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Print 152 comment(s) - last by GlassHouse69.. on Jun 5 at 9:03 AM

Go over your paltry monthly allotment of bandwidth and pay $1 per GB

Time Warner is starting a new internet access payment method trial in Beaumont, Texas that is a throwback to the early days of the Internet when you paid for the amount of data you sent or received rather than the simple flat rate virtually all internet users currently enjoy.

Time Warner told the Associated Press that it would begin placing limits for data sent and received over its cable broadband network in Beaumont. The limits would only be placed on new customers. What’s not clear is if after the test for new customers the limits would be applied to existing customers as well.

The cable company says that it will place limits on its service that vary depending on the plan customers opt for. Service with Internet and video or phone at $29.98 per month would give customers pokey downloads at 768 kbps and have an absolutely shameful per month limit of only 5GB. That means these customers couldn’t watch one single typical HD movie with Apple TV without going over their monthly allotment.

The fastest plan to be offered to new customers will provide downloads of 16 Mbps with a cap of 40GB per month. That cap equates to watching about 6 or 7 HD streamed movies per month. Of course that is assuming you only plan to stream movies from Apple TV or the new Netflix Roku box. The limits even apply to the web pages you surf, emails you send and information you upload.

The penalty for going over the pathetic monthly bandwidth limit is extreme -- $1 per gigabyte. That means Time Warner plans to charge customers who exceed the bandwidth cap a whopping $6-$8 more per HD movie streamed from Apple TV or a similar service.

Time Warner defends its move to bandwidth limits by saying that 5% of the company’s customers use up to half of the available network capacity.

Kevin Leedy, time Warner Cable’s executive vice president of advanced technology told the Associated Press, “We think it's [bandwidth limits] the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure.”

Time Warner first announced its plans for the test in early January 2008. To many this sounds like nothing more than an underhanded attempt to squeeze more money out of a subscriber base at the moment that streaming video rentals are starting to take off.

If Time Warner is successful in slipping this plan past its subscribers and other cable providers follow suit, this could be a serious blow to streaming rentals. Then again, this could be just the move that DSL companies have been hoping cable companies make. Let the exodus begin Time Warner customers.



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By Staples on 6/3/2008 12:43:08 PM , Rating: 3
I read that Comcast was thinking of a 250GB cap which I think is reasonable. 40GB is way too low. I download several video podcasts and I break 100GB almost every month. I am sure the pirates will be the loudest complainers about this sytem but I would support it if the cap for standard service was at least 200GB a month and that the service either gets cut or throtles to a really low speed if you go over. I do not want to end up with a huge bill because there was no transparency in this sytem.




By Suntan on 6/3/2008 1:25:52 PM , Rating: 4
When a guy uses words like "I seriously doubt" and "probably" you are supposed to infer that he is guessing, which by deffinition, does not require sources.

In any case, come on, you know he is right, even if you don't want to admit it.

-Suntan


By cobalt42 on 6/3/2008 1:36:15 PM , Rating: 4
Even if he is correct that the top downloaders are not so via legal means, his assertion that Apple TV users are not also victims is incorrect.

At 6GB/movie, you hit a 40GB cap by the 7th movie.
At 1$/GB, each additional movie would cost you $6.


By Oregonian2 on 6/3/2008 1:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
Are these movies HD (need to be in the current climate I think)? If so, what was the fuss with having "only" 30 Gb on a Toshiba HD disk?

One would be over the monthly limit watching just a single Blu-Ray quality streamed movie (that may already be mpeg-4, etc).


By cobalt42 on 6/3/2008 2:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
I've not too familiar with Apple TV, so I'm going on the numbers in the article, but I suspect it's much more highly compressed than what you'd get on a disc.

You're correct, though -- this seems like a move which will effectively quash competition in the video download/streaming sector by making them economically infeasible, since those typically have the highest bandwidth utilization.


By tastyratz on 6/3/2008 6:35:17 PM , Rating: 3
peer to peer and torrent traffic is really the killer of the networks, not single large file downloads from a service such as apple. The limitations are pathetic and would likely cause a serious disruption in a large number of customers service. This is ridiculous. I love how they hide behind this as a way to help improve their infrastructure, this is powered by greed, not the expansion of the network. If they capped everyone what reason would they have to make a faster network anyways? This is no more a method to expand their network for faster services than verizon getting paid for fiber optic rollout in the 90s with the "broadband tax"
http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction...


By Lazarus Dark on 6/3/2008 8:20:02 PM , Rating: 3
That is exactly it. The cable co's are afraid of the internet, they want you to get their 1000 channel packages(of which you watch maybe five channels) and then order their Movies on Demand. As internet video takes off, they see their profits falling rapidly. What's the biggest bandwidth hog? Cable channels, plain and simple. Get rid of half the channels, especially the analog ones, and move fully to doscis 3.0 or better and you've got more bandwidth already in place than we could need in our generation.

I'm about two inches from completely ditching cable as is. The only thing I keep it for is for G4TV. Once G4 has AOTS and X-Play fully available on the net, cable is gone.

I watch lots of full shows on Hulu.com and similar sites, I also have found a site that streams new anime fansubs in HD, but they remove them when it's officially announced the show is coming to America, so as not to offend the copyright owners. This past winter, I watched Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles entirely on Fox on Demand at the Fox website. I'm probably up to 300 gig or more a month fully and completely legally. (I don't pirate anything.) Everything else I have Netflix for (and also I just got a Bluray drive.)


By Alexstarfire on 6/4/2008 8:14:50 AM , Rating: 3
Man, G4TV sucks to me. It was much better when they were TechTV. God, they got rid of so much good stuff in the switch. I haven't really even watched it since then either.

Anyways, you are spot on.


By bodar on 6/4/2008 4:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This is all about protecting their government-sponsored monopoly. I live in a suburb 30 min outside of Honolulu, and Time Warner is my only option for broadband. They can do whatever they want as long as they cry "piracy". They could double my rates if they wanted, and my only option is to go back to dial-up.


By Suntan on 6/3/2008 2:40:44 PM , Rating: 1
That’s fine, go ahead. Do you really think it matters to anyone or anything in the universe if YOU are given proof (of something that most people just feel is true) that most of the heavy downloading is done for illegal purposes?

In any case, as was mentioned elsewhere, the ISP doesn’t care if the heavy downloading is legal or not, they just don’t want it on their network.

-Suntan


By Alexstarfire on 6/3/2008 2:50:01 PM , Rating: 5
Given that the entire legal system is based on just cause and evidence, then I'd say it matters a hell of a lot. It may not matter to an individual whether or not there is proof, but as a whole it matters greatly.

Ohh, and of course they don't want heavily downloaders on their network. They'd love to have a bunch of people who do nothing but check email on a $30 768kpbs line, or even better, $100 on an "up to" 16mbps line. That way they get all the money without having to ever upgrade their infrastructure. I'm hoping the community as a whole wises up and realizes that some companies need to be put out of their misery once and for all. They always said you can't teach an old dog new tricks and it looks like this old dog is up to it's usual business.


By Chaser on 6/3/2008 3:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Good grief. This isn't a trial or an investigation. I think most everyone could agree that many heavy downloaders are using their service to acquire music or movies. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are doing it illegally, although I'm sure its safe to assume some if not many are.


By GlassHouse69 on 6/5/2008 9:03:58 AM , Rating: 1
If you play games, you can download patches of 1-2 gigs a few times a week.

I also play telnet games around the clock. it actually makes up a couple of gigs of info in a month! I would be over the limit never downloading any retarded movies (they look like crap compared to renting them for 4 dollars on disk) and illegal things are illegal, aka, lame.

also, Texas is a really lame fucking state in general.


By rdeegvainl on 6/3/2008 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
LOL,
Well as long as it feel true. Alot of the ISP do have a stake in IP infringement as content providers themselves.


By cobalt42 on 6/3/2008 1:29:04 PM , Rating: 4
While you might be right that the top downloaders are likely to be torrenting movies illegally, that doesn't negate the fact that Apple TV users would still be victims. Assuming the 6GB value for one HD movie is accurate, the article is correct in claiming that these legal users will be victims.

Furthermore, you point out yourself that with legal video podcasts you will be hitting these limits yourself. You're a victim in the same way. If the caps weren't so low, neither you nor Apple TV users would be victims.

If the article claimed that only illegal downloaders would be affected, that would be untrue. Again, while it's possible the worst offenders might not be doing everything legal, the actions of Time Warner will certainly be affecting legal users as well.

You seem to actually be in agreement with the article on this point, so I'm not sure why it offends you that they pointed it out.


