Time Warner Links Web Prices With Usage

Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.

Company spokesman Alex Dudley said the trial was aimed at improving the network performance by making it more costly for heavy users of large downloads. Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.

Dudley said he did not know what the pricing tiers would be nor the download limits. He said the heavy users were likely using the network to download large amounts of video, most likely in high definition.

It was not clear when exactly the trial would begin, but Dudley said it would likely be around the second quarter. The tiered pricing would only affect new customers in Beaumont, not existing ones.

Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company.

News source: Yahoo! Finance

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44 Comments

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I think all ISP will eventually do this, because we are running out of network capacity soon. Plus, this is a good excuse for ISPs to charge more money... this will delay the boom of online video streaming and such... I think most people don't even have an idea of how much data they download each money, they better give to their customers something like a data download monitor or some ways...so users can know how much data they use... man...this will probably be like cell phone business...instead of how many minutes, it will be how many GBs...

All ISPs do this in Australia and it drives me crazy :S

I don't think there's a singly unlimited plan available at at a decent price.

I don't think this is right at all.

What's wrong with speed limited packages? Heavy downloaders will go for the high-speed ones and casual users will always pick the low-speed ones.

Caleb said,
I don't think this is right at all.

What's wrong with speed limited packages?

There is nothing wrong with them. Time Warner doesn't give a flying **** about what's wrong or right, they are only interested in extracting as much $$$ from you as they can get away with.

well then I guess I might start looking to others peoples unsecured access points and let them get the charge at night
bad move
They should base it on complaints vs their statistics

you'll just end up like australia. Im paying $70 AU per month for 40GIG Per Month after which i'm shaped to 72kbps

And no they dont use this 'extra' money from heavy users to improve the system. As stated only 5% use these amounts so you only get a higher profit from 5% not everyone.

Welcome to the fun of being shaped!!

TWC has got to be the worst broadband cable provider I have ever seen, I hear they are better in other areas but in north east Ohio they simply suck, after 7:30 pm everything slows to a crawl until around 1 am, it is so overloaded it isn't even funny anymore.
I have a close friend who works at TWC as a top level admin who tells me they have an upgrade in place for roadrunner but it will be 2 years before they implement it.
Another friend who does the house call thing for them says he has seen cable dated 1975 in this area.
Not only does the roadrunner suck but the hi-def sucks too, in the late evening the picture starts looking grainy and scenes with a lot of action get real blocky and sometimes stop altogether for a second or two.

It is absolutely pitiful, the only reason I have stayed with them is due to the fact I get an uncapped cable modem, digital phone service (which sucks just as bad in the evenings) 2 premium channels plus all the digital content and dvr for $89 a month, as soon as the start capping stuff I am pulling the plug, enough is enough.

James Riske said,
TWC has got to be the worst broadband cable provider I have ever seen, I hear they are better in other areas but in north east Ohio they simply suck, after 7:30 pm everything slows to a crawl until around 1 am, it is so overloaded it isn't even funny anymore.
I have a close friend who works at TWC as a top level admin who tells me they have an upgrade in place for roadrunner but it will be 2 years before they implement it.
Another friend who does the house call thing for them says he has seen cable dated 1975 in this area.
Not only does the roadrunner suck but the hi-def sucks too, in the late evening the picture starts looking grainy and scenes with a lot of action get real blocky and sometimes stop altogether for a second or two.

It is absolutely pitiful, the only reason I have stayed with them is due to the fact I get an uncapped cable modem, digital phone service (which sucks just as bad in the evenings) 2 premium channels plus all the digital content and dvr for $89 a month, as soon as the start capping stuff I am pulling the plug, enough is enough.

really...like 30 year old cable? that's almost shocking...not

the copper cable from BT to my house is from at least 1970 as thats when the house was built.

i've no doubt some of the stuff under the UK's streets is from not long after the war...

its pretty standard practice here in the UK and is generally sensible.

fact is you just can't transfer hundreds of gigs or terabytes for a generally low price.

try renting a server from a hosting company and observe how if you want essentially unlimited transfer it'll cost many hundreds or thousands of pounds/dollars/whatever per month. not £25/$50 or whatever most home users fork out

predator001 said,
its pretty standard practice here in the UK and is generally sensible.

fact is you just can't transfer hundreds of gigs or terabytes for a generally low price.

try renting a server from a hosting company and observe how if you want essentially unlimited transfer it'll cost many hundreds or thousands of pounds/dollars/whatever per month. not £25/$50 or whatever most home users fork out

no true, I have unlimmited download bandwidth on my server and pay $7 a month. They think that this is going to be a way to curb people from overutilization of a network they advertise for that doesnt have the capacity they are promising.

The problem is that they are spending so much money on sending techs out for calls like "My internet is slow" when they should be spending that money on upgrading their networks. Cable companies over sell and under deliver, its been that way for years and they are just catching on to the fact that they cannot meet their customers' demands

Ogmius said,

no true, I have unlimmited download bandwidth on my server and pay $7 a month. They think that this is going to be a way to curb people from overutilization of a network they advertise for that doesnt have the capacity they are promising.

