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Comcast: “We are not prioritising our transmission of Xfinity TV content to the Xbox”

Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast

Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast

The CTO of US cableco Comcast has taken to the company’s blog to deny rumours that it is prioritising the transmission of content for its ‘Xfinity TV’ service to the Xbox 360 games console over other traffic on its network.

Tony Werner, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Comcast, states: “Your Xbox 360 running Xfinity TV On Demand essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service. This is an exciting development because it enables consumers to watch their cable service video-on-demand in their homes through a device other than a traditional set-top box — in this case, using a gaming console that delivers Xfinity TV On Demand over our managed network.

“We provision a separate, additional bandwidth flow into the home for the use of this service — above and beyond, and distinct from, the bandwidth a customer has for his or her regular Internet access service. Our Xfinity TV content is provided through the Xbox over that separate service flow, and therefore does not use a customer’s provisioned Internet service capacity. We use Differentiated Services Code Point (“DSCP”) markings to mark the Xfinity TV packets to identify these packets so our network knows that these packets must be transmitted over the separate service flow from the CMTS to the customer’s cable modem.”

Mr. Werner goes on to say that the “chatter” concerning prioritisation of Xfinity TV content to the Xbox is untrue: “It’s really important to us that we make crystal clear that, in contrast to some other providers, we are not prioritising our transmission of Xfinity TV content to the Xbox (as some have speculated). While DSCP markings can be used to assign traffic different priority levels, that is not their only application — and that is not what they are being used for here.”

He also takes pains to clarify that Xfinity TV content being delivered to the Xbox is the same video subscription that a customer has already paid for: “The difference is that we are now delivering it using IP technology to the Xbox 360, in a similar manner as other IP-based cable service providers.”

Comcast’s CTO finishes by saying that the company treats all traffic that runs over the public Internet the same, as required by the FCC’s Open Internet rules, and that Comcast is “committed to an open Internet and has pledged to abide by the FCC’s Open Internet rules”.

The full post can be found here.

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