Print 140 comment(s) - last by yacoub.. on Apr 17 at 9:35 AM

Time Warner, criticized for the cost of its broadband services, has slightly altered prices

Time Warner Cable, under pressure because of low bandwidth caps for high prices, has altered its tiered Internet plan, including a new unlimited bandwidth plan.

"With regard to consumption-based billing, we have determined that as broadband usage and penetration grow, there are increasing differences in the amount of bandwidth our customers consume," Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs recently wrote.  "Our current pricing plans require all users to pay the same amount, whether they check e-mail once a month or download six movies a day."

Bandwidth limit of the plans used in Texas eventually were raised from 5 to 40GB per month up to 10 to 60GB per month with prices of $25 to $65 per month, depending where the subscriber lives.  A new 100GB is now available for $75 per month.  Additional data costs $1 per extra GB used in the plan, up to $75 extra.  This puts an unlimited cap at $150 per month, with users free to use as much data as they wish.

The company is now testing broadband caps in New York, Texas and several other states, though there has been a bit of unrest regarding the issue.  New York Congressman Eric Massa said he "firmly opposes capping Internet usage," saying it's just an attempt for the ISPs to increase costs of Internet connections.

Several major ISPs are dabbling with broadband bandwidth caps, which are aimed at Internet users who download large amounts of data.  Comcast has a broadband package available for $43 per month with a maximum data capacity of 250GB.  

But not all ISPs are currently interested in rolling out data plans -- for example, Verizon's cheapest FiOS subscription promotion is $45 per month with no cap.

A growing number of Internet subscribers are becoming aware of bandwidth caps, with mixed reactions from users.  Some users won't go near the cap and are fine with it, while there appears to be a large group who don't think ISPs have the right to begin capping or throttling bandwidth.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By therealnickdanger on 4/10/2009 7:46:24 AM , Rating: 5

$150/mo for what used to cost $45/mo? I'm not sure this will work.

RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 7:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
But...But...they raised the other caps to 10GB and 60GB! And upped the price!

I know I sure as hell won't keep them if they bring this to my area. I'll switch to DSL until I can move somewhere that has Comcast. If I do buy a house, this will seriously affect my decision of where I buy. I won't buy a house in an area that has Time Warner now. Because I don't want to get locked into their service.

RE: Face.
By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 9:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
Btw--- did any of you guys who belong to comcast get a "service announcement" in your comcast email lately?

I got one yesterday saying my service was upgraded at no additional cost to me.....supposedly I now have 20 down and 4 up....

RE: Face.
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 9:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
No but quite frankly Comcast's speed ratings have never meant much because of variations based upon network load and the initial speed burst deal.

RE: Face.
By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 11:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely...I agree.

RE: Face.
By DLeRium on 4/10/2009 12:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
No but quite frankly Comcast's speed ratings have never meant much because of variations based upon network load and the initial speed burst deal.

The upgrade is for old 6/1 and 8/1 users going to 12/2 and 16/2 respectively if I'm not mistaken. I got 12/2 this week (might have come a few weeks earlier but I didn't notice yet) and my whole lifetime I've ALWAYS hit rated speeds.

I've been with comcast when they were @Home with 3/128kbps and then 1.5/128.

Comcast boosted us back to 3/128 and then we got stuck at 3/384 and 4/384 for a long time before getting 6/384. This summer I finally got 6/1 or so and finally we're now at 12/2. All my speed tests show I'm at rated speeds +/- 5% which is excellent.

Rated speeds actually DO mean something. You just had to realize when they're talking Powerboost speeds or whatever because I easily got 12/2 with powerboost even a year ago, but now the 12/2 is PERMANENT.

RE: Face.
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 1:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well that's great. Perhaps you're lucky and are one of the few users on your node. More likely it's the fact that speedtesting sites fall within the powerboost. Download a big file (dunno, maybe 750MB or more?) from a site that you know is fast and see how it goes after powerboost ends. Or upload a huge file. If you can get +/- 5% of rated speed for huge files great :)

I'm not complaining, I've been generally pleased with Comcast where I am, I just don't care much about the difference between 4/1, 6/1 and higher. The x/384 speeds you had for a whlie probably did feel slow especially if you upload a lot.

RE: Face.
By someguy123 on 4/10/2009 6:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
you're definitely living in an area with a small amount of comcast internet users.

it was great over here in the beginning as well. insane speeds (at the time), great ping everywhere, constant connectivity with issues only once every few months; it was unbelievable.

then.....people in the area started to purchase the highspeed, probably thanks to comcast's bundle deals of internet with cable TV. now, even though the connection is fine during the day (aka, when I'm at work), the connection drops to a crawl when people get back from work/school at around 5pm. my complaints just get shot down as a line quality issue on my end, but surprise surprise whenever they come over during low usage hours my line quality is "perfect" and they never do anything.

RE: Face.
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/10/2009 12:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's most likely 16/2 with Powerboost

RE: Face.
By yacoub on 4/17/2009 9:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
No but I happened to notice last night my upload speed had increased significantly and I didn't know why. I bet I'll get this notice in the mail soon. Good stuff.

RE: Face.
By dragonbif on 4/10/2009 11:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
What are the speeds on this? If is 1000000Gbps I would go for it ;)

RE: Face.
By DM0407 on 4/10/2009 3:06:40 PM , Rating: 2

Seeing as the network is 'less stressed' I should be able to hit that 40GB limit at light speeds... Unless of course they are just doing this to make more money, but when does that occur in business?

PS: Obama? Fix are internet service when your done with the economy. Thank you.

RE: Face.
By phxfreddy on 4/12/2009 9:38:46 AM , Rating: 4
LOL when you see the "fix" he puts the economy in you will not want him anywhere near your internet!

RE: Face.
By djc208 on 4/10/2009 8:09:47 AM , Rating: 5
Haven't you heard that the FCC is working on a nationwide broadband plan?

These cable companies have to come up with money for their special interest groups and bribes from somewhere, otherwise they might be required to provide reasonable services at reasonable prices, or even worse, be forced to compete for your business.

RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Face.
By StevoLincolnite on 4/10/2009 9:54:17 AM , Rating: 3
How many times does it have to be said? The government needs to get out of the private sector. Not threaten it or restrict it. If they'd do that, we'd eventually have FiOS nationwide instead of tiny areas of the country.

Tell that to the Aussies and there Shiny NBN project. :P

RE: Face.
By croc on 4/10/2009 6:49:46 PM , Rating: 3
We Auaaies are very pleased with this proposal. The one thing that NBN does is bypass all national carriers, providing a wholesale level backbone that any carrier can use, at the same price for all carriers. Unlike the Telstra monopoly currently in place that charges other carriers a premium wholesale price while gouging their own retail customers...

Personally, I would have forced a seperation of the Telstra wholesale (lines) and retail businesses, and regulated the crap out of their wholesale unit, after all we Aussies did pay for their transmission lines, only to have our previous government sell us down the river in some bizarre 'privitization' scheme...

So, NBN, if it ever becomes more than just a 'talking point' again puts the local loop back into the hands of the taxpayers and end users, not some greedy private corporate.

RE: Face.
By phxfreddy on 4/12/2009 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah .... politicians are not greedy.

mmm I pay oil companies I get oil.

I pay gov't my taxes and what do I get? Bupkiss!

RE: Face.
By Gannon on 4/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: Face.
By kelmerp on 4/10/2009 10:20:12 AM , Rating: 5
No offense, but that flies in the face of common sense. That's just not how capitalism works.

No one set of rules works everywhere. In some places the free market works great, and it other places its terrible. Where "natural monopolies" exists, such as utilities, where the cost of entry is prohibitively high, companies will push prices as high as possible and eat up the competition as much as possible, unless there is government interference.

