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Apple Reportedly In Talks With Comcast For Separate Apple Streaming Path 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the fast-lane dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple is reportedly in talks with Comcast to obtain a network pathway dedicated to live and on-demand programming for subscribers of unspecified Apple services. In other words, Apple traffic would be separated from the rest of the public's internet traffic. This deal is different from the one Netflix made with Comcast in that Apple is reportedly asking for separate traffic in the path from Comcast facilities to consumer homes; the Netflix deal only gains Netflix direct access to the Comcast network. While net neutrality rules no longer restrict ISPs from monetizing their traffic prioritization, Comcast is still bound in that respect until 2018 as part of the conditions for its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011."
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Apple Reportedly In Talks With Comcast For Separate Apple Streaming Path

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  • S C U M B A G S (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:43AM (#46562643)

    This is how the internet dies : Toll roads.

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Pretty soon, Comcast == internet. Sad.

    • Re:S C U M B A G S (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nexus7 (2919) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:31AM (#46563013)

      Or, it could mean that municipalities, Google, and others who view internet access as an utility, have 7 years to get their act together.

      • by Nexus7 (2919)

        Oh wait, it isn't 2011. 3 years, then.

      • by goombah99 (560566)

        As much as I deplore the kow tow to Comcast, I hardly think google is messaiah here. Google has been buying up dark fiber as well as building out its own networks in cities. I doubt this is benevolence at work. All your data will be sold. Just a different profiteering model that a monopoly can impose.

    • Re:S C U M B A G S (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:45AM (#46563149) Homepage

      You know, I honestly don't care anymore. If there's a war brewing over how to deliver media content over the web and into our homes, fuck it. At this point, perhaps the only winning move is to not play. I have better things to do with my time anyways.

      Just my 2 cents.

      • You know, I honestly don't care anymore. If there's a war brewing over how to deliver media content over the web and into our homes, fuck it. At this point, perhaps the only winning move is to not play. I have better things to do with my time anyways.

        Just my 2 cents.

        You have a good point. The best way to beat this is by not paying to play. However, you and I would be in a minority because most folks out there are enthralled with media content and games. The reality of this is that we would be pretty hard pressed to convince most to do without this. Therefore, people may gripe and grumble, but in the end, it's all a bunch of hot air.

    • We the Customers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigpat (158134) on Monday March 24, 2014 @09:00AM (#46563259)

      What is being glossed over when the CEOs come out and say that Netflix and other content providers want a "free ride" is that it isn't Comcast that is paying for this network infrastructure and their customers aren't their property... We the customers are paying for this network infrastructure with our money and we are being told we are getting a level of bandwidth service to the "Internet".

      For CEOs of Comcast and Verizon to demand that Netflix or others raise their prices and pass along those price increases to the customers of Verizon and Comcast if they want to connect to these networks is fundamentally a dishonest argument for fairness since it is the customers of Verizon and Comcast that want to access these Internet services in the first place and it is the Verizon and Comcast customers that are already paying both companies in order to do so.

      It is way past time for government regulation. Either at the state, federal or local level to demand net neutrality. And if localities can't impose net neutrality in their licensing, permit or franchise agreements because the big companies have bought off the Feds again, then municipalities should just put up their own wires.

      • by Solandri (704621)
        If the ISP market were competitive, Comcast and Verizon would be paying Netflix and Apple for the privilege of locally hosting their content. The ISPs would want these streaming services to work well on their networks, lest their customers flee to a different ISP which provided better streaming service. The incentive would be strong enough for the ISP to pay Netflix and Apple so they could host the content locally.

        That the opposite is happening is entirely an artifact of the government-granted monopoly
        • by bigpat (158134)

          A healthy market would result in local peering with content providers networks. So if a telecoms customers need better access to a providers content, then the content provider should be able to peer locally with the telecom or yes pay the telecom to use their backbone services, but that should be optional

          At this point I think there should be nothing short of a complete separation between telecoms and the content providers. The Feds should demand that Comcast divest NBC Universal and all other content in o

    • ^ This.

      Seriously Apple (and Tim Cook) should be called out for this scumbaggery because clearly it ain't in the interests of anyone ('cept Comcast and media providers with deep pockets).
    • This is how the internet dies : Toll roads.

