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Apple Reportedly In Talks With Comcast For Separate Apple Streaming Path

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the fast-lane dept.

The Internet 150

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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150 comments

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

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562643)

This is how the internet dies : Toll roads.

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46562933)

Pretty soon, Comcast == internet. Sad.

Re:S C U M B A G S (3, Insightful)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:S C U M B A G S (2)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 3 months ago | (#46563061)

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

Re:S C U M B A G S (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 months ago | (#46563427)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563475)

As some proof of this consider how google manages their google play store and the android forks. Sure you can fork android (except for the increasingly large proprietary parts) but then you can't access the google play store. Thus the content providers all must pay the google. Just the same as comcast and apple.

Re:S C U M B A G S (3, Informative)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 3 months ago | (#46564363)

I currently access the Play Store on a forked Android derivative. There's nothing to keep me from doing so and Google makes no effort to keep me from doing so. But if you're a company and you want to ship the Google Play Store on your devices by default, Google does require some dollars and deals to ensure that your device is supported and to handle the development and bug squashing associated with supporting that device, etc. Basically, a company can't just install all of Google's apps and act like it's a supported configuration without it actually being supported....Seems reasonable to me.

Re:S C U M B A G S (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 months ago | (#46563149)

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.

Re:S C U M B A G S (2)

DaMattster (977781) | about 3 months ago | (#46563771)

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.

Re:S C U M B A G S (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563191)

This is how the internet dies : Toll roads.

Apple are 100% gay - in every sense of the word

Re:S C U M B A G S (1, Troll)

grub (11606) | about 3 months ago | (#46563581)


Apple are 100% gay - in every sense of the word

They do indeed seem happy when lounging on their bean bag chairs stuffed with cash.

We the Customers (4, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:S C U M B A G S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563393)

This is about streaming Comcast's own channels to Apple's set-top box along with other streaming video using the standard cable TV and video on demand channels (bandwidth) on Comcast's pipes, not over the Internet. It has jack shit to do with the Internet and will not affect your Internet in any way. Are you angry about every other TV channel and video-on-demand service out there making an end run around the Internet?

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 3 months ago | (#46563965)

If this was about standard TV then there wouldn't be any negotiations with Apple at all. People could just plug the cable into their HDHomeRun or Apple-brand ClearQAM decoder, and Comcast wouldn't have any say in the matter.

Being nonstandard is how Comcast leverages and gets a seat at the table and prevents all the usual market forces from taking effect.

Re:S C U M B A G S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46564055)

And yet, that's exactly what it's about. Live tv and on-demand video, going through the tv cable provider's standard routes for said services. Both the article and summary acknowledge this. It is completely separate from your internet service or bandwidth. Move on.

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 3 months ago | (#46564455)

Live tv and on-demand video, going through the tv cable provider's standard routes for said services. Both the article and summary acknowledge this.

Ars quotes WSJ and appears to directly contradict what you just asserted:

"Under the plan Apple proposed to Comcast, Apple's video streams would be treated as a 'managed service' traveling in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone service," the Journal wrote. "Those services travel on a special portion of the cable pipe that is separate from the more congested portion reserved for public Internet access."

The nonstandard portion. Neither ClearQAM nor IP. That part that you cannot access or interoperate with, unless you make a special deal with Comcast.

And it makes sense. If it were the provider's standard routes, then Apple wouldn't have to negotiate. They would slide a piece of paper across the table, and the Comcast negotiator would pick it up and look at the "0" and tears would form in his eyes. The Comcast negotiator would sniffle, turn to his tech, and plead through his tears, "can't we do anything?" The tech would sadly shake his head, "No, they're building on top of the standards, like Netflix, or the old non-cablecard Tivos before them. We're going to have to be satisfied with collecting money from our customers in exchange for a service, like all the other industries do." And then the Comcast negotiator's sniffles would turn into a horrible wail.

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 3 months ago | (#46563585)

^ 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).

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 months ago | (#46563865)

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.

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 3 months ago | (#46564389)

No one makes you take a toll road.

Re:S C U M B A G S (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 months ago | (#46564557)

No one makes you take a toll road.

Agreed. But no one makes you use Netflix either, to go with your analogy.

Or to go with the road analogy: what the scumbag ISP's are doing is more akin to letting you only drive at a slower speed limit on a toll road if you're unwilling to pay. They don't entirely deprive you of the right to use it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm in no way advocating this train-wreck of a policy situation. I'm just not sure the original analogy worked well.

Re:S C U M B A G S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46564613)

Except in Chicago, where every road takes its toll, one way or another.