By nvalhalla on 6/3/2008 1:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
So how are legal services like AppleTV supposed to exist in a system like this?


By DASQ on 6/3/2008 1:54:27 PM , Rating: 4
By SunTan's school of thought, they should all go to hell.


By DASQ on 6/3/2008 3:22:56 PM , Rating: 3
It's not that they want heavy downloaders off their network, they just want to squeeze more money out of end users. Heavy downloading is a convenient avenue to increase profit margins.

Which do you think is worse for ISP's, the top-heavy 5% of users, or if their remaining 95% actually used their alloted quota?

ISP's are scrambling to cover for the fact that they've actually sold more bandwidth than they can possibly serve.


By Suntan on 6/3/2008 3:45:50 PM , Rating: 1
You are most likely correct. Further, they may be trying to headoff the boom in network traffic that will occur when j6p finally does attach a networked PC to a TV.

In any case, I don’t see pay as you go as a bad thing *in and of itself* if the current market is such that some users are using a disproportionate amount of the resources yet paying the same amount.

In reference to this story, $30 + $1 per gig over 5 might not be bad if the current price is $55 a month for unlimited. However, it would look pretty fishy if the current price was $32 a month unlimited. Further, if their future prices (when more people wanted to use higher and higher amounts of data for true HD signals, etc.) there prices stay the same per gig, then again it would not pass the smell test.

In any case, If the ISP wants to screw its customers, and there aren’t alternatives serving the area, it can pretty much do whatever it wants.

-Suntan


By DASQ on 6/3/2008 4:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
In the basic sense, 'pay as you go' is feasible. People do it with cellphones all the time. It's an accepted form of mobile phone access. Dial-up still has a lot of 'pay by the MB' usage.

But the problem is that, unlike the internet, there aren't people spamming your phone with calls, pictures, emails, texts, videos, annoying flash ad's, annoying anythings. (okay, well, not as much anyway)

If you implement a pay as you go scheme, the customer MUST be able to dictate and control WHAT they receive! Until ISP's can control all forms of e-advertisement (or somehow make advertisement not count toward your quota), this is unfeasible. The internet is simply too open for such a magnified content system.


By DASQ on 6/3/2008 4:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, but that solution is relying on a negative feedback loop on behalf of the webadmins.

Also, what about the logo's and fancy CSS work that you see every day on the internet? If I was paying GB for GB, I'd sure as hell want all my sites to be minimized to pure text similar to how many sites have 'mobile' versions to reduce loading times and usage.

So we're grinding the internet back into the 14.4k days, where the fanciest websites consisted of a menu on the left and a flaming text header.

Joy.


By Suntan on 6/3/2008 4:13:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the customer MUST be able to dictate and control WHAT they receive! Until ISP's can control all forms of e-advertisement


Well, if a lot of people become concerned with the browsing load, then they will turn away from sites with a lot of animated gif ads and videos that start playing for no reason (cough Anandtech cough) until websites start cutting back on those.

In addition, Firefox, with adblock and noscript do a pretty good job of cutting out most of that anyway.

Finally, an email program that only downloads email headers by default would allow for the removal of spam before they get counted against your tally.

-Suntan


By Alexstarfire on 6/3/2008 2:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you believe that the vast majority of 5% of people are those who mass upload all the illegal torrent files. In reality I'd be surprised if the amount of these "illegals" you speak of amounts to more than the amount of Apple TV users.


By Suntan on 6/3/2008 3:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
You might be right as far as pure numbers of *people* using each. But my money would be on illegal use outweighing AppleTV use on a pure data amount standpoint.

Anyway, if you can figure out conclusively which is bigger, and I am wrong, I’ll owe you a coke.

-Suntan


By Alexstarfire on 6/4/2008 8:18:18 AM , Rating: 2
Damn, need to go get me one of those huge government grants they give people who want to figure out pointless information. *off to visit Washington*


By FITCamaro on 6/3/2008 1:45:23 PM , Rating: 5
Forgot the emerging online video rental market. What about people who use iTunes to buy music and video? Or people who buy content on Xbox Live? Or people who play online games and over Xbox Live?

40GB really is nothing. I mean I don't know how much I personally use every month, but I'm sure its up there. And I don't pirate anything. I just surf the web and chat for the most part but also download demos and other videos. I've gotten into Age of Conan too.

I also wouldn't have a problem with caps as long as they're reasonable. Even 100-150GB would probably be suitable for most people today. But not in the future. If people start renting HD movies online and streaming them, you'll easily go past your caps.

The problem is ISPs have waited too long to upgrade their systems. Sure they've been putting down fiber in a lot of areas. But fiber doesn't make the computers themselves faster. They just need to be like other industries and take a loss to upgrade their systems, then make it back over time. Not punish us for their lack of foresight.

All I know is I'm paying $60 a month now for a paltry 7Mbit connection when others in my area are paying $40-45 for 12Mbit Comcast. I refuse to pay that much and have to worry about going over a capped amount of bandwidth.

I'm hoping people in the test area will show Time Warner their disgust at this proposal. If they largely switch to satellite and DSL that'll send a pretty clear signal to ISPs that consumers are tired of taking it up the ass so that executives can keep getting huge bonuses every year while providing ever worsening service quality.

"Hey dude, watch this YouTube video."

"I can't, I'm already over my bandwidth cap for the month."


By jcollier81 on 6/3/2008 2:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
I also have no problem with the system, but agree the limits are exceedingly low. I do live to play on Xbox Live and have downloaded several Linux distros, so I understand how fast you can use up your allotted usage when they are so paltry.

I live in the testing area, and I wish we had more options. The problem is that we have, essentially, TW or SBC. SBC Elite DSL is 6mb/768kb for $35/month with no contract. They are also offering $50 cash back, plus another $100 cash back if you are a cable customer. TW is 7mb down for $54.95. The funny thing is that no where is it mentioned on our local TW website yet that there will be caps in place. This, however, still is included in the advertisement:
? Music and movie downloads
? TV shows, streaming videos and online games
? Digital photos and video e-mails
According to TW, those are the benefits of having TW over SBC. Now how can a company in good conscience, advertise features such as these when they know it is going to eat up bandwidth??

After seeing the prices for DSL I think I will be switching over and saving some money.


By FITCamaro on 6/3/2008 8:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you use a $55 7Mbit connection when you can get the same speeds for $35? Even if you have to pay $15 for phone service, thats still $5 cheaper.


By soloman02 on 6/3/2008 5:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Where I live (Durham, NH), Comcast is the only game in town. So we are stuck with their crappy service. We refuse to get their phone and tv services, so We pay $65 a month after taxes (Thanks Al Gore), for 4 megabit/s download and 384 kilobit/s upload. However if we go with their phone or tv we can get 6 mbps for cheaper. Not to mention the crappy customer service we have to deal with. We had a tech come since our modem could not get establish an uplink connection, therefore, no internet. The tech told me to my face that the line is submerged in water in the pipe and is damaged by it. He replaced the cable line inside and the net was back. two days later same story. We called comcrap and the said that it was our modem. I had to practically scream at them that it was not the modem and that the tech said it was the line and that a new line needed put in via digging a new trench.

I am more pissed at verizon for selling NH out cause Fairpoint is total crap and does not have the resources to lay fiber.
/end rant

Tv viewers wont be the only ones affected, what about the vast majority of users who view porn? Heck some of the aforementioned users would go over the 40GB cap in less than a week.


By Darkk on 6/3/2008 2:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think 250gig cap is bit high for Comcast simply because I almost download 100gigs a month. Sometimes more or less each month depending on what is going on with the Linux stuff. To be fair I think 200gig cap should be more than enough for everybody to enjoy.

I too do not agree with overage charges which is something we're too familiar with cell phone companies.

Darkk


By walk2k on 6/3/2008 3:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
By all reports the CURRENT limit on Comcast is 200GB/month.

That is up from 100GB a few years ago.

If they raise it to 250-300 to keep up with the times, that seems reasonable to me.

I do my share of downloading - legal and "gray area" (concert bootlegs, fan tapings of old TV shows no longer on the air or available on DVD) but I've never gotten a TOS letter from Comcast - though I'm sure once or twice I've probably come close to 100GB (but not 200).


By walk2k on 6/3/2008 3:30:56 PM , Rating: 3
Comcast apparently already has a ~200GB cap, they just don't advertise it anywhere, which is my biggest beef with that. I don't mind a cap, as long as it's reasonable, but not knowing what it is, or even how much you've used already, then suddently getting a nasty TOS letter and/or having your service throttled or even cut off... that stinks.

