After becoming the first major U.S. internet service provider (ISP) to experiment with charging customers if they exceeded a predetermined broadband usage cap, Time Warner Cable is expanding its broadband cap to several other markets.
Despite criticism, Time Warner says it has a system in place that is able to accurately meter and bill ISP subscribers depending on how much bandwidth they use per month over the allotted cap. Four new cities will help the company test broadband caps, but the company did not reveal which cities have been selected.
Many internet users who simply check email and browse the internet are likely safe from exceeding a broadband cap, but as more consumers begin to watch streaming content and download higher amounts of data, there has been a lot of controversy regarding data caps.
Charter Communications also will test new bandwidth caps on its subscribers, with the cap depending on what plan subscribers are using. Subscribers with internet speeds up to 15 Mbps per month will have a cap of 100GB, while subscribers with up to 25 Mbps per month will have a cap of 250GB.
Subscribers who have up to 60 Mbps will not have a broadband cap, multiple news publications learned.
"More than 99 percent of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner," a Charter spokesperson recently said.
Comcast also has increased internet speeds up to 50 Mbps for some subscribers, though there is a 250GB limit per month -- which some internet users can approach a bit faster than they would like.
Critics said bandwidth caps discourage people from using all of the benefits of the internet while also hurting online video and streaming web sites which have become legitimate contenders against TVs.
ISPs that haven't publicly tested broadband caps are likely patiently waiting to see how Time Warner, Charter and other companies handle their tests before launching similar initiatives.
quote: More than 99 percent of current Charter Internet customers use less bandwidth than the threshold allows and therefore will not need to change their surfing habits in any manner
quote: If they run a backbone carrying 100MBps they're going to provide best effort service and sell more data transfer than can actually be supported - 1000 households at 1MBps (or 100 at 10). If you actually purchase a 100MBps unmetered line, it costs thousands a month just to maintain the line, and tens of thousands to run the fibre required to access the major backbones, and additional thousands a month to hook it up to those major backbones. They're not going to make money selling it only to 100 for only 50/month - that won't even cover the maintenance fees let alone recoup the initial investment to lay the fibre.
quote: While it's great you can do math, use the bold and underlining, ISPs provide higher speeds so users can obtain their content and data faster.
quote: Tell me why youd spend money to implement a system that only affects less than 1 percent of your customers. It sounds like the less than 1 percent of customers who are overusing are balanced out by the users who aren't.
quote: From the pockets of other people.
quote: Thats why America is still the greatest country and people are still risking their lives to get here. We have higher standards than most countries and are not easily satisified.That type of "pricing scheme" would not even get off the ground here.
quote: Yeah right and have to live in a smelly little room elbow-to-elbow with your neighbors, a bunch of smelly people eating weird food. Oh and earthquakes. No thanks, not worth the trade-offs
quote: But (and there is a big but), user caps and penalties suck, especially if there is no limit to the number of dollars you can be charged for overage, or that the costs are something like $5 per 500mb over so that you almost instantly hit the max-charge limit. At that point, it is a cash-grab.
quote: However do not advertise unlimited and not give unlimited.