▼ Scroll to Site ▼

Comcast Hit With FCC Complaint Over Net Neutrality Violations

Article Featured Image

When broadband providers exempt their own services from their data caps, is that a public good or a public harm?

Non-profit public interest group Public Knowledge has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Comcast's Stream TV service. The complaint says that Comcast excludes Stream TV traffic from its own data cap, which is both a violation of its merger agreement and counter to the FCC's Open Internet rules.

Stream TV is a $15 per month offering for Xfinity internet customers. It includes local channels, some basic cable, HBO, and the use of a cloud DVR. Most content is only available when streamed over the home network.

Public Knowledge's senior staff attorney, John Bergmayer, points out that part of Comcast's merger commitment when it acquired NBC-Universal was a prohibition from excluding its own services from data caps.

The behavior also violates the FCC's Open Internet rules, Bergmayer says, which were created to prevent anti-competitive practices.

“Comcast's actions could result in fewer online video choices for viewers nationwide, while increasing its dominance as a video gatekeeper," Bergmayer says. "If its behavior persists, prices will go up, the number of choices will go down, creators will have a harder time reaching an audience, and viewers will have a harder time accessing diverse and independent programming."

Comcast's response is that Stream TV doesn't go over the internet, but is delivered over the same closed path as its cable streams, and so is exempt from the rules. It calls Stream TV a cable service, not an OTT service.

In its complaint, Public Knowledge asks the FCC to intervene and stop Comcast's actions. It suggests that Comcast could eliminate its broadband data cap or let customer decide which services to exempt. Read the full complaint.

Streaming Covers
Free
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Comcast Talks Xfinity Instant TV, Which May Appear Later in 2017

A revamped version of the company's Comcast Stream service could go for $15 per month, but top execs are skeptical about OTT.

Ajit Pai to Lead FCC, Signals Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

A longtime voice of dissent at the FCC, Pai is expected to reduce media regulations and open the door for more big media mergers.

NAB 2016: FCC Chairman Talks Next-Gen TV, Wireless Auction

The ATSC 3.0 standard will bring 60 fps 4K video to over-the-air broadcasts, but what will happen to older televisions that don't support it?

Comcast Debuts Watchable, Offering Videos From Top Web Creators

Free and ad-supported, Watchable bundles online video originals and streams them to mobile, desktop, and living room viewers.

Comcast Said to Be Readying Online Video Service Called Watchable

Will this platform rival YouTube and Facebook with its nonexclusive content? No, it won't, but some top tech sites think it will.

Comcast Announces Stream, OTT Service for the Young and TV-Less

The cable and pay TV giant goes after cord-nevers with a low-priced streaming offering, but its many limitations ensure it will have a hard time standing out among the competition.