For a long time this was well understood, and then we all started believing that the free market could cure everything, and it became a kind of religion. We started deregulating everything, and in some cases, deregulation has been a boon, but in other it has been a bust.

I happen to live in an area where Comcast offers shitty service, and my only alternative is a shittier AT&T service. I would welcome some government interference in this marketplace.

RE: Face.
By dever on 4/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Face.
By Doormat on 4/10/2009 1:27:02 PM , Rating: 5
So the cost of laying fiber to every home is cheap, but the government regulation that is the expensive part? I don't think so...

And also, please cite "extreme amounts of regulation". I'm aware of are uptime/availability requirements for phone and power companies, which I have no real problem with the government requiring.

RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 2:59:02 PM , Rating: 3
The forced monopoly that says only Comcast can be your cable subscriber and only AT&T can be your long distance provider. Brought to you by the US government. No one else can lay cable in your area and provide service to you, regardless of whether they want to pay out of their pocket to get you connected.

RE: Face.
By Mathos on 4/10/2009 9:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actually thats not true... The particular area where I live you can chose from AT&T, Verizon, and Southwestern Bell for phone service. There are a few local dial up ISP's, one of which also officers wireless broadband via radio transmission equipment. I was actually quite impressed with that one, no lines to your hose, other than mounting a directional antenna, had good ping and decent bandwidth considering they are a small local company, rarely ever had issues with bad weather. Also have Charter for broadband, and fairly decent DSL through either AT&T and Southwestern Bell. Same for TV, since both phone companies offer Dish Network or DirecTV.

I can look back even when I lived in Lennon Mi. The local phone company was owned by the town, was called Lennon SkyTel, and you could pretty much choose whatever long distance carrier you wanted. Same when I lived in Mt. Morris Mi. Local was operated by McCleod USA, and you chose your LD carrier. Only issue I had there was the only broadband available was Comcast.

There are no regulations that say only one company can operate in a given area. There are deals brokered between companies that cause that. Any major phone company can put an office and switch network and attach it to the local phone lines to offer service. It's weather or not that company may feel it's worthwhile to compete for the customers in that area. Bringing greed back into the picture.

RE: Face.
By AEvangel on 4/10/2009 2:59:37 PM , Rating: 5
Actually 20 years ago before satellite there was contracts laid out that would gaurantee a cable company sole access to an area. Most local, state and federal goverments allowed this cause the Cable Companies swore they would not run the lines to the suburbs with out these contracts in place so they could recoup their intial expense to run the lines.

Well here we are 20 years later and they are still greasing the palms of the local, state, and federal agencies to keep these contracts still in place. That is the reason you don't have multiple options for internet service in your area.

Government used to only step into these matters to destroy monopolies, but now they protect them cause their the people that help donate money and get the officials elected.

RE: Face.
By joeindian1551 on 4/11/2009 12:23:52 PM , Rating: 3
Nothing says Capitalism like greased palms

That last sentence explains a lot of what is wrong with our country.

RE: Face.
By phxfreddy on 4/12/2009 9:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
So sorry but I would put "greased palms" squarely in the precincts of socialist banana republics....which ours is becoming because of all this anti-markets ideologies like people commenting here.

RE: Face.
By Gannon on 4/12/2009 12:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Most american free market idealogues have no deep understanding of history, the US is not a socialist. Corruption != socialism, corrupting has existed at every time in history under every economic system, the "Greased palms" is hardly anything new.

Only hardcore free marketeers would believe we need more "free market" at this point in time, they don't understand that human GREED transcends idealogy, we could get rid of government tomorrow and replace it with total free market and the same insitutions would emerge with a different label, you're just trading one institution for another.

It's little wonder why america has a reputation for stupidity, given it was the deregulation and greed fo american capitalism that caused the economic crisis.

It was the free marketeers that greased the palms repealed acts like glass steagal.

Speculation is totally part of the free market and not socialism.

RE: Face.
By dever on 4/16/2009 2:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
What is this preoccupation with greed? Greed is "excessive desire." Who defines what is excessive? Who defines what can be desired? It sounds like we're supposed to accept that the idiots in DC should define this from a pulpit. What kind of self-flagellant religion do you espouse?

Why is political "excessive desire" more admirable than economic "excessive desire?"

It was the free marketeers that greased the palms...
Those in favor of free-markets necessarily oppose government intervention, so "palm greasing" is necessarily antithetical to free market ideals. Those who participate are not engaging in the free market -- they are doing just the opposite. They are taking part in the inevitable corruption that arises when governments have too much power.

RE: Face.
By Denigrate on 4/12/2009 8:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, yes. The cost of fiber is dirt cheap, per a friend of mine who built an entire network in Lawrence, KS.

RE: Face.
By nbourbaki on 4/10/2009 10:50:49 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the government is sponsoring long term monopolies under the present laws. I remember when Philly wanted to implement a public WiFi service and Comcast and a host of other telcoms, lobbied their collective a**s off to block the implementation. The providers are using the government to block all competition and that needs to stop. Does anyone think that if TWC was facing Metro WiFi as a competitor they would be capping their service? I'm all for companies making a decent profit, but the TWC plan is usury

RE: Face.
By metasin on 4/10/2009 12:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
Actually Comcast and a few other groups were trying to block the City from awarding the contract without fair competition. Comcast argued that they can create a better plan for less$ in the long run. They specifically argued that the plan Earthlink was providing would be outdated before it was completed. In the end it was never even completed.

RE: Face.
By Doormat on 4/10/2009 2:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
There is a distinct reason franchising rules exist in the first place - Cox, Comcast, etc, would eagerly tell you that without an exclusive right to a geographical area, its not worth it to build out the infrastructure. And if you were to look at the costs now, you'd find that is the case.

It wouldn't be worth it to have multiple parallel sewer, water, or power distribution systems. Even if you were to assume perfect competition and each carrier getting 50% of the market, the fixed cost of that infrastructure is shared over a smaller group of people, increasing the cost to the consumer.

The problem is that at this point, your local franchising authority (local government) isn't going to allow a second cable company, second phone company, etc in. Nor would one with any business sense want to come in and serve the community.

Think from a business perspective: would you spend $1,500,000,000* to wire up a city of 3M people with fiber, and hope to start a price war with the local incumbent cable and phone companies, who have already paid for a large portion of their in-ground assets? Guess who will win that price war? They will. You might be able to pick off those who want the premium (fastest) service, but I have a hard time thinking your entire system will be profitable.

There are significant first-mover advantages when it comes to infrastructure. Its not, nor will it ever be, ideal competition because of the nature of the product they're selling, specifically the transport mechanisms necessary to deliver that product.

This has nothing to do with government. You're tilting at windmills.

* $2,000/home x 750,000 homes - and thats a conservative estimate considering that the $2,000/home figure is from VZW's copper to fiber switch and is using existing poles

RE: Face.
By djc208 on 4/10/2009 2:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
But at over $100/month it would only be 20 months of payback time (longer of course because there's the costs for content and maintenance).

But phone companies have been milking the existing copper phone lines for decades, so an upgrade to a better system is long overdue, not to mention they have to figure that this new network should be good for the next few decades, and probably give Verizon more room to expand than Cable currently has. Cable has just been lucky enough to have the extra bandwith to expand into these other areas, and even that has required upgrades to their infrastructure.

Not to mention the fact that the infratstructure has to be maintained/replace periodically regardless, and this is budgeted into the operating costs of the company. So Verizon decides to replace my old phone lines because they're at EOL they might as well invest the extra and run fiber than just re-do the existing lines.