Though I don't really understand the pricing structure... seems like if you pay $55 for 40GB that's MORE than $1/GB ($1.38 to be exact), why does the price go DOWN if you go over the cap?

I don't think I would sign up for a system like that.. 40GB is just too low. On a 16mb connection you would hit the cap in a mere 5-1/2 hours of downloading (out of 720 hours in a month)!

Luckily there are options - DSL and others, might be slower but at least they are available in most places.


By Lerianis on 6/4/2008 12:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they have a ~200GB cap. If that was the case, I would have gotten a notice already that they were dropping my service, because some months I have gone over 300GB's, with a even fewer closer to 500GB's in the 4 years we have had Comcast internet service.

I think that usually when you get a 'warning', they pick on someone who will not raise a big stink, who is downloading movies and music illegally and wouldn't want that to come out.

I don't do that, so I think they are a little 'leery' of getting on my case, not only because of the above, but because I also have relatives who work for Comcast in network management positions.


By PWNettle on 6/3/2008 6:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
"What’s not clear is if after the test for new customers the limits would be applied to existing customers as well."

Please. Of course they'll apply it all over. Corporations exist to squeeze every cent out of customers that they can and cable companies excel at this.

I don't have a problem with people that are using tons of bandwidth paying more, like people streaming tons of HD.

The limits they're currently testing seem absurdly low now matter what you do on the web.


By OblivionMage on 6/3/2008 7:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
My cap is 60gb and considering I get over 1mb/s, it is completely insane. I install a couple steam games per month (Really) and with WoW patches, I make up most of that and that isn't including video streaming or game demo's.


By CottonRabbit on 6/4/2008 12:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
My college had a 5gb bandwidth cap last year (10gb this year, it's nice to see my 40k tuition hard at work eh?) and every month I would end up paying about $15-20 extra for going over the limit. While it was an extremely painful for me to limit online usage, most people who just visited Facebook and Youtube regularly had no problems keeping around 5gb a month. These are fairly wired college students too, so the average middle-aged to elderly user probably wouldn't notice a change to a metered plan.

However, I still wholeheartedly disagree with this model after months of enduring such limits.


honesty in advertising?
By chromal on 6/3/2008 11:56:32 AM , Rating: 5
Sorta disappointing to hear that they are charging conventional unlimited cap rates for their capped service. If the capped service had a lower monthly recurring cost, it would have been a fair way for low-use consumers to get broadband without directly subsidizing heavy users. As it is, you're paying the same for less, which seems like a pretty rotten carrot.

OTOH, this may be an adjustment in sales policy that more closely reflects actual police enforcement, so I suppose it's honesty.

For my part, I would never ever ever ever buy volume-metered internet. I pay for a bandwidth pipe and expect to be able to use up to the theoretical maximum transfer my up and downstream usage could use over the billing period.




RE: honesty in advertising?
By Spivonious on 6/3/2008 11:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For my part, I would never ever ever ever buy volume-metered internet. I pay for a bandwidth pipe and expect to be able to use up to the theoretical maximum transfer my up and downstream usage could use over the billing period.
What happens when all ISPs start doing this? Are you going to shut off your internet connection?


RE: honesty in advertising?
By chromal on 6/3/2008 12:01:16 PM , Rating: 5
If such a point comes, I'll be very very sad. Bandwidth should be becoming more available as time and technology march on. I'm sure the telcos are all about returning to a metered service; they're sad they can't charge $1.00/min for daytime long distance like they did twenty years ago, and are looking for ways to recoup.

Hopefully there will always be a breed of ISP that uses the unmetered access as a selling point. Sadly, not all locales will have the luxury of competition.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By mcnabney on 6/3/2008 12:35:06 PM , Rating: 4
I wouldn't mind the $1GB fee, if that was all there is.

So if I just use 2GB in a month my Roadrunner bill would only be $2. Now that sounds fair.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By amanojaku on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: honesty in advertising?
By amanojaku on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: honesty in advertising?
By bbomb on 6/3/2008 1:39:16 PM , Rating: 5
You were rated down by others because he did say IF thats all there was indicating he knows that that is on top fo the monthly service fee.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Fracture on 6/3/2008 2:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
He was giving a hypothetical situation, and I agree that would be nice. Of course you'd still be hit with the $15 in taxes...

quote:
Time Warner defends its move to bandwidth limits by saying that 5% of the company’s customers use up to half of the available network capacity.


When will they try and fix the network instead of the 5% of the trend users , ie those that set the trends and will most likely forecast future usage. They're actually being given the opportunity to address their dismal capacities before it becomes much of a problem, and instead the ISPs are shooting themselves in the foot.

Enter the grid
http://www.dailytech.com/CERN+Develops+Possible+In...


RE: honesty in advertising?
By amanojaku on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: honesty in advertising?
By Alexstarfire on 6/3/2008 2:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
So did the other guy though. What was originally suggested was that you pay only for the data you transmit, ie no recurring monthly payment. While great for those that don't use much bandwidth, it's a horrible idea for the coming future. Now, it might be a lot different if it was like $.10 per GB. Hell, even up to $.50 a GB wouldn't be bad [b]IF[/b] you had no monthly fee to pay. Sadly, the companies want the best of both worlds and will likely do anything to get there.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By StevoLincolnite on 6/3/2008 6:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
99% of Australian Internet Service Providers have Download Caps, a few years ago Telstra's (Our largest Telco) offered a 20gb Plan for 129 dollars a month, once you went over that you were charged $150 a Gigabyte (yes, you heard correctly, $150)
The plan underneath that was the 10gb plan, once you consumed all that data allowance you were dropped down to 64k speeds.
The download limits also included uploads also.

Now, it's been changed to 25gb "Unlimited" when you reach that limit you are simply throttled to 64k speeds, without any additional charges, Telstra also dropped the $150 per gb also on some plans and changed it to 15 cents per megabyte.
Still includes uploads, and that is the "Best" plan on the ADSL 1 network through Telstra, now jump on the ADSL 2+ Band wagon and options open up with a 25gb "Unlimited" at a Maximum of 24mb line speed, with uploads counted, and shaping on top.
Then you have the 60gb plan, which also includes uploads, speeds of up to 24mb speeds, but it's not shaped, thus once you reach that limit, it's 15 cents per mega byte, and all that for only $149 a month. (The Australian Dollar is fairly equal to the American at the moment, so you guys would probably be paying around the 110/120 dollar mark).

Seems allot of overseas ISP's are looking into these kinds of "deals" in order to limit Peer to Peer sharing, it's good in theory, but I cant go on Youtube, or look at webpages without waiting what seems like forever to load, however gaming on Xbox Live! still seems perfectly fine, I think at that point it's more latency that makes the largest impact on performance, however if you do voice chat, prepare for lag.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Alexstarfire on 6/4/2008 8:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
See, that's just bullcrap. I wouldn't stand for crap like that. Hell, I could easily pass all those caps in less than a day looking at legal stuff. P2P is great. I get a lot of my TV off of them. No thanks to my mom stopping the DVR from recording. Each TV show is between 170-350 MB and I've got over a dozen that I watch EVERY week. I'd probably break the $1000 mark in just a month.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Lerianis on 6/4/2008 12:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand, if this is true, why there hasn't been a lawsuit against Telstra. Frankly, those are NOT reasonable charges for overages, period and done with.

They should be SHUT DOWN and dismantled, if they are doing that.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Lerianis on 6/4/2008 12:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand, if this is true, why there hasn't been a lawsuit against Telstra. Frankly, those are NOT reasonable charges for overages, period and done with.

They should be SHUT DOWN and dismantled, if they are doing that.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Sazar on 6/4/2008 12:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, they changed from $150 per GB to 15 cents per MB? What an amazing deal, it sounds like it's so much cheaper :D

Gotta love companies. They can make anything sound affordable, till you read the fine-print.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By 67STANG on 6/3/2008 12:35:44 PM , Rating: 3
I find the best and cheapest ISP's out there are: Your neighbors who are too dumb to secure their wireless router.

I have 5 wireless connections to choose from in my house, 4 of them unsecured. The one that is running WEP and MAC filtering is mine.

I can see wireless hijacking going up exponentially if caps are introduced nationwide.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Chris Peredun on 6/3/2008 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I have 5 wireless connections to choose from in my house, 4 of them unsecured. The one that is running WEP and MAC filtering is mine.


