Comcast starts throttling mobile video, will charge extra for HD streams

Jason Reed  The Daily Dot

It's all the Verizon speed and coverage you could want but through Comcast! That's quick enough for many tasks, but not high-definition video.

Comcast says, "This can help you save money if you pay By the Gig and take longer to reach the 20 GB threshold if you have the Unlimited data option".

Ironically, the second restriction is just for the "unlimited" plan. This will be a free "upgrade" for a short period of time - Xfinity Mobile is going to start charging an unknown fee for the 720p streaming resolution upgrade later this year. In the meantime, a spokesperson for Xfinity Mobile told Digital Trends that customers who wish to continue streaming at 720p can contact the carrier directly to have service re-established until the new plan is announced later in the year.

"We're making two changes to our service to help us maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile", the carrier explained in a statement to FierceWireless.

Comcast joins a number of other wireless service providers in moving to reduce the quality of users' mobile video. All Xfinity Mobile customers are receiving this email, Comcast confirmed to Ars. Ironically, those paying "by the gig" will still get full 4G speeds, which doesn't seem to fall in line with the company's reasoning of "saving you money". This will be allowed "on an interim basis at no charge", Ars Technica reports.

These changes will be rolling out over the coming weeks, according to Comcast.

Comcast MVNO Xfiinity Mobile has gotten quite popular with its existing TV and home internet subscribers with hundreds of thousands signing up for this additional wireless service within the first few months of availability. The change will only apply when customers are streaming video over cellular data, an important distinction since one of the benefits of Xfinity Mobile is the ability to automatically connect to the company's huge network of Wi-Fi hot spots. But with these changes, it's looking less like a steal, and more like the rest of the unlimited data plans on the market - not really unlimited.



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