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.