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Time Warner Cables hopes to weed out excess usage with new billing system

When it comes to high-speed Internet, most people take for granted that their flat monthly fee will provide all the bandwidth needed for endless downloading.

Time Warner Cable (TWC), on the other hand, doesn't quite see things that way. Just as Best Buy labeled its bargain-minded customers as "Devil Customers," TWC has its own subset of customers that take the "all you can eat" approach to Internet access.

In order to discourage bandwidth gorging, TWC will trial a new billing system patterned after regular household utilities that we all have become familiar with. Like gas, water and electric bills, TWC will charge customers based on their usage instead of a flat fee.

The move should help TWC weed out the five percent of its customers which it says horde over fifty percent of total network bandwidth.

TWC warns that the network congestions problems will only get worse as more media content is made available online. People today are taking advantage of their high-speed Internet connections to download movies and television shows -- and we can't forget users who often frequent P2P and torrent sites to share/download content.

"Largely, people won't notice the difference," said a spokesman for TWC. "We don't want customers to feel they're getting less for more."

TWC will first roll out a trial of the new billing system in Beaumont, Texas later this year. If the tests are successful, TWC may apply the new billing scheme to all of its 7.4 million residential subscribers around the country.

Time Warner Cable isn't the first company that has attempted to curtail a small minority of its customers from hogging network bandwidth using P2P services like BitTorrent. Comcast chose the unsavory route of throttling bandwidth for greedy customers using P2P software. Unfortunately, Comcast's actions also hampered legitimate users of software like Lotus Notes.

Comcast's actions resulted in class-action lawsuit from customers and an official investigation by the FCC.

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Digital Downloads
By deeznuts on 1/17/2008 4:15:17 PM , Rating: 5
And people want to claim that Digital Downloads of movies are the future and physical media will be obsolete? As I've said repeatedly, not if the ISP's have a say in it. With the net neutrality controversy, throttling by Comcast and now this, it's apparent the ISP's are going to change broadband as we know it.

RE: Digital Downloads
By PB PM on 1/17/2008 4:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what it sounds like doesn't it. I can understand the logic behind it, if the statistics are right (5% using 50% of the bandwidth).

If you use more, you pay more kind of makes sense does it not? If John who uses Bit torrent to download games, movies and music is downloading several dozen gigs of files in a month he pays more than Grandpa Phil who maybe downloads 10megs a month.

RE: Digital Downloads
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 4:32:58 PM , Rating: 5
If the intent of this pay-per-use scheme is to get rid of the 5%, why not just get rid of them? Terminate their contract, or just don't allow them to renew. Sounds to me, it's simply TW's way of collecting more money without really freeing up the supposed bandwidth issue.

Also, if 5% of their customers use 50% of the total bandwidth, how is it that TW is able to raise the standard download speeds to 8 MBps? Seems to me, if they're bandwidth bound, they couldn't raise their limit. And when does this 50% usage occur? During the day when no one is home? During the evening when everyone's home? During the night when everyone's asleep?

RE: Digital Downloads
By PB PM on 1/17/2008 4:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
Good point about the time of usage. If someone is downloading tones of files, but not slowing down other users connections, then what is the big deal? Then again, what are ISP charging its customers for? Usage or access? My guess is a combination of both, more so towards usage would be my guess though.

RE: Digital Downloads
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 7:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
It has to be for both. If the ISP's pay monthly fees for access, and they're capped at a maximum, their monthly fees should also be capped, which is why they can charge a flat fee. If they hit the max bandwidth, everyone would see their throughput drop. But I think they pay less when less bandwidth is used. So that flat fee suddenly has a larger margin (same income, less expense). I may be wrong about the ISP's cost to get on the Internet, but that's why they want people to not use the bandwidth outside of the ISP's network. More in-house traffic, no big deal. More outside traffic, more fees, less margins.

RE: Digital Downloads
By qwertyz on 1/17/2008 7:31:42 PM , Rating: 1
This is just unreal, so the more bandwidth u need the less they give it to u and the hard they try to make it not work.

The world is just going mad and fucking crazy.

So the days of 56k modems and 4 KB/s speeds seem to return more quickly than u have ever think.

RE: Digital Downloads
By eye smite on 1/17/2008 8:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing I'll say on this is I have friends in Australia who were billed this way by different isp's there. After getting and losing more customers than you can shake a stick at and the constant complaints and most people going back to dial up, they went to the same billing method we have here now of a flat fee per month and this was 3-4 yrs ago. So the disreputable comcast and narrow visioned TWC will have to learn the hard way it seems.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:04:00 AM , Rating: 3
Yupp this isn't a new model was tested in Sweden as well - lets just say that the companies soon realised that if they wanted to stay in business they would have to scrap that model.

Just 1 competitor that gives flat fee is all it takes and you loose a big part of your customers. And it is not only the filesharers that change - basically everyone likes the security of knowing how big the bill will be next month.


RE: Digital Downloads
By jajig on 1/18/2008 12:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
That depends entirely on your plan and ISP. eg you can get 200MB, 400MB or 25GB data plans and be charged $0.15 per MB over that limit, or you can buy 12GB and be shaped to dial-up speed once you go over. Uploads and downloads are counted towards your limit.

You have a choice of a flat fee or a fee with pay as you go.

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they are getting it though. I currently pay for movie downloads, and music downloads, and I also support linux distrobutions with peer2peer (sharing my bandwidth to help a cause). I also share my bandwidth and processor power for folding and other distributed projects.

So what does this do? It makes me pay for something I have already paid for.
It's just a sad way for them to "terrorize" you into paying more for a piece of crap out dated system.
Just look at the networks in any country besides here, and you will see that they have speeds of 1mbit-100mbit for home subscribers, and not only that, when is FIOS going to happen? My god, the price is going to go up to 300$ a month with a plan like that. Instead of offering more bandwidth and upgrading, they are slowing it all down, trying to say that every packet or blip of information should be taxed, tripled charged, and billed to the limit.
They are trying to kill the internet.
Can you imagine if every road you drove over was a toll road? And if you decided to drive faster than everyone else to get to work early, you would have to pay triple the price?
People forget that these speeds are IMAGINARY, they equipment goes much faster than they let on.
It's just a way to milk more money, by creating imaginary tiers and having retarded marketing execs come onto public sites and say stupid shite like "well grandpa john only downloads 10 megs a day, why should he have to pay more?". That is f*n stupid. The comapanys will make grandpa john pay as much as they can without getting a riot, they just want an excuse to make even more money off all the media.

So think of it as a media tax on you. They want a peice of all that revenue they are (and will) make off of movies and music online.

The morons try to make you believe that the only people that this will effect is pirates who supposedly "download way too much" cough cough.. This is a blatant lie designed to make you think you are safe. You can bet they only see dollar signs in the actions, and it's about cashing in on media sales and advertising.

RE: Digital Downloads
By dreddly on 1/18/2008 1:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and the other thing they seem to forget is that people with high-bandwidth usage tend to be the more computer-savvy that also influence a lot of the decisions of other users around them.

Everytime an ISP in Canada tries to do this, I end up encouraging a group of other users to not sign up with that provider. The high bandwidth users tend to influence the decisions of other users, and so even if we trust their 5% numbers, the heavy users put up a stink (in blogs and forums) and discourage others.