RE: Face.
By Doormat on 4/10/2009 2:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that most of your cable bill now goes towards content right? ESPN/Disney/ABC, Viacom, etc. have agreements that require yearly price increases of a fixed percentage (which is why, without fail, your cable bill goes up every year). That doesn't include the monthly licensing fees to SciAtl or Motorola to run the equipment on the cable system (they get a monthly cut, you just don't buy the headend equipment and be on your way). Or the people to maintain and operate the plant, billing, sales, advertising, etc.

Lets see, $1.5B, amortized over 50 years (fiber should last that long, its really the equipment at the ends of the fiber that gets upgraded every 5-10 years or so, which is an additional cost above and beyond this) at 10% is a total payback cost of $7.5B over 50 years (quarterly payment). This is an average monthly cost (over the 50 years) of $33.57/mo per customer for just the infrastructure (no M&O or other overhead) assuming they get 50% of the market.

RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 3:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
True. Yes it would be impractical to have more than one power, water, and sewer. But if a company wants lay cable, they should be allowed to. It is their expense. Obviously they think they can be competitive and make money despite the competition.

The fact is that Verizon wants to lay cable despite possibly having a price war. But they aren't allowed to.

It has everything to do with government. If what you say is true and it wasn't worth it, then no company would do it or try to. But one is. And I'm sure plenty more would like to. If none were, then the law wouldn't be needed and just one company would exist on its own without government intervention.

RE: Face.
By Doormat on 4/10/2009 4:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon is going with FIOS for one reason - because they have to. The only reason other companies haven't done it yet is cost (look at the hit their stock price took when FIOS first started). Cable has a substantial advantage technologically over phone companies - all digital cable with SDV + 1GHz coax plants + DOCSIS 3 + low home/node ratios could end up delivering 100Mb/s speeds and a selection of 250+ HD channels to every house with much smaller costs per house.

Phone companies would eventually see their landline and DSL services relegated to places cable doesn't exist because a twisted pair of copper just cant transfer the data necessary for a high speed connection over long distances. The only upgrade path they have to offer anything substantially fast is fiber.

Verizon is also reusing substantial infrastructure in many areas (notably the telephone poles they own and their local fiber loop, along with their billing, etc. overhead) which decrease cost vs. a non-incumbent provider coming in and setting up shop from scratch. And their costs are still $2,000/house ($1,000 materials, $1,000 labor). If anything it makes my figure above substantially higher.

RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 6:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
What's your point? Obviously Verizon sees it as worth the investment. So why not let them build it where ever they want to? The only thing stopping them is the government.

Your argument is like saying the only reason cell phones companies are switching to 4G technologies is because they have to.

RE: Face.
By Oregonian2 on 4/10/2009 4:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
There is a distinct reason franchising rules exist in the first place - Cox, Comcast, etc, would eagerly tell you that without an exclusive right to a geographical area, its not worth it to build out the infrastructure. And if you were to look at the costs now, you'd find that is the case.

Seeing as how Verizon is from-scratch installing FiOS fiber in-ground in competition with Comcast and other cable companies already in place (for some time), either there is something wrong with your assertion or Verizon is stupid. I don't think Verizon is stupid.

And yes, I'm now using FiOS, and yes we've had cable (Comcast) available to my home for more than the ten years I've lived here. Verizon came through and put in conduits underground and then put fiber into them. All from "scratch".

RE: Face.
By Doormat on 4/10/2009 4:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
See my reply above to FIT - Verizon might be doing infrastructure from the node to your home from "scratch" (new conduit, fiber, etc) but the other part of the company (local loop, fiber to the nodes, M&O, billing, etc) is most certainly not from scratch.

RE: Face.
By Oregonian2 on 4/11/2009 8:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so, if you read up on the architecture of the fiber system they're using (G-PON currently for new installs) it needs to be all-new from the Central office. They can still use the same central office buildings (which in my case is several miles away) but the 2.4Gbps mainline for each GPON group of 32 or so houses isn't coming off of nodes that were previously used and built for DSL -- or at least I sure hope not (and in my area, that architecture isn't being used for DSL, only in new areas has DSLAM architectures being used). The bandwidths for FiOS and for video distribution are way way way way higher than previous businesses that Verizon has been in for home use (fastest having been DSL). Even commercial T1 or T3 services are "nothing" in comparison to bandwidths required to deliver FiOS service (okay, T3 is slightly faster than my FiOS service but I could sign up for much faster than T3 service on FiOS with just a phone call).

Further, because TV services (FiOS TV) is a brand new service for Verizon, their local "production" central office for that is a new building in my area (as it would have to be in other areas -- it's a new business for Verizon to be in). The ONLY in-place infrastructure in my area had been the copper loops to the central office a few miles away -- and DSL (and perhaps ISDN which I used to have, but that's even slower) was the best one could get from Verizon (and NO TV service).

Using the old "billing" and such for new FiOS isn't a valid arguement against my point in that the Cable company that is in comparison won't be building a brand new billing system to install into a new area either, they'd already have such services and software in place.

btw - in terms of our Verizon bill, FiOS is a third party provider whose bill they aggregate into our "regular" bill (that includes POTS natively, even if ironically the POTS service is being encapsulated over the FiOS line).

RE: Face.
By Ananke on 4/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Face.
By FITCamaro on 4/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: Face.
By Mathos on 4/10/2009 10:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
Government has nothing to do with this outside of our representatives catering to interest group lobbyists.

Which ultimately leads to the point that the free market economy can only thrive when human greed is non-existent or being regulated. As we've most recently seen with banks. So instead of providing better service for a better price, they raise the price as much as possible, pay their people as little as possible, and provide close to no real tech support. Now we see them trying to put caps on usage to make even more money per month, all to get their stock prices up a few more cents.

Anyone else here who lived or lives in Michigan remember when charter, not sure if it was called charter back then, first came into their area? I lived out in the country when I was little. I remember charter, or whatever it was at the time, coming out to our house after they had run the lines, demonstrating their product to us, and offering reasonable prices to get people to use cable. This was back in the 80s with the old black 40 channel dial boxes.

Now you gotta pull teeth to get them to install service at your home. And then you end up having to wait close to a month for them to come out after you've called and ordered.

RE: Face.
By Fallen Kell on 4/10/2009 12:27:56 PM , Rating: 3
Government has EVERYTHING to do with this. The whole reason we have the cable/telephone dualopoly on broadband internet access is due entirely to state and local governments. In my county, I CAN'T start a cable TV company and start signing up customers to compete against Comcast. Comcast is was given a monopoly for all cable TV service. It didn't matter that there were 3 other smaller cable TV companies in the area, they were shutdown by the lobbying powers of comcast (and I will also admit, the poor market at the time). But now that the business is much more lucrative, and would otherwise invite more competition, no one is allowed to compete due to state and county laws.

RE: Face.
By phxfreddy on 4/12/2009 9:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
sounds criminal to me!

RE: Face.
By Bender 123 on 4/10/2009 10:30:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think the problem is that old laws allowing franchising, which prevents competition to allow a company to monopolize, in order to encourage growth of the cable/phone system have now become obsolete.

The system worked and companies invested in infrastructure they never would have bought into, with guarantees of 100% market share. Now we have service, but the monopoly monster is unchecked.

I believe internet service is hitting a point that is similar to water/sewer service...its become a public utility, not just a business line. there is no motivation for the monopolies to improve their infrastructure to handle the increased need, when they just squeeze more out of people and encourage less use at higher costs.

The other major arm is that online video/radio/phone service is starting to eat away at traditional business models. TWC has an interest in limiting bandwith, because it limits access to Hulu, torrents, network streaming video, etc...

To summarize, the problem is a lack of need to invest when you can squeeze. And to squeeze to encourage use of cable TV assets. This is the reason we have anti-monopolistic policies in the government, so a company can not dictate and wrangle extras from consumers that do not have a choice.

