You know that whole net neutrality thing that people have been talking about for a couple of years now? Well the Justice Department is finally opening their eyes to the major cable companies dirty dealings and are investigating them for their practices in “throttling” or a hard data cap.The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department has spoken with video providers like Netflix and Hulu and several cable companies as part of the probe.
The main part of the investigation seems to be Comcast’s Xfinity app, and the fact that if you use the app on their service it would not count towards your data cap where Netflix and Hulu would. That is a clear issue in my opinion and really does break antitrust rules. Also if they are found guilty, this is in direct violation of its agreements that cleared the way for its acquisition of NBCUniversal.
I can understand why they are doing this. These networks aren’t very cheap, but they are forcing us to use their services or be punished when we already pay for them. I had this problem with Time-Warner cable internet. When I was on Youtube or playing games it was fine, but if I tried to watch Netflix or stream MLB.TV my internet connection speed would go from 8Mbps down to .9Mbps. I tested it on many occasions. They came out and nothing was wrong but it was clear to me that because I didn’t buy HBO and a MLB package from them, that I basically was not going to be able to watch competing services.
Also being investigated are the cable companies’ TV Everywhere initiative, where online access requires a verified cable subscription, as well as the distribution contracts content providers sign with cable systems. There is no word on when the investigation will end, or if it is out to actually put a stop to anything. I guess the important thing is that hopefully we will be closer to the cable companies not being able to push us around anymore.