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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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




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


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

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


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


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