Assuming the others are open, I count five unsecured wireless connections there.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Bender 123 on 6/3/2008 1:00:11 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, where do you live? I am sure some war drivers would like to blunt force hack your WEP...Thats not much for a security setup.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By arazok on 6/3/2008 1:57:07 PM , Rating: 5
WEP is 'easily' hacked, and MAC filtering is escentialy pointless, as it can be spoofed.

WPA2 would be a better choice.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By bodar on 6/3/2008 6:21:37 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah WEP is pretty terrible, and WPA2 is more secure, but MAC filtering is an extra barrier. Security is always done in layers, since even WPA2 is crackable with tools like Aircrack-ng. If someone knowledgeable is determined to get into your specific network, they can do it if they put in the time. The idea is to create more obstacles so that a less secure network becomes an easier target. You don't have to outrun the monster, you just have to outrun your friends.

WPA2 + MAC filtering + no SSID broadcast + limiting DHCP scope = about secure as you're going to get


RE: honesty in advertising?
By bodar on 6/3/2008 6:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Also, make sure your Pre-shared key is long and complex.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Ringold on 6/4/2008 1:56:54 AM , Rating: 4
If someone wants access to my porn that badly, all they have to do is ask, geez.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By bodar on 6/4/2008 8:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Got anything good?


RE: honesty in advertising?
By 67STANG on 6/3/2008 3:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
I count 5, including mine...


RE: honesty in advertising?
By callmeroy on 6/3/2008 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Wow really WEP huh?

Good ol "Worthless Encryption Protocol"....

My 10 year old nephew could hack that in the time it takes me to make a sandwich for dinner.

;)


RE: honesty in advertising?
By 67STANG on 6/4/2008 3:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
He can huh? So he can determine and clone the 1 mac address I have authorized to access the router along with crack 128-Bit WEP on a non-broadcasted SSID in the time it takes to make you a sandwich? That I'd like to see. He must be an uber-hacker. Russian maybe?

WEP isn't the end all of security by any means, but when used in conjunction with a MAC whitelist, it will keep most out. If you want to crack my WEP with something like Airsnort, go ahead... you'll be sitting there for quite sometime as all WEP crackers rely on analyzing packets going through the air... patchy and light packet transmission = you with an RV parked in front of my house for a while.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By chromal on 6/3/2008 1:02:06 PM , Rating: 3
Interesting point. Before, it was 'theft of service' in a theoretical way, since they paid the same regardless of your usage. Now that could change and there could be an argument for 'real theft' as though you placed long-distance calls on their phone line.

Overall, this is just not the direction we should be moving. We've had unmetered internet since the early 90s, and bandwidth has only gone down in cost since there. There is simply no justifyable rationale to do this beyond greed.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Sivar on 6/3/2008 7:36:41 PM , Rating: 1
"Too dumb"?

I hope you were just in a bad mood when you said that. I know many people who probably know more about wireless security than anyone here who keep their APs open as a sort of anonymous public service, only dropping or throttling if a nearby wireless user abuses the connection.

Because bandwidth is lost forever when not used, I have no problem sharing, as long as it does not significantly detract from my own use.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By amanojaku on 6/3/2008 12:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What happens when all ISPs start doing this? Are you going to shut off your internet connection?

Simple. Some intelligent business person will create a service with no cap, then laugh all the way to the bank as the competition loses customers. People would rather have lower prices, even at the cost of lower speeds, than capped service.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By JAB on 6/3/2008 12:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
That did not work so well in Canada they just ended up throttling the competition too. The problem is that these companys are selling a service that is in direct competition to the internet if people download movies they are not going to sell as many pay per view.

It is not like they cant upgrade- but I dont know if there is a true pressing need for throttling. I suspect is just a ploy to get every last cent from the customer.


RE: honesty in advertising?
By Locutus465 on 6/3/2008 1:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
I like the last sentance in this blog/posting... That's exactly what I'm going to be doing if/when caps make it to RTP... Given the fact that my service isn't really that fast anyway as far as broadband options go anyway, I think that probably I wouldn't be missing much with a move to DSL.


Not good.
By sporr on 6/3/2008 12:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
Oh dear, this is exactly the excuse Virgin Media has also given;

quote:
Time Warner defends its move to bandwidth limits by saying that 5% of the company’s customers use up to half of the available network capacity.


Now, that is either one very bad excuse or they seriously need to have a look at their network infrastructure.




RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not good.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Of the 10-15 people I can think of off the top of my head, none of them watch movies downloaded, non of them download large reams of illegal files (cough - download linux distributions -cough). One of them buys a couple songs off Itunes onces or twice a week, but that's about it.


Then they should have DIAL UP ! Broadband is for those who, duh, want/need more BANDWIDTH.

quote:
Most probably don't burn through 5 gig in a year, let alone a month.


If your paying about $50 a month for broadband, and your NOT using 5 gigs a month, then you WOULDN'T NOTICE A PROBLEM anyway. Your logic is hmmm whats the word for the exact opposite of logic ? Oh yeah, stupidity.

Besides the 5gigs a year comment is just assanine and you know it.

quote:
1) The people that consume most of the bandwidth and would no longer benifit from other users paying for part of their downloads


Again more stupid logic. Broadband connections are capped. I cannot exceed my 5 megabit connection. Period. Yes, broadband is a shared connection but you make it seem like the " downloaders " are taking bandwidth from others and they are NOT. They are getting what they are paying for, if everyone is NOT getting what they pay for, its the ISP's problem.

quote:
For the first group (if it really is true that a large minority suck up the large majority of available bandwidth) you can't expect the free ride to continue on indeffinitely (this isn't a government program we are talking about.)


Free ride ? People pay good money for broadband access. DAMN good money sir. Unlimited accounts have been sold for years and years. How DARE you blame the consumer for using no more, and no less, than they are paying for ?


RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 2:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then they should have DIAL UP ! Broadband is for those who, duh, want/need more BANDWIDTH.


Or for those that want to have instant access to the internet, even if they don’t download gigs at a time. Having to wait 2 minutes for a modem to dial in, and then 30 seconds for every web page to load is a major PITA, even if you are only looking at 10 or 12 pages at a time.

quote:
If your paying about $50 a month for broadband, and your NOT using 5 gigs a month, then you WOULDN'T NOTICE A PROBLEM anyway. Your logic is hmmm whats the word for the exact opposite of logic ? Oh yeah, stupidity.


No, it’s not, the word you are looking for is *illogical*, but anyway I can currently pay $45 a month for broadband or I could pay $28 a month for a landline (I currently have no landline, just use my cell phone) plus $10 to $20 a month for a dialup service. Further, I *do* use more than 5 gig from time to time, so dialup would be “stupid”.

quote:
Besides the 5gigs a year comment is just assanine and you know it.


How so? A person that just checks email and surfs a few webpages a day does not transfer that much data. Yet, with the afore mentioned advantages and cost differences of broadband vs. dialup it makes complete sense why such a person would be interested in this proposed pricing structure.

quote:
People pay good money for broadband access. DAMN good money sir. Unlimited accounts have been sold for years and years. How DARE you blame the consumer for using no more, and no less, than they are paying for ?


I haven’t said anything of the sort, so pipe down with the indignation.

First, under the current structure, if you transfer 30 gig a week and your neighbor transfers 2 gig, but you both pay the same thing then your neighbor is supplementing a lot of your transfer, whether you think that money is just going straight to profits for the ISP or not. In a more balanced system, you would pay more than your neighbor because you are using more. If you don’t like it, you can choose a different provider or you can do without (I’m not saying that is good, just saying those would be your options.)

Further, the idea that unlimited accounts are somehow a right that is owed to anyone just because the pricing structure has been that way in the past is silly. Especially when the original structure for internet service *was* pay as you go.

-Suntan


RE: Not good.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 3:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or for those that want to have instant access to the internet, even if they don’t download gigs at a time.


Then again, these people would NEVER notice the supposed bandwidth problem causes by " excessive " users. Do you understand this finally !?

quote:
Further, the idea that unlimited accounts are somehow a right that is owed to anyone just because the pricing structure has been that way in the past is silly.


Its not a right. Its a CONTRACT you sign with the ISP. What are you not getting about this concept ?

quote:
Especially when the original structure for internet service *was* pay as you go.


Your going to hang your hat on that " logic " ?

quote:
First, under the current structure, if you transfer 30 gig a week and your neighbor transfers 2 gig, but you both pay the same thing then your neighbor is supplementing a lot of your transfer, whether you think that money is just going straight to profits for the ISP or not.


No. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG ! You really ARE an idiot.

quote:
In a more balanced system, you would pay more than your neighbor because you are using more.