RE: Digital Downloads
By frobizzle on 1/18/2008 1:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree with your overall point, realistically, it won't make a difference.
After getting and losing more customers than you can shake a stick at and the constant complaints

First, unfortunate as it is, most markets have very few options. There is simply not enough competition and hence there are few alternatives. When the choice is TWC's Draconian billing rates or 56k dial-up, most people will just suck it in and pay.

Second, TWC couldn't give a rat's ass about customers whining. When Road Runner was first offered in my area, there was a 10 mbit/sec. cap. A few years later, they lowered the cap to 2 mbit/sec., trying to do it under the radar scope. To me and others, the change was immediately obvious. Three were many complaints but TWC simply ignored them. It was only when the telco started offering an alternative with DSL and competition to Road Runner that TWC finally sat up and took notice. Not so remarkably, when DSL got faster, Road Runner soon followed. It got up to the point where now, they are both about 7 mbit/sec., each loudly claiming that they are the fastest.

RE: Digital Downloads
By enlil242 on 1/17/2008 9:09:12 PM , Rating: 3
If you use more, you pay more kind of makes sense does it not?

Don't we pay more now? I'd venture a guess, that most "high capacity" users, such as myself, (Xbox Live, MP Gaming, etc) already pay more for the premiunm broadband services from our ISPs (6MB dsl, 8mb cable) as opposed to the lower bandwidth plans (1.5mb dsl, 4mb cable).

To me the pricing scheme should change as well. If they are going to charge me for usage (for which I'll be paying way more than my mom for instance), then charge one nominal fee for the higher tier plan, get rid of the lower tier plan and charge away for usage... That's fair to me...

RE: Digital Downloads
By bhieb on 1/18/2008 10:51:56 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly I don't really mind the cost per meg scheme. In fact when I am on a "break" for a month or so and not gaming at all, I would actually save over my monthly bill. However if you are charging me for usage, then don't cap my speed at all. To use the electricity example if you are charging me per kw/hr then I should be able to pull as many amps as your infrastructure will allow (in this case limited by my transformer, for the ISP's by their switches, router and total bandwidth).

RE: Digital Downloads
By rcc on 1/18/2008 1:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
Nice idea, but you can't do this with power either. If you pull enough to limit other users on your substation, or enough to trip the breakers at that station, you'll hear about it.... loudly.

Unless, of course, you contract with the electric company for said service.

RE: Digital Downloads
By bhieb on 1/18/2008 1:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
That is true everything has a limit even with electric there are demand fees for high usage customers.

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
You don't mind the cost per meg scheme? You must have rolls of logs made out of cash you throw on the fire to keep warm then.

I already pay per month prices to downloads a certain amount of mp3 media, and a certain amount of movies, plus I already pay my ISP. So under this scheme, what happens when my 30$ a month I am paying to stream movies exceeds my bandwidth? Then I pay triple exponentially?
Horrible idea.
You need to be slapped.

RE: Digital Downloads
By artemicion on 1/18/2008 1:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
IMO, they should make a less extreme move by charging by bandwidth during peak hours and allowing unlimited bandwidth during non-peak hours, much the way cellphone plans work. I'm under the assumption that the bandwidth problem is caused by a small percentage of users (bittorrent, etc.) and only during certain hours of the day (might be wrong about this).

I'd also like to point out that resistance to change to the status quo of unlimited bandwidth seems to be largely derived from customers outraged at the possibility of being charged more, rather than any principled perspective of the economics of ISPs. Just be f-ing true to yourself and admit that your real argument is "I want to pay as little as possible, and I want to download as much as I want." Of f-ing course that's what consumers want.

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
rather than any principled perspective of the economics of ISPs. Just be f-ing true to yourself and admit that your real argument is "I want to pay as little as possible, and I want to download as much as I want." Of f-ing course that's what consumers want.

True to yourself? How much did they pay you to write that crap?
As I said before, companies are charging per meg to use their services!!! I pay 60$ per month to my ISP, I pay 30$ a month for up to 20gig of streamed movies, another 10$ a month for music and radio streams, I also purchase E-books and Audio books, which take up bandwidth. Can you get a f*n clue? I think being charged for imaginary traffic is an invention of retards. I have a home network and I copy huge amounts of data back and forth to my computers, it makes no difference to me, as the equipment doesn't require quarters every few packets, they require electricity and that is it! I already pay for my electricity so why the hell should you tell me that every electrical pulse that is sent that contains information should be charged 4 times over. Once for the electricity, once for the privilege, and once for the content, then pay more on top of that if I exceed an imaginary privilege line?
Oh and I also pay for 10$ per month for e-faxing, which is more bandwidth, and I also pay 10$ per month for electronic voice mail that converts everything to wav files and sends them to my email account (which is again more bandwidth).

RE: Digital Downloads
By Christopher1 on 1/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Digital Downloads
By mdogs444 on 1/17/2008 4:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
Really, Time-Warner is being a whiny baby about the people who are 'bandwidth gorging'. The people who use more than 500GB of bandwidth a month, like I do on an occasional basis, are a SMALL fraction of a percentage of the people who are using their services.... not even really enough to impinge on the downloading of other people on their service.

So let me get this right....

You believe that everyone should pay the same low price, regardless of how much of the service they use, and that a tiered "pay for what you use" service is bad.

I find it quite ironic, and hypocritical, when I compare it to your view class warfare & taxes. You've stated in the past that the wealthy should pay a higher percentage of taxes because they have enough money to afford it, and that the low income people shouldn't pay anything because they cannot afford.

You can say that this is just to punish you for using alot of bandwidth and to price gouge you (which is the same as taxing high income an even higher percentage), but perhaps I can say that this is to benefit the low bandwidth users by charging less (which is the same as not taxing the low income).

How is this different this time? Oh i know....because this time, it will actually effect how much money comes out of your pocket! Maybe you ought to think about that next time you say you want to tax people a higher percentage because they make more than you.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Polynikes on 1/17/2008 7:39:24 PM , Rating: 3
the same low price

Low? $40 a month ain't cheap if you're not using a lot of bandwidth.

RE: Digital Downloads
By jeff834 on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Digital Downloads
By murphyslabrat on 1/18/2008 3:28:55 PM , Rating: 1
I actually had to kick my kitten out of the house for a few months. Now he's back, and is a profitable member of our household.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Christopher1 on 1/18/2008 10:53:37 PM , Rating: 1
$50 dollars is not a low price, compared to the Unlimited Internet deals in places like Japan.

They have unlimited internet that is nearly 20 times faster than our cable internet, and they are paying less than we do for that than we pay for cable internet.

Secondly, when something is advertised as unlimited, I expect to be able to use AS MUCH OF THE SERVICE AS I LIKE! I have NEVER had a complaint from Comcast even once except a phonecall from some lower-level peon who was getting on my case about downloading a lot 5 years ago. When I pointed out to him that their service was unlimited, he hung up the phone and never called back again, though that might have been because he was fired after I contacted Comcast and reported his phonecall and it wasn't authorized by them (assuming the latter here).

Thirdly, yes, I do believe that everyone should pay the same 'low' price for internet service regardless of how much of the service they use, if something is billed as unlimited internet.
If you don't want to allow that, you are FINE to bill your service as not being 'unlimited' and putting a gigabyte limit on it.... just don't blame me when your business drops off substantially because customers are getting tired of having to count every single mega or giga-byte of traffic they are using.

Fourthly, I couldn't care LESS if more money came out of my pocket for internet service...... as long as the service was still unlimited, I would be willing to pay up to $70 dollars a month for internet service.... any higher than that however, and I would tell any provider to stick their service and simply stay off the internet and NO ONE would get my money.