RE: Face.
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 10:46:50 AM , Rating: 3
It's exactly what you said, MONOPOLY. The government wouldn't even need to lift a finger if there were competition that help drive the market. But when you have only 1 cable option, like me, then you really have no choice but to take the crap they give you. And even if you have two it is still a monopoly because they're not really competing.

So for this reason alone I am cheering for the government to step in and kick some assss.

RE: Face.
By tjr508 on 4/10/2009 11:28:38 AM , Rating: 1
So you have no access to DSL or 3g cellular or VSAT?
Why do you say that cable is the only option?

RE: Face.
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 12:28:15 PM , Rating: 3
Cable connection is ONLY Time Warner. There are no other options unless I go satellite. Other districts have ONLY COX and ONLY Comcast.

RE: Face.
By beerhound on 4/10/2009 12:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
The only TV option I have is TW. I can't get satellite because I don't have a south facing area to put the dish in my apt complex. I'm about 50 mi southeast of downtown Cincinnati, too far for rabbit ears to get an off the air signal and I can't mount an antenna on the building for off the air. I do have the option for DSL and if they bring those low caps to this market, I will dump their internet service, but I don't have any other choice for TV.

RE: Face.
By metasin on 4/10/2009 12:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is it was the government’s involvement in the first place that caused the monopoly. Cable contracts were awarded and monopolies were designed by local governments. Now we want the government to come in and fix it?

RE: Face.
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 5
I think you may be mis-remembering what happened. Waaaaaay back in the day, when there was no cable lines run anywhere, nobody wanted to run those lines, for fear that there's no ROI - Company A lays the very expensive cable initially only to have company B, C, ... N piggyback off those costly lines to offer cheaper services to customers. The problem was that companies B, C, ... N lacked the capital to make such a huge investment, so they couldn't run the lines themselves. Company A (the ones with sufficient capital to make the very expensive initial investment) argued that they wouldn't be willing to make that initial investment if they couldn't recoup their losses through exclusive service contracts with customers. In order to help progress society and technical achievement as a whole (Cable TV was seen as a good technological improvement to greater society), the Government (and Company A) stipulated that a Monopoly in that case was "OK" - otherwise, there'd be no market to begin with.

Fast forward 30-ish years, and we're where we are today. Has Company A recouped their initial investment? Probably. Oh, and the Government (aka "the taxpayer") also partially subsidized those initial cable installments, too. This was all done "for the greater good". I think that Company A is still trying to hold on to that last little bit of government mandated no competition as long as possible.

So while people will point to this and say that "government regulation causes stupidity", the reality is that Company A is just as guilty of this ultimately non-competitive market. Government regulation is not unilaterally a bad thing that some people would have you think. This happens to be a case where the Government allowed a single Company a Monopoly (remember, all in the name of progress that wouldn't have started without it), then as the only way the government can do, regulated out competition for that monopoly. I think the time has come to review those laws to see what's now best for "the greater good".

RE: Face.
By bodar on 4/11/2009 8:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're totally right on here, but what I'm wondering is: why the hell didn't the govt attach a time-limit on these franchise deals? That would allow the investing company to recoup its costs, but prevent them from becoming too complacent. Eventually, there could be competition.

In Hawaii, the govt plans on increasing infrastructure sharing as a way of improving broadband competition out here. Last I heard, we were ranked 49th in the country for broadband coverage.

RE: Face.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2009 12:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Haven't you heard that the FCC is working on a nationwide broadband plan?

LOL yeah, I'm sure that will make things SOOOOO much better.

Beware anyone saying "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help "

RE: Face.
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 1:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
Really, the saying should probably be:

Beware anyone saying "I'm from the <organization or company of more than 5 well-respected people>, and I'm here to help".


RE: Face.
By coolkev99 on 4/10/2009 8:27:39 AM , Rating: 5
Three years worth of internet is only $5400. Sounds like a good deal to me.....

.... yeah.

RE: Face.
By Mitch101 on 4/10/2009 9:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
Eff them all.

I just had a 6meg DSL line put in. Enabled Wifi and put 6 of my neighbors on it. Were each paying $7.00 a month to the pool. I limit bandwidth intensive downloads to 12am-5am.

RE: Face.
By jimbojimbo on 4/10/2009 11:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
Reads your terms of service.

RE: Face.
By psypher on 4/10/2009 11:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
If ISP's keep giving restrictions and jacking up prices, this is going to be even more common than it already is. At least his neighbors are paying him. I know so many people that just leech a connection from their neighbors. In densely populated cities, most people have access to at least one if not several unsecured wifi connections.

RE: Face.
By Shig on 4/10/2009 1:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for slowing down the progress of broadband in this country Time Warner. Appreciate it you retards.

RE: Face.
By Googer on 4/11/2009 1:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
Finally AOL has an ISP competitor that is worse than it is.

RE: Face.
By BZDTemp on 4/11/2009 7:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
If "unlimited" was really unlimited then I'd say go for it. However since there is a speed limit on download then it is not unlimited!

RE: Face.
By mac2j on 4/13/2009 8:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
Of those "average users" who don't use much of their ISP bandwidth, a solid percentage also have no clue how to encrypt their wireless routers.

Wait till Grandma gets a $100 bill full of overages on her $29.99 plan cause everyone else in the building has been stealing her internet....

The whole idea of a 40GB cap is so revolting it could only have come from TWC ... the company that relied on illegal monopolies in NYC and LA to maintain its business at the minimum possible quality level (my "HD" package last year included 8 - thats EIGHT - HD channels at a time the DISH and FIOS services > 50)... and now needs a new way to bilk people out of cash since theyre losing all their business to Fios and Comcast.

And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 7:46:23 AM , Rating: 5
This article makes Comcast look like a saint.....$75 for 100GB cap vs Comcast's $43 for 250gb (or better yet Verizons NO CAP for about the same price).....

I'm upset....someone at TW is smoking some awfully good stuff and they didn't even offer to share with us....

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By coolkev99 on 4/10/2009 8:23:24 AM , Rating: 4
Thats about TWICE the cost that I pay for AUTO insurance. INSANE!!!!!!

By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 8:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
You must have called Geico!

Haha actually someone should a spoof ad like the Geico ones where the money is following people:

'What's that?'

'It's the money you could save with anything other than TW.'

or 'It's the money you're wasting with TW.'

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By rudolphna on 4/10/2009 9:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
go to state farm. you would be surprised. My mother is always amused when people are shocked at how much cheaper more insurance from state farm is than less from geico/allstate etc. And I have time warner. Im pissed. I would rather go back to comcast than this sh!t

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 9:30:45 AM , Rating: 1
I used to have State Farm but they were charging me $200 a month for insurance. Switched first to Nationwide. They pissed me off royally (even screwed up my credit, preventing me from buying a house). Then switched to Allstate. When I turned 25 they refused to lower my rate until my policy expired. So I switched to Geico and got the lower rate immediately. Now I'm 26 and actually do want to see about switching back to State Farm because that's who my family has and they were always great.

Living in Charleston doesn't help though because the 3 surrounding counties have far higher insurance rates than the rest of the state due to all the uninsured drivers and illegal immigrants here.

By rudolphna on 4/10/2009 9:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, my mom works for state farm up here in new york... she has been in it for a whiiile. They are great. Not to mention if youve had them longer than 10 years if you get in an accident, they CANNOT drop you.

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
While that's not twice as much for me...I pay about $100 with Allstate NJ(full coverage / $500 deductible) but I live in NJ too which I don't know about now but we used to have the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. So yeah that's pretty sick to think that's much more than friggin auto insurance

(BTW: Amazingly Allstate is the best price among State Farm/Geico/AIG/Progressive....might be the fact I've been with them for 15 years now I guess)

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's because the commercials they show are misleading. All of them.

