Xfinity Mobile To Intro Video Quality & Hotspot Throttling

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Comcast is reportedly sending notices to its Xfinity Mobile customers, informing them of incoming throttling measures that will be in place on their network over the coming weeks. That's according to one of the company's subscribers who posted a rundown of the received email on Reddit. The changes will affect both personal hotspots and the resolutions at which videos can be played while on a cellular connection. The first of those changes will effectively reduce the speed of hotspot-connected devices to no more than 600Kbps. That's the rate cap that will be placed on throughput for all Unlimited plans. The carrier says the change is intended to help users ensure that they don't go over their plan's 20GB threshold. However, they will be offering a "By the Gig" option to allow that rate to be boosted up to 4G LTE speeds.

On the other hand, videos will be reduced to a standard of 480p when streamed over a cellular data connection. That's also marked as something intended to help users avoid the 20GB threshold for those that are on a "By the Gig" plan. Users will still be able to stream at 720p over a Wi-Fi connection, of course. Later on this year, Comcast also says it will be introducing a higher resolution option for users who want to stream at 720p while connected via Xfinity Mobile. That will be an entirely fee-based service according to the reported email so users will be required to pay extra for HD video once that later change goes into effect.

The news, while still unverified, has sparked quite a few responses on Reddit, with many users citing the recent removal of net neutrality regulations as the reasons for the new changes. That's an argument that seems to hold at least some weight. With the new rules for data use in place, Xfinity Mobile is effectively charging users a premium for faster speeds and high-resolution video in spite of the "unlimited" marketing. On the other hand, Comcast doesn't technically have its own network and is paying for the use of another cell provider's network, as is the case with all MVNOs. In this case, Comcast's service depends on Verizon's towers and network. So it's not immediately clear whether there has been some change in that contract putting pressuring Comcast to garner extra income from its mobile subscribers.

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