Netflix CEO accuses Comcast of violating net neutrality

Comcast has encouraged customers to use its Xfinity TV app for XBox 360 to watch On Demand movies and TV shows using the game console as an alternative to a traditional cable box. To promote it, Comcast announced it wouldn’t count any bandwidth used for streaming content through the XBox app against the 250-gigabyte cap typically imposed on consumer plans. 

While Comcast claims there are solid technical reasons for not counting that usage against the cap, consumer advocates and other video service providers have called the practice anti-competitive. 

In his Facebook post, Hastings said Comcast should “apply caps equally, or not at all,” joining other critics of the policy, most notably Public Knowledge legal director Harold Feld. 

Feld’s criticism of the policy drew a sharp response last month from National Cable and Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell, who wrote that the notion the Xfinity app violates net neutrality is “flatly wrong” because of exemptions in the FCC rules. 

Although an April 2010 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated the FCC’s attempt to promulgate net-neutrality rules by invoking “ancillary jurisdiction” under the 1934 Communications Act, the rules are technically still in effect pending another challenge by Verizon and other telecommunications providers, which will also be heard by same the D.C. Circuit court.

Neither Public Knowledge, NCTA nor Comcast immediately responded to requests for comment.

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