State Farm can claim that on average, those that switch to State Farm save an average of 350 bucks a year. Geico can also claim the same thing. What they aren't telling you is what their average rate is compared to the competition.

So what you really have to ask yourself is, if I'm using Company A, and Company B offers the same level of service for an extra 200 dollar premium, am I going to switch to Company B? Unless you're a bit loony, I think the answer is "no". That statistic doesn't factor into the numbers the state on the ads :)

By callmeroy on 4/16/2009 8:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you were referring to my post of allstate being cheaper than the others I mentioned...

To be clear -- that wasn't my commentary -- that is FACT.

I wasn't referring to Allstate being cheapest to me because of what commercials / ads say , i was referring to reality --- through 15 or so years I've been with Allstate every 2-4 years i'd say I look into getting quotes to just make sure I'm not getting robbed by Allstate. The last time I did the quote thing was about a year or so ago....Allstate was still the cheapest for me.

LOL --- never make purchasing decisions solely be on what an AD tells you....

By MrPeabody on 4/10/2009 9:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, but a guy could probably survive for at least several days without car insurance.

RE: And I thought Comcast was greedy....
By davemang on 4/10/2009 10:08:22 AM , Rating: 2
Comcast's $43

To be fair, you only get comcast for $43 if you spend around $50 on a TV package, without any TV/voice package, their minimum is $60. so its either $60 for internet or $93 for internet and TV...

By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 11:26:50 AM , Rating: 2
I have ultra basic cable because most cable TV is crap anyway. It's like $54 a month total.

By callmeroy on 4/10/2009 12:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
True...but you should have mentioned, if you were making that argument, how much TW Cable costs as well on top of their insanely priced Internet.

I live in the heart of Comcast's cable monopoly empire -- Philly, PA (or close to it) so I don't know --- does TW also require that you at least be a basic cable subscriber before you can even purchase their Internet service?

By AntiM on 4/10/2009 8:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
LOL!! $150 for internet access??? I live in the Greensboro area. I predict that TWC will lose at least 25% of their broadband customers within 3 months of implementing this plan. What TWC seems to have forgotten is that they sell other services such as cable TV and digital phone. They will likely lose this revenue as well.
I'm not even going to wait, I will be switching my service to AT&T DSL and DIRECTTV within the next 2 weeks. Once TWC is out of my house, they will not be welcomed back. I have a hatred for AT&T, but they are the lesser of two evils right now.

TWC and AT&T both need to beef up their customer service centers. TWC's phones will be lighting up with people canceling their service and AT&T's will be lighting up with people signing up. No doubt AT&T has a big SEG right now.

RE: Prediction....
By coolkev99 on 4/10/2009 8:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
Remember back just a few years ago when unlimited internet was around $14.99 a month? Well %#$@!*! Time Warner and thier #@!%$* up internet pricing. SCrew them. I'm going back to dial up or just getting rid of it all together. This is INSANE!

RE: Prediction....
By strikeback03 on 4/10/2009 8:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
What is the speed and bandwidth limit on DIRECTTV? I've always heard that satellite internet service sucks.

RE: Prediction....
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 8:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Well he said he was getting AT&T DSL and satellite presumably for TV, not for internet. Last I knew satellite internet's problems are latency, which matters for gaming and maybe VOIP and other real-time apps but not so much for surfing, and that it's subject to weather conditions.

RE: Prediction....
By AntiM on 4/10/2009 9:26:12 AM , Rating: 2
What is the speed and bandwidth limit on DIRECTTV? I've always heard that satellite internet service sucks.

DSL for internet access, DIRECTtv for TV. Actually, AT&T provides satellite TV through DIRECTTV, and are offering incentives for people to swith from cable. A person could probably save some money by going with their "triple play" of phone, TV and internet.

RE: Prediction....
By FITCamaro on 4/10/2009 9:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Satellite internet isn't bad for downloads, but uploads are terrible.

RE: Prediction....
By StevoLincolnite on 4/10/2009 10:01:40 AM , Rating: 2
Depends if the user has to use a Dial-up modem or IDSN to upload the data, and then the satellite for down stream, here we have choices for 1 way (Downstream only) or 2 way (Down and upstream) and the 2 way plans have symmetrical speeds.

RE: Prediction....
By jwbarker on 4/10/2009 6:50:39 PM , Rating: 3
Two-way satellite has been around for years, uploads aren't all that bad (relative to their downloads, atleast).

There are two real problems with satellite. First, and inherent to any system sending signals 32,000km away, is latency. The lowest you'll see is around 500ms and when I was on it I often would see pings >2000ms. They have tricks to mitigate this for normal web-browsing. For example, their servers on the other end of the satellite will peek at your web page requests and push other items like images before you computer asks. So the click-to-page-load delay is still there, but it appears to load instantly after. The real pain is with secure web-sites. Obviously these tricks won't work as the same security that protects your credit card prevents them from peeking. It is painfully slow and incredibly aggravating. If you have to use satellite and do anything on a secure site, I recommend you maintain a dial-up account as it will be faster.

The other problem with satellite service is the incredible caps. People complain here about TW's 6GB cap, well that's about the standard on satellite and those are ~$60/month plans. Worse, for HughesNet (formerly DirecWay), the limit is 200MB in a 24hr period and after that you are slowed to 56k speeds (but still high latency) for an 8-24hr period!

IMHO, calling any of the satellite internet services competition for DSL/Cable is a joke.

RE: Prediction....
By shin0bi272 on 4/10/2009 9:30:12 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Durham and I was just on the phone with Verizon PLEADING with them to bring fios here... they couldnt even find me a ball park year when it would get here. I called when they first rolled fios out in texas back in like 03 and they said NC was next on their list and it would be there next year. *cricket* *cricket* hello? verizon? why have you forsaken me??!! If they roll this out from G'boro to durham Im going back to their crappy 768/128 dsl and throwing eggs at time warner when I drive by their office next to the airport.

RE: Prediction....
By shin0bi272 on 4/10/2009 9:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
this meaning the twc bandwidth caps. Oh and my friend works for twc in g'boro and he isnt even sure if he'll be capped... but he only pays 50/mo for turbo, digital cable with dvr and digital phone so he'll probably get the 150/mo unlimited internet.

RE: Prediction....
By Redwin on 4/10/2009 9:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
I've been happy with my TWC turbo service here in San Diego, it actually hits 20mbps downloading big files, and they have not announced plans to put caps here yet (though we all know it's probably coming everywhere eventually), so I'll stay with them for now.

The second they mention "cap" and "san diego" in the same breath though, I'll be calling up ATT and seeing about that UVerse they've been begging me to try for 2 years. (Come to think of it, that's probably why TW hasn't rolled out caps here yet, there is a ready alternative for internet/cable/phone to switch to)

By MrPeabody on 4/10/2009 9:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
From the article: "[. . .] there appears to be a large group who don't think ISPs have the right to begin capping or throttling bandwidth."

The premise underlying this sentiment kind of gets my goat. Don't have the right? What? ISPs should be able to exercise whatever fever-dream business plan they want, right up to the point when a competitor buys up the ISP's infrastructure at fire-sale prices because the ISP failed to attract customers.

People don't have an unlimited "right" to the goods and services of others. If the obsessive micro-managers of the world could just mind their own frigging business and actually let supply meet demand on its own accord, perhaps we could actually get some reasonable competition at reasonable prices.

Yes, I know that presupposes healthy competition. Yes, I know that healthy competition among ISPs is largely a fever-dream of its own. The micro-managers strike again.

RE: Right?
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 10:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
While I do agree with you, I believe the quote is more towards the advertisement of unlimited and then limiting the service without telling you. That's what getting everyone, including myself, worked up. And when they've been reported, there's no other option except to make claims and release new pricing to justify what they have done. I'm sure if you're a victim you wouldn't like to be deceive and treated like so?

