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dman
01-17-2008, 09:48 PM
Down the slippery slope we go:


Time Warner Cable Tests Data-Usage Rate Structure
Thursday, January 17, 2008

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NEW YORK 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.

Click here for FOXNews.com's Personal Technology Center.

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.

RelatedStories
Netflix on the Net to Offer All-You-Can-Watch Plan Startup Aims to Give San Francisco Free Wi-Fi Plug to Be Pulled on Netscape Navigator's Life Support After 13-Year Run In-Flight Internet Might Mean More Turbulence 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.

GAC
01-17-2008, 09:56 PM
My brother told them to take a flying leap after they did that. For now he has their basic service; but is looking at Directv or DISH.

Charter was starting to do the same and I just recently left them. I'm now with Directv and love it. Now Charter keeps sending me form letters asking me what it would take to get me back. :lol:

TC81190
01-17-2008, 09:56 PM
Not good.

Unassisted
01-17-2008, 11:58 PM
Not good.I actually think this isn't a bad thing if you're sharing a neighborhood node with rabid filesharers. Many is the time when I had Time-Warner that my VoIP connection would suffer or my streaming videos would bog down and it was always in the evenings or on weekends when file-sharing is at it's peak. If you're not doing something illegal, you should have nothing to fear.

T-W's competitor Comcast has begun blocking file-sharing traffic, which will have a similarly beneficial effect on neighborhood nodes that suffer from overuse by a few bandwidth hogs. Maybe T-W is waiting for enough people to complain about the metering so they can justify a move to blocking?

KronoRed
01-18-2008, 02:01 AM
HughesNet/DirectWay/whatever has been doing this for quite awhile.

One big thing DSL has over cable, your file sharing neighbor (and not all file sharing is illegal) doesn't slow you down.

Bip Roberts
01-18-2008, 02:24 AM
Anyone know how much online gaming effects you DL rates?

dougdirt
01-18-2008, 02:27 AM
If this ever gets big, I am going to be pretty upset.

MrCinatit
01-18-2008, 07:43 AM
This could seriously hamper my por...celain downloads.

SandyD
01-18-2008, 07:51 AM
Tiered service doesn't sound too bad. Depending on the price difference and what happens if you exceed your alloted bandwidth for the month. I'm sure there would be an unlimited tier.

There are already tiers for speed.

Unassisted
01-18-2008, 09:58 AM
The local paper had an article about this today, as T-W is starting a trial of this in Beaumont which will eventually make its way here. The manager who oversees the San Antonio office said in the article that 5 percent of T-W's customers here account for more than half of the bandwidth usage. In one case, a T-W customer used enough bandwidth to d/l 1,500 movies in a single month. That's more movies than a person could watch in a month!

Bip Roberts
01-18-2008, 10:14 AM
I dont see how this would make them more money unless they are going to just keep the low use customers at the base price and then jack the price up over top of it.

durl
01-18-2008, 10:18 AM
I don't really have a big problem with this. (Probably because I'm not a heavy downloader?)

Mobile phone rates are determined by usage so I can see where internet could be charged the same way.

Roy Tucker
01-18-2008, 10:31 AM
I think the hidden agenda for TW is that they are scared to death of people watching streaming TV over the internet and gutting their cable TV business. Think the record/CD industry and Napster.

I very seriously doubt this extra bandwidth is straining their infrastructure and costs.

wolfboy
01-18-2008, 10:33 AM
I don't buy the spin on this from TW. It seems to me that they see a market that is moving (albeit slowly) towards downloaded movies and other media. I don't think this is about the guy that's downloading 1,500 movies a month. If that guy were the problem, then change the language in the current contract where they can suspend the outliers. Instead, they want to tier the pricing so that they can squeeze money out of all of us when we download our movies off of itunes or netflix, and we download our games off of xbox live.

WMR
01-18-2008, 10:41 AM
Some industry experts have predicted this will be the final generation of gaming systems that sell games via disc form... downloading is the future.

Joseph
01-18-2008, 02:02 PM
I think the hidden agenda for TW is that they are scared to death of people watching streaming TV over the internet and gutting their cable TV business. Think the record/CD industry and Napster.

I very seriously doubt this extra bandwidth is straining their infrastructure and costs.

I think you are 100% on to something.

The first thing I thought when reading this thread was how much a network like ABC hawks being able to watch Lost episodes on demand and such, so there has to be some merit to that theory that they are trying to make up for lost revenue from traditional cable TV watching.

BoxingRed
01-18-2008, 02:09 PM
I think you are 100% on to something.

