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
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.
quote: After getting and losing more customers than you can shake a stick at and the constant complaints
quote: If you use more, you pay more kind of makes sense does it not?
quote: 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.
quote: 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.
quote: the same low price
quote: 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.
quote: yup, that's him.
quote: do they not offer LOWER BILLING FOR THEIR LOW BANDWIDTH CUSTOMERS???
quote: Yup. And most of the people on here are the ones causing the problem.
quote: Is this the final solution... maybe not, but it's a serious problem.
quote: 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.
quote: 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.
quote: hate to bring it up, but this is why welfare doesn't work. People abuse the system.
quote: In the end, the consumers always decide.
quote: "We don't want customers to feel they're getting less for more."
quote: It won't really apply to the regular guy, just the evil guys that are hogging it all anyway.
quote: 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.