Comcast says Netflix usage on X1 will count against data cap

Despite having Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) natively integrated into their X1 set-tops later this year, customers of the Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) video service will still have their usage of the SVOD service subjected to the MSO's data cap, Comcast said.

"All data that flows over the public Internet (which includes Netflix) counts toward a customer's monthly data usage," a Comcast rep said to Ars Technica.

Whether or not Netflix would be routed through Comcast's "managed network" and thus not be subjected to data limitations has been one of the lingering questions since July 5, when Comcast and Netflix announced their integration deal. 

Currently, Comcast is testing a 1 terabyte data limit in markets including Chicago and the Southeast. Customers who exceed these limits incur additional monthly charges — generally about $10 for every 50 gigabytes exceeded.

Usage limits by ISPs are being closely watched with viewership of online video proliferating, and higher-density video technologies like 4K and HDR emerging. 

For Comcast, the scrutiny has been compounded by the live streaming service it announced last year that does run on its managed network and does not count against its usage cap. 

The FCC is currently looking into whether Stream TV violates net neutrality mandates, but Comcast hasn't expanded the service beyond its two trial markets.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has demurred comment on the X1 deployment until the service actually launches on the platform later this year.

However, tweeting on Comcast's announcement over the spring that it was increasing its usage limit to 1 TB, he noted, "Huge for me as a Comcast customer. Now I'll never be able to watch enough to hit my cap."

For more:
- read this Ars Technica story

Related articles:
Netflix subscriber churn 'unexpectedly' higher as users react to end of grandfathered rates
Comcast-Netflix deal a referendum on 'Unlock the Box,' trade groups say
Comcast putting Netflix on its set-top boxes

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