Actually in a more balanced system, those top 5% of " broadband hogs " would be the only ones that HAVE the service. Thank god we live in an age where even people who, as you say, only transfer 5gigs a year can easily afford high speed Internet.

Lets stop making it a problem. The solution is ISP's like Time Warner sucking it up and expanding their infrastructure instead of trying to artificially limit their consumer base to maintain the same profit margins.


RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 3:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then again, these people would NEVER notice the supposed bandwidth problem causes by " excessive " users. Do you understand this finally !?

I never said they would notice it.

quote:
Its not a right. Its a CONTRACT you sign with the ISP. What are you not getting about this concept ?

Maybe the part where it said it was only being pushed to “new customers.” I guess I am assuming they don’t already have a contract with the ISP.
Now if you are referring to some hypothetical future where every ISP (read: your ISP) tries to force this on you, and you have a contract with them, then you really don’t have much to worry about (until your contract expires).

quote:
Your going to hang your hat on that " logic " ?

I wasn’t the person that claimed precedence for a reason why something should stay the same.

quote:
Actually in a more balanced system, those top 5% of " broadband hogs " would be the only ones that HAVE the service. Thank god we live in an age where even people who, as you say, only transfer 5gigs a year can easily afford high speed Internet.


Do you really think things would be cheaper if *only* the top 5% of the bandwidth users were paying to maintain the network? (and by maintain the network I mean maintain the big fat profit margins of the big fat cat companies)

quote:
Lets stop making it a problem. The solution is ISP's like Time Warner sucking it up and expanding their infrastructure instead of trying to artificially limit their consumer base to maintain the same profit margins.


Well on this we agree, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon unfortunately.

-Suntan


RE: Not good.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 6:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you really think things would be cheaper if *only* the top 5% of the bandwidth users were paying to maintain the network? (and by maintain the network I mean maintain the big fat profit margins of the big fat cat companies)


Nope. Who said anything about cheaper ? Just a few years ago broadband was a luxury. Too expensive, they said. It will never get broad consumer saturation, they said. What now ?

quote:
Well on this we agree, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon unfortunately.


Well if people like you take this crap up the ass and support it, it never WILL happen.


RE: Not good.
By nvalhalla on 6/3/2008 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 4
"Of the 10-15 people I can think of off the top of my head, none of them watch movies downloaded"

and with a system like this, none of them will. What happens when internet TV becomes more popular? VOIP? Those same 15 people you know didn't use any internet a few years ago I'm sure. In time, they will realize how much more there is out there. The internet is isn't an amusing toy. A luxury item for nerds to share porn in IRC. It is quickly replacing TV, radio and telephone. Soon, everything will move though the internet. My job exists because of the internet. I couldn't do it without it, and soon that will be the case for most. This only serves to hold us back while other countries move forward.


RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 3:13:54 PM , Rating: 1
Hey, I’m not saying it’s a good thing long term. It’s just reality.

Also, if more throughput for internet delivery of TV, etc. etc. is destined to become popular, then it will overcome ISPs trying to limit data transfer. Just look at music; MP3s, MP3 players and online purchasing of music has grown despite huge efforts by the recording industry to stifle it.

-Suntan


RE: Not good.
By psychobriggsy on 6/3/2008 1:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's probably true.

The reaction is the problem.

Who in their right mind would pay $30 a month for 5GB of data transfer? That's ridiculous, that's 2001 pricing. You can get 3G data packages for your computer including a free USB dongle for cheaper (£12.50 for 7GB in the UK, includes tax, so it's about $22).

And 40GB as the upper limit is also not right, not at such a vast fee. 100GB I could understand, and I bet it would cover that 5% without a problem.

This is being done for two, obvious, reasons:

1) Profiteering.
2) Kill Off Competing Internet VoD services.


RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not good.
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 1:47:39 PM , Rating: 4
You're a sucker for paying $45 a month for using less than 10GB a month. I'm fairly sure your provider has a cheaper package that will still allow well over 10GB a month.

You're paying for it, you're just not using it. Your fault, not anyone else's.


RE: Not good.
By Lexda on 6/3/2008 1:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
The answer? If you don't like what you're paying, then yes.

I pay for the rights to the line. The ISP shouldn't be surprised when I want to use my full connection speed all the time. They haven't accounted for that? They alloted my speed to other people, thinking I wouldn't want to use what I legally bought all the time? Too bad for them, it's not my problem.


RE: Not good.
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 3:58:04 PM , Rating: 1
I never said I “didn’t like what I am paying” the guy made a statement to the effect of why would anyone pay $30 for 5gb + $1/GB. In my case it would probably save me some money (at least at present, if Netflix gets better movies ondemand that could change).

In any case, you are certainly entitled to all that bandwidth if that is the deal you have with your ISP. However, if they feel the are not making enough money (I know its horrid to think that companies want to make money, but what are you going to do) then they will adjust their business strategy in such a way that they think they can make more money (without breaking any contracts of course.) If you don’t like that new strategy, you can dump their service. That’s the way the system works.

-Suntan


there goes netflix
By dissturbbed on 6/3/2008 1:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
you like to stream movies from netflix? well forget it if this becomes nationwide, time warner is a bunch of greedy bastards and if this ever comes to my area ill be switching to dsl in a heart beat




RE: there goes netflix
By Darkk on 6/3/2008 2:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
True but Netflix can always up the compression ratio. It won't be great PQ but hey you still get your movie a day sooner than the US Postal Service.

Darkk


RE: there goes netflix
By walk2k on 6/3/2008 4:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
THE INTERNET IS NOT A TRUCK!

sorry, someone had to..


RE: there goes netflix
By CyborgTMT on 6/4/2008 1:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
RE: there goes netflix
By marvdmartian on 6/4/2008 12:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I have had cable modem service thru TW for about 4 or 5 years now. I have wireless internet (Xanadu and Clearwire) and DSL available at a lower price, but have hesitated switching only because of their slower speeds, compared to cable.

However, if I'm being capped on my Roadrunner service, there won't be any reason NOT to switch. Whatever idiot left over from the 80's, that figured out their bandwidth limits were sufficient, really needs to join the rest of us in the 21st century!

Bottom line, if I'm getting less and paying more, I'd just as soon switch over, where I might not be as speedy, but I'll pay less and get more than TW's stupid metered service.


Weak excuse
By Polynikes on 6/3/2008 12:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Time Warner defends its move to bandwidth limits by saying that 5% of the company’s customers use up to half of the available network capacity.

Does that equate to poorer service for others? In most cases, I'm guessing not. The people who just surf and play some games here and there don't notice any difference. It's only the people who DO use a lot of bandwidth that notice the difference. What a lame excuse.




RE: Weak excuse
By Inkjammer on 6/3/2008 12:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
True, and the problem is with the rise of digital content that limited bandwidth cap means nothing. A single HD movie on Xbox Live can be 6GB (or more). You watch three movies in a month and half your cap is busted. It completely nerfs all digital streaming content, and worse, it seriously punishes families. If families share on connection they can use that 40GB in no time flat.

Also, does the bandwidth cap include both up/down? Is there bandwidth "rollover"?


RE: Weak excuse
By Alexstarfire on 6/3/2008 3:19:35 PM , Rating: 3
Of course it will include up and down, though it's not explicitly stated, and I doubt they will have rollover. Wouldn't be a company unless they really tried to screw you over.


RE: Weak excuse
By Rebel44 on 6/3/2008 3:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
Its even worse if you are using Steam (or similar service) - last month one of my HDDs died and I had to redownload most of my games - it was over 80 GBs......


40GB cap on a 15Mb pipe?
By kattanna on 6/3/2008 12:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Comcast Corp., the country's largest cable company, has suggested that it may cap usage at 250 gigabytes per month. Bend Cable Communications in Bend, Ore., used to have multitier bandwidth allowances, like the ones Time Warner Cable will test, but it abandoned them in favor of an across-the-board 100-gigabyte cap. Bend charges $1.50 per extra gigabyte consumed in a month.


at least those 2 companies have a more realistic cap.

40GB?? so in 1 day you can cap your service?




RE: 40GB cap on a 15Mb pipe?
By IGoodwin on 6/3/2008 12:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
Leas than a day, a 16Mb connection running at full spped would reach 40GB in 5 Hours 33 Minutes and 20 seconds for their top service.

The scary art to me is that going over the limit will be silent, until youn recive the monthly bill.. Only need a slight overaage, on moderate usage, for people to decide it was a bad move.


RE: 40GB cap on a 15Mb pipe?
By Cygnostik on 6/3/2008 2:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Given that the larger majority of spam is unwittingly sent from the zombie computers of the average Joe I'd bet this could pop up a number of very expensive surprises.


