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Posted: 6/4/2008 4:58:16 AM EDT
Time Warner Cable Ready to Test Metered Use

June 3, 2008 3:37 AM PDT
Time Warner Cable ready to test metered Net use
Posted by Jonathan Skillings 36 commentsSome customers of Time Warner Cable in Beaumont, Texas, may soon end up paying more for their Internet access than other customers.

In a test of metered Internet access that's set to begin Thursday, subscribers who go over their limit for uploading and downloading material will be charged $1 per gigabyte, according to an Associated Press story, citing a Time Warner Cable executive.

The trial run for the metered Web use was expected. The company had said in January that it would test the new pricing model in Beaumont as a way to limit the use of peer-to-peer applications on its network. Cable companies and P2P services have long clashed over bandwidth demands, especially for the transfer of large video files.

The tiered pricing will work this way, for the Internet portion of subscription packages that also include phone or video use: At the low end, users will pay $29.95 per month for service at a speed of 768 kilobits per second, with a 5GB monthly cap. At the high end, users will pay $54.90 per month for service at 15 megabits per second, with a 40GB cap.

"We think it's the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure," Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president of advanced technology, said in Monday's AP story. He said that just 5 percent of the company's subscribers take up half of the capacity on local cable lines.

Time Warner Cable has 90,000 customers in the trial area, but the test pricing structure will affect only new subscribers. The gigabyte surcharges go into effect after the first two months of service.

Reaction to the start of the test was swift--and often harsh.

"Is Time Warner Cable crazy?" writes Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm, who says she is a customer of the company. "(H)ere's where I question Time Warner Cable's sanity: By offering tiered service at 15 Mbps it's promising me faster speeds that I will have limited opportunity to use, potentially driving me into the arms of another provider. Additionally, the cable guys are in a fight to the death with the telephone companies, who are unlikely to resort to such plans because they don't have the same limitations when delivering last-mile services."

I think this is a huge mistake.  They should charge for tiered services (they somewhat do now).  

Cell phone users hate the minute charges, and they want to go to a similar pricing strategy.  Last thing someone wants is to worry about a massive bill - I'd rather pay $40 a month with piece of mind vs. $30 and wonder if I'm going to go over a limit.  

What is probably missing from tiered services is a slow, cheap cable (like metered at 256k or less).
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:06:24 AM EDT
Does not surprise me one bit.

I swear those DirecTV commercials that show the board of a cable company are exactly what goes on at Time Warner.


Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:08:51 AM EDT
Thats gonna suck real bad for people with unsecure wireless access points
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:08:59 AM EDT
Shit!  I will go broke as much as I surf ARFCOM.  Fuck Time Warner.  They are a bunch of anti-gun bastards anyway!
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:10:17 AM EDT
This is going to backfire big time.

Verizon will not adopt similar pricing for FIOS, which will cause TW's market share to drop even more drastically in those areas where FIOS is available.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:10:36 AM EDT
how is that going to work for xbox live?  

I stream one high def movie and its 2 gigs.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:12:14 AM EDT

how is that going to work for xbox live?  

I stream one high def movie and its 2 gigs.

Or Playstation 3, free gaming is not so free anymore
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:17:11 AM EDT
If you surfed the web constantly for a month how much bandwidth would that be? Say eight hours a day with no movie or song d-loads. Just normal web surfing.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:20:03 AM EDT

If you surfed the web constantly for a month how much bandwidth would that be? Say eight hours a day with no movie or song d-loads. Just normal web surfing.

Its hard to say...
All the images at the top of the board, all the images in threads, that all takes up bandwidth to download. If you were surfing nothing but text files, it wouldn't be much... but now sites can be made entirely of Flash, sites use Java a lot, while others are very graphic...

Ultimately it would depend on the sites you visit. Youtube and such would be bad.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:21:49 AM EDT

If you surfed the web constantly for a month how much bandwidth would that be? Say eight hours a day with no movie or song d-loads. Just normal web surfing.

It all depends on how you define surfing the web...

Strict HTML pages, and email only with no attachments?  Not much.  But who has sites anymore with no flash, images, or ads...  And many watch streaming content such as YouTube or news clips.  
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:24:28 AM EDT

You use to have to pay so much if you wne t over an alotment.

Or at least that's how it use to be IIRC.

Or was it by the hour?
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:33:44 AM EDT
Time Warner SUUUUUCKS.  Then, Comcast took over, and we truly learned the meaning of the word, "Suck".

I switched to AT&T DSL.  OK, AT&T is evil, but I have a faster connection, save about $10 a month, and have not had any personal evil inflicted on me yet.  Yet.

Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:34:16 AM EDT
This is about how it currently works in data centers. You pay for either volume of data transferred, or you pay for link speed (which they assume you will keep maxed out 100%). So If I get 1.5mbps link to my server thats about 500GB of transfer if I keep it maxed.

I pay $100/m for power and 500GB of metered usage on my server, and I can transfer at 100mbps.

However, its kinda stupid to do this with home users. You see me paying $100/m which include power and bandwidth (and some places are much cheaper). And they want to charge $55 for 40GB? Fuck I use at least that at home. I used to meter it. But I just transferred 5+gb yesterday on a DVD download and 3GB on a system backup upload (and I was nice enough to rate limit the upload at 100KB/s).

For $55/m they can bump that up to 200gb.

Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:34:39 AM EDT
Verizon Fios FTW
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:38:20 AM EDT
I find it funny that they advertise their higher bandwidth connection over DSL but the penalize you when you use it...
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 5:38:41 AM EDT
In my little hick town, in the middle of no where,  they are putting in a fiber optic network, that the city will own and opperate.    I already have my internet/phone/cable through a decent company, and pay about $140 for all, including some premium stuff.    The new service should be less than $100 for all  three.  

They are in my yard today putting in the cable.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 6:21:29 AM EDT
On the other hand, I need to get out and spend more time with the kids, exercising and shooting anyway.  Life was good before the internet.  I can live without it.  Probably be a lot healthier too.

Link Posted: 6/4/2008 6:53:01 AM EDT
Cable internet service is in it's death throes... they are blocking P2P traffic, overselling their capacity, and attempting to block competition.  It won't be long before their business model fails to remain viable.

The electric company here is starting to install fiber to all the homes as part of power grid enhancements; the side benefit of which is high speed internet direct to consumers at fiber speeds.  Is Comcast upping the ante by reducing prices and/or expanding bandwidth?  No... they are attempting to block the utility by filing frivolous lawsuits in local courts based on the premise that the utility might do something illegal in the future.
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