Xfinity Mobile customers to be limited to 480p streaming, 600Kbps hotspot

Comcast starts throttling mobile video, will charge extra for HD streams

Comcast starts throttling mobile video, will charge extra for HD streams

"We're making two changes to our service to help us maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile".

As it now stands, videos you stream using your Xfinity Mobile data are presented in 720p HD. Customers who pay-by-the-GB will continue to enjoy full 4G LTE speeds, but unlimited customers are out of luck.

But that is not all; for those with the unlimited data option, your hotspot tethering speeds will be reduced to 600 Kbps at all times. If you pay by the gig, Comcast is more than happy to let you go through your $12/GB data as fast as possible. All Xfinity Mobile customers are receiving this email, Comcast confirmed to Ars.

The statement was also posted to the website Reddit, where it elicited a number of complaints from the site's users.

Comcast's move today follows that of other carriers. It's all the Verizon speed and coverage you could want but through Comcast! As an MVNO, Comcast does not operate its own wireless network.


If you're an Xfinity Mobile customer, what do you think about these changes?

According to Wall Street research firm New Street, Comcast pays Verizon $5 per GB its customers use, and that rate is tied to retail rates, not fixed. Xfinity Mobile users can get 4G hotspot speeds by switching to Comcast's "By the Gig" pricing. "Later this year, 720p video over cellular data will be available as a fee-based option with your service", Comcast told customers. Those numbers were slightly ahead of most Wall Street analyst expectations.

The service now defaults all video to 480p resolution when streaming over cellular data.

Spectrum Mobile offers two plans: an unlimited data option for $45/month, or a by-the-gig approach for $14 per gigabyte (GB) of data, per month. Longer term, the company plans to introduce a plan with 720p video before the end of this year. In the meantime, you can request it on an interim basis at no charge. Streaming over Wi-Fi will remain unaffected. Alternatively, you can speak with your wallet and take your service to another carrier that does allow HD streaming over its mobile network.

Comcast has a long history of being one of the most hated companies in the U.S. It's been accused of throttling customers' internet download speeds on numerous occasions over the years, among other irritating habits like forcing pop-up ads on its customers and withholding cord-cutters from internet speed improvements.

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