Target the heavy users, not the general public
By Screwballl on 6/3/2008 3:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
So how hard is it to target that 5% and explain that the terms of usage have changed and if they want to continue their service to switch to the per-GB pricing.
Don't target all users, only those that consistently go over 200GB per month for 3 months in a row.

I myself will not take part in this bogus pricing scheme, I work from home and use VoIP and video services daily. Plus I also do some computer repair and download Linux distros several at a time for different uses (some are ~650MB, some are 4.5GB) so I would be surprised if my usage is ever under 200GB monthly.

I bet the ones that really go over the limit are either using illegal file sharing software or have been compromised and is sending massive amount of spam and/or viruses.

I know if this ever comes my way with Cox, I will switch to a business line for an extra $10 per month...




By kyleb2112 on 6/3/2008 6:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
Cox has had caps for years.
http://www.cox.com/policy/limitations.asp

I had my connection shut off twice about 6 years ago trying to upload family reunion videos and Cox said once more would get my service canceled. Since then I've been living within their stupid caps. But it seems few other people do.

I would like to know how much bandwidth I can REALLY use without Cox shutting me down, and if they mostly care about uploading rather than downloading which is the impression I got from Cox. Anybody know?


By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 7:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So how hard is it to target that 5% and explain that the terms of usage have changed and if they want to continue their service to switch to the per-GB pricing.


Because as one of those " heavy users " I would tell you in so many words to go F yourself and find another provider. Then, futile as it is, I would report you to the Better Business Bureau for discrimination just for spite.


This is the start of something BAD
By klondon on 6/3/2008 12:44:11 PM , Rating: 2
Profit before people and customer service paves the road to a place where everything good in this country has a price tag on it that keeps going up and up and up! Cellphone companies, cable, phone, etc. will try to squeeze the last possible drop of consumer blood to pad their profits. Trust me, scenarios like this come with less service and more charge. The only response to a situation like this is NO NO NO. How much profit is enough? When does it stop? "Free the internet...free the people!"




RE: This is the start of something BAD
By Suntan on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is the start of something BAD
By Lexda on 6/3/2008 1:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that just because some old people in a retirement home somewhere have invested their money in this company, said company is entitled to nickel and dime me to death?

Yes, I believe in capitalism, I'm just trying to clarify this.


By Suntan on 6/3/2008 4:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So you're saying that just because some old people in a retirement home somewhere have invested their money in this company, said company is entitled to nickel and dime me to death?


Only in so far as you are willing to let them. If you don't like the deal they offer, dump them. That's capitalism.

I know a lot of people here think I am some kind of shill for the ISPs (which is odd because a shill wouldn't spend the day arguing in a web forum) but personally, I don't like the long term ramifications of pay "as you go" in the ISP world. However, I do realize that proclaiming it an injustice on a website won't change anything. Companies will do whatever they think is best to maximize profits. All companies do this. The good ones have figured out how to do this by making their customers happy.

Personally I am happy with my ISP, Their price is cheaper than any other options in the area, there service is reliable and on the rare occasion that I have to call them, they are somewhat incompetent, but never condescending. If they switched to a pay as you go, I would evaluate if I still wanted to do business with them, same as anyone else.

-Suntan


Where is the FCC on this ?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/3/2008 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 3
This is just shameful by Time Warner. Whats the point of broadband when its this severely limited ?

I'm usually against federal intervention into the private sector, but I honestly hope the FCC investigates the legality and morality of this.

Using a select few scapegoats to lower the quality of service for ALL customers is just totally wrong and shameful. Five gigs a month ? FIVE ? How is this targeting the file sharing abusers ? My grandmother probably E-Mails and Youtube's more data than this, come on !

Also they are providing NO means for the customer to know when they have reached or surpassed said limitation, so you get your bill and SURPRISE ! Huge ass bill ! Didn't cell phone providers get sued years ago for this same type of shameful consumer exploitation billing scheme ?




RE: Where is the FCC on this ?
By Lerianis on 6/4/2008 12:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
That is a good question: what is the point of having broadband, if you cannot use it, for fear of going over some REALLY artificially low limits?

This is the reason why, more and more lately, I am HATING our predatory capitalistic system. Yeah, that's right, it ain't just capitalism anymore, it is PREDATORY capitalism. Read up on it on Wikipedia, you will see that our system is EXTREMELY f**ked up in this world.


so how do they track the usage?
By lucyfek on 6/3/2008 12:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
do dropped packets count, just payload/data or whole packets with headers, service packets/icmp/windows and other junk user will never see/care about. who's going to pay for not requested popups/spam.
text-only is the future, no ads and cookies disabled.
so maybe just quit this s... altogether. this will save some bandwidth and money. and no need for Time Warner.
back to basics. great idea.




By BadAcid on 6/3/2008 3:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. They're gonna get slammed by customers when they're getting charged for unwanted material like banner ads and spam mail. No more software updates, no more gaming when you're running a meter. This idea is so stupid it will never work, I'm not worried.


Wont Happen
By Rekit on 6/3/2008 12:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
This wont last. This isn't a phone line that you can look at a clock and determine how long you have been on. This is veeeery untrackable for the consumer. How does he know what sneaky little process is pinging the connection? What about gamers that play for hours?

This will fail. Competitors will jump at the oportunity to snatch up disgruntled new customers. DSL will thrive in the area. If they did it in my area and I had their service I wouldn't even think twice. I'd be gone in a heartbeat.




RE: Wont Happen
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 3:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Try downloading a program called NetMeter. It tracks ALL activity on any network interface device (so if you sent something from your desktop to a laptop through the router, it would add that to the count), but it can give you an idea of how much you use on a given day, week, month.

But I do agree, the only way to track it is from the ISP themselves, and I'm betting people will want to do their own tracking to double check their ISP's aren't giving them the boot.

What's probably worse is that a lot of internet traffic is unavoidable. You open a webpage, any advertisement is essentially costing you money to view. You're paying for something you don't even want.


Does anyone know if Time Warner has...
By johnbuk on 6/3/2008 3:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
...a monopoly on broadband service in the area that they are conducting this trial? Because I think whether or not they do would make a huge difference in how this goes for them.

My situation- Time Warner is currently my option for broadband service* and the only reason I have cable TV service with them is because of the broadband/HDTV package deal I get. Their HDTV options are pathetic and I'd jump to DirecTV in a heartbeat if I didn't need Time Warner for internet.

But Time Warner's monopoly here is going away very shortly- AT&T is investing heavily in upgrades here and will offer DSL and their TV service by the end of the year. I'm happy enough with my current broadband service through Time Warner that I'm not really thinking about switching, but if these restrictions are put into effect I'll likely give AT&T a shot.

(* I'm aware of satellite internet, so that is another option, but it is extremely expensive and has similar restrictions to what Time Warner is now trialing.)




By dissturbbed on 6/3/2008 9:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
yes they have a somewhat monopoly in Beaumont, in certain areas dsl is not available, satellite will be cheaper if your a heavy user, satellite is around 85 a month


This is so illegal.
By smiller on 6/3/2008 2:52:47 PM , Rating: 1
Everyone here seems to be in agreement that a bandwith cap is dumb, but I am putting forth that it is illegal. If you ask me, Time Warner is creating a monopoly for on-demand content. This is a way for them to sell their on-demand movie rental service and prevent users from accessing streaming movies from other services at a reasonable rate. This should be a matter for the justice department. What they are attempting to do is, frankly, shameful. Not only does it prevent fair competition for streaming services it is possible that this will cause a ripple effect from an economic stand-point. How much money changes hands monthly over the internet? I'm no economist, but probably in the billions. Now, how much of that is in downloadable content? Much of our e-commerce assumes an unlimited bandwith? How pissed off do you think Microsoft will be when service packs start costing people their very limited bandwith? What about all the programs we use that take advantage of an always-on connection? What about the inevitable class-action lawsuit? Time Warner, like so many super-sized companies, thinks that they can just roll over consumers and that consumers will take it. In a time when cities are trying to provide free unlimited internet by wireless to their citizens this is about as back asswords a step a telecommunications company could take. The situation already instills visions of vast protests in my mind. This is the kind of thing that brings giants to their knees. They have put a pitfall in their own road and have blinded themselves to the danger. Someone mentioned firing a shot gun that hurts honest consumers as much as dishonest ones. I contend they are taking the suicide bomber route with this. There are companies, big companies, that are working on bringing fiber optic internet to the home. These, by their very nature, do not have bandwith caps. This could end up being a giant leap forward for consumers in the long, long term (how long did it take for cable to reach your are? perhaps quite a while) as the companies would be more willing to take on such a giant after they've willingly damaged their own services and reputations. It would still take years for that to get to all of us, but my point is that Time Warner is only going to hurt itself by doing this, especially at the outrageous prices these plans are set at. God have mercy on them, because consumers won't.