RE: Right?
By MrPeabody on 4/10/2009 12:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
Given that context, I suppose it is a bit more understandable. I agree with you in that ISPs certainly don't have any right to sell something that they're not delivering.

RE: Right?
By AntiM on 4/10/2009 11:04:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think your view is quite right. These cable companies have franchise agreements that allow them to have monopolies. This was fine when cable was first starting out, it allowed the cable companies to cheaply build their infrastructure, not having to worry about competition and have a guaranteed customer base.

The problem is that these companies have MORE than made up their initial cost for the infrastructure, and are reaping great profits from their monopolies. TWC apparently isn't satisfied with just making a profit. How are they going to pay higher executive bonuses and have lavish parties if they don't make more money? Plus their shareholders are demanding growth, more profit. I ask this to TWC's shareholders, if TWC can't provide customers with what they want now, where will they be in 10 years? Would you invest in a company whose only innovation toward growth is to charge customers more for less service?

These franchise agreements were supposed to make rates cheaper, and they did in the short term. It will be up to state lawmakers to change the rules on franchise agreements before we will see any real competition and innovation.

RE: Right?
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 2:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
This was fine when cable was first starting out, it allowed the cable companies to cheaply build their infrastructure, not having to worry about competition and have a guaranteed customer base.

I don't think that the monopoly didn't allow the cable company to cheaply build their infrastructure. The startup costs aren't going to be any different if you're the only game in town or not. It just guaranteed them a return on investment.

RE: Right?
By rjonesx on 4/10/2009 11:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
Cable companies are protected monopolies. They certainly have a "right" to do these kinds of things, but at the moment they believe that "right" comes without consequence to their protected monopoly. Since it is "we the people" who have granted them this monopoly, we can and will set conditions for that monopoly to exist. More importantly, we must now reconsider whether the owners of those monopolies are providing services consistent with our expectations. It makes no sense that it is the protected monopoly cable companies that are the first to implement these types of restrictions. If the local cable monopoly can't provide a service we expect, while competitors without the luxury of monopoly can and do at a lower price, then there is no reason to continue to give them those monopoly protections.

By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 7:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Someone who checks email once a month isn't going to freaking have or need broadband. I hope these moves kill TW broadband service but I wonder what would then happen in their service areas. Probably some other current cable ISP would buy up their broadband division which may or may not be any better.

RE: morons
By rudolphna on 4/10/2009 9:22:26 AM , Rating: 2
its the principle of the thing though. The company just gets to decide how much internet you can use? They are just trying to squeeze more money out of us. Im going to see if I can hammer out a deal with verizon to get the FioS

RE: morons
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 2:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
And that's what competition buys you. Yes, if you shop with a company, they more or less get to decide what services they provide. There is nothing illegal (nor amoral, IMO) about that. Companies have to look at their profits to dictate what they can and can't do.

Where things get gray is when a company can tell you "If you don't like our prices, you can feel free to go somewhere else. Wait. There IS no other game in town". That's not necessarily bad, unless that service they provide is a "necessity". Like it or not, the Intertubes is not a necessity for any consumer. Businesses, well, that's a different story. Not a necessity like "electricity" or "sewage" or "running water" (or, "gas" if you're on Natural Gas rather than electricity). While you may think that your quality of life is not as "good", you don't technically "need" intertube connectivity.

What's really REALLY iffy (and I think illegal) is "You're not allowed to shop around, you have to buy from us, and this is what you have to pay".

So far, what those unfortunate few that are stuck with TWC in those areas have is the second part. You can choose to not have intertube connectivity, but it's not required that you pay for it.

RE: morons
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 2:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's interesting that you mention certain services, especially electricity. You might be interested in reading up on the development of the electricity grid, especially early in the 20th century, after all at the time it wasn't a 'necessary' thing and you could argue that it's not literally necessary now. Just depends upon how far back in industrialized society advancement you want to go.

wait a minute
By pepito perez on 4/10/2009 8:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
In Spain you can get a Max 20 Mb/s down 1 Mb/s up connection, no caps, + nationwide free land line calls for 31 Euros per month (aprox 41 USD). And Spain it's one of the most expensive countries in Europe when it comes to telecoms! 150 USD/month, am I missing something here?

RE: wait a minute
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 10:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, you're missing out on the crap we're getting over here :) I have no choice but Time Warner so I'm out of luck. I can go with satellite but my current location makes it hard to pick up the signals or maintain them. The one districts has COX and even though they are better they've capped me before as well.

RE: wait a minute
By rjonesx on 4/10/2009 11:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
Earthlink may offer service over your TWC lines --- check them out.

RE: wait a minute
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 12:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
They do but charge more for lower speeds. I'm currently on $29.99 with 10Mbps/1Mpbs. That's a special going on though. Regular is around $45 or so.

Let's look at some numbers
By jwilliams4200 on 4/10/2009 11:31:47 AM , Rating: 2
Let's look at some numbers.

I don't have Time-Warner broadband (I have Cox), but I just measured my
bandwidth on and I obtained

down: 12500 kbps (small b for bits per second rather than Bytes per second)
up: 5100 kbps

Now, there are 2629800 seconds in a month (on average), so if I
saturated my line constantly at those rates, it would be theoretically
possible for me to download 4000 GB per month and upload 1600 GB per
month (big B for Bytes, I converted bits to Bytes and reduced the number
slightly for overhead).

At that usage, if I were on a Time-Warner capped connection, I would
obviously hit the price ceiling of $150/month.

For comparison, a T-1 line is symmetrical 1544 kbps, so 4 T-1 lines
would give me slightly more upstream bandwidth and significantly less
downstream bandwidth than my cable modem. A DS3 (T-3) line is 44736
kbps, so I would be using about 28% of a DS3 for download, and 11% for

Coverting from monthly volume to bandwidth, here are some average
bandwidth numbers for various caps, assuming the line is constantly

10GB : 32 kbps
60GB : 191 kbps
100GB : 319 kbps
250GB : 797 kbps

Let's look at Time Warner's rates, guesstimating a bit since the rates
quoted in the article were not precise.

10GB, 32kbps : $25/month
60GB, 191kbps : $65/month
100GB, 319kbps : $75/month
125GB, 478kbps : $100/month ($75/month base plus 25GB at $1/GB)
175GB, 558kbps : $150/month ($75/month base plus 75GB at $1/GB)

and anything higher than 175GB hits the price ceiling of $150/month.

So, if we were to cut out the middle-man and go straight to the carriers
for a T-1 or DS3 line, how do the rates compare?

It is time consuming to get an actual rate quote from the carriers, but
I am familiar with the prices for T-1 lines and DS3 lines. They vary
widely, but the lowest prices I have ever seen are around $300/month for
a T-1 and $3000/month for a DS3 (in many areas it could be double that)

Time-Warner's 100GB / 319 kbps service is about 20% of a T-1, so if
you got 5 friends together and shared a T-1, and you were able to find
one for $300/mo, then you would be paying $60/mo for what Time-Warner
is charging $75/mo. But the intallation charges for a T-1 are usually
several thousand dollars, and you usually have to pay for the network
equipment (a lot more than you would for a cable modem).

For higher-volume customers, the comparison looks a lot different. With
my example, 5100kbps upload, that is 4 T-1 lines, so about $1200/mo
vs. $150/mo from Time Warner. Even if I shared 11% of a DS3 line with
9 friends, it would be $333 per month to get 5100kbps direct from a
carrier, versus still $150/mo from Time-Warner. And my downloads would
be more than double that 5100kbps with cable broadband.

