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Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Reed Hastings Goes After Comcast, Again, on Facebook. Again.

Two weeks after Reed Hastings called out Comcast, using his personal Facebook account to vent at the cable company, the Netflix CEO is at it again.

Today’s blast is similar to last month’s in both form and content.

Hastings is once again accusing Comcast of violating “Net neutrality” principles by favoring its own Web video service over those from Netflix, HBO and Hulu, when it comes to data usage. (Last month Hastings also complained that he couldn’t watch HBO GO on his Xbox, but that’s been resolved.)

Here’s the text (you can also see a screenshot, below):

Comcast no longer following net neutrality principles.
Comcast should apply caps equally, or not at all.
I spent the weekend enjoying four good internet video apps on my Xbox: Netflix, HBO GO, Xfinity, and Hulu.
When I watch video on my Xbox from three of these four apps, it counts against my Comcast internet cap. When I watch through Comcast’s Xfinity app, however, it does not count against my Comcast internet cap.
For example, if I watch last night’s SNL episode on my Xbox through the Hulu app, it eats up about one gigabyte of my cap, but if I watch that same episode through the Xfinity Xbox app, it doesn’t use up my cap at all.
The same device, the same IP address, the same wifi, the same internet connection, but totally different cap treatment.
In what way is this neutral?

Reminder: Hastings has all sorts of ways to complain/lobby Comcast and/or regulators (see, for instance, the new Netflix PAC). I continue to find it fascinating that he’s taken to posting on Facebook for this stuff. (Another reminder: Hastings is a Facebook board member).

Last month, I asked Hastings and Netflix PR if they wanted to expand on his comments, but never heard back. I’ll let you know if that changes.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald