Comcast and the cable companies that own the streaming and cable networks have been accused of selling their customers privacy-related services in exchange for a fee, but it turns out that a lot of them are just as bad for you as Netflix and YouTube.
The New York Times reports that Comcast and DirecTV have partnered on a free online accounting platform called Cloudfront, which is billed as the “first-ever cloud-based open-source software for digital media” and claims to provide a free service to “everyone, from small businesses to large companies.”
The Times reports: The software can be used to set up virtual machines and manage data, and is used by a number of media companies, including Netflix, HBO, and YouTube, according to a document provided to The Times by an anonymous source familiar with the deal.
While the software has not been officially released, a copy obtained by The Times shows that Comcast plans to charge $30 per user per year to download and install Cloudfront.
That’s a lot less than Netflix’s or YouTube’s $30 monthly price tags.
According to the Times, the software is free, but “the cost of using the service will increase as the number of active users increases.”
In other words, Cloudfront charges a fee to use the service, but subscribers will have to pay Comcast’s premium to use it.
“The free software, like the free media it hosts, can be downloaded and installed by anyone, anywhere,” a Comcast representative told the Times.
“It’s a very convenient way for anyone to access content.”
A Comcast spokesperson told The Times that the company does not support cloud computing, but that it does “support the free software.”
“The platform’s developer community has been incredibly helpful in helping us identify bugs, fix them, and make it better,” the spokesperson said.
“We encourage our users to keep their cloud storage and software up to date, and we’ll continue to work with them to keep it up to par with the latest software.”
Comcast also said it would continue to “invest in improving” the software, adding that it would also be “taking steps to protect against unauthorized access and use.”
In the past, Comcast has also come under fire for using the software to track the location of customers, but this time around the company says that it will “continue to focus on building and supporting the cloud-centric services that make our business work.”