RE: This is so illegal.
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 4:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity for Time-Warner to implement their own e-Store for music/video and advertise 'It doesn't count toward your quota!'.

Sneaky bastards.


User Agreements
By gcouriel on 6/3/2008 11:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to have to pull out my BellSouth/AT&T User agreement, and see where it allows them to adjust my account usage rate prices.

Normally, telephone companies can only restructure agreements when you renew (like a cellphone) or if you have to make a change on your service (like increasing speed or service plan).

This move is undoubtedly going to backfire, with people shopping around for other, better ISP's, even if it means sacrificing speed.




We need a new option
By nvalhalla on 6/3/2008 12:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
We need a third pipe now more than ever. With dial-up, I could choose between dozens of companies, but broadband has limited that now to 2. I live too far for DSL, so I only have 1. If I don't like cable, which I don't, I just don't get high speed. There is little competition and in cases like myself, there is none. I can use 40GB in a few days. I stream movies, TV shows, music, play games, download software, surf the web... it all adds up quick. If they changed to this cap in my area, I'd have to cancel my internet. I'm not going to pay for service I can't use how I want. It's like charging me for watching more than 40 hrs of TV a month. I'm sure this will work in Texas, they'll make it nation wide and my cable company will follow suit. It's a really bad precedent.




Satellite
By bobsmith1492 on 6/3/2008 12:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if this becomes too widespread a pair of internet connections will be required - satellite for high-bandwidth, high-latency info like streaming music, video, and downloads and a cable or DSL line for browsing?




Mass Exodus
By Gnata on 6/3/2008 12:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's times like this I wish I was a Time Warner customer just so I could cast my vote by leaving. Current customers can console themselves with the thought that this only applies to new customers...but ask yourselves how long that will last.




This Seems Counter Productive
By rasmith260 on 6/3/2008 12:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
Personally this doesn’t bother me because all I do is check e-mail, occasionally buy stuff from Amazon, and read the news from various sites and since I’m getting tired of paying $50 a month for a 5mb connection I rarely use I’m looking at AT&T’s 768k service for $20 a month.

However, this seems stupid to me and counter productive because if it takes off it’s going to virtually put an end to downloading Movies especially HD Movies and Television programs, not to mention all of the bandwidth intensive services the Internet/Cable companies want to sell you in the first place. I’m also wondering if there going to include a meter you can download to keep track of the amount, because there’s no way I would ever trust them to tell me.




By Hakuryu on 6/3/2008 1:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a gamer. Have been since before the first Atari. I was hooked on WoW for quite a while, putting in 8+ hour days of playing. Then I surfed on top of that, played online on my Xbox 360, payed bills online, etc.

I used to have Comcast, but then Time Warner took over here for whatever reason. I was wary when it happened, and now I'm just upset. They can't even get me a working digital set top box, and now they want to charge like a cell phone company? I'm on my 4th set top box, and still dont receive channels I'm supposed to according to my tier of services (10+ channels).

This whole thing sounds like another digital rights scheme... I wouldn't be surprised if this scheme was dreamt up by the RIAA in order to slow down people torrenting.




Cap Uploads
By pnyffeler on 6/3/2008 1:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
While TW might have a legitimate concern about overuse, they're going about this in a terrible way. If you really want to hit pirates, who are all using some form of BitTorrent-like system, limit the amount they UPLOAD in a month. Nobody uploads 40 GB per month unless you're sharing huge files.

As for their justification that 5% of their users result in a huge share of traffic, that's not a valid reason on its own for such harsh limits. Let us know what the average user downloads(i.e. mean & median use per user per month), and then we can judge whether the caps are reasonable or not.




Over subscribed??
By GotDiesel on 6/3/2008 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
This is just the outcome of years of over subscription of a limited bandwidth infrastructure... some sales exec just woke up !!!




By azherdev on 6/3/2008 3:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what they are going through in terms of overselling their bandwidth. And people who download 900GB per month are impacting others who simply surf the web or check emails.

But, I think companies are using this as an excuse to charge people now to upgrade their infrastructure to handle all that load, and when they do, they won't lower our bills.

My conspiracy theory part of the brain sais they will introduce some addons that will allows "Unlimited Apple TV" downloads or something similar for a small price. They will justify it as "Consumers want this and Apple provides a valuable service, but we have to compensate for the extra bandwidth upgrades."

Boom, net-neutrality is gone. Well, not gone, but limited to first 40GB per month.




By Cerin218 on 6/3/2008 5:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are times I wish technology would stumble and falter for a while. We come up with advancements so quickly there is never time to adjust and assimilate what exists. I built a Media Center PC a few years again when they were barely on the drawing board. Now we have devices built just to stream content. Once they stream high def we are going to stress networks like you wouldn't believe. What I am amazed by is that as technology has changed, the providers of the connections to that technology have not followed suit. And yes I realize there is expense, but all the isp whining about not having enough resources for everyone is old. People have been talking for years about how internet usage is only going to grow. I work as an Sys Admin for a small company and I have to be aware of my usage and put technologies in place to offset the increased demand as we grow. As we grow, so does our profit which allows us to invest in more equipment. Users don't care what your excuse is, just that you keep providing the service that allows them to stream radio all day long or download files from the customer. I don't tell each user they are only alloted a certain amount of band width and once they use it up they arent allow to use network resources. Our demand is only going to increase. 10 years ago I could barely afford 1 pc. Now there are 6 running at any given time in my house. Hopefully competition.. oh wait, there is only one source for cable and one source for DSL (sanctioned monoply?).. will create an isp that can provide the bandwidth, and the cost savings. The internet is no longer free.




Pay per view
By nyarrgh on 6/3/2008 6:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
you know they're doing this so people will use pay-per-view instead and subscribe to all the premium channels




cancel
By xxsk8er101xx on 6/3/2008 6:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
i predict a lot of cancellations.




By Sivar on 6/3/2008 7:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Metering is nonsensical for internet usage.

Some argue, "paying by the usage makes sense. That's what we do for gasoline. Why not bandwidth?"

Yes, we pay by the gallon (or liter) for gasoline, but that is because when I use a gallon of gasoline, someone else does not get to use that same gallon. If I don't use a gallon of gas, somebody else can.

With network bandwidth, anything that isn't used is lost forever . If an ISP has 100MB/sec sustained bandwidth, and only 30MB/sec is used at a particular time, the remaining 70MB/sec is lost forever and nobody gets the use of that resource ever again.

There is no way to store bandwidth.

If you only use 30 barrels/sec from an oil pipeline that can transport 100 barrels/sec, the remaining, limited oil which was unused is still waiting in the earth, so there is no material loss.

If my ISP switches to metered, I am switching ISPs, and no, I do not pirate movies or even download them legally. DOwnloaded HD movies are overcompressed crap compared to a (much larger in filesize) Blu-Ray disc.




Will not work.
By jleemc44 on 6/3/2008 8:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why someone is going to a pay for as you go service when other options such as DSL or VIOS are available with competitive prices.

Only in areas where Time Warner is the only choice could this work. Besides, how long will it take before someone else can offer comparable speeds over some other method such at sat, wireless or powerlines that will inprove competition?

We need the industry to invest in to making networks faster and more accessible. Not limiting them.




GREED NOT BANDWIDTH PROBLEMS
By dissturbbed on 6/3/2008 9:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
the internet is getting larger and in some areas it is offered for free "wireless systems" time warner is just trying to cash in on future bandwidth, internet traffic just like phone systems back in the day show the same type of increase as time goes on, as game downloads get larger and movie downloads "netflix" become more popular so does time warners wallet. I'm pretty sure they have charts and etc. showing the potential of how much money they can rob from their customers in the future, I'm sure it will work for awhile till some other company offers unlimited bandwidth and brings time warner to their knees. I have already talked to several friends at work about this and we all agree to switch and never go back if this happens




5GB Limit & Internet Radio
By Kougar on 6/3/2008 10:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
If you believe that only 5% of users that pay $30 to subscribe to 786Kbps broadband exceed 5GB a month in usage, then there is nothing that can be said to sway you.

15Mbps down and 2Mbps up and the cap is 40GB. This is just as bad, if not worse than than the 5GB cap.