Fifthly, I do want to tax people who make more at a much higher rate than myself because THEY CAN AFFORD IT, and they have a responsibility to help keep society up if they are not going to allow high minimum wages.
If they would switch to a high minimum wage of about $12-20 dollars, then I would keep them at the same level of taxation as myself..... but let's face facts: most rich people today got rich off breaking the backs of the poor and insider trading their way to success.

Even my one friend, who is worth nearly $10 million dollars now, said that he was SHOCKED at how many people and businesses freely admit that they insider traded or hired people at below minimum wage.

RE: Digital Downloads
By mdogs444 on 1/17/2008 5:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
The people who use more than 500GB of bandwidth a month, like I do on an occasional basis, are a SMALL fraction of a percentage of the people who are using their services.... not even really enough to impinge on the downloading of other people on their service.

And just to further my point...

Your example of being using a lot of bandwidth are a small percentage of the total bandwidth users. Just like how the total amount of federal taxes are paid by the small minority of americans. And those who pay the most, receive the least "value" for their dollar.

Go figure, another hypocritical statement because it all depends on how it effects YOU, right?

RE: Digital Downloads
By imaheadcase on 1/17/2008 10:32:55 PM , Rating: 1
What the ISP's are NOT telling you is that "small percentage" actually increases every year.

Face it people, pay-by-the-byte internet will not work for future internet applications. I can easily download 500gigs a month..even 1tb.

Its not uncommon to download a typical 10-20gig 1080p movie now on internet. You think "oh sure if you pirate", but face it..its not always going to be pirating, same movie i download now in a few years will actually be standard STREAMING movies.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Christopher1 on 1/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Digital Downloads
By FITCamaro on 1/17/2008 5:27:00 PM , Rating: 5
Well I'm all in favor of them throttling your internet connection or just cutting it off entirely. Those who believe having sex with children is ok shouldn't be allowed to live much less use the net.

RE: Digital Downloads
By creathir on 1/17/2008 7:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just an FYI on those who are rating down FIT, Christopher1 has expressed beliefs in allowing children to have sex with adults.

FIT is not just slamming this guy, just pointing out some of his previous beliefs.

- Creathir

RE: Digital Downloads
By anotherdude on 1/17/2008 7:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
Can we get the whole story? Sounds like an interesting read.

RE: Digital Downloads
By kyp275 on 1/17/2008 7:54:16 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Digital Downloads
By ToeCutter on 1/17/2008 11:22:36 PM , Rating: 1
yup, that's him.

That is some twisted shit.

Freaks me out a bit; I wonder how many other whack jobs I've replied to on this forum?

Thanks for the tip

RE: Digital Downloads
By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well I would like some more confirmation on identities and beliefs b4 I say anything except that what was written in there was sick. However witch hunts and mobs are pretty bad as well (and they always seem to hang more innocent then guilty ppl)

RE: Digital Downloads
By Vinnybcfc on 1/18/2008 12:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Heres one post on dailytech from him:

(2nd paragraph last sentence)

That took about 2 mins to find on his account

Lots of similar posts on his account

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:44:20 PM , Rating: 1
Omg, you all are a bunch of tards...
<stewie voice>
Oh goodie! Let's burn people in ovens because they have a different view point other than our own!

You all are just trolls and flame bait artists. You can't win an argument so you jump into belief systems. Attack! Attack!
I hate ignorant tards who put everyone in life into little neatly organized boxes like a lab monkey with a geometric shape test kit.

RE: Digital Downloads
By FITCamaro on 1/17/2008 11:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
More like incredibly sick and twisted.

I still do not understand why DT has not banned his account given some of his views and comments supporting them. You might not agree with me on my political views, but I also don't believe in having sex with 6 year olds.

I just hope he one day gets caught by the authorities and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Me personally, I'd have him executed. Only way to get rid of these sickos once and for all is to get them out of the gene pool.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Vinnybcfc on 1/18/2008 12:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah why havent DT done anything?

If they need evidence it is quite easy to find on his account

RE: Digital Downloads
By Bioniccrackmonk on 1/18/2008 2:01:09 PM , Rating: 3
Because Dailytech is a forum that believes people have the right to freedom of speech. Whether or not the community agrees with him is beside the point and just like he gets to argue his points, we get to argue ours. Now don't get me wrong, I am in now way, shape or form agreeing with this scum, but he does have the right to post.

Would be a little interesting to see his ass out on the street though, I might just become a lot of liberal with my fists.

RE: Digital Downloads
By Christopher1 on 1/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:48:38 PM , Rating: 1
Hitler? Is that you?

RE: Digital Downloads
By Vinnybcfc on 1/18/2008 12:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Heres another one of Christopher1's posts:

RE: Digital Downloads
By XPguy on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Digital Downloads
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 5:26:12 PM , Rating: 1
Why? Did that person just suck up that bandwidth downloading a movie and now it's gone forever? Are you no longer able to use your full bandwidth because someone is downloading a movie? What's the logic in saying they should pay more, just because they decided to delete the file 24 hours later? And are you suggesting Apple shutdown iTunes just because it's using up bandwidth providing this service to someone who wants to use it? In that same line of thinking, shouldn't we just charge you more for downloading Windows updates, which can run in the gigabytes in a month sometimes, just because you want to update your system?

Come on. Think! How is charging a guy who downloads a movie more going to help you at all? You're not going to see more bandwidth, and you're not going to pay less. You'll still get your 8 Mbps download speed and you're still going to pay $45/month, with or without that movie downloader guy/gal.

RE: Digital Downloads
By saiga6360 on 1/17/2008 8:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
The part of me that is somewhat of a conspiracy nutjob sees this as one TW decision furthering its Blu-Ray exclusivity decision. I think it makes sense for them to make it cost-prohibitive to use digital HD downloads/streaming from legal internet services. Yep, it is crazy but stranger things have happened.

It would be nice if TW can prove their claims for justifying this move but it is probably not going to happen or even matter. I would probably be a proponent of this move if it means the money will be spent improving the infrastructure but that's wishful thinking. In the end, it is my money and it will be my decision. It is unfortunate that many of use do not have other options, like those folks at Beaumont, Texas I would assume.

RE: Digital Downloads
By jconan on 1/17/2008 10:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO TWC should provide options for fees similar to telephone companies that provide a flat fee and cost per transaction fee with lower monthly service fee. Then that would be fair. But a single type of pricing scheme isn't fair because it is still relatively expensive compared to DSL.

RE: Digital Downloads
By marvdmartian on 1/18/2008 9:53:38 AM , Rating: 3
I have two problems with this whole idea.

First, I have yet to see what sort of bandwidth limit they're planning on imposing. Getting upset about it before you know what you're getting upset about is simply a waste of time, imho.
If TWC wants to set a limit on their unlimited internet, then they do so with the knowledge that they might lose some customers. Frankly, I doubt if they care, if the only customers they lose are their high bandwidth users. It's a win/win situation for them, isn't it? They drop their bandwidth bill, or they get more money from the bandwidth hogs that are using most of it.
Honestly, I doubt if they'll care about losing some customers in that instance.