The problem is that they are spending so much money on sending techs out for calls like "My internet is slow" when they should be spending that money on upgrading their networks. Cable companies over sell and under deliver, its been that way for years and they are just catching on to the fact that they cannot meet their customers' demands

yea...try using it to "unlimited" levels. chances are theres a nicely worked statement somewhere in the terms or a fair usage policy will apply basically meaning it won't be anywhere close to unlimited. fact is it's not sustainable to provide huge amounts of bandwidth for each person on the network. the companies would simply go bust or be forced to charge far higher fees than present and neither of those propositions is that appealing to either the provider or the customer. so you get this half-way house where the fees are kept sensible and the transfers allowed is also, generally, kept sensible too.

would be great if there was a 10 lane motorway all the way from my home to my work as that would mean i'd never get stuck in a jam ever but then it would cost a fortune to build and then maintain it so we just have to make the best of what is already there and plan accordingly. same will apply to networks...they just can't run 24/7 * millions of customers * whatever high speed upgrade they're on this year. instead you make do with the maximum speed in bursts when you need it and get to transfer your piece of the pie. not a whole pie for each person...

FIOS get down here into Charlotte, we are going to need you very soon. Time warner is about to lose alot of roadrunner customers.

Oh, how I would love FIOS. Unfortunately we're stuck with AT&T and their ****ty U-VERSE (or whatever it will be called)

Depending on how they do this, I might just leave for DSL, which is something I never thought I would hear myself say.

Here I was hoping for a speed boost like many other TWC areas are getting...

Ok, what about people who use their net connection for legit movies and tv shows. Those eat alot of bandwidth. And what about when HD movies and tv become online. I could see this sinking xbox360 and apple tv.

Bell Canada already does this with DSL. I remember when they first introduced it, they never notified us and I ended up getting a $300 bill, lol. Of course they didn't make us pay, but after that I canceled my service.

Waait a minute... Why has no one does this before now? Man that makes sense.

It'd **** me off, but... Man that makes sense.

At least it's more honest for them to do it this way, as opposed to creating an invisible cap without telling anyone.

I never could download anywhere NEAR 100GB or more monthly anyhow.

I personally wouldn't be interested in this sort of plan. But I agree that it's a lot more honest and upfront than ISPs implementing invisible caps that aren't made known to the customer in an upfront manner.

I'd definitely be more willing to use an ISP that scales the fee according to how much has been downloaded, than an ISP that places invisible caps without acknowledging that it does so in an upfront manner.

The simple answer is to move away from residential services. I'm now on a business ISP with no throttling, no limits and 8Mbit/832k speeds and am very happy. Not only that but the price is less than I paid before and the support is very good, with active monitoring of the line for problems. Residential services seem to be getting worse and worse.

So would everything else. I just downloaded 2 demo games on my ps3. Folklore and Turok. That was 2.5 gig. It will kill video and gaming.

I read something about 500gb? Isn't 500gb more than enough for "more than most" people? :P
And isn't cable shared between customers up to a certain point?

I didn't see that anywhere, but if that's the case what if they call that the "Premium" level and charge a boatload for it? Can't say more about it until they do.

It's all about making more money. There is no other reason, with all the new stuff available now i.e. movies on demand streaming music etc. they know they will have heavy usage and raise prices just to make more of a profit.
I left TWC over two years ago and I will never go back for any reason.

And where will you go when all ISP's do this? lol
In Canada every ISP has usage caps now, however they haven't fully implemented the charges yet with Rogers.
In time the excuse will be what the story says for all ISPs or to conserve bandwidth blah blah blah.

Yeah, but there isn't many options all over. I have Time Warner (Road Runner) and I definitely would drop them if/when this is implemented in my area, the problem is there isn't an alternative (that I know of, I'm doing research now.. sigh.).

I have a couple choices and if they all went to this model I would say screw you and go with whoever has the lowest cost service or even back to $8 dial up. They won't be getting my money.

thenay said,
And where will you go when all ISP's do this? lol
In Canada every ISP has usage caps now, however they haven't fully implemented the charges yet with Rogers.
In time the excuse will be what the story says for all ISPs or to conserve bandwidth blah blah blah.

http://www.teksavvy.com/

I hear there sweet :P

(thenay said @ #5.1)
And where will you go when all ISP's do this? lol
In Canada every ISP has usage caps now, however they haven't fully implemented the charges yet with Rogers.
In time the excuse will be what the story says for all ISPs or to conserve bandwidth blah blah blah.

Then that day would be a black day for the internet.

That's gonna suck for all the online movie renters that use TWC... It's not going to help Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes much, either. :(

EDIT: Charter says they plan on doing this eventually, too. I will drop them like a hot potato...

source

(GreyWolfSC said @ #4)
That's gonna suck for all the online movie renters that use TWC... It's not going to help Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes much, either. :(

EDIT: Charter says they plan on doing this eventually, too. I will drop them like a hot potato...

source

Bye-bye graphical internet. You're nothing but a burdon now.

My question is, what is the absolute lowest the cost will go? If it doesn't go any lower then the current going rate for HSI than this only punishes heavy users.

Also it will take time to see if the extra money taken from heavy users actually is put towards making the infrastructure better. Or if its taken to pad their wallets.

Seems to make a bit of sense. After all the term "unlimited" never really meant that at all.

We get charged more for making more phone calls. Seems that this falls in line.

I'm angry, because the phone companies have been overcharging for years doesn't make it right or mean another industry should jump on.