      Well, toll roads didn't kill real, physical roads. So I suspect we're going to see the death of something other than the actual Internet.

    • INDIRECT toll roads, where charges vary by car manufacturer or the brand of fuel inside them, or some other nonsense. If it were only toll roads, paid by all the users as they use it, it really wouldn't be a problem at all. (IMHO that would be downright good news for everyone, and we can only hope we're able to get to such a situation.) It's the bundling and attempts change at what point a person makes a decision about when to pay for bandwidth, to obscure costs and control who can cost-effectively parti

      • by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 24, 2014 @11:10AM (#46564479)

        Ironic that you talk about bundling as being bad ... your Internet pipe is a 'all or nothing bundle' by definition. You don't want that changed because theres a VERY good chance you'll (as a techie) be in a group that pays a fuckton more than others since you aren't going to be the standard generic type of user who helps share the cost of the services they use.

        You will almost certainly be an outlier.

        And they ALREADY CHARGED YOU.

        When you pay you internet provider, do you not feel that your agreement with them is for a pipe to the Internet and that ALL traffic over it is created equal? Why do you seem to think you should not only pay for the bandwidth ... but then pay extra because you use someone specific?

        Why are you arguing the get charged twice for the same service?

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          theres a VERY good chance you'll (as a techie) be in a group that pays a fuckton more than others since you aren't going to be the standard generic type of user who helps share the cost of the services they use.

          Hard to say. It's possible but I wouldn't be so sure; I see nontechies do amazingly volumnous things that make me cringe, but you might be right that some of my habits more than balance that out. If I do happen to use twice as much bandwidth as my neighbor, though, then I'm ok with paying about twi

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      We are good until then.

      Then it all falls apart.

  • Rent-seeking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SkunkPussy (85271) on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:46AM (#46562675) Journal

    The floodgate of pay to play has been unleashed.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      These are two of the most evil companies of the face of the Earth. Apple, because, well, Steve Jobs. And Comcast gouges everyone that depends on them for internet services.
      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        Why is this modded down? It's entirely fair to point out that both of these companies have a long and well-established history of walled gardens and heavy-handiness. Just because so many fanboys have a love-on for Apple on slashdot (and hate-on for MS) doesn't make Apple any less evil in their business dealings. And if there are any fans of Comcast out there in the universe, they must be about as rare as Yetis.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Well, other than his argument is retarded and anyone who isn't a rabid fanboy or 'stick it to the man, man' kind of douche doesn't really have a problem with Apple.

          When you're in a tiny minority group with the ignorance level of the KKK, you're going to get treated as such. You people pick one thing, pull it out of context, and try to make it out as pure evil. You just make yourself look stupid outside of your own useless little clic

    • Re:Rent-seeking? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:55AM (#46562723) Homepage

      It will be interesting to see if Apple are forced to charge a higher price because of this. If not it would look like monopoly abuse, using their dominant position to cut margins to levels others couldn't sustain and paying for exclusive access to customers.

      It does seem rather un-Apple like though. Normally they just tell service providers they should be privileged to have Apple products on their network and must provide a minimum level of service to them, like the did with the iPhone. Maybe it's due to Jobs not being around any more, maybe Comcast learned from the mobile carrier's mistakes.

      • Re:Rent-seeking? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Revek (133289) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:10AM (#46562849) Homepage

        They have the cable tv mentality. I work for a small cable company and I can assure you that the ultimate goal is to leverage the small guys out of business. Tell me one large company in this country that isn't set up like a despots dream. Its funny how america is about democracy on the surface but allows non democratic entity to attain the vote in the country.

        • I'm extremely liberal, but "attain the vote" is going a bit far. We don't let corporations vote. We say they have the right to free speech, which seems odd, but why would a group of people collectively lose their individual rights to free speech?

          Conflating campaign contributions with free speech is also a little odd, but 1: supporting a political leader you like with money to continue talking does seem like a freedom people should have and 2: money always buys influence in politics. I'm convinced th
          • by MightyYar (622222)

            Things are indeed "weird". I think we went just a smidgen too far with the "corporations as people" metaphor. We have to take a step back and realize that corporations only exist because of a government charter... they are really an extension of government and we can do anything we want with them.