Second, personally, I think this is a bunch of hogwash. While 5% of their customers might be using 50% of their bandwidth (or so they claim), then why not, at the same time that you plan on higher billing for high bandwidth customers, do they not offer LOWER BILLING FOR THEIR LOW BANDWIDTH CUSTOMERS???
I mean, it's only fair, isn't it? If person A uses up 50% of the bandwidth, and TWC thinks they should pay higher fees for that usage, then it's only right that person B, who only uses 2% of the bandwidth, should pay a significantly LOWER monthly fee.
Thus is the problem I have with their plan, since I know they have no intention of doing what I just outlined. They cry "NO FAIR!!" to high bandwidth customers, yet they give no break to low bandwidth customers......and those are the very people that should be rewarded by TWC.

Otherwise, we could simply make the argument that (truthfully) the 95% low bandwidth customers that TWC has more than make up for the 5% high users......and that this is nothing more than a scam by Time Warner.

Aside from all that, personally speaking as a TWC cable modem customer, I feel that my local company better look at improving their service quality a LOT more, before they look at upping my bill any more. I don't know about other areas, but until I see premium service, I'd better not see a premium billing going on here!!

RE: Digital Downloads
By bhieb on 1/18/2008 12:29:40 PM , Rating: 2

Ok so what do you think a cost per usage plan would do. The whole point is the more you use the more pay, and by it's very nature the less you use the less you pay. I don't know what system you would put into place that would save low bandwidth users money, other than a pay per usage plan.

Again I am all for it as long as the price does not exceed what the 95% are paying now, AND as long as there is no speed cap (1.5mb or 5mb). If I can get the fasted speed possible on a pay per use basis, and still pay the same on average months, less on slow months, and more on busy months then I am all for it.

Of course that is not how TW will sturcture it, but using their "electric" company analogy that is how it needs to be. After all I can pull as many amps as possible from the grid, and they charge me the same per kw/h regardless of whether I am pulling the full transformer load of 400 amps or just running the lights at just a few amps. But even then the analogy falls apart, because very large users of electircity are charged a costp per kw/h and a flat "demand" charge just to have the rights to use that much, regardless of how much they actually use.

In the end they will do what any company does, and structure it to put the most $$ in the bank that the market will allow. Welcome to capitalism!

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
OMG! Another marketing exec paid to post.

This is moronic, firstly, because an internet router is not like a car, it doesn't wear out if it's used too much. The whole idea of limitation is smoke and mirrors, the limitation is only set in place to make more money. You are arguing from the point of view that we all just need to accept it and not fight paying for imaginary ideas.

What if I divided up your house and made a new law that says your kitchen zone is not a toll area, every minute you spend in the kitchen will cost you 5$. Then, you get online and tell everyone how you think its only fair, because you don't eat that much and only fat people spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I think somewhere down the line your IQ points must have slipped out of your colon, because it seems like you've already accepted an imaginary method of control.

RE: Digital Downloads
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
That should read "your kitchen zone is a toll area"

What do you expect from a CABLE company
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 4:24:44 PM , Rating: 5
It's obvious they're trying to circumvent the idea of net neutrality by calling it "usage billing". By doing this, it allows them to not be bound by net neutrality, which just promotes equal bandwidth rights. But by billing based on usage, they can offer their own IPTV at a flat rate, regardless of bandwidth use, since it's on their network, or continue to stifle any IP based programming in favor of their cable TV services. The act of billing based on usage is equivalent to prioritizing their services and data over others, except it's not controlling the type of data and its priority, but rather how much it costs to get certain types of data, the heart of net neutrality.

Anyone who thinks the market alone will continue to implement net neutrality is kidding themselves if TW's actions is any indication of other internet provider's intentions.

RE: What do you expect from a CABLE company
By Christopher1 on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: What do you expect from a CABLE company
By Ringold on 1/17/2008 9:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a job?

Are you vested in to a defined benefit plan, or contributing to a defined contribution plan?

If yes to any part of the second question, then it's quite likely, unless you're 100% in to a government bond portfolio, that you too may well own a piece of the telecom action. With many mutual funds, you have no idea what on gods green Earth your manager may own inbetween quarters.

Instead of making it a concept or political football, I've waited to hear technical reasons why network neutrality is anything to be concerned about. I've heard no such convincing argument why the consumer experience would differ suddenly. In fact, as soon as things got to a stage where such discussion could take place more in the media, the story completely died. I take that to mean it was nothing but a philosophical issue raised by some old-school geeks, and not worthy of public discourse. Might just mean it was too technical, but if it were consequential it wouldn't of died so completely.

I apologize on behalf of "conservative people" if paying for what a user consumes is somehow offensive in principle.

By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Paying for consumption only applies when what is being consumed is PHYSICAL. So apology is NOT ACCEPTED!!!

Here is my boot, now I will help you out the door by using it to gently nudge in the rear.

By kextyn on 1/18/2008 10:09:30 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, they ARE the neutral people. If you have stock in the company then you are not neutral.

RE: What do you expect from a CABLE company
By nbachman on 1/17/2008 6:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have agreed with everything you have said. I would bet nobody is going to pay less if they use less, that is just not how the cable companies work.

Also, I think Time Warner, Comcast, and Charter Cable are all the same company. Just go to each webpage and note the ridiculous similarity.

By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
YES! You see! someone out there actually has a brain!
A company that is incorporated, by law, can not make any decision that will make it loose money.
Lets look at this shall we?
If by their estimates, only 5% of people create all the traffic (which is a lie), then do you really think that they will earn more money by somehow shifting to a bit by bit price scheme? OK! lets go further shall we? Let's say that 50,000 customers pay 45$ per month, and 2500 customers also pay 45$ a month but use much more imaginary bandwidth.
Ok so do you see any reason to take 95% of the profit out of this model? Because there is no way you could milk those 2500 customers to make up for the looses incurred by loosing 80% of your profits by going to a bit by bit scheme.
So stop already.
What they will do, is charge you even more, say 45$ + 10$ just because they can, and squeeze those 2500 customers with an extra 300$ per customer to make a killing.

An important lesson in welfair too
By pauldovi on 1/17/08, Rating: 0
By saiga6360 on 1/17/2008 4:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except that this is not a 'welfare' system and people use services they have already payed for. It is just the usage that differs, that is all. This is not some community bath tub where we all pull our drinking water from.

RE: An important lesson in welfair too
By littlebitstrouds on 1/17/2008 4:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. And most of the people on here are the ones causing the problem. Is this the final solution... maybe not, but it's a serious problem. Just because the model was introduced with the ability to abuse it doesn't give people the right to bitch and moan when they catch it. Truly that's not what you teach your children is it?

However, this does need to be scaled accordingly. There is no way it should be like cell phones (overage charges). It should be broken down, bit by bit. About time I can recommend my parents actually getting cable internet. Sorry but I can't suggest to them to pay the $40 a month I do when they only check their email.

By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
How about having more models then 1. maybe a low enterence fee and Per bit charge for the low volume users and a flat fee for the high volume/high speed users.

By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:11:18 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. And most of the people on here are the ones causing the problem.

Actually, I think it's you. Your pen*s is too small.
Is this the final solution... maybe not, but it's a serious problem.

There is no problem. The problem you keep ranting about is completely imaginary.
Just because the model was introduced with the ability to abuse it doesn't give people the right to bitch and moan when they catch it.

Is it possible you were dropped on your head? That is the only way I could excuse such ignorance. A model introduced with the possibility of abuse? That is absurd in itself, as to say the model has no control over itself, as if it's human and could be abused. A system is what it is, if the sign says 5 doughnuts per customer and I take 5 doughnuts and you get angry because you think that somehow leaves less for you to get increase your ass size on, then how is that my problem? May, perhaps, you think the owner should change the sign?
Truly that's not what you teach your children is it? However, this does need to be scaled accordingly. There is no way it should be like cell phones (overage charges). It should be broken down, bit by bit. About time I can recommend my parents actually getting cable internet. Sorry but I can't suggest to them to pay the $40 a month I do when they only check their email.