If only it were simply toll roads (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 3 months ago | (#46564295)

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 particate, that is so ugly here.

Bill me, not the people who made my HTPC (Apple, in this story's case). Charge me the road's toll, not Chevy or Chevron. We need the numbers foremost, not obscured (and almost certainly inflated as a result of being freed of market forces).

If there's a cap, no party's traffic should ever be exempt from it. No party's traffic should be billed at a different rate. (If there are different rates, it ought to be based on stuff like QoS, time-of-day, and so on -- actual cost/congestion factors.)

If your local power utility sold appliances that were exempt from KWH charges (or made deals with certain manufacturers so that their appliances were exempt), nobody would be fooled by such obvious bullshit or think the appliances in question were "great deals." Everyone would be demanding that the government either stop enforcing the monopoly, or else prohibit such behavior.

This is blatantly corrupt, and at a minimum, needs to become a violation of franchise terms.

Re:If only it were simply toll roads (3, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#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?

Re:S C U M B A G S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46564513)

Begun, the 'net partitioning has.

Rent-seeking? (4, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about 3 months ago | (#46562675)

The floodgate of pay to play has been unleashed.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562695)

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.

Re:Rent-seeking? (0)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46562975)

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.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1, Troll)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 3 months ago | (#46563333)

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.

Because Apple's walled garden isn't inherently evil, and honestly, Comcast's gouging so far is merely ass-hattery. Google's tracking of everything you do everywhere online is evil. Facebook's building of a global facial recognition DB and tracking everything you do everywhere is evil. Microsoft's leveraging contracts and monopoly power to kill other businesses is evil (even if they missed the phone/tablet revolution, it isn't for lack of trying)

Just to put things in perspective. Just because you don't like something doesn't automatically make it evil. There has to be intent with harm to fall into evilness.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1, Flamebait)

Aryden (1872756) | about 3 months ago | (#46563425)

Microsoft's leveraging contracts and monopoly power to kill other businesses is evil (even if they missed the phone/tablet revolution, it isn't for lack of trying)

Though I do not necessarily disagree, I must point out that:

  • A) MS did not miss the tablet revolution, they predated the tablet revolution and inspired SJ to create the iPad
  • B) Apple uses the business model of litigate into bankruptcy or purchase against their competitors. At least MS had the decency to buy up the companies that were actually making decent hardware/softwares (but not all, I know)

Re:Rent-seeking? (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 3 months ago | (#46563535)

who has apple litigated into bankruptcy? the only major litigation from apple has been with samsung, and they're not bankrupt. I think you're full of bee ess. In short, links or it didn't happen.

Re:Rent-seeking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563837)

Well there was the iPood a couple years ago (a shovel that outdoorsy types might use to inter their number two's). But that ended in a simple product name change, if memory serves, not actual banktruptcy.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#46564539)

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? (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46562723)

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? (5, Insightful)

Revek (133289) | about 3 months ago | (#46562849)

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.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#46564313)

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 that a prohibition on donations to political campaigns would work much like many other prohibitions: it will affect only "decent" people wanting to support politics they agree with and will do nothing to stop the "crooks" who would bribe elected officials.

But yeah, I agree that it's weird we think of people with power organized calling themselves "government" as dangerous while people with power organized calling themselves "corporation" as completely harmless.

Re:Rent-seeking? (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46562969)

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 thing after a while.

Re:Rent-seeking? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#46563009)

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.

Re: Rent-seeking? (2, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 3 months ago | (#46562885)

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?

Re: Rent-seeking? (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 months ago | (#46562945)

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?

Re: Rent-seeking? (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 months ago | (#46563081)

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

Re: Rent-seeking? (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 3 months ago | (#46563983)

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?

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 months ago | (#46562919)

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.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46562999)

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).

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

thoth (7907) | about 3 months ago | (#46563339)

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??

Re:Rent-seeking? (0)

MikeMo (521697) | about 3 months ago | (#46563687)

Exactly which monopoly position is Apple leveraging in an illegal way? You mean using their boatload of cash? That is certainly not illegal. They do not have a monopoly position in any business whatsoever, except possibly the iPod, which no longer matters and has nothing to do with TV, anyway.

Re:Rent-seeking? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46563119)

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 access, but charging the user as well for access to netflix.

Executives in the comcast, verizon, and AT&T board rooms are wetting themselves over how high they can drive their profits without spending a single dime.

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

fulldecent (598482) | about 3 months ago | (#46563549)

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

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

Re:Rent-seeking? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#46564117)

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!