            There is no "natural" state of the corporation, and there is no libertarian argument for freeing them from regulation. In fact quite the opposite - the invention of "limited liability" completely throws off liberta

      • Re:Rent-seeking? (Score:4, Informative)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:11AM (#46562865)

        Apple has nothing even approaching a monopoly in any of their markets. Perhaps in dedicated MP3 players, if anyone still cares about that market... I think they had something like 70% of that at one time.

        Comcast is a terrible company, and I wish them luck trying to sell pieces of their Comcrapstic pipe. So long as it doesn't affect my internet service, I don't really care what they fill it with. Right now it is filled with useless (to me) channels.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Monopoly wasn't the best choice of words where. I meant dominant position. They can afford to pay Comcast for guaranteed bandwidth to customers, ensuring their streaming service works well. They can afford it because they already have a strong position, lots of users and a vast pot of money to throw at the problem to crush everyone else. Smaller players can't do that so end up being unusable on Comcast and losing customers.

          I don't know about in the US but in the UK they usually put a stop to that sort of th

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            Apple couldn't crush Samsung if they sunk their last dime into it. The smartphone ecosystem is one of the most exciting, dynamic, and competitive there has been in technology in my lifetime. Well, there was the early PC and video game market, but I was a little young to appreciate those.

            • by mikael (484)

              The early PC game market accelerated as fast as the smartphone market is now. PC video went from CGA (4 color) to EGA (16 color), VGA (256 color x 320x200), SVGA (256 x 1024x768 and higher) in a couple of years. PC audio went from the speaker to MIDI (AdLib/Soundblaster) and sampled audio in the same time. Clock speeds just about doubled every year (4.77 MHz first IBM clones, followed by 8 MHz the year after, then 16, 20, 25, 40, 60, 80, 120, 166, 325, 450, then 1 GHz, and upwards). After floating-point uni

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Perhaps in dedicated MP3 players, if anyone still cares about that market... I think they had something like 70% of that at one time.

          Not even then, since people were free to buy comparable products at comparable prices and then free to buy the same music at comparable prices from places other than the iTunes store.

      • Re: Rent-seeking? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Karlt1 (231423)

        If not it would look like monopoly abuse, using their dominant position to cut margins to levels others couldn't sustain and paying for exclusive access to customers.

        Response 1: What monopoly?
        Response 2: You mean how Google uses it's monopoly on search to fund Android and give it away for free - reducing the margin to 0?

        • If not it would look like monopoly abuse, using their dominant position to cut margins to levels others couldn't sustain and paying for exclusive access to customers.

          Response 1: What monopoly?
          Response 2: You mean how Google uses it's monopoly on search to fund Android and give it away for free - reducing the margin to 0?

          Response 1: What monopoly?

        • How about how Google are currently using unfair competition to destroy Dropbox and other major cloud syncing solutions...?

          • by spacepimp (664856)

            How exactly are they using "unfair competition" to destroy dropbox and other "major cloud syncing solutions"?
            Maybe they are pricing this so low that DropBox cannot compete on cost/volume. But for the others out there. iCloud/OnDrive (MS)/Sharefile (Citrix) etc, they have very deep pockets, and could on the same scale their pricing for the consumer. What is the actual cost to Google for their price/offering?

      • It will be interesting to see if Apple are forced to charge a higher price because of this. If not it would look like monopoly abuse, using their dominant position to cut margins to levels others couldn't sustain and paying for exclusive access to customers.

        It does seem rather un-Apple like though. Normally they just tell service providers they should be privileged to have Apple products on their network and must provide a minimum level of service to them, like the did with the iPhone. Maybe it's due to Jobs not being around any more, maybe Comcast learned from the mobile carrier's mistakes.

        Apple already charges higher prices. The extra "ability to stream" will probably be easily absorbed into their fees. But the prices is miniscule compared to the ability to get google and microsoft devices locked out of the internet.

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        Normally they just tell service providers they should be privileged to have Apple products on their network

        Rumor has it that they're asking Comcast for a cut of the money for each subscriber, for the privilege of being allowed on an Apple product. So, it seems that mentality is still present (though it's still unclear if Comcast, with all their new power, is going to play along).

      • by thoth (7907)

        Monopoly abuse? You mean of Comcast, the ISP, right?