You are a complete moron, it's official. You have no clue. These companies will still charge your parents 40$ a month even if they charge bit by bit. They will of course NOT loose any money. You have no idea of how corporations work little boy, go home. It is a law that the board must always make as much money as possible, and if it can be deemed in court that a decision was made that made them any less money, the entire board of directors for a company can be removed (or kicked out on their arse). So why in gods name do you think that a plan like this will make it cheaper for your parents? It's not going to happen. They have a baseline price set now at about 40$ per household and anything they do will not change it, they only want to make more on top of that. Let's just call it icing on the cake.

By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 4:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
When something is advertised as "unlimited use", how is that abuse? If it's advertised as "reasonably large use", at what point is it abuse? I see no correlation between paying an ISP for net service and welfare because a welfare recipient isn't paying anything. For someone with a net connection, we're all paying the same amount. Just because one person uses only 10 MB in a month, am I abusing their right because I use 100 MB in a month? That must be a 1000% overage compared to the 10 MB user! I must be a bandwidth hog because the 1000% differential proves it!

And unlike a natural resource, bandwidth isn't a limited resource. It's a constrained resource at any given moment in time. The net effect is simply that someone will not achieve the maximum bandwidth potential. But quite frankly, if only 5% is using the maximum throughput they're paying for (8 Mbps), how is that abusing anyone else's rights if the 95% do NOT choose or need that full throughput? If 95% of users only surf the web or read their email, they wouldn't even notice a degraded service. Heck, I'm sure they'd be just as happy with a 512 Kbps DSL connection!

RE: An important lesson in welfair too
By mdogs444 on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
By bhieb on 1/18/2008 1:01:34 PM , Rating: 1
First I own part of a $150mil S corp so I do agree with you on the unfairness of the sliding scale. After all my personal return has enought taxes in it to pay for a small house. I know boo whoo, but the main problem is that my actual take home is not that much. My company made money, but the vast majority of that income was put back into growing the company (an by it's very nature helping to pay some 3000 employees). Oh well at least my kids get to layoff the employees and liquidate the company to pay the inheritance tax. /rant

On to my point. Problem with arguing the tax line (and I make quite a bit so I am right there with you) is that it is not just a tax problem it is much more a spending problem. If you assume that the government will spend what they need to spend then the money has to come from somewhere. I don't think just a flat tax is the answer, as it does effect lower income people more than upper income (I have not always been fortunate I used to work for $4 /hr). Raising the $7/hr guy's taxes from 18% to 30% will greatly imapct his ability to make ends meet. I have read lots of your posts and you seem to have your head screwed on straight, so even you will see that doing this will do one of two things. Increase cost of labor because no one can afford to work for $7, or increase unemployment. IMHO It really needs to be a hybrid system part flat income tax, but mostly federal sales tax. Sales tax is the only real way to tax illegals that do not pay income tax, but uses public funds. Afterall the more a person makes the more they spend. It helps Joe average just trying to feed the kids and survive (necessities like groceries should not be taxed), because he does not pay much sales tax. It justly penalizes the rich because my luxury car is just that a luxury I don't need them to survive, so if I have to have them I pay more.

The current method is what I call forced "charity". The IRS makes me give more because the government "needs" it. The problem is that it gives it to the worse possible charity the US government. There is not a single entity on the plantet that can piss away money more effectively, including my wife!

By johnbuk on 1/17/2008 5:47:16 PM , Rating: 4
Another reason that the welfare analogy doesn't work is that it contradicts the cable industries own argument about not offering TV channels a la cart.
If you can charge me individually for my internet usage, then you should be able to only charge me for the dozen or so TV channels that I actually watch. In fact, why not base my cable TV bill on how much TV I watch.

A different way of charging may be needed???
By PB PM on 1/17/2008 4:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
Just though I'd put out the way my local ISP (Shaw Communications, Canada)charges for bandwidth. I pay a set rate, $30 a month for a set speed, 5mbps, with 60GB bandwidth. Anything over 60GB and they can charge me (if I do so month after month). Now that seems like a reasonable way of doing things does it not?

RE: A different way of charging may be needed???
By johnbuk on 1/17/2008 5:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
That rate that you quoted seems reasonable, but my problems with this are:
-There is not competition in my area. No DSL. No other cable providers. (Satellite is an option, but even more expensive and has a very restrictive cap). And I don't have a landline for dial up. Time Warner has a monopoly where I live. They have an exclusive deal with the city where they are the only cable company that can provide service. Every time that contract comes up, they offer another bribe to the city to renew it despite the protests from the citizens. I have to pay whatever TW asks or go without.
-Expanded basic cable plus internet costs me over $100/mth right now and I expect this will increase that as I'm guessing my usage exceeds whatever cap they will set.

If there was competition, then I wouldn't really care about this, but seeing as how Time Warner is my only viable option right now for internet service, I don't see this as anything more than a way to raise my already high rates.

By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:36:54 AM , Rating: 2
Now that calls for legislation or a new city management...

RE: A different way of charging may be needed???
By grampaw on 1/17/2008 5:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ideally, ISPs should have pricing structure as follows:

Customer Charge - fixed monthly charge to cover billing, customer support, etc.

Demand Charge - fixed monthly charge to cover your 5mbps or 8mps or whatever your max demand is.

Time of Use Usage charge - variable throughput charge on a $/GB basis differentiated by at least peak and off-peak daily periods.

Currently ISP pricing is simply a flat monthly charge, exactly how utilities (electric, gas, water) used to charge for service way back around 1900. If you want to see where internet pricing is going, just read up on the history of utility pricing and see how that pricing has progressed from simple flat monthly charges to the absurdly complicated tariffs you pay now.

By johnbuk on 1/17/2008 5:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you're suggesting a pricing structure similar to cell phones...good idea...if there was competition.
However, there currently isn't competition in much of the U.S. and I see that as a step backwards- to when dial up was your only option and most dial up services either charged by the hour or else included a certain number of hours and then extra once you exceeded those hours. However, even then there quickly became a number of options for dial up service whereas broadband options are still extremely limited.

By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't you make it even more complex?

Like add in "mood" charges, because they have had a bad day?
Demand charge? OH! Like if I call them up and demand a doughnut!?
So lets see by your analogy a doughnut company should work as follows:
Customer pays to enter parking lot of doughnut shop, then customer steps out and pays to walk on the cement (a walking fee), then the customer pays to open the door (a opening of the door fee to support door repair people), and then the customer pays a fee to speak to the cashier and pays for each word spoken until the order is complete. Then the customer pays for the order and then pays for the privilege of being able to order (after all doughnuts are a luxury item). Then the customer must pay to get back out of the door and a re-walking fee, and an exiting fee.

YES YES! Your model makes so much sense now!

Billing Accuracy...
By amanojaku on 1/17/2008 8:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for usage based billing, if it would lower my costs when I'm not on the 'net much. I would look at it like this: a usage-based plan with a price cap to match an average bandwidth cap. For example, you get an average 10Mbit/sec connection for $50 a month. You can pay $100 a month for an average of 25Mbit/sec. Use less (say 5Mbit/sec average) and pay that fraction (in this case $20-$25 for the month.) Notice that the average price/Mbit will decrease as you get a higher speed plan, making it more attractive to buy a faster plan. Some factor would have to be included to ensure that people don't buy the higher speed package to get the lower cost if the average usage is less than the cap.