One last set of numbers: profitability for Time-Warner (TWX) for 2004
- 2008. I like to look at return on assets (ROA) since it doesn't
complicate the picture with leverage. Here are the ROA numbers for TWX
for the last 5 years:

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
2.5% 2.2% 5.1% 3.3% -10.8%

Even ignoring the 2008 number, the Time-Warner investors would have made
more money "investing" their cash in a bank CD or a T-Bill! So it is not
like Time-Warner is getting rich charging prices much higher than their
costs of providing service.

RE: Let's look at some numbers
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 1:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
Re your last paragraph: they shouldn't 'get rich' providing bandwidth. That's because bandwidth is a commodity, but unlike natural resource commodities it is not actually limited by nature. Commodities by some definitions are only worth what they cost plus transportation fees, now that doesn't always happen with natural resource commodities because in the real world there are limited quantities or political considerations. (I guess political considerations come in to play with these companies too but that's not what I mean.) Bandwidth should be an 'ideal commodity' model where it only costs slightly more than it does to 'produce' more so than natural resources, the main way for it not to is to artificially limit it. That's exactly what these bandwidth resellers would lead others to believe but bandwidth is not a limited resource and pricing should not operate in the same manner as natural resource commodities. One reason it's not dirt cheap for consumers like it should be is because of monopolies on delivery.

RE: Let's look at some numbers
By jwilliams4200 on 4/10/2009 1:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about should or shouldn't get rich, but the facts are that they are NOT getting rich. All of the cable companies have ROA's lower than the average S&P500 company during the last 10 years.

And the fact is that bandwidth IS a limited resource. Even if you only look at installed fiber, there is a limit to how much bandwidth those fibers can support. But that is too optimistic -- the endpoints (routers, transmitters, etc) are usually the bottleneck, not the fiber. And there are large costs to install the fiber, install and maintain the endpoint equipment, pay the technicians to keep everything working, etc. That cost is an investment, and the investors expect a return. If the investors were making 20% or 30% returns on their investment, then I would be worried that there was some sort of monopoly going on. But the fact is that they are only making a few percent ROA. I don't see the evidence for anything nefarious going on here.

RE: Let's look at some numbers
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 2:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
You're talking about network bottlenecks at different levels and I didn't want to type more and get all in to that. I was mainly talking compared to natural resource commodities where there is a real limit and making more of an economic theory comparison of commodities. Monopoly on delivery at various levels is where the comparison breaks down, in theory true commodities have no monopoly on delivery. Bandwidth is not limited in the way that natural resources are, more can always be created essentially out of thin air at some level in the network, or at worse at some fixed cost.

One other thing that I believe is off with your original post, although I'd have to read it again (can't see it in the reply window - if this isn't right just ignore it) is that you're looking at retail pricing for the higher bandwidth lines and assuming that the providers pay the same amount. Pretty sure that's not true.

By DaveLessnau on 4/10/2009 4:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
If TW is capping internet access to free up bandwidth, they should consider going to an a la carte model for cable television instead. Right now, my cable provider is pumping hundreds of channels to me that I don't want and never watch. I probably only watch a handful of channels regularly. If they only pumped the few channels/programs that people actually watch down their pipes instead of everything to everyone, the data would probably be rattling around in near empty pipes. Then, there'd be plenty of bandwidth for the internet.

By mindless1 on 4/10/2009 7:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why in the world would they do that if they can instead have you pay for channels you dont' even watch. Remember, they're in it for the money, not to save you some while giving you more performance if they feel there is a chance in the future to charge more yet again.

By DaveLessnau on 4/12/2009 6:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
You're probably right. But, in the short run, I suppose the cable companies could think of it as a way to put TiVo out of business. After all, why would I need my TiVo if I could just have the cable company stream to me the few shows I watch whenever I want to watch them (that pre-supposes not just a la carte cable service, but total pay-per-view of all shows (maybe $0.50 for a "show" and $0.99 for a movie))?. No more being tied to the old broadcast distribution method and waiting for whenever the powers-that-be decide a show can hit the "air." Of course, in the long run, the content providers could realize that they no longer need a content distributor (outside of someone to provide pipes): they could provide the content directly.

But, back to the bandwidth issue. Assuming that the cable companies are, in fact, pumping all those channels to all subscribers at all times, that's a heck of a waste:

- In our area, Cox currently has 295 non-pay-per-view channels. We watch probably fewer than 10 channels: that's a 97% waste of channels.
- On those 10 channels we watch, the number of shows we watch is also small. We've got 31 items in our TiVo's Wishlist. But, a lot of them are for old things that aren't on anymore and are there just in case. Several of them are just fillers in the hope of the TiVo finding something for us to watch. So, the number of active shows we watch is something like 15. Assuming the average show length on those 10 channels is 1 hour, that's 240 hours per day to fill. Those 15 shows we watch (usually each show is on only once per week) probably average out to about 2 hours a day. So, that's about 99% waste.
- Then, of those 15 shows we watch, some large percentage of the episodes available to be seen at any given time consists of re-runs.

So, to me, it looks like WELL over 99% of all be bandwidth being used for cable television is entirely wasted and could be better used if it were swapped over to the internet side of things.

By mindless1 on 4/12/2009 8:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
Different frequency range, and remember that some people DO want all these channels, or at least 10 different ones than you do... it's not as though one person can opt for more internet bandwidth because the frequency allocations are static within the cable modem designs. Perhaps someday this will be dynamic but such a change would be fueled by profits, and they would have to switch over to streaming digital TV on an internet or lan connection instead of the current broadcast style streaming.

Since they want to deliver pay per service and pay per view, their incentives are to keep the majority of bandwidth for these services.

Why isnt anyone saying anything?
By BruceLeet on 4/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why isnt anyone saying anything?
By xti on 4/10/2009 10:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
I just ordered subscription days before the announcement in Texas, or at least before it hit mainstream media (aka newspaper).

Had i known this, i wouldnt have bought it. what about netflix streamers? i cant go to local nbc/abc/fox etc website anymore b/c of streaming media?

and of course...think about the poor porn industry.

TWC, obviously one of the more popular inet services, just sent a trickle effect out everywhere. in the middle of a recession. nice.

RE: Why isnt anyone saying anything?
By beerhound on 4/10/2009 1:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Question. Is there a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied? Cancel the service and tell them because of TWC's new pricing scheme, you won't be able to use it without massive overage fees. Between individual customers leaving and heavy hitters like MLB complaining, maybe TWC will see the light.

RE: Why isnt anyone saying anything?
By xti on 4/10/2009 2:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
That is a good question, I would love if some heavy hitters would push back on TWC.

I will keep my service just so I can still use at the looks like just from reading the website, you cannot cancel the yearly subscription once you are in that year, but the monthly subscribers can cancel the next month, so they do have some leeway.

By tech329 on 4/10/2009 9:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting how U.S. companies preach competition when it comes to labor costs but have blinders on when it comes to their product offerings and pricing.

RE: Competition
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 10:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
It's quite consistent, it's just about maximizing profits.

RE: Competition
By The0ne on 4/10/2009 10:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
/nod /nod

lucrative money grubbers
By CHRIS0101 on 4/10/2009 11:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
To me it looks like, they know that cable TV is going online, and that phones are going online. All of these companies know that is whats going to happen. They also know that $40 dollars is a reasonable price to offer unlimited cable internet for. But if they do that they are going to lose a 1/3 of the money they make when people start turning off their TV and their phone services. So what they want to do is get people used to the idea of paying a large amount of money for the same services they used to offer for a third of the price. This is a lucrative business model that they have set up. The way to deal with this is through more deregulation where we get to see a lot of competition, or stricter regulation where we see these companies restricted to reasonable prices. Something in between is not a good deal for the consumer. We'll only see less competition and less pricing restrictions.

