Time Warner Cable tries metering Internet use

You're used to paying extra if you use up your cell phone minutes, but will you be willing to pay extra if your home computer goes over its Internet allowance? Time Warner Cable Inc. customers -- and, later, others -- may have to, if the company's test of metered Internet access is successful. On Thursday, new Time Warner Cable Internet subscribers in Beaumont, Texas, will have monthly allowances for the amount of data they upload and download. Those who go over will be charged $1 per gigabyte, a Time Warner Cable executive told the Associated Press.

Metered billing is an attempt to deal fairly with Internet usage, which is very uneven among Time Warner Cable's subscribers, said Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president of advanced technology. Just 5 percent of the company's subscribers take up half of the capacity on local cable lines, Leddy said. Other cable Internet service providers report a similar distribution.

"We think it's the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure," Leddy said.

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English please. No one cares to read that garbage in a forum ... and yes I know what you meant. Is it really that hard to type it all out?

(QuarterSwede said @ #34.1)
English please. No one cares to read that garbage in a forum ... and yes I know what you meant. Is it really that hard to type it all out?

k for your appeasement

Die in a fire, Time Warner Cable/Road Runner

when i had bell lite the cap was 2gb/m i used over 60gb every month probably higher but thats as high as they tracked. also I was not using BT or p2p just on-line gaming and surfing the web.

this charging by the gb is a very bad idea if we are moving toward a digital home.

If shaw ever did this in my area I would be in trouble; using 350-600gb per month. (those HD/Bluray rips use alot of bandwidth)

There are two major issues I have with this:

  • Data is NOT a finite resource. 10Mb or 100Mb through a router makes no difference to it's running costs
  • Why should they cap you when they can't even provide a completely open pipe in the first place? Port blocking, lack of decent spam filters and network AV, slowing torrents

Gas, Water and power are finite resources and having fixed tarrifs is a measure of control to slow down the use of this resource. The ISP's are providing a pipe, but no content. They don't provide anything other than a data connection. That data does not come from them. A high-end Cisco router that has a capacity of say 100gbps does NOT cost twice the amount that a 50Gbps does - so why the caps?

There are no bigger costs associated with me downloading 10Gb or 100Gb a month. It may cost the ISP more in terms of switches, routers and peering but there is no reason why this cannot be built into a £20, £30 or even £40 a month subscription. The fact is that the ISP's have been basing their "all-you-can-eat" packages on the average data downloaded per consumer back in 2004/2005. However with the advent of High Def, YouTube, BitTorrent, BBC iPlayer, 4OD, more remote workers and ever increasing interest from consumers into the high-tech arena (drivers, updates, researching, blogging etc.) the average person is using more of the pipe than they did.

Just because the roads are getting more congested doesn't mean I should pay more road tax. More cars = more tax payers = more cash that should be invested back into expansion. The same should be applied to internet connectivity - more subscribers (and there has been a steady increase in the last 10 years that nobody can deny!) means more income. If the ISP's take all the profit from the monthy subs into their own million pound bonus's without taking a slice for further investment it should not come back to me to pay again for further expansion.

As the ISP's have been lead by the marketing departments rather than the network operations centre there has been such a low subscription rate whilst keeping shareholders happy that there has been no cash to continually expand and increase the network capacity. Instead we are all expected to pay more to make up for the lack of foresight on the ISP's management.

Regardless if it has a direct impact on me or not is neither hear nor there - it's the principle that the ISP's want more of our cash for the lack of investment in the past 5 years which is due to a poor business model and lack of proactive capacity-based growth.

(stevehoot said @ #1)
There are two major issues I have with this:

  • Data is NOT a finite resource. 10Mb or 100Mb through a router makes no difference to it's running costs
  • Why should they cap you when they can't even provide a completely open pipe in the first place? Port blocking, lack of decent spam filters and network AV, slowing torrents

Actually, data is finite. Go back to the old analogy that the internet is a series of pipes/tubes, like water. But made of fiber and copper. Lets say you have 100 people downloading at 1mbs per second... you need a 100mb pipe so they can get the full bandwidth. And increasingly larger pipes for more people. The "costs" come from the hardware and support of that hardware.