        Once Netflix caved, paying for bandwidth (the whole thing about an ISP not actually providing the bandwidth they claim to their consumers is another issue), the race will be on for others to do the same.

        Or are you going to claim that Comcast, after extorting special payments from Netflix and then demanding the same from Apple, is the fair and free-market way an ISP is supposed to behave??

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Normally they just tell service providers they should be privileged to have Apple products on their network and must provide a minimum level of service to them, like the did with the iPhone. Maybe it's due to Jobs not being around any more, maybe Comcast learned from the mobile carrier's mistakes.

        Ahaha. Man, the selective rewriting of history on slashdot is hilarious to read.

        Apple was a nothing player in the mobile space before the iPhone (they had the disastrous ROKR collaboration with Motorola) and the carriers all flatly rejected them (most notably Verizon) and the terms Apple was after. Apple had to concede pretty hefty terms to AT&T (the very long exclusivity deal) to get what they were after because no one expected the iPhone to actually be a success.

        The way you tell it, it sounds like you

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      For the unenlightened? yes.
      The rest of us will start forming a shadow internet under it all to get around the ISP tricks. Kind of like TOR but better built with tricks to hide what it really is from the ISP. There are already people working on it, now it will have a use for those that want to use the internet as intended and not as the corporate overlords decide it should be used as.

      Because you know that it is only a few years away befoer they start double dipping and not only charging NEtflix for acces

      • The solution to non-benevolent monopolies in the common-carrier industry:

        https://twitter.com/fulldecent... [twitter.com]

      • Because you know that it is only a few years away befoer they start double dipping and not only charging NEtflix for access, but charging the user as well for access to netflix.

        They already charge the user for access to Netflix because they charge the user for access to the Internet, which includes Netflix.

        Charging Netflix for access is itself double-dipping. Your scenario would be TRIPLE-dipping!

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Stop giving them ideas.

          Xfinity now with uber super premium Netflix access for only an extra $49.95 a month on top of your required 300m top tier plan.

          * full cable tv lineup subscription required with a minimum 5 on demand purchases a month.

        • I'm jokingly trying to imagine a method whereby they could quadruple dip.

          I bet someone somewhere is doing the same, but seriously.

  • There's no 'separate pathway' over a single line. Are they talking about QoS?

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:54AM (#46562715)
    It's not unbelievable Apple would desire this, and to speak it out loud means they think there's a chance of getting it implemented, but fear not:

    There is just no way our honorable representatives are going to let some monopolistic shite like this get shoved down our throats.

    The rest of you voted for the honest candidate...Right?

  • by ElBeano (570883) on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:54AM (#46562717)
    I'm sure we'll see a rush to judgment that these deals are the end of network neutrality, blah, blah. From the outside looking in, we don't really know what added value is being provided to the content providers. Quite possibly, likely in my view, Comcast is providing CDN services to Netflix, and may be doing so for Apple as well. If so, there are benefits all around, in terms of Comcast, Netflix and reducing backbone congestion. A CDN is quite different from a toll road.
    • Furthermore, the Internet as we know it today would not be able to function without CDNs. The only people who would be empowered would be those conducting DDOS attacks.
      • Furthermore, the Internet as we know it today would not be able to function without CDNs.

        "The Internet as we know it today" is worse than it was before CDNs! At least back then it was closer to peer-to-peer with normal users hosting their own content, instead of the glorified TV network we have today...

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Possibly, but if the content is going to start coming from my ISPs own network, it better not be counted in my monthly usage either. This would be a nice way for it to turn out, but I'm pessimistic that it will actually work out that way.
      • by lseltzer (311306)
        Nothing comes *from* your network. It comes from Apple directly to the Comcast local offices and there to the last mile.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Yeah, but if Comcast has a CDN, then the data only needs to be transferred once from Apple to the local Comcast offices. At which point it can be streamed to all the local Comcast customers without additional traffic. At least if it's designed correctly anyway. Once one person watches a show on Netflix, the CDN should retain a copy so that other users can watch the same movie. I guess there's some problems with privacy and the ISP knowing which customers are watching which movies, but they can probably fig
      • Possibly, but if the content is going to start coming from my ISPs own network, it better not be counted in my monthly usage either. This would be a nice way for it to turn out, but I'm pessimistic that it will actually work out that way.