What does this even mean? (1)

Omeganon (104525) | about 3 months ago | (#46562685)

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

Re:What does this even mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562727)

Likely. Apple content has higher priority than the rest.

Re:What does this even mean? (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46563015)

The headers will have the hipster bit set?

Re:What does this even mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562769)

"Under the plan Apple proposed to Comcast, Apple's video streams would be treated as a 'managed service' traveling in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone service"
Apple is asking for a separate "flow" rather than prioritization over other Internet-based services

Re:What does this even mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562905)

Semantics.

Unless Comcast builds separate lines for Apple traffic the bandwidth will be taken from other services. Either by wastefully allocating it permanently regardless of if it used or not or by prioritizing it over other traffic.
Apple might to some extent subsidize the communication with their servers but I doubt that they are going to pay for the full bandwidth all the time.
That means that customers will either have to pay more for non-Apple communication to so that the reserved bandwidth doesn't cut into Comcast profits or that other services will be down-prioritized when Apple services are used. Hopefully only for the relevant customer but if Comcast oversells then this might not be possible all the time.

I don't see any way this can be beneficial for both Comcast and Apple without hurting users of non-Apple services.
Luckily I'm not a Comcast customer.

Re:What does this even mean? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46563035)

They can couch it in whatever BS they like. But in practical terms, this will mean that AppleTV and ITunes will enjoy higher quality streaming over Comcast than competitors like Roku and Amazon Video.

Re:What does this even mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562775)

If I understand from what little I read from the article, it means this...

I don't know if the technical term might involve "QAM" or something else.
Think of the coaxial coming from Comcast going to our households.
Think of that as made up of many pipes. Each pipe is a frequency range.
Some of those are for Internet, and many are for TV.
And I believe Comcast's Digital Voice has an option to avoid the Internet and use some of those pipes too.
What they're talking about is giving Apple a pipe in order for this sort of thing. I assume this means special hardware in which coaxial could be plugged in.

I assume a 1GHz cable coming to your house will have 166 "6MHz". Some are for TV, some are for Internet, and some are for Comcast Digital Voice for when you "Internet" goes down if you have the right hardware.

Re: What does this even mean? (1)

Omeganon (104525) | about 3 months ago | (#46563107)

Thank you. So, I can think of QAM in the same way as a PRI and Comcast would be setting aside one or more channels for Apple (or other) traffic.

It's just a CDN (2)

lseltzer (311306) | about 3 months ago | (#46562797)

Private lines from Apple to Comcast endpoints, just like what Akamai, etc do

Re:What does this even mean? (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 3 months ago | (#46562893)

Not really. Apple want access to cable width that is reserved for services like on demand movies and television. They wouldn't be interacting with the internet traffic at all.

Re:What does this even mean? (1)

headhot (137860) | about 3 months ago | (#46563241)

DSCP markings on the streams to identify the traffic across the routers and CMTSes. This can then be used to prioritize and meter.

Re:What does this even mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46564289)

There are a number of channels available through a single coaxial cable (the number dependent of course on the MHz width of each channel - in the US digital channels tend to be 6 MHz wide). Different channel ranges are used for different things - Docsys (the standard used for a cable modem) pushes ~40mbits per channel. There is bandwidth for >50 individual channels in coax cable systems - only a very few are used for Internet service. The vast majority are used for pushing out all those hundreds of digital SD and HD signals to cable boxes or for video-on-demand services and the like, and the rest sit empty and unused. It is one of those channels that Apple is looking to pay Comcast for, and it will have zero effect on your internet.

"We're going to be needing an Ipath" (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#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?

Re:"We're going to be needing an Ipath" (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46562911)

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

Yes... Kodos

Re:"We're going to be needing an Ipath" (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46563135)

Bah, Kodos is a pussy.

Vote Cthulhu, why choose the lesser evil?

Re:"We're going to be needing an Ipath" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46564583)

Vote Cthulhu...

Go ahead, throw your vote away. HAHAHA!

Re:"We're going to be needing an [xbox] path" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46562923)

http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/the-facts-about-xfinity-tv-and-xbox-360-comcast-is-not-prioritizing [comcast.com]

According to the article Apple wants something much like what Microsoft got except that, as Apple did with phones, they want to do it without Comcast providing the apps.

CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (5, Insightful)

ElBeano (570883) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

MOD UP! (1)

lseltzer (311306) | about 3 months ago | (#46562779)

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.

Re:MOD UP! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#46564171)

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...