Same thing with your water pipes at home. They only so big. Lets say you run two showers and your dishwasher, your water pressure goes down. Also, do you expect the city to provide you a Brita water filter on each of your sinks to filter out the bad taste in the water, they just make it drinkable. The same with internet providers. AV, spam filtering is YOUR responsibility, so either do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you.

There are many other costs your not thinking about.. i.e. electricity. With the costs of oil and other forms of power increasing no doubt the service providers are seeing problems with this additional cost too.

I could keep going on, but I won't. I don't necessarily agree with them moving to a pay per MB use.. But then again isn't everyone saying that the Cable companies should do this with their tv stations, with ala carte? Pay for the channels they use?

This has been the model in Portugal since ... the Internet came.
You pay about 25 € and you have a 4 GB limit international and unlimited national.
Note that almost all websites are internacional in Portugal.

Why should 95% of the customers be paying the same rate as that 5% of the customers who are really using all the bandwidth? A more diplomatic approach from the provider would be to lower the costs of that 95% instead of raise the costs of the 5%. Or maybe offer cheaper plans for the casual user to subscribe to.

Is it $1 a gigaBYTE or gigaBIT? Something tells me it is gigaBIT despite what the article says.


OHhh how great is live in honduras my isp "experts" don't know how to meter my internet and im happy with that

"Time Warner Cable had said in January that it was planning to conduct the trial in Beaumont, but did not give any details. On Monday, Leddy said its tiers will range from $29.95 a month for relatively slow service at 768 kilobits per second and a 5-gigabyte monthly cap to $54.90 per month for fast downloads at 15 megabits per second and a 40-gigabyte cap. Those prices cover the Internet portion of subscription bundles that include video or phone services. Both downloads and uploads will count toward the monthly cap."

Pathetic. I think they might be able to justify the $1 per extra gigabyte provided that they had between a 250gig and 500gig cap (per month). I think a realistic cap should be about 1tb per month. This service is way over priced. Web providers from website hosting can give you a better deal. This of course would be comparing apples to oranges... but still. Again, pathetic.

I think this should teach people a lesson, however. Stay the hell away from cable companies. They provided lousy customer service, have poor TV channel selection, average voice services and now a growing number of them are moving to monthly caps. What was that old AOL jingle (like 95')... oh, yeah... Goodbye!

Doesn't sound right to me, that they claim that 5% of the users use all the bandwidth, yet they put the limits to all people? I find it kinda hard to believe that 5% of users account for the vast majority of their bandwidth, but there is no doubt the bandwidth use is uneven among users.

The whole digital downloads era collides with this ideas. I dont think there are bandwidth problems that can't be resolved with the obscene amount of money this companies get from their customers.

Besides, it's difficult for a user to control the bandwidth with services such as youtube.. you never know how much you are using!

I'm kinda trapped by that now, because I have Hughes.net satellite service, where I have a 320MB daily limit. They aren't too bad about violating it (slowdown to 56k u/d for 8-12 hours), and they don't actually charge for it yet, but I'm sure it's coming.

And that will be the day I either go back to 26k dialup, or a give up on internet access forever.

Truth is, we're all at fault on this, because we've allowed our government to be run by these corporations, and we've allowed them to set the rules. And now they're going to try to push through a new set of long-term rules that will guarantee them some nasty-high short-term profits (like the oil companies), so the execs can retire rich and let the rest of us pick up the pieces. And what's left will make us wish we shot them all first before they rammed this crap down our throats.

Bottom line is, it's going to be up to us to stop this, by talking with our dollars and only using those providers who don't lock us down and charge us 'til we scream.

So, grab up the pitchforks and torches, time to take back control!

