Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Canadian cable companies using bandwidth caps of their ISP subsidiaries to clobber Netflix

Nate Anderson of Ars Technica reports Netflix's announcement last night that Canadians will, receive a lower default-quality video stream to protect them from bandwidth caps by that country's ISPs.

Fast Internet connections could previously chew through 30-70GB of data while streaming 30 hours of Netflix video in a month. Data caps for the Rogers cable operator and for Bell Canada start at 2GB per month; cable operator Shaw starts at 15GB.
     Faced with the prospect of users thinking twice before streaming anything on Netflix, the company has decided to put Canadians into a default “Good” streaming tier that will transfer only 625Kbps (which works out to 0.3GB per hour), using up 9GB a month if someone watches 30 hours of Netflix. The move is designed to keep users from exceeding their caps by accident.
      ...This is the first time Netflix is purposely dialing back video quality and size for connections perfectly capable of handling the larger streams.
     The major Canadian ISPs—Shaw, Rogers, and Bell Canada—all offer separate pay-TV services of their own. Netflix has offered its own streaming service in Canada for only eight months, and ISPs like Rogers welcomed Netflix to the country by lowering the data caps on some tiers. (One lower-priced tier dropped from 25GB to 15GB.)
The hostility of Republican politicians like Lee Terry, Adrian Smith, and Jeff Fortenberry to net neutrality will undoubtedly free U.S. cable companies to use their customers as pawns to do the same thing to Netflix here.

1 comment:

  1. I think this will not affect on gaming, however this will greatly affect on regular using of internet in general- streaming it also means services like onlive is basically dead. More broadly, newly launched services like netflix is going to be dead once the UBB takes into effect.