RE: lucrative money grubbers
By CHRIS0101 on 4/10/2009 12:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
While I can agree with the above comment, I think its important to understand as well that, If a company bases its business model on bandwidth caps, they are going to be able predict the amount of bandwidth that they themselves need to purchase. Doing this could in theory allow them to be better than their competitors who are purchasing more bandwidth than they sell to their customers. This will in the end lead to lower prices, higher bandwidth, and increased reliability for consumers with little to no cost extra cost. In the end the ones who are going to make the most noise are people who actually hit the bandwidth caps. And in most cases, these are people who are downloading stolen content continuously. 40 Gb a month translates into nearly 60 700 mb movies downloaded. If you are streaming content, at low resolution from hulu, each 30 minutes episode is generally around 200 mb of data. You could watch over 80 hours of streamed videos at that rate.

RE: lucrative money grubbers
By erple2 on 4/10/2009 2:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm... 80 hours is, assuming an average 1/2 30 minute shows, 1/2 60 minute shows, that's about 53 TV shows to watch in a month. Or about 13 shows a week, or 2 shows a night. Does anyone watch more than that per week? Oh, and do you do any kind of surfing at all?


By sparkuss on 4/10/2009 10:05:24 AM , Rating: 2
I can't say whether this will affect me or not (San Antonio TX) because I haven't understood whether caps affect just downloading files or streaming as well.

If it's streaming as well (watching YouTube or online news videos), I don't see how they think the media companies are going to be happy with losing content customers.

Anyone know or already experience the caps on just streaming?

By mindless1 on 4/10/2009 7:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
Streaming is counted exactly the same, it is still data. It doesn't matter if media, content providers are unhappy, unless those content providers start paying the ISP then withdraw payment when they are cut off from consumers.

in Austin
By bigtexatx on 4/10/2009 11:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Austin, this morning I myself canceled Time Warner's 10mbps down plan to switch to AT&T U-Verse $65/mo 18mbps down plan with no cap. I urge others to do the same. Or select their 10mbps down plan for $55 mo (uncapped).

If enough cancel that may hurt their wallet enough to remove the cap.

RE: in Austin
By MadMan007 on 4/10/2009 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the silly logic they've used to explain the cap it might actually make them cap it lower! lol :/

By joex444 on 4/10/2009 12:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
Check it out, they specifically said that the lowest plan is $25/mo. And that extra data is charged at $1/GB -- UP TO $75.

Just get the lowest plan, you can't be charged more than $100.

We'll see how long before they alter their price scheme again.

BTW... if you triple the price I do believe its called price gouging. You should offer Business class plans with unlimited data for residential customers willing to pay. And this should be $90.

By Souka on 4/10/2009 1:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
So anyone that is hitting their +$75 cap...make sure you have tons of hi-demand torrents being shared... make Time Warner pay for charging you more...

How many Tera-byte can you up/down in a month! Lets make it a competition!


By Uncle on 4/10/2009 2:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Companies can boast all they want on your potential speed.If they throttle everyone back and tell you that the servers your connecting to is your bottleneck, for the average person how will he prove otherwise. I'm paying for 15 down 1 up, the best I have gotten is 2 down when I'm DL large files from a major company. I also have the initial boost at the beginning, then settles at a slower speed. It still doesn't come near what I am paying for. Out of the different plans, I'm sure their is an automatic % deduction, but no way to prove it. The answer is always the same, it must be the other server that is slow.

RE: Throttling
By Wellsoul2 on 4/10/2009 3:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
I've got RCN and they don't cap but I do notice some throttling that doesn't hurt on video streaming.

I'm totally against capping - let them charge more for
bandwidth speed and compete on that.

Capping is against the future of the internet and impedes
development of online video. Cable companies can't fight
the future this way..soon enough just as with land line
phones the cheapest provider will win.

I don't want the majority of cable channels I have but they
make me pay for. They need a new model or they will lose
business. I want MORE channels but ala-carte. This is possible in an internet-connected world.

There's too many cozy deals among the media giants in the US.

By tjr508 on 4/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: good
By jimbojimbo on 4/10/2009 12:25:57 PM , Rating: 3
Just because you don't know how to utilize the internet's resources you shouldn't get jealous.

You can also own a ferrari
By Regs on 4/10/2009 8:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
For as low as 10,000 a month with 6.9 interest.

By ablecluster on 4/10/2009 9:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sad. Its like having dialup in the 90s all over again! Really sucks!


By blckgrffn on 4/10/2009 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
Even with comcast, you only have to pay ~$65 per month for an uncapped line.

But something like a 10/1 line for my grandma, who checks her email (people send stupid big attachments now)and does basic web surfing but capped at 5GB per month for $15 month sounds pretty awesome...

$150 Ok
By btc909 on 4/10/2009 11:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
So for $150 a month for the unlimited plan I'm getting an equally fast upload speed as my download speed right? Removing the "cap" applies to both ways right TWC? Yeah right.

Is TWC looking at the cost of the main pipe vs. the complaints about "performance issues" from some subscribers & deciding well it's cheaper to cap the speeds then it would be to pay for a fatter main pipe to the internet.

Wanna bet the larger video rental stores have their hands in this as well. TWC we world appreciate if you would detur internet users from streaming movies.

Internet: The new cocaine?
By DM0407 on 4/10/2009 3:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I would never want to pay more for a decaying technology (we still live in the copper age), I'm pretty sure I would, had I no other choice.

Comcast has got me by the balls like your local sleazy crack dealer. They give you the good sh*t for a while, and then once you get used to it, suddenly its not so cheap.

"So, who's d*ck do I have to suck to get some GB? Yeah, I know you fronted me that 50GB last week, but I used it all... You know what I'm like when I'm off it man."

I heard, that back in the day, Internet used to be everywhere- cheap. Medicine and Internet, athletes and Internet, you name it, internet was a part of it. Internet could even remedy your sickness, make you more confident and let you escape into a fantasy world. What an amazing drug!
Nowadays Internet is expensive and addictive. It can take over a persons life and cost them absurd amounts of money.

By 85 on 4/10/2009 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
as an American who spends most of the year living in England im really starting to get annoyed with whats happening to the internet mostly back here in the states. about 5 years ago back in California i had a 12Mb/s line for $30 or $40 a month. now, years later prices have gone up and speeds have slowed down. For about $85USD/month back in england i get a 50Mb/s fiber connection with unlimited down/up.

By sapiens74 on 4/10/2009 5:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
Time Warner takes the Asses of the year award, and its only April...

By Penti on 4/10/2009 6:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, do you want eastern Europe to take on you in the broadband league, have better prices and connections then you do?

50Mbit cable here in Sweden costs $52 US Dollars a month, 100/10 Fiber-LAN costs $40 USD a month. And that's with a slightly week currency and including 25% sales tax. And no caps.

By DJMiggy on 4/13/2009 4:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
I am a long time TW RR broadband subscriber and I am on their roadrunner turbo plan currently. I happen to be one of the unlucky people who live in a city where they are going to try this out in Rochester New York. Actually one of Anandtech's writers Wesley Fink lives out here too I believe. Currently my bandwidth is unlimited and my speed is supposedly at download of 15 Mbps and burst to 22 Mbps and 2Mbps upload. I believe I pay around 60 dollars for that service. Well now they want to change my speed as well as my bandwidth usage and charge my 75 dollars. They want the turbo speed set at 10Mbs download and 1 Mbps upload and 100GB per month BW. This is outrageous and shouldn't be accepted by anyone even the "average user". I happen to be an online DJ and also do computer backups to Carbonite so I use a lot of bandwidth. It's like we have to suffer for being in the minority. I don't know I am just frustrated by this whole thing.

Caps no more
By bohrd on 4/16/2009 4:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
Luckily TW decided to drop the tiered internet billing as of today.

Hopefully this doesn't mean that they will raise rates.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki