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Recognized Contributor
Bill-1948
Posts: 803
Registered: ‎06-03-2006

Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

There were numerous reports this weekend speculating that language in a FAQ post on the Comcast  website suggests that the cable TV operator will soon be launching Xfinity on Demand on the Microsoft  Xbox.

However, the timing is not what everyone's talking about. The FAQ also makes clear that "since the content is being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet, it does not count against a customer's bandwidth cap."

The decision may appear surprising, but is probably an obvious one to make, since service providers base caps on the idea that the data governed by the cap is being consumed on the Internet. In any case, Xbox users will be happy. Other Xfinity content, of course, still falls under the cap.

 

 

 Info from FierceCable.com website.

Official Employee
ComcastNick
Posts: 1,296
Registered: ‎12-13-2011

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

The program is only in internal beta testing right now, so I don't really have all the information yet.

From what I understand this service is just letting you use your Xbox to watch VOD movies and shows instead of a cable box.  Since the VOD programming is normally part of your video service, and does not count against a data cap, the VOD programming you access through the Xbox application would follow those same rules.

Comcast Nick
APSC Supervisor
Visitor
JOSawIt
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-28-2011

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

Hi Can you explain why the Xbox, streaming video on demand over my home wifi network from Comcast, is being treated differently than an iPad, streaming the same video from the Xfinity TV app over the same network? The video arrives at my home from my Comcast Internet service in the same manner in each case, doesn't it? The only difference is the device pulling the data from the wifi/wired router. So why does the 250GB data cap apply to the iPad but not the Xbox? For that matter, why isn't VOD over my PC exempt from the data cap? Jen
Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,230
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

[ Edited ]

ComcastNick wrote:

The program is only in internal beta testing right now, so I don't really have all the information yet.

From what I understand this service is just letting you use your Xbox to watch VOD movies and shows instead of a cable box.  Since the VOD programming is normally part of your video service, and does not count against a data cap, the VOD programming you access through the Xbox application would follow those same rules.


We'll cut ya' some slack Nick being an official employee and all :smileyhappy:. But come on, that's silly. An Xbox is just another computer, it isn't a cable box and it has no coax input. When someone request a video on their xBox it won't be metered by the headend and sent via RF like a cable box. It's IP streaming. Comcast's official shtick is that it's being sent over a private network and not the interwebs so they aren't being anti-competitive.

 

This is what net neutrality advocates have been warning about. It appears Comcast is using it's position as a content provider and ISP to unfairly limit the competition. Any other streaming IP service counts against the cap, but you can watch all the Comcast steaming IP you want with no penalty.

 

If you are using Comcast's IP streaming service through the Xbox, you can send unlimited data over the distribution network (nodes etc) which is supposedly what the cap is designed to prevent.   ".... the threshold is intended to protect the online experience of the vast majority of our customers whose Internet speeds could be degraded because one or more of their neighbors engages in consistent high-volume Internet downloads and uploads." (http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/internet/common-questions-excessive-use/#excessive3)

 

If users want to stream TV from providers such as Amazon, Netflix, Google or Apple TV, they risk running up against Comcast's data cap. VOD with Comcast and the Xbox have an advantage over the competition since there is no penalty for unlimited use.

Official Employee
ComcastNick
Posts: 1,296
Registered: ‎12-13-2011

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

I understand where you are coming from.  I was a bit confused about it too, and why the VOD on the Xbox would not count toward the cap, but the Xfinity.tv streaming would count.

 

I did look into it, and the reason why the VOD to the Xbox will not count against the data cap, is that the information stays on our internal(private IP) network, it never touches the public internet.

The net neutrality concern is also interesting, I understand how it can look like a violation, if not in letter, than in spirit.  Our data cap is designed to track the traffic going to the public internet, not our private network, so routine communications between the modem and our servers would not count against the data cap.  Which is why our Xfinity.tv streaming service does count against the cap, like any other Internet based streaming service.

If you like, I can try to get more information on the reasoning, but right now the primary reason is that our VOD servers for the Xbox application are not on the public internet.