How many of you regularly spend an hour or more listening to Internet Radio stations? Just several hours of listening a day will add up to several GB per month. Do the math or monitor your internet radio, high quality audio takes up more bandwidth than you might realize. Even cheap quality stations like 1.fm, sky.fm, and DI.fm broadcast a continuous 20kilobytes per second for their free channels.




Good luck everyone
By laok on 6/4/2008 1:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
Even without these caps, the general Joe does not have many choices, usually a cable provider or a dsl; as more and more ppl start to only use cell phones, the choice is even more limited.

40 GB for a 15Mbits/s line is just a joke, it can only last 5 hours at the full speed. Well, we can go back to the time when we only use the internet to send emails and browsing web pages.

Well, if you do like time warner, u can go to att dsl; if you do not like att dsl either, u have the choice not using the internet at home.

So have fun everyone, it is time for more outdoor activities.




40GB...
By DanoruX on 6/4/2008 6:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
As America moves towards 40GB/month bandwidth caps the rest of the developed world tries to push towards 40GB/s connections!

Sorry, had to :P




By gshock888 on 6/4/2008 12:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
instead of improving the infrastructure and networks, limits are imposed. thanks to government endorsed oligopoly




1$ per gb? thats nothing.
By 4wardtristan on 6/4/2008 7:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
i havent read the comments for this article, so sorry if this has already been said:

welcome to australia, guys.

here down under, if your not on a "unlimited" plan, you get charged roughly 15c PER MEGABYTE

i repeat, PER MEGABYTE. do you have any idea how quickly this adds up?

ppl complaining about 1$ per GB should really try the 15c per MB.

i literally laughed at 1$ per GB.




Immigrants
By habibo on 6/4/2008 8:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
The illegal immigrants are stealing all of our jobs/bandwidth! We need to build a gigantic wall/firewall along the southern border of the US...




The system works
By Lonyo on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: The system works
By Shane McGlaun (blog) on 6/3/2008 1:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure the restrictions aren't aimed at me as a legitimate Apple TV user who likes to stream movies when you can hit the bandwidth cap so quickly by doing nothing wrong? Time Warner is shooting at its customer base with a shotgun trying to kill the nefarious users, hitting tons of legitimate users in the process, when what they need is a sniper. I guess you are the type of customer Time Warner hopes to find, I suggest you run sign up now.


RE: The system works
By amanojaku on 6/3/2008 1:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Lonyo, is either retarded or works for TimeWarner. Which is turning out to be the same thing, these days...

Having worked at ISPs I can tell you they have PLENTY of bandwidth. Most just assumed the Internet wouldn't be used as much as it has and built a business model on low cost and high profits. How else can they offer 10Mbits/sec downstream for $50 when a 1.544Mbit/sec T1 costs $1,000? You don't make much money off the $50, so now they're limiting the bandwidth and fooling us into thinking the lower price is a good deal. Do the math:

$50/10Mbit/sec = 0.005 cents per Kbit
$30/768Kbits/sec = 0.039 cents per Kbit

You'd be paying 8x the price of the old service for the new one, assuming you don't go over the cap. This is clearly aimed at customers who actually USE the bandwidth. Don't download a DVD ISO of Linux, or stream video. Hell, I guess land-based phones will be the next metered service; people just accept the fact that cell phones are metered, so why not everything else?


RE: The system works
By TETRONG on 6/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: The system works
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 1:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
He is not saying they are trying to get rid of the users that are breaking the law, he is saying they are trying to get rid of the users that are hogging all the bandwidth.

It really is a good strategy (from their point) assuming no competition is in town. Double so if you are also selling people cable service. I don't bother with cable because I am backlogged with DVDs from Netflix/Netflix ondemand as it is, eliminate part of that option for your customers and your cable offering starts to look better.

Their pricing and service strategy won't change just because you complain about it. It will change because you (and a lot of other people) stop paying them for their service. If you don't have any better options in your area, you are kinda SOL... ...which is how it has always been with utilities.

-Suntan


RE: The system works
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 1:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with that is you can't assume that people won't use what you sell them.

The broadband companies, if they are actually running out of bandwidth, are admitting they are selling their customers short by attempting to throttle. They're offering packages that they can't actually fulfill. Is it unfair if every customer were to use exactly their bandwidth limit a month? You better damn well have enough bandwidth for all those people.


RE: The system works
By Suntan on 6/3/2008 4:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

The problem with that is you can't assume that people won't use what you sell them.


I don’t think anyone here is saying that they have a good business plan, just acknowledging that it is the business plan the ISPs are using.

quote:

The broadband companies, if they are actually running out of bandwidth, are admitting they are selling their customers short by attempting to throttle. They're offering packages that they can't actually fulfill. Is it unfair if every customer were to use exactly their bandwidth limit a month? You better damn well have enough bandwidth for all those people.


This happens in a lot of industries. You think your bank has enough money on hand such that they could accommodate everybody wanting to pull their money out at the same time? That airplanes will hold every passenger that is issued a ticket if none of them cancel? Ditto rental cars, etc. etc.

If they are continuously running out of bandwidth for all their customers, then service goes down the tubes and customers get rid of them as a provider. If they don’t improve their service they continue to lose customers (assuming they have competition in the area.)

-Suntan


RE: The system works
By DASQ on 6/4/2008 2:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Something LIKE this happens in other industries, but the analogies aren't the greatest.

Banks not having enough money? Not on hand they don't, they take your money and invest it themselves. Not to mention there is not even a guarantee of any monetary security, if a bank were to go bankrupt overnight your savings go 'poof'.

The airplane example is close, but it's less 'this flight is full, we can refund you or transfer your ticket to another flight' and more they CRAM YOU INTO THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT TO MAKE YOU FIT.


RE: The system works
By Alexstarfire on 6/3/2008 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
You know, you are one of 2 people in the comments that disagrees with everyone else. You must know by now that we know you are one of the good little sheep that the companies love. Play by their rules you say. That's all fair when you have a say in what the rules are, but when you don't it becomes no less than the way it was for the US under British rule. We are not unreasonable people here, we just don't like going backwards in time here. We are supposed to go forward with technology, not backwards. Only difference is that we have a choice; well, some of us anyways.

In short, f*ck off. We don't like you.


RE: The system works
By Lexda on 6/4/2008 12:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
And that just shows ignorance. The second that you stop listening to the opposition completely just because they disagree, is the second that you yourself become the "ignorant morons" (paraphrasing, I realize you didn't use that term) that you hate so much.

In short, telling somebody to "f*** off" just because they disagree with you definitely makes you an "unreasonable" person (a term that you did use).


RE: The system works
By Lerianis on 6/4/2008 12:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I don't think it does, when the arguments the person is using, like SunTan uses, are so shallow that a blind man could see through them in a pitch-black, sealed from light room.


RE: The system works
By Lexda on 6/3/2008 1:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
There is a reason we have limits in the first place. If I pay for a 10Mb line, I want to be able to use that line. My ISP is able to sell me the rights to that because most others don't demand that kind of service. It's not like my using it directly impacts my neighborhodd. If my line is idle, my neighbors don't suddenly get an extra 10Mb download; their downloads are also capped. The only bad part about this type of plan is that my ISP isn't squeezing me for more money. Think of it this way: In my neighborhood we have a finite number of people; it's not like by throwing my 10Mb off the line they can subscribe 12 more 768Kb lines; everyone already has internet, and saying that they should increase people's speeds is just being hypocritical. The line is there, so why not use it?

The bottom line is that the infrastructure is there, and actually using it doesn't cost money. It isn't like going to McDonalds and grabbing a burger: the reward does not cost the supplier materials, which they have to replace every time they make a sale.

As I said, I pay for my connection, and I expect to be able to use it. Maybe they do need to raise prices, fine. But download caps? That's saying "Ok, here's your connection, use it as you will! Oh wait, surprise, now that line running to your house has to just lay dormant, unless you want to give us your firstborn as payment."

The only logical implementation of this would be having download caps for some people (and offering those plans dirt cheap), and then offering no-cap download plans, like we have now.


RE: The system works
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 1:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
Following your McDonald's example, it's like accepting 10 orders, and hoping the 6th guy doesn't finish his fries so you can re-serve it to customer #9.

They're juggling their infrastructure because they've sold more bandwidth than they can possible server. This is not how it's supposed to work. You don't sell shit you don't have.


my friend had an idea
By dare2savefreedom on 6/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: my friend had an idea
By TETRONG on 6/3/2008 2:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
You undoubtedly know that the charge in full will simply be amortized and passed onto you and yours.

You can never win.


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