Comcast is expanding their cable service by porting it to the most logical next step: the Internet. Starting soon, the cable and Internet giant will be making their cable television content available as streams to their paying customers, giving them access to any standard or premium programming their subscription entitles them to watch. Initially, Comcast says the service will be free to anyone who already pays for cable content. In the future, however, they mention it could become a paid service.
The company could facilitate a lot of content online, given that they already deal with just about every mainstream content provider around. Down the road, it seems likely that Comcast could even enter into direct competition with the likes of Netflix, offering Internet-only streams for a charge.
This also plays an interesting part in recurring concerns with ISPs and bandwidth caps. It is easy to see how the company could enforce bandwidth limits, but only for content “outside” their own network, effectively thwarting the competition. Comcast might never do that, but it certainly seems like a possibility.