View Full Version : Time Warner Links Web Prices With Usage

January 17th, 2008, 05:54 PM

Time Warner Links Web Prices With Usage

Thursday January 17, 7:42 am ET

Time Warner Cable Will Do Trial on Setting High-Speed Internet Charges Based on Usage

NEW YORK (AP) -- 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.

January 17th, 2008, 06:01 PM
I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, I understand what they're saying about the heavy downloaders leaching off the rest of the users.

On the other hand, I've generally found people do not want to keep track of use. They would rather play a flat fee and use as much as they'd like. Look at cell phone service. I'm one of the few people I know who has a pay-as-you-go plan. Everyone else I know has some prepaid number of minutes (usually hundreds or thousands per month) and then unlimited nights and weekends. I used to have that until I realized I didn't talk on my cell phone that much and would be saving hundreds of dollars a year by paying for what I actually used.

I think a good compromise would be something like what my web host does--allocate a specified amount of bandwidth, and if you go over that, you pay for what you go over. Actually, now that I think of it, that's what most cell phone providers do, too.

Well, it'll be interesting to see how the trial in Texas turns out.

January 17th, 2008, 10:36 PM
And what do they call "heavy" downloads anyway?
Would downloading packages every week via Synaptic be called 'heavy",or are they talking mainly movie downloads?
Would downloading a Linux ISO be "heavy" use?
I also prefer a flat fee.

January 17th, 2008, 11:02 PM
Dear God, this could kill Linux right in it's tracks!

January 17th, 2008, 11:12 PM
Dear God, this could kill Linux right in it's tracks!

Not really. I'm sure they're not talking about people who download a few ISO files every now and again. More then likley they are talking about people who are moving 100's of gigs a week, both up and downstream.

This would never fly with me though, because I use my internet connections as a global network, mounting ftp shares from all over on whatever machinie I use. I move so much data through the internet, most of my connections are maxed out moving files up and down 24/7. So, I'm really hoping this doesn't catch on.

January 17th, 2008, 11:16 PM
That's a huge set back. You do know by normal usage they mean 10-20 gigs a month. Going over that will cost money.

It's just a way for them to make more money.

January 18th, 2008, 04:09 AM
Great, more ridiculous stuff from ISPs. Might as well forget about seeding Linux torrents, and forget about streaming music. This is just stupid. What if you go over into the next price bracket by a few MB? You have to pay a whole bunch more because you went over a few MB?! I like my flat fees. I hope this fails miserably.

January 18th, 2008, 04:20 AM
Dear God, this could kill Linux right in it's tracks!

Yeah right, Ubuntu is not even 700MB in size (I download more then that in torrents every day) and you might do it once every two years. In the end practices like this will hurt someone like me the most.

January 18th, 2008, 04:35 AM
I'm glad I live in Japan, high speed internet access is seen as a utility just like water. Some days my transfers are in the TB's, the new scheme would bankrupt me in days!

January 18th, 2008, 04:38 AM
Yeah right, Ubuntu is not even 700MB in size (I download more then that in torrents every day) and you might do it once every two years. In the end practices like this will hurt someone like me the most.

today my torrent usage is 15gb down, 10gb up

and this was a slowday, i couldnt sfford their service price, and i use their service, all their users should complain about this to them, i know i already sent a flaming letter

January 18th, 2008, 05:54 AM
This would put a damper on Netflix and Apple tv with streaming movies thats for sure.

January 18th, 2008, 06:11 AM
and youtube and other download services

somehow i think that if this got out of hand, companies like google, apple and netflix would step in, cause isp plans like this would ruin their business

January 18th, 2008, 07:02 AM

I don't understand how narrow-minded is this. It's like going back to dial-up times. Now that so many wonderful things are happening to the web (with of course bigger requirements for bandwidth), some companies do these things.

Instead of serving the needs of their customers by making investments in new network capacities, they go for the cheap solution of course (and immoral for me).

Just plain stupid!

January 18th, 2008, 08:11 AM
As long as mankind allows itself to be manipulated and controlled, leaders will continue to take advantage of and manipulate them. This is just a mini-leader exerting its own form of control.

Amazing- greed just never quits...