Thing is, how do we know that the bills we receive are correct? I am a Time Warner customer and I can tell you they don't get jack right half the time. I moved and was charged for two months of service at the old location! When I had cable TV with them I had to cut off my PPV because of erroneous charges. Even the customer support specialists will tell you the system "randomly" adds charges that are incorrect.

RE: Billing Accuracy...
By excrucio on 1/17/2008 8:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
They will only be setting the people that just learned the access of broadband back.

Not everyone has the money to drop BY USAGE.

flat rate 70 bucks for a 30/5 line from Cablevision is already killer. Oh yes i use all 30 baby, download left and right upload down and up. the 15/2 default plan is 45 bucks still alot.

taking that i do stay on the computer playing video games, let's suppose..quake 4 where there are 15 minute games and quake 4 is a competitve game which can pay up to 30k per tournament (truth)

what would be my bill for a 8-10 hour per day usage...??
nearly 200dollar bill at the end of the month? i hope not.

they are gonna bring the US back to the 60-70's

BOYCOTT. it will hurt the country even more than its already hurt because of the real state crisis

RE: Billing Accuracy...
By darkpaw on 1/18/2008 8:56:59 AM , Rating: 2
Games are not very high bandwidth consumers, it's really all about latency.

The only people this would affect heavily is pirates or people that stream a lot of video from Netflix or other similar services.

RE: Billing Accuracy...
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:49:27 PM , Rating: 2
Um you are wrong. Games do consume a fairly large constant stream, and multiply that by many, many, many hours of play.
Oh and saying that the only people who would be affected is pirates is F^N tardastic. I pay per month for media streaming.
And all these cool companies, like Tivo, and joost, and itunes, all rely on your bandwidth, and all of them consume huge amounts of it.
The only people who don't watch u-tube and don't purchase audio books, or listen to pod-casts are people who get online and look at text email like once a week. For those people, and people like YOU, you should just go back to dial up, because you don't need broadband, so your argument is non existent.

RE: Billing Accuracy...
By Staples on 1/18/2008 1:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for lowering my bills too. I figure a lot of people here are those 5% mentioned so I expect tons of biased responses just like in articles about the RIAA cracking down or a crackdown on bittorrent.

RE: Billing Accuracy...
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 2:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
So, in essence, you are saying that you believe charging subscribers who consume more will somehow lower your bill?

I think you need to go read what a corporation is on Wikipedia.

By sapiens74 on 1/17/2008 5:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Capitalism is the battle between the consumer to pay as little as possible versus the company attempting to charge as much as legally possible

In the end, the consumers always decide. Notice TW's better half isn't do so well now (AOL)

By johnbuk on 1/17/2008 5:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
More like communism where there is only one supplier and if you want it you'll pay whatever they want or go without.

By sapiens74 on 1/17/2008 5:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
Here (Hawaii) we have the choice of DSL and TW Roadrunner, and ClearWire Wireless, plus Sprint/Version EVDO, which are pretty fast.

If they start charging more, then I will just switch.

By sweetsauce on 1/17/2008 6:26:19 PM , Rating: 4
In the end, the consumers always decide.
Only when there are alternative choices. If there isn't, then you're boned.

By natebsi on 1/17/2008 6:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't download much any more, so I really don't care either way. In fact, IF it were to make my internet cheaper, I'd be all for it (fat chance, I know)?

But..... This is a really poor idea simply for the fact that WEP is so easy to crack, and the overwhelming majority of people that have wireless routers are using WEP. Just imagine using 50MB a month (or so you thought), and finding out at the end of the month that you actually downloaded 500GB? Imagine trying to explain that to TW!

RE: Wireless??
By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
Mac adress locking your router perhaps would be standard then? not that im for this but there are ways around anything.

RE: Wireless??
By darkpaw on 1/18/2008 8:54:17 AM , Rating: 2
MAC address locking does nothing, easy enough to get around. It's an extra layer, but anyone that knows what their doing its pretty meaningless. I still enable it on all my systems, but by itself or with just WEP it isn't going to stop someone.

Anyone using WEP is asking for trouble and people that haven't switched to WPA1 at a minimum need to pay more attention.

WPA2 with AES256 and a 20+ character key works pretty good. It's not like this is hard to setup either.

RE: Wireless??
By natebsi on 1/18/2008 1:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that WEP sucks, but stating thats "Its not hard to setup" is a ridiculous statement. You're a geek, like the rest of us here. The other 99.9% of the populous has not concept of what WEP/WPA even are and why one is better than the other.
And to make matters worse, many techs that actually do the wireless setup for customers that request it setup them up with WEP even if the router supports WPA. I've corrected this for a few friends over the years.
Just a quick glance at wireless routers in the area shows 1 unsecured, 2 WPA2 (one of which is mine), and 7 WEP's. It's gonna be a big wake up for a lot of people when they get their bills!

Bye bye Time Warner
By oralpain on 1/17/2008 4:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like I'll be switching to another ISP before the year is out.

RE: Bye bye Time Warner
By cmdrdredd on 1/17/2008 4:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
This is why we need options such as data over power lines, FiOS, and other fiber optic based connection methods to the home. Cut out the big corporations and give more options for us. In most areas you have only 1 choice and if you're very lucky you have a couple different ISPs in the local area.

RE: Bye bye Time Warner
By Christopher1 on 1/17/2008 4:39:22 PM , Rating: 1
That is what we need: more competition in the high-speed internet arena. Really, I would be glad if they would totally get rid of dial-up internet, and make everyone go to high-speed in this country.

That would then spur more companies getting into the high speed internet arena, through offering satellite services and other services to keep prices down because they would have to 'undercut' each other.

RE: Bye bye Time Warner
By FITCamaro on 1/17/2008 5:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
You must live in a good area where you have a choice. In most areas, you don't have a choice of cable providers at a single address. You either use cable or satellite. Or if you're lucky enough, you might have FiOS as an option. I know I'd love to have it.

i like to see TWC do this
By AntDX316 on 1/17/2008 4:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
their subscribers will drop 80 percent and the rest such as verizon move to verizon its best to invest in verizon once TWC starts this

RE: i like to see TWC do this
By littlebitstrouds on 1/17/2008 4:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I'm not one to knock grammar, but wow. Not to mention I'm not even sure it make sense with periods and commas. It almost seems like a subliminal message man rant.

RE: i like to see TWC do this
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 2:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
<Stewie Voice>
Oh goodie! The <sarcastic emphasis> professional </sarcastic emphasis> editor is here to school us all! Paddling my behind , with it's wit and banter and educating me at the same time! WOO! WOO! I am freaking...Just WOO!

5% of the 50% of the 45% .. .what?
By xxsk8er101xx on 1/17/2008 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
where do they get these numbers from? I have a hard time believing that 5% of consumers are using up 50% Total bandwidth.

Amazing how you can make up a number and everyone believes you.

About 95% of all cable companies makes up 50% of the 80% of crime... you must believe me because i just whipped out statistics out of my ass.

85% of you will believe that statistic while 10% of you will not - 5% are unsure. While 95% of that 85% think that the cable company is full of shit.

/end sarcasm

Time Warner is full of crap and just looking for ways to rape more i mean make more money ...

