But one thing is for certain:  The genie is out of the bottle and there's no way to cork it.


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« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2012, 10:39:13 am »

Comcast launching Xfinity Streampix to compete with Netflix

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Comcast is launching its own video streaming service this week, the company announced on Tuesday. Dubbed "Xfinity Streampix," the new service appears to address concerns that customers are increasingly attracted to online services such as Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and Hulu Plus.

Streampix will be included in certain cable subscription packages. However, it will also be offered as a $4.99 per month add-on for other customers. Unfortunately, Comcast appears to be offering the service only to existing video services subscribers; if you're merely paying Comcast for its high speed Internet service, you won't be able to add Streampix.

Yep.  If you can't beat'em...

See also:

Comcast Steampix Joins Attack on Netflix

Quote
The service, called Xfinity Streampix, will be free for subscribers to Comcast's triple play service of TV, Internet, and phone. For other Comcast subscribers, Streampix will cost $4.99 per month, Variety reports. The service will be available on the Web, mobile devices and connected TV platforms, but Comcast hasn't announced any specific apps yet.

Comcast is creating its own version of Netflix and giving it away for free to many of its subscribers in an attempt to get those subscribers to drop their Netflix subscription.

In marketing terms, this practice is known as "Dumping:"

Quote
In economics, "dumping" is any kind of predatory pricing, especially in the context of international trade. It occurs when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price either below the price charged in its home market, or in quantities that cannot be explained through normal market competition.

Dumping can force established domestic producers out of a market and lead to monopolistic positions by the exporting nation. For example, a glut of Chinese garlic exports in the mid 2000s forced many North American producers to switch crops and leave the market. When the price of Chinese garlic soared in 2009, the shuttered North American businesses were unable to quickly re-enter the local market due to barriers to entry.

Although the term is usually applied to international trade, it has been employed successfully in smaller scale domestic markets.  Intentionally undercutting the competition to drive them out-of-business may be unethical, but it is not illegal unless the competitor can prove that it constitutes unfair competition - an expensive and time consuming legal battle.


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« Reply #51 on: March 02, 2012, 10:14:42 am »

Reed Hastings has gone mad: Netflix could one day be a part of your cable package

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Threatened by the likes of HBO, Netflix may one day attach itself to the very cable companies its been competing with.

How does Netflix plan to do this? Via its original content efforts, which have already begun with shows like Lilyhammer and the David Fincher production of House of Cards, which will premiere later this year.

Hastings called it a “logical path” to be connected directly to cable companies, which could bundle Netflix in much the same way that they do channels like HBO and ESPN.

An interesting progression.  Netflix as a cable channel.
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« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2012, 09:53:44 am »

Netflix already in talks with cable companies, could be integrated this year: Reuters

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn't shy about wanting to get his service in your cable box, but we were under the impression that it was a faraway target. According to Reuters, though, Hastings has already been meeting with cable companies about the possibility of adding Netflix to their bundles, and one person familiar with the matter said that at least one provider may try offering the service before the end of the year. It's not clear how exactly the integration would work — it could take the form of an on-demand app for cable boxes, similar to current implementations on game consoles and mobile devices, but there's also the possibility of it being a discrete add-on to your cable bill.

A smart move for both parties.  Netflix expands its customer base and the cable companies get "a piece of the action."
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« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2012, 10:23:50 am »

Why bandwidth caps could be a threat to competition

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Bandwidth is perishable. You can't save it now to use later. As a result, most networks are heavily congested at some times and well below capacity at others. During periods of peak demand, bandwidth is scarce and each additional user imposes costs on others. The rest of the time, bandwidth is plentiful and adding an additional user to the network is almost costless.

That means that monthly bandwidth consumption is a crude way to measure a user's contribution to congestion. For example, residential broadband networks tend to experience peak demand in the evening, when people are at home watching videos. Customers who generate most of their traffic at other times of day—for example, a woman who works from home and generates most of her traffic during the day, or a teenager who downloads large files from BitTorrent late at night—might generate a lot of traffic, but have a negligible effect on other users.

Metering encourages users to minimize their network use at all times, even if the network has plenty of spare capacity most of the day. While usage-based billing schemes may help reduce congestion at peak periods, it wastefully discourages people from using the network the rest of the time.

Quote
In other words, the broadband cap may have less to do with managing congestion on Comcast's data network than with making over-the-top video services like Netflix and Hulu unattractive for heavy television users who are the most lucrative customers for Comcast's paid video services.

Actually, data caps should help boost competition.

Competing broadband providers who do not impose data caps could use that to their advantage and lure costumers away from those companies that do impose data caps.

I just wish we had one of those around here.
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« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2012, 11:47:31 am »

What really stinks about bandwidth caps is it hinders cloud based services. Take the new Google Drive that just launched. For $5 per month, I can get 100GB of online storage... but for a Suddenlink user on a 10mb connection, that 100GB is 2/3rds of their monthly bandwidth cap. In order to get that much data out into the cloud, it'll eat up a significant portion of their cap, and they may even end up paying more that month.
Then take into consideration any synchronisation that needs to occur to maintain the data, and you could possibly eat up your entire bandwidth cap. And heaven forbid you have a hard drive failure and have to download all that data again.

