Comcast: Xfinity Streaming on Xbox Live Won’t Count Towards Data Cap

Daniel McCall - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 11:49 p.m. ET

Starting tomorrow, Comcast’s Xfinity streaming service will finally be making its way to Xbox Live alongside the HBO Go app, giving Xbox 360 owners quite a bit more choice in streaming content.. unless you’re a Comcast subscriber, in which case your options just got narrowed down to 1.

Ahead of the launch of Xfinity on Xbox Live, Comcast updated its FAQ with some new information on how the service will work on Xbox Live, and one bit has net neutrality backers crying foul–and rightly so.

According to the FAQ, Comcast says that data streamed over Xbox Live using the Xfinity service will not count towards the monthly data cap. Sounds good, right? I mean, who wants to have yet another service to push them to their bandwidth limit?

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The problem lies in the fact that Comcast is making their own service far more appealing than its competitors by not counting data usage from Xfinity towards the data cap. If you use Xfinity, your 250GB data cap won’t be dented–if you use Hulu Plus or, well, anything else, it goes towards your cap. If there was ever a good argument for net neutrality, this would be it.

If that’s not confusing enough for you, it gets worse. Ars Technica reports:

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“Comcast says the Xbox app gets special treatment because the video is “being delivered over our private IP network and not the public Internet.” This gives the service a potentially large advantage over not just other video streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, but also over Comcast On Demand content streamed through the company’s website and mobile apps, both of which count against the data limits.”

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So, to recap, Comcast thinks it’s justified because its “private IP network” isn’t part of the “public” internet. Nope, that still doesn’t make sense.


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