Comcast Nick
APSC Supervisor
Gold Problem Solver
BruceW
Posts: 7,508
Registered: ‎12-03-2007

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

[ Edited ]

ComcastNick wrote: ... Our data cap is designed to track the traffic going to the public internet ...

Huh? Comcast's docs say the cap counts all bytes to and from the modem, period. This includes, for example, "SNMP polls" and "cable modem health checks", both of which go nowhere near the public internet (http://netforecast.com/documents/NFR5101_Comcast_Usage_Meter_Accuracy.pdf).


... If you like, I can try to get more information on the reasoning ...

Please do. To call what has been posted so far "gibberish" would be paying it a compliment.

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,230
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage


ComcastNick wrote:.  Which is why our Xfinity.tv streaming service does count against the cap, like any other Internet based streaming service.

 


Hey Nick, 

Are you sure Xfinity.tv streaming service does count against the cap? Maybe I'm confusing it with Streampix?

New Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-15-2009

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

the content available for Comcast’s VOD offering is different from what’s on the iPad app and website — they’re different services and Comcast has negotiated different rights for each. And they aren’t delivered in the same way: VOD runs over the internally built Comcast CDN, while iPad and web streams go over the Internet through third-party CDNs.

Regular Contributor
ERIC8585
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-12-2012

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

Your TOS states that "too much uploading/downloading could cause slow speeds for other users" and I'm assuming these users are on the same node. I was under the impression that this was due to a coax limitation caused by too many customers on a node. If so, the bottleneck would be within Comcast's private network before the data transmission gets to the fiber. So if you're saying we can do unlimited streaming of Comcast content over IP, I guess the reasoning for the data cap is just a bunch of bull after all.

ComcastNick wrote:

I understand where you are coming from.  I was a bit confused about it too, and why the VOD on the Xbox would not count toward the cap, but the Xfinity.tv streaming would count.

 

I did look into it, and the reason why the VOD to the Xbox will not count against the data cap, is that the information stays on our internal(private IP) network, it never touches the public internet.

The net neutrality concern is also interesting, I understand how it can look like a violation, if not in letter, than in spirit.  Our data cap is designed to track the traffic going to the public internet, not our private network, so routine communications between the modem and our servers would not count against the data cap.  Which is why our Xfinity.tv streaming service does count against the cap, like any other Internet based streaming service.

If you like, I can try to get more information on the reasoning, but right now the primary reason is that our VOD servers for the Xbox application are not on the public internet.


Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 11,230
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

I don't think you are going to hear any more from Comcast on this. I noticed Comcast took the "private network" verbiage out of the Xbox FAQ tho. They don't want to talk about it.

 

The FAQ now says : "...similar to traditional cable television service that is delivered to the set-top box, this content doesn’t count toward our data usage threshold. The Xbox 360 running our XFINITY TV app essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service, and our data usage threshold does not apply."

 

 

 

 

Contributor
jd1122
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-24-2011

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

if streaming internet services do not count against the cap then why am i seeing 8 gbs a day from just streaming netflix.i did try to call comcast but gave up after being on hold for 35 minutes,i have been a loyal comcast user for over 15 years but think it might be time to change.the 250 gb cap was fine years ago but now it is outdated by new technology

Regular Contributor
ERIC8585
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-12-2012

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

They're talking about streaming video provided by Comcast not Netflix

Regular Contributor
ERIC8585
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-12-2012

Re: Why caps on internet service, but not XBOX internet useage

Probably not.  They have the worst customer service of any company I've dealt with.

 


i-am-nerdburg wrote:

I don't think you are going to hear any more from Comcast on this. I noticed Comcast took the "private network" verbiage out of the Xbox FAQ tho. They don't want to talk about it.

 

The FAQ now says : "...similar to traditional cable television service that is delivered to the set-top box, this content doesn’t count toward our data usage threshold. The Xbox 360 running our XFINITY TV app essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service, and our data usage threshold does not apply."