There's a TON of possibilities that come with faster and faster broadband. But the fact that its being (severely) limited by bandwidth caps hinders innovation, imho. I have to constantly monitor my usage because I've already gone over the limit 3 times. If I go over my limit again, I'll have to pay more. And I already have the most expensive residential package they offer... Sad
Not feeling the love, Suddenlink...
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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2012, 09:05:24 am »

A new twist!

Comcast Plans To Raise Subscriber Bandwidth Caps, Add Additional Data Options

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Comcast has fallen under fire recently for the way it handles its Xfinity app on the Xbox 360 console; basically, the company doesn't count the bandwidth against subscribers' monthly data cap. It sounds great for Comcast customers, but critics -- including Netflix's Reed Hastings -- say the practice is a violation of Net Neutrality. Perhaps to silence the screams for blood, Comcast announced today that it plans on increasing its data cap and trying out some new data management approaches.

See also:

Comcast Now Lets You Use 300GB of Bandwidth a Month [VIDEO]

and

Comcast answers data cap questions

Quote
In the wake of its decision to suspend its 250GB per month data caps while it considers two plans that would increase them to at least 300GB per month, Comcast execs took questions from journalists today about the move. Here, then, are Comcast's answers to the top questions, in bite-sized form. Unless indicated, all statements were made by Executive Vice President David L. Cohen.

How should journalists headline their stories today? "The headline today should be that there isn't a cap anymore. We're out of the cap business."

How has Comcast "killed" its caps? "Each of these pilot approaches will effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want."

What Comcast is doing is placing a limit on the amount of bandwidth customers are paying monthly for by setting that limit to 300 GB per month.  If a customer exceeds that limit, they are not "cut off," instead Comcast will add an additional charge to their monthly bill for overages.  So there is no actual cap, but there is a set limit prior to additional charges, thus it's still not an all-you-can-eat service agreement.
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« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2012, 09:50:03 am »

Report: DOJ Investigating Whether Cable Companies Are Purposefully Keeping Streaming Media Down

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Netflix honcho Reed Hastings became mighty upset when it was revealed that Comcast's Xfinity TV app for Xbox 360 doesn't count against subscribers' Internet bandwidth cap, and he took to the Net to voice his displeasure with a barrage of Tweets, comments, and diatribes. Apparently, someone listened to his ranting: a new report claims that the Justice Department is quizzing streaming media companies and cable providers alike to determine if the cable companies, who also control Internet access for many, are "acting improperly" to reduce the threat of Netflix and co.
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« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2012, 07:11:21 am »

Netflix Wants Help from U.S. Against Cable Data Caps

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Netflix Inc., (NFLX) the provider of video by mail and over Internet connections, asked U.S. lawmakers to prevent cable providers from squelching its growth by imposing online-data consumption limits for customers.
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« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2012, 09:00:04 am »

Comcast makes up with Boxee after cable encryption spat

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Such boxes are sometimes referred to as Clear QAM devices, and have exploited the fact that US MSOs have been obliged to deliver some mandatory "must carry" basic channels in the clear so that they can be picked up without needing a set top box. But recently the US cable industry has been lobbying the FCC to change the rule so that they can encrypt QAM and shut down this whole bypass mechanism, which would lock out a large numbers of TVs. This also threatens this burgeoning business in IP-connected third-party devices that bring together basic cable and internet TV. Cable TV makers have wanted to cut down on this trend because it threatened their own OTT and hybrid strategies, and have also argued full encryption is needed to combat piracy, and facilitate remote service turn off to reduce support costs.

But Boxee has taken the fight to them, and has now reached a two-part agreement. The first part involves a temporary solution comprising hardware connected to the Boxee box via an Ethernet port, to decrypt the signals. This enables the MSOs to encrypt all content, while Boxee users can get access to it. But it is an untidy solution involving an extra device and more wires, so the second part of the agreement entails development in the longer term of software based decryption for incorporation in future Boxee devices. Although this agreement, subject to FCC approval, is just between Boxee and Comcast, it will set a precedent for the rest of the US cable industry and other makers of these IP-capable Clear QAM boxes.
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« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2012, 07:24:36 am »

Dish Network in talks with Viacom to offer Internet-based channels

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With the massive adoption of Internet streaming for movies and TV shows many cable companies are worrying that changes may spell doom for the industry. While many mainstream cable companies don’t like the thought of streaming Internet content or smaller channel bundles, Dish Network is said to be talking to networks about offering channels over the Internet. Dish Network is said to be in talks with networks, including Viacom.

According to sources, Dish Network and the television networks would offer an online product known as an over-the-top service charging a lower price to allow a smaller bundle of channels to be viewable on computers or tablets via the Internet. If the reports are accurate, Dish Network’s effort would be the biggest attempt so far to create an online service with live channels. Other online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu don’t offer live programming, though Netflix offers some original programming.

Live content streamed over the Internet directly to the consumer bypassing the local cable companies.  Here it begins.
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