The first thing I thought when reading this thread was how much a network like ABC hawks being able to watch Lost episodes on demand and such, so there has to be some merit to that theory that they are trying to make up for lost revenue from traditional cable TV watching.

The wife and I cut the cable TV cord. We now just watch streams of our favorite programs via the internet. We do pay TWC for high-speed internet though.

Roy Tucker
01-18-2008, 02:13 PM
One thing I've learned in the technology business is that you don't wait around for your competition to render your products obsolete, *you* do it yourself by realizing its limitations and drawbacks and getting the next generation of improved and better product out before *they* do.

If my theory (and its not mine, I read it at a NYT blog) is true, TW is cutting their own throats by charging more for an existing product for no apparent reason (at least a good one), clinging to a possibly declining product, and making their customers mad by doing so. A fast track to nowhere.

wolfboy
01-18-2008, 02:23 PM
One thing I've learned in the technology business is that you don't wait around for your competition to render your products obsolete, *you* do it yourself by realizing its limitations and drawbacks and getting the next generation of improved and better product out before *they* do.

If my theory (and its not mine, I read it at a NYT blog) is true, TW is cutting their own throats by charging more for an existing product for no apparent reason (at least a good one), clinging to a possibly declining product, and making their customers mad by doing so. A fast track to nowhere.


I agree. No one is going to be sympathetic to the TW argument. If 5% of the people are sucking up all of their resources, change the pricing model to remove the 5%. Don't tell me you need to change the entire thing.

Bip Roberts
01-18-2008, 02:32 PM
5% of the customers use up 50% of the service

Sounds like they are making a lot of money off the 95% of people who dont use the service fully to me.

KronoRed
01-18-2008, 03:30 PM
I think the hidden agenda for TW is that they are scared to death of people watching streaming TV over the internet and gutting their cable TV business. Think the record/CD industry and Napster.


Roy is wise, how long before they start monitoring everything you download and stopping anything that comes from any legal download site because you are hurting their core business?

Hi TW, I was downloading this tv show LEGALLY from iTunes and my download times out repeadly..what's the story?

Well can't help you, you can however catch that show on our digital cable Tuesdays at 8.

****

acredsfan
01-19-2008, 02:00 AM
Think Itunes, Napster, Vongo, Blockbuster, Netflix.... all these either have or will soon have fully downloadable videos and music. Some people who use these products, even just on occasion will be affected. It's like dial up and their charge per minute crap. That is one of the reasons that DSL caught on and eventually Cable internet. Shoot, even windows update can get some larger files... How many of you have emailed pictures or just received pictures or movies from loved ones? I'm sorry, but if this comes to fruition, a lot of people will be affected more than they think they will... It's just not a good idea from a public relations and marketing standpoint coming from a company that struggles with customer satisfaction.

GAC
01-19-2008, 07:59 AM
Tiered service doesn't sound too bad. Depending on the price difference and what happens if you exceed your alloted bandwidth for the month. I'm sure there would be an unlimited tier.

There are already tiers for speed.

What has always bugged me though is that they take the good, more popular channels, and purposely divide/allot them on the various other tiers with a bunch of crappy channels you don't want. To get the good, you have to take the bad.

At some point in the future, and the way the technology is going, they'll be little need for DVDs, as far as purchasing/rental, when you'll be able to purchase/download/record right over your TV.

Everything is going to become PPV.

Yachtzee
01-19-2008, 10:36 AM
What has always bugged me though is that they take the good, more popular channels, and purposely divide/allot them on the various other tiers with a bunch of crappy channels you don't want. To get the good, you have to take the bad.

At some point in the future, and the way the technology is going, they'll be little need for DVDs, as far as purchasing/rental, when you'll be able to purchase/download/record right over your TV.

Everything is going to become PPV.

Internet providers have been trying to find a way to charge more for providing access to popular sites for a while now. They'd like to charge you for letting you go to abc.com or nbc.com and letting you download your favorite show. They'd also like to charge websites for giving them access to you. It's no so much as Roy said, where they're afraid of people watching TV over the internet and ditching the cable TV. It's just that they're going to try to get as big a cut of the pie as they can find and this is one way to get their cut of the pie.

The problem, as I see it, is that it severely inhibits one part of the internet that has always been its big drawing point. The internet has always been a place where people can put content out there cheaply and get it to a potentially huge audience. If ISPs like Time Warner start charging customers based on usage and content providers based on the amount of hits they receive, then the only ones who will be able to survive long-term are the providers who can attract a lot of advertisers up front to cover the added cost of attracting hits. The internet will suddenly become a place dominated by the big media players. Free projects like Wikipedia might become a thing of the past or else littered with ads.