        It make sense not to count it. If Apple gives Comcast a cut of the revenue in exchange for the pipe, Comcast would have a vested interest in having customers use Apple's services. They already are getting your money for the pipe, so any Apple' money is just more revenue and it would be counter productive to do something to limit it. In addition, by getting deals in place they can start building for a future where subscribing to traditional cable dwindles in favor of al la carte delivery by companies such as

        • Comcast would have a vested interest in having customers use Apple's services.

          Lawsuit on line 1...

          • Comcast would have a vested interest in having customers use Apple's services.

            Lawsuit on line 1...

            On what grounds? They already resell content and call it cable TV; from the sounds of TFA Comcast would deliver it as a managed service rather than as a simple stream.

      • by TyFoN (12980)

        Are we still dealing with metering on regular internet connections?

        We have that here on 4g broadband services, I think the last time I checked, you could get 100 GB 4g up to 80 mbit broadband for $100 a month.

        But I prefer 100/100 mbit unmetered fiber for the same price though :)

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Possibly, but if the content is going to start coming from my ISPs own network, it better not be counted in my monthly usage either.

        Unfortunately, that makes less than no sense. It's not that expensive to put your traffic on the internet. It's very expensive to build out the cable network to handle more subscriber traffic.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Personally, I think the problem is the way they price out the connections. With my ISP, you get 80 GB of transfer on a 25 mbit connection. This means over the entire month, I only have 8.9 hours of full speed downloading before I reach the cap. In order to get more throughput, I must buy a faster connection. Next tier up is 120 GB and a 35 mbit connection. Now I'm up to 9.5 hours of full speed downloading. Next just is 150GB/45mbit, back down to 9.3 hours at full speed. The most expensive is 2TB/350mbit
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Personally, I think the problem is the way they price out the connections.

            Charging whatever the market will bear is a separate problem.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Possibly, but if the content is going to start coming from my ISPs own network, it better not be counted in my monthly usage either. This would be a nice way for it to turn out, but I'm pessimistic that it will actually work out that way.

        And that's probably what Apple wants - people who use Netflix get billed on their quota, but people who use Apple's service gets it "for free" without it counting on their quota.

        Because Apple doesn't want people who use their streaming service to suddenly get shocked with h

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Possibly, but if the content is going to start coming from my ISPs own network, it better not be counted in my monthly usage either. This would be a nice way for it to turn out, but I'm pessimistic that it will actually work out that way.

        That depends on your ISP.

        My ISP doesn't count traffic from Steam against the peak-hour monitoring (customers are uncapped, but may be throttled if they exceed 10-20GB of traffic at peak hours of the evening) because they have a CDN set up that serves bulk game downloads from within their own network which is nice. They don't explicitly say they do this, but I know the traffic policy is in effect and I am never throttled regardless of the time of day or regardless of how much I pull from steam or youtube, an

    • CDNs are exactly the same as a toll road. There is limited bandwidth over the wires and in this case Comcast is going to be bumping some other content providers off the road in order to make way for Apple exclusive use.
    • by headhot (137860)

      This is not for a CDN its for DSCP markings on the streams, allowing them to be differentiated over then routers and the CMTSes. Once there the traffic can be metered or prioritized different.

    • by Drethon (1445051)
      True, the CDN does not violate Network Neutrality. Now if netflix or other apps are slowed down if they do not use the CDN...
    • by alen (225700)

      comcast doesn't have a CDN, they rent space in their datacenters to Limelight and Akamai
      apple uses akamai which is why their content is always fast to load
      netflix used to use limelight until late last year when they tried to push openconnect. even then i read on some of the professional IT websites that the contract with netflix was so low that limelight barely made a profit

    • by hey! (33014)

      Except a CDN is not what is being described in the article, which is

      a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast's cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web,

      This, in plain language, describes preferential routing for Apple's services. Now given the quality of technology journalism it's quite possible that Comcast and Apple are actually working on setting up a content delivery network, but that this as garbled along the way by an ignorant journalist. That's a plausible interpretation of what has been presented as fact, especially given the special restrictions Comcast agreed to as part of ge

  • Trojan Horse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by advantis (622471) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:34AM (#46563043)

    I'm not sure if I'm reading it right, but it feels like:

    1. Get dedicated wires laid down by Comcast for you;
    2. Start with Apple-only services on your new national network that Comcast gladly laid down for you;
    3. A bit later, start offering general Internet services through your brand new national network that Comcast can't take away from you no matter how much they scream in horror;
    4. Be ahead of Google Fiber in term of reach, since Comcast were so helpful in helping you compete with them;
    5. Profit!