The day they try to pull that where I live will be the same day I call and cancel all of my services with them (both Internet & TV). We are the consumers, and we don't have to put up with it. I'm already annoyed with Time Warner for their pathetically slow roll out of HD channels.

This, will be the one and only one time I'd back the movie/music industry if they were to bring a lawsuit against Time Warner for loss of music/film sales via the internet due to throttling costs applied to the consumer.

It's all about ROI. This is business, and maybe if you knew more about it, you'd understand. A business' motive is profit- not to break even. TW can either spend millions in upgrades and get nothing additional in return, or they can penalize or drive away what they consider bandwidth hogs, and put other subscribers in their place. For every 200 gb/month customer they have now that leaves, they lose $40. They can fill that gap with twenty 10gb/month users at $40. You do the math. What would you do to make next quater's profits look better?

(Skwerl said @ #48.1)
It's all about ROI. This is business, and maybe if you knew more about it, you'd understand. A business' motive is profit- not to break even. TW can either spend millions in upgrades and get nothing additional in return, or they can penalize or drive away what they consider bandwidth hogs, and put other subscribers in their place. For every 200 gb/month customer they have now that leaves, they lose $40. They can fill that gap with twenty 10gb/month users at $40. You do the math. What would you do to make next quater's profits look better?

thats the biggest line of shi** i have ever heard. First I know allot about business. I have owned my own company for 11 years. and second I have done quite a bit of work with time warner and my father has been employed there for 18 years.


Yes profit is part of business however its not like tw isn't making a profit they are making billions in fact so don't give me that crap. the point here is ...this isnt about a few people who use allot of bandwidth, this is about the fact that we as a connected world are getting and wanting more from our devices and our entertainment world. tw is still working on a system that was built in the 1980's. and they wont spend the millions of dollars on the network because that would lower profit margins. so to get more customers and try to keep up with the demand for bandwidth they are going after their very own customers who they say are using to much. thats a bad business model plain and simple and trust me when they do this your going to see the headlines of its customers going to verizon( who decided to spend billions not millions but billions on fios and a high speed network and backbone.) tw is either going to go out of business or they will have to get with the times and build up their network the old line applies here. build it and they will come.

If Verizon would get their service out to more people they could make a killing. They're like the rebels of the large corporations and I respect that

I think all this will do is set us back technology wise. More and more companies are turning to the web to bring us exciting new possibilities, such as movie downloads and music downloads. This is just the beginning, but this will deter future expansion.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but in Australia plans where if you go over, you have to pay for the extra use..

I don't know why people are going on about it to much because 1$ a giggabyte isn't that much...try 25 cents per megabyte (thats in australia) and if you are on unlimited, your plan slows down after you reach a certain limit.

I think its pretty much the same fear in the early days of the internet that the major powers were going to charge a per minute fee in order to use their bandwidth. I don't think that $1 seems like a lot, but it can be. A major Linux ISO if you were over your limit would cost you about $4 extra for the install and updates. Will Microsoft have to subsidize its customers when they release major service packs?

Example: You have a $29.95 plan with a 5gig cap. You burn through this cap in about a week. You than go on to use about 5gigs worth of data a week. You know have a $44.95 bill for essentially 40gigs of data. If you were to go with 250gigs that would cost you $245 dollars extra (and can put a real on your pocket book if you subscribe to all three services together).

Finally, you have to basically trust them on how much bandwidth you are using. Don't think for a minute that you can actually measure your own usage and than submit a report (many do have nice weblogs to review) but the appeal process can be nasty. You usually have to pay upfront until they determine whether what they charged you was in error. If it is, you are usually issued a credit toward the next months bill. This process of course varies by corporation.

Age of Conan alone is 25 gigs. A lot of games are getting rid of their production costs buy offering downloads, so games like Conan would eat up my Internet allowance right off the bat. I imagine the sizes are going to continue to go up. How is it cell phones are starting to get to the point where you can get unlimited use while Internet is going from unlimited to pay as you go? Greedy corporations that's all.

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