Layer3’s Binder: ‘1 TB caps are too low'


One terabyte data usage limits being imposed by ISPs including Comcast are too low to support video technologies like 4K, said Jeff Binder, CEO of cable startup Layer3 TV.

"I think that the 1-terabyte caps are too low," Binder said at last week's S&P Global Market Intelligence's Multichannel Summit in New York, an event covered by LightReading.

One TB, Binder noted, will only accommodate 15-20 hours of 4K streaming. That creates a kind of cognitive dissonance for operators like Comcast and AT&T, which are also marketing 4K video. 

”I think there may be some sort of truth in lending [issue] around how operators cap things, and whether they can actually sell these services that have fairly high bitrates, but yet fundamentally you could never use them for anything remotely approaching even a week [of normal activity],” Binder said.

RELATED: Comcast expands deployment of 1 TB data cap

He added that the right usage limit should be between 1 TB and 10 TB. “Ultimately, service providers will get it right,” he said. 

Notably, Layer3 is not an over-the-top service, having built network infrastructure and cable head ends> It relies on ISPs for only last-mile service. 

RELATED: Layer3 TV conducting pre-launch tests in D.C., Boston and Houston

Last month, a Layer3 rep told FierceCable that Washington, D.C., and its surrounding regions are among a handful of metropolitan areas in which the service is conducting pre-launch tests. Besides Denver, its home base, and Chicago, where the Layer3 TV service first rolled out over the summer, the company is seeking workers in Boston, Houston and Washington, D.C.

Now backed by Altice USA , Layer3 uses a wireless DVR set-top that connects to the company’s fiber network via the user’s broadband connection. While that constitutes IP delivery of video, the company doesn’t see itself competing with skinny IP services like Sling TV.

For one, its bundle is as robust as traditional pay-TV—down to its 4K-capable DVR set-top, which can record up to eight shows at once.