    Did I miss anything?

    • by kaiser423 (828989)
      From the rumor's going around, Comcast isn't laying down any extra wires that Apple owns or controls. It would literally be like a separate VPN on the wires already coming to your house that has enough bandwidth guaranteed to it to give you an "Apple" experience; aka quick start, no buffer, high quality, etc. So I doubt that this is the plan, and I sincerely doubt that Comcast would lay down extra wires at their expense and then just give them to Apple. I just don't see how your scenario is really plausi
    • Here's the way I see it:

      1. Watch when Comcast and other ISPs try to screw over Netflix streaming (this was confirmed last week here on slashdot).
      2. Attempt to address the problem for your own streaming service through negotiation/bribery/whatever before your customers notice that their streaming suffers.
      3. Profit!

      • It will be come like the cable company on top of the cable company. Endless bundling of $8 a month ESPN with a dozen Swedish language Teletubby rerun stations. Shows exclusively on one platform or the other. All delivered via a regional monopoly cable layer who got bribed by the highest bidder for bandwidth. Your home internet service: low priority QoS (I wonder if that will be added to the user agreement (no servers, no kiddy porn and oh by the way your bits it the lowest priority: we'll send them ... if w

    • 6. Lay down dedicated wires for service oriented businesses that don't appear to compete with you yet.

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      I can't believe Comcast wouldn't see something like that coming though, nor have term limits that would let them stop it quickly enough for it not to be a viable proposition for Apple.

      I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Apple have something in the works for a network. So far they've been happy to make deals, but Apple like to be in control of everything themselves. If they were going to do something like that though, I would assume that they'd try to jump straight to mobile networks and skipping w

    • by spacepimp (664856)

      They'll just use up bandwidth that would otherwise be slotted for customers of Comcast, which were heavily subsidized by US tax dollars.

    • Did I miss anything?

      Yes. You forgot the very important step right before profit: ??? ;)

  • Customers like end-users content providers pay for bandwidth access. And Netflix for example and it's users are customers are due what they have paid for. Anything else is extortion. Seriously, why dangle higher speeds in front of customers if you aren't allowing them to use it? Don't sell what you have no intention of supporting. Paying a third time for extra guaranteed bandwidth is nothing but extortion when you are threatening the content providers income.
  • The new Tivo Roamio pretty much does this already. Pay $2.50 / month for a cable card and use the Tivo box directly. It integrates with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime video and others as well as live tv. You can search for programs on all services at the same time and choose where you watch it (or if you will buy it from Amazon). It's pretty much awesome.

    I get the "everything on demand" that Apple is shooting for is slightly different, but the bulk of this fight has already been fought by Tivo for you.

  • This is very sad news indeed. The internet was founded on an open, neutral platform. This is just pure and simple greed on the part of Big Telecom. I will chalk the defeat of net neutrality up to another one of the Obama Administration's growing list of failures. By that same token, I think a Republican would have failed equally. The U.S. political system is broken and dysfunctional.
  • What's really going on here is that Comcast (and the other cable companies) realize that some/most/all of their current subscriber base is eventually going to "cut the cable" and go with internet-based TV and free broadcast TV. It's easier than you think if you have an Apple TV or Roku or some such.

    What Comcast is doing is trying to find a way to keep their revenue up when they're not hauling in boatloads on the Cable TV side of the ledger. When content providers are paying for bits, then Comcast has a
  • It costs X to provision and maintain internet service, you charge Y > X to a customer every month, and you clear Y-X in profit. Why is this so fucking difficult?

    I've always viewed Apple afficionados as having an overly inflated sense of self-superiority to everyone else in tech matters, but I've always chalked it up to self-justification for the premium they pay up for Apple products and their patented rectangles. If their premium goes instead towards taking bandwidth away from me or bidding up the

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