Comcast 'Invents' Its Own Private Internet
Posted in: Government & Policy at 25/06/2012 07:56
Comcast went public in 1983. Track its share price, and you'll see that it tootled gently upward as the company expanded its cable television service around the country. Then, in 1997, the share price spiked. This was the year the company began testing a new product -- the cable modem, which offered Internet access at a blazing 1.5 megabytes per second, then 50 times faster than dial-up. Comcast didn't invent the Web. It didn't invent the cable modem, either. Like other cable operators, it happened to own the right network at the right time.
That history is helpful to remember as the Department of Justice begins an antitrust probe into whether Comcast, Time Warner, and other cable providers are now trying to manipulate the way customers use the Internet -- specifically, whether imposing caps on the amount of data people can download monthly discourages them from using Netflix, Hulu, and other rival online video sites and steers them to the cable companies' own video-on-demand services, which aren't subject to the caps.
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