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46562783)

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.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

lseltzer (311306) | about 3 months ago | (#46562831)

Nothing comes *from* your network. It comes from Apple directly to the Comcast local offices and there to the last mile.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46562871)

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 figure that out already anyway.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#46562857)

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 Apple and the content owners. Apple is not the enemy, Google is because if they ever make significant inroads in the major metropolitan areas they will be able to deliver content separate from cable and the cable ISPs; which would cripple them financially.

Paging Legal at MS and Google. (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 3 months ago | (#46563139)

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

Lawsuit on line 1...

Re:Paging Legal at MS and Google. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#46563653)

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.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

TyFoN (12980) | about 3 months ago | (#46563483)

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 :)

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#46564175)

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.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46564433)

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. Next up is 1TB/250mbit, which brings us up to 11.1 hours. That's a little better, but still not great. No matter how much you pay, you always get less than half a day of full speed transfer. It would be really nice if they offered a 25 mbit connection, which is enough to stream 3 or 4 video streams, and just give you more throughput, such that you could watch videos for a few hours a day, without having to worry about going over your cap.

Bullshit! CDNs are just another name for the same (2)

bigpat (158134) | about 3 months ago | (#46563165)

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.

Re:Bullshit! CDNs are just another name for the sa (1)

glasshole (3569269) | about 3 months ago | (#46564585)

CDNs are not like a toll road. Think of them as a carpool parking lot. Data is cached within the provider (Comcast), that way it isn't congesting Comcast's transit network. Delivery to the end user *should* be the same priority as anything else. (Doing otherwise is not net neutrality, bad, etc)

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

headhot (137860) | about 3 months ago | (#46563267)

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.

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#46563275)

True, the CDN does not violate Network Neutrality. Now if netflix or other apps are slowed down if they do not use the CDN...

Re:CDNs do not violate Network Neutrality (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#46563901)

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

1st step of Juden Kontrol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563951)

For "fJUDalism" to contiue in the Jew-Nited States of Amerika http://corporate.comcast.com/n... [comcast.com]

Just no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563017)

How about no.

How about Comcast get broken up for being a monopoly, and it's "acquistion" of Time Warner be denied.

This isn't Fernginar.

Stop businesses from operating like Ferengi "capitalists"

Trojan Horse (4, Interesting)

advantis (622471) | about 3 months ago | (#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?

Re:Trojan Horse (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 3 months ago | (#46563301)

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 plausible.

Re:Trojan Horse (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 months ago | (#46563345)

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!

Re:Trojan Horse (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#46563569)

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

Re:Trojan Horse (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about 3 months ago | (#46563941)

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 wired connections altogether. They've got the cash to build something like that and every incentive considering all of their mobile devices would use it as well.

It used to be the case that if you wanted to make a great device, you needed to own both the hardware side and the software side. These days, you also need to own the network side as well.

Re:Trojan Horse (2)

spacepimp (664856) | about 3 months ago | (#46564039)

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

Apple never ceases to amaze! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563099)

I, for one, applaud Apple's forward thinking innovation and dedication to providing excellent and swift service to their customers.

This is the quality of support you get when you actually compensate companies for their work, you self entitled freetards!

Re:Apple never ceases to amaze! (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#46563591)

Or in other circles known as follow the leader (Netflix).

IPv6 adoption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563215)

I wonder if troll roads is where IPv6 will start make headway?

leave IPv4 for the unwashed masses and all

Pay 3 times for the same bandwidth? (1)

nefus (952656) | about 3 months ago | (#46563383)

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.

So...use a cable card? (1)

MillerHighLife21 (876240) | about 3 months ago | (#46563519)

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.

Sad news (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 3 months ago | (#46563695)

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.

If it walks like a duck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46563757)

it's a duck.

Calling it a 'managed service' feels like a sham.
    But I bet their lawyers can make seem it just fine.
    And the folks supposedly watching the store will let it happen.

Possible solutions:
        1) Municipal broadband
        2) Common carrier monopoly status for these monopolies
        3) Defined Internet exchanges with equal access to the exchange for both the content provider and the customer.
        4) Perhaps a combination of all of the above where the community runs the exchange.

It's all about cable cutters (1)

MikeMo (521697) | about 3 months ago | (#46563785)

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 revenue stream to replace the revenue lost when someone cuts their cable.

Re:It's all about cable cutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46564073)

This is true but it's not as big as people think. Comcast pays money to studios per sub and this cost has been going up constantly as the content providers squeeze more. If you paid $100 for cable tv+ internet and $35 went to studios Comcast made $65. If you drop cable tv and pay $50, Comcast makes $50. Depending on what it cost them to mange the tv side it make make sense to get out anyway. Wireless phones and streaming are the money pools these days.

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