Today in Connected Consumer

Several leading consumer interest groups responded enthusiastically yesterday to news of the Justice Department’s antitrust probe into cable operators use of data caps and other tactics against online video competitors. Free Press called it “great news for consumers and cable’s competitors alike.” Public Knowledge said, “Media and telecommunications giants…should not be able to take advantage of their size and reach to eliminate competition and to harm consumers through data caps which favor some content over other.” But in a widely discussed client note, Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett warned that the DOJ’s action could backfire, causing greater harm to online video providers and raising prices to consumers. According to Moffett, the likely response by cable operators will be a wholesale shift to usage-based pricing, which the FCC has already blessed, which could raise the cost to consumers of using Netflix and other streaming services. VideoNuze’s Will Richmond, meanwhile, argues that the feds are overlooking the real harm to consumers from current cable industry practices: the cost of live sports programming. No good deed goes unpunished.

Comcast: No plans for usage-based broadband pricing

Many cable operators are considering new pricing for broadband services that would link the amount of data their subscribers consume with the amount they pay. But Comcast isn’t one of them, as it doesn’t want to “nickel-and-dime” customers of its highest-growth service.

Will usage-based pricing kill the streaming video star?

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are attracting more eyeballs every month, stealing attention away from traditional TV. But cable providers could soon fight back, by basing their pricing on how much a given user streams every month. That would effectively raise prices for streaming services.

Traffic Shaping Coming to a Mobile Network Near You

By the end of 2013 almost all (97 percent) of mobile operators will deploy some type of traffic shaping technology to manage demand for mobile broadband, up from 47 percent today, according to a white paper issued today by Volubill.