By PB PM on 1/17/2008 4:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
What business isn't? Companies wouldn't last long if they failed to find new ways making money. That said in this case, I can understand the logic, while not liking it at the same time.

I wouldn't want that system myself, since one of my room mates plays WOW all day long and downloads tons of stuff via P2P. I'd could try to make him foot the bill, but I cannot prove how much he uses.

By skitlets on 1/17/2008 4:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
No, she gets a special cologne... It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries... Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good. [...] They've done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.

Pure Sliding Scale?
By bplewis24 on 1/17/2008 4:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
I would hope that if any company is going to do this, they do a complete 100% contiuum of a sliding scale. In other words, you only pay for what you use. It would be very convenient for companies to charge everybody a "base" flat rate and then charge a premium per-MB basis for any amount of usage above that specified ceiling.

If a company does the latter, they don't lose any money on the low end of users, but make a killing off the high end of users. In that situation, the customers should be pissed. As a customer, if I have to pay $70 when I'm downloading my arse off or hosting for that month, I expect to only pay $5 when all I do is check my email the next month and am rarely connected.

Also, if they're going to do this, I hope they're prepared to fully deliver the up/down speeds they claim to without any throttling or congesting under any circumstances or at any time of the day.


RE: Pure Sliding Scale?
By BAFrayd on 1/17/2008 4:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think you probably know the answers to your questions.

I buy that for a dollar.
By Misty Dingos on 1/17/2008 4:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
"We don't want customers to feel they're getting less for more."

No they just want you to pay more for more. This is just lovely. When their profits start to flag a bit they jump out with their per unit purchase plan.

It won't really apply to the regular guy, just the evil guys that are hogging it all anyway.

Right if that is the problem just disconnect the service to that 5%. But their answer is that we will just charge you all for your use. And when you all start using lots more bandwidth (like that evil 5%) you get to pay for it.

We are all going to use more and more bandwidth as the internet matures. It is inevitable. How many of you still use a modem? How many are on some form of broadband? How many of you broadband folks want to go back to modems? Zero that's how many.

This is just a long term scheme by Time Warner to skin us for as many dollars as we can stomach. Just like they do with their cable TV service.

RE: I buy that for a dollar.
By Christopher1 on 1/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: I buy that for a dollar.
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 2:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
It won't really apply to the regular guy, just the evil guys that are hogging it all anyway.

I don't think you understand how a router works. There is nothing to hog, it's all virtual. It's made up! We are running so far below our actual capacity that this will never apply, even if every household used their connection to the max, we still wouldn't be hogging anything. We have so many fiber optic lines that are not in use it makes me cry.

Right if that is the problem just disconnect the service to that 5%. But their answer is that we will just charge you all for your use. And when you all start using lots more bandwidth (like that evil 5%) you get to pay for it.

You have it wrong again, they will charge you a set price no matter what. So you are under the impression that those little electrical pulses from your cable modem require a REAL commodity to go a certain speed, like gas or something? Gas is real, bandwidth is made up. I have a DOCSIS cable modem that is capable of 30mbits per second, but it only runs at 4mbits per second. Is that because of some mega bit shortage? NO. They could run it at it's full capacity if they wanted too, but it's about money. Getting money from every inch of imaginary distance.
By the way, they will never disconnect those 5%, because loosing their money would be a loss of revenue, and as we all know, its not about speed or quality, it's about how much revenue they make.

more charges?
By zolo111 on 1/17/2008 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
So, let me get this straight. John who downloads around 1GB a month, pays a flat fee, plus whatever they charge him for that 1GB he downloaded... while Albert who downloads 50GB a month, get's chareged a monthly fee plus a charge for downloading 50GB?? Customers are already paying around $60 a month for thier internet service, and now TW wants to ADD even more charges?

The only reason I'd pay $40-$60 for a high speed internet service, is if they don't limit the bandwidth. Oterwise I'd get a crappy 1MB service, and live with it, or switch ISP.

I'm not saying allow customers to abuse the service and dwonload 200+GB a month, but if they're gonna charge a flat fee + extra fee for each MB or GB downloaded, they first should lower thier monthly fee to something like $19.95 for thier 8MB service.

RE: more charges?
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
um, it's not abuse to use a piece of electrical equipment. You are ascribing human characteristics to a router.
I have a router that I pump data through all day at maximum speed and it doesn't "wear" it out any at all. It's not abuse to use something for it's intended purpose. The whole concept of "abuse" only came along for the purpose of charging more money, so please don't use that concept unless you understand it's origins.

A fundamental question
By The Boston Dangler on 1/17/2008 8:25:58 PM , Rating: 1
What is the point of this high capacity internet service?

The terms of service for any home-serving ISP prohibits hosting files or web sites, that's what they provide servers for. The entire ISP industry is loathing P2P (including entirely legitimate uses), so that's going away eventually. Web surfing, online games, email, et cetera all benefit from low-latency connections, but you won't come close to using the full capacity of your service, even if you do all these things simultaneously with multiple computers. My connection is 8mbps/85kbps, and the one and only way to utilize the potential of my service is with large file transfers, which my ISP doesn't want me to do.

So I ask again: What is the fucking point?

By The Boston Dangler on 1/17/2008 8:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
hmmm, auto-down-vote for dropping the F bomb?

By sapiens74 on 1/17/2008 4:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe TW should have merged with a Wireless phone company instead of AOL

This was inevitable
By qdemn7 on 1/17/2008 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
All the ISPs, especially the cable ISPs, have been waiting for one of them to implement a system like this. If they can get away with this, the rest will follow suit.

A Step Backward
By clovell on 1/17/2008 4:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I saw this a bit earlier and I wasn't sure what to think. Predictions and judgments aside, if I were with Time Warner, I'd be calling the DSL company right now. I just can't help but feel this is so not a good thing.

Maybe try upgrading your network
By phatboye on 1/17/2008 4:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sick of all of these ISP complaining about bandwidth usage and throttling usage. How about instead of over charging users for using their advertised unlimited bandwidth to it full potential how about maybe upgrading your network. Maybe start laying down higher bandwidth fiber lines. We are now in the year of our Lord 2008, has it ever crossed the executive minds at TWC that maybe 6Mbps just won't cut it anymore?

By birdcat on 1/17/2008 5:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
I live in a small town, with very few options. Dial up, Cable from the local cable franchise, or dsl. I had cable for a bit over two years. I paid $40 a month for the internet side of things, which got me 150kbs and 10gb of bandwidth. If I went over that, they said they would charge me. Well I ignored them and they never charged me extra. The last six months of service, they did throttle my speeds down to roughly 45kbs. But they never charged me extra. Buncha bull.

Ahhhh.... bandwidth
By Dweeboid on 1/17/2008 5:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, considering that i work for (can’t say the name here) and we carry the most IP traffic in the country, i can tell you this (and this is verified, just looking at t he stats right now)

This is in comparison to the assigned bandwidth going through the main peering points
.0526% of users (DL bandwidth) is 10% of max bandwidth
.1334% of users (DL bandwidth) is 20% of max bandwidth
Anyway, the average is ...
34.221% of users (DL bandwidth) is 42% of max bandwidth
So, what this indicates is that if you separate peoples downloads/uploads in 10 segments, most people fall in the 42% of bandwidth use.
The ones that suck up the major Bandwidth are really no concern to us, the percentage is so low, it will not hamper anything.
Actually it is (as some said) the LEGAL downloads that account for most of the high traffic, and not the illegal ones.
But it sounds good (only if it were true) that 5% take 50%.

They just want to suck more money out of ya.... you know, for the CEO and presidents of (****) the 180foot yacht is not big enough, they need to buy a new 250 footer !! so they will make you pay for it.

By Randum on 1/17/2008 6:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
back to the days of aol charging by the amount of hours you are logged in...

personally i think it evens out at the end of the day. like a college campus, you knew who the bandwidth hogs are but the non-computer users evened it out...
wtf...i will be pissed if they do this..

By bond007taz on 1/17/2008 7:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
I dont use P2P but was planning on using an online service like Netflix. If would be a heavy user of Netflix, so i could potentially be a heavy user and thus have to pay extra money? Ya, i dont think so. If companies start doing this then so much for on-demand services

By SlingXShot on 1/17/2008 7:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
You know for years I had to deal with dialup s... and now time warner wants to bill up for how much people download. I don't have time warner, but I had for many years and they were cheap bastards, these guys had 2Mbps while other ISPs already had twice as much. So what happens if you like to rent out movies from Itunes/Cinemanow, etc and and use up several dozen gigabytes, you get billed 500$ ??? Who in their mind going to accept that bill? I hope those trails fail.

I have Time Warner
By smitty3268 on 1/17/2008 8:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really have a problem with them charging based on usage - in fact it really seems like it should be more like electricity usage, with different rates per GB at different times of the day.

That said, let's be honest here - TWC is simply trying to raise it's prices to make more money. They're clearly not running out of bandwidth, because they keep raising mine. And somehow I don't think they're actually going to lower prices for people who only glance at their email a few times a month and never use it for anything else.

By ice456789 on 1/17/2008 9:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
So what about those of us who use VOIP? I've never bothered to check how much bandwidth that uses, but if I'm on the phone a lot I assume it can add up. So TWC would find a very big enemy in VOIP companies. Sure, having unlimited phone only costs $25 per month, but actually USING it costs another $30 payable to your cable provider.

Useage meter?
By djc208 on 1/17/2008 10:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
So how do I monitor my usage? In any usage based system there is some sort of meter. I've got water, electric, and gas meters I can monitor. I can track the minutes on my cell phone, how do I verify every bit I send or receive over my network? What about all the spam and other crap that gets bounced off my firewall, do I have to pay for that?

The usage based thing isn't unreasonable, and while there's little competition from other hard providers, the phone and cable companies aren't going to back away from each other, and WiMax and other wireless services may just provide the competition needed to keep companies like this in check.

I have no problems with this
By SiliconAddict on 1/18/2008 1:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
As long as the prices aren't insane. I drop $60 a month on internet. Some months I use it more then others. $10 says that the price will only go down to a certain level, because god forbid they don't make a certain amount off of me....BTW I have Crapcast.

the robbery started...
By greylica on 1/18/2008 5:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
They can throttle your connection and send the bits in your account...
Keep alives and pings = consumption...

Telefonica did this in Brazil, after a bunch of problems (sued so many times ), they are setting back.

Flat = Good Internet.

They have sufficient money to expand bandwidth, but they guess that corrupting the system will give them more money.
Here did not succeeded...

People call them Telefozica (Telecrap) now.
Instead of this, people are migrating to Net Virtua, without megabytes consumption robbery.

It's just capitalism
By SYR on 1/18/2008 11:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
Ignoring whatever excuses TW makes for its actions, they're simply exhibiting the logical behavior of a for-profit enterprise -- looking for ways to increase revenue while minimizing expense. They do what they perceive to be in their (and their stockholders') best interests. Can't really blame them for that.

Now, as consumers, we would obviously prefer that internet service be handled as a public utility -- and managed to provide best service rather than best profit. This would actually be quite simple, just throttle everyone's transmissions in real time so that they get a proportioned share of the available instantaneous bandwidth. If only one user is active, he gets the whole pipe to himself. If there are 1000 people executing simultaneous transmissions, each gets 1/1000 of the pipe. No one could hog anything and there would be no such thing as "excessive" usage. Tiered pricing would make no sense in such an environment.

So here's the real question: Do you get a "better" overall result by letting profit-motivated companies provide the service or by setting up a regulated utility. I personally think that the majority of people would be better served by a properly regulated monopoly while the profit-driven system tends to work better for relatively wealthier customers and worse for relatively poorer customers.

Non Usage
By AlphaVirus on 1/18/2008 12:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a good idea at all for any user. Here is why...
When you have a computer, how much junk is on it?
50% of that software periodically connects to the net to check for updates and such, including the operating system.

What if you dont use it (internet/online apps) for 2 months and still get a $10 bill? Guess what, you still have stuff connecting to the net.

By Aeros on 1/19/2008 12:02:59 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see the figures on network usage. I think this is a ploy on TWC part using P2P/BT as the scapegoat to empty their customers pockets futher.

Already Cable Co.s are ripping off their customers with their "tiered" net packages that sell unused bandwidth back to those who need more throughput.

A great rescource for more on Cable Co.s dirty tactics I recommend Hacking the Cable Modem: What Cable Companies Don't Want You to Know by DerEngel

Telnet case study
By oe2k on 1/21/2008 6:13:20 AM , Rating: 2

This charging method has been working in Telenet, a cable company from Belgium, for the past 2 years.
It has increased their profit and allowed the subscribers to better manage their accounts spending.

The 5% subscribers that consumed most of the BW where eliminated or decreased.
There is still an option for unlimited usage which is high and can be purchase.

Telenet are using BCE - Business control engine and Billing from FTS. URL:
The engine also allows per service usage and boosting the internet BW when needed by the subscriber. E.g. when downloading a movie you can boost the connection dynamically and stop it.

You can read about it:

I am not from FTS nor Telenet :-)

It won't happen.
By excrucio on 1/17/2008 8:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
here's a quick simple why...

TW, COMCAST and VERIZON goes pay per use, all the small companies are gonna grow and they'll be done, because the flat rate will just over take the pay per use. which is the most ridiculous idea i ever seen.

the other pathetic idea is taxing internet, when this junk was made to be free.

God did not put boundaries between countries, we did.

same goes for internet and this crap now. We made this to be free why just NOW tax and ask for more money. GTFO!

What about HOSTS? do they get flat rates? business connections? flat rates? yeah so i thought. it just wont work.

There is no way 5% may hog 50%+ in bandwidth in a month.
If you got bandwidth issues stick to 1 down and 1 up sir..

freaking idiots.
if you're gonna pump 8/1 or 15/2 or 20/5 you're asking to be fully used.

my friend asked verizon.

Comcast capped my line, if i use 24.7 the 20/5 will it be capped?

they replied..

No, you pay for 20/5 you get all that...

Truth you pay you get it, capping makes no sense, if you're allowed 20megabits a second, when is cap allowed? on the package you bought it doesnt say MAX speed: 20mbs
monthly bandwidth: 20megabits...wait what?

get what i mean?

caps are stupid it makes no sense whats so ever.

long live free internet and flat rate fees. freaking capitalist country.

I love just rediculous how capitalists WE are.

By MangoSRT8 on 1/17/2008 8:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
We are the richest country in the world, yet we have a pathetic wired (and wireless) infrastructure. This is a joke...just UPGRADE the damn networks and stop complaining. We have bendable fiber now, I don't see what the big deal is. These corporations make more and more profeit every year yet keep charging us more money.

RE: rediculous
By excrucio on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
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