backtop


Print 126 comment(s) - last by oe2k.. on Jan 21 at 6:13 AM

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.



Comments     Threshold


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

An important lesson in welfair too
By pauldovi on 1/17/2008 4:31:35 PM , Rating: 0
I hate to bring it up, but this is why welfare doesn't work. People abuse the system.

This is an excellent idea. When you are directly responsible for the cost of a service, you tend to consume more responsibly.

You don't have any issues with your neighbor drinking all of the water or using all of the electricity do you?

Systems with flat fees (in welfare's system tax) will always have people who abuse the system, reducing quality and increasing cost.




By saiga6360 on 1/17/2008 4:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except that this is not a 'welfare' system and people use services they have already payed for. It is just the usage that differs, that is all. This is not some community bath tub where we all pull our drinking water from.


RE: An important lesson in welfair too
By littlebitstrouds on 1/17/2008 4:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. And most of the people on here are the ones causing the problem. Is this the final solution... maybe not, but it's a serious problem. Just because the model was introduced with the ability to abuse it doesn't give people the right to bitch and moan when they catch it. Truly that's not what you teach your children is it?

However, this does need to be scaled accordingly. There is no way it should be like cell phones (overage charges). It should be broken down, bit by bit. About time I can recommend my parents actually getting cable internet. Sorry but I can't suggest to them to pay the $40 a month I do when they only check their email.


By Frallan on 1/18/2008 7:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
How about having more models then 1. maybe a low enterence fee and Per bit charge for the low volume users and a flat fee for the high volume/high speed users.


By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:11:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yup. And most of the people on here are the ones causing the problem.

Actually, I think it's you. Your pen*s is too small.
quote:
Is this the final solution... maybe not, but it's a serious problem.

There is no problem. The problem you keep ranting about is completely imaginary.
quote:
Just because the model was introduced with the ability to abuse it doesn't give people the right to bitch and moan when they catch it.

Is it possible you were dropped on your head? That is the only way I could excuse such ignorance. A model introduced with the possibility of abuse? That is absurd in itself, as to say the model has no control over itself, as if it's human and could be abused. A system is what it is, if the sign says 5 doughnuts per customer and I take 5 doughnuts and you get angry because you think that somehow leaves less for you to get increase your ass size on, then how is that my problem? May, perhaps, you think the owner should change the sign?
quote:
Truly that's not what you teach your children is it? However, this does need to be scaled accordingly. There is no way it should be like cell phones (overage charges). It should be broken down, bit by bit. About time I can recommend my parents actually getting cable internet. Sorry but I can't suggest to them to pay the $40 a month I do when they only check their email.

You are a complete moron, it's official. You have no clue. These companies will still charge your parents 40$ a month even if they charge bit by bit. They will of course NOT loose any money. You have no idea of how corporations work little boy, go home. It is a law that the board must always make as much money as possible, and if it can be deemed in court that a decision was made that made them any less money, the entire board of directors for a company can be removed (or kicked out on their arse). So why in gods name do you think that a plan like this will make it cheaper for your parents? It's not going to happen. They have a baseline price set now at about 40$ per household and anything they do will not change it, they only want to make more on top of that. Let's just call it icing on the cake.


By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/17/2008 4:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
When something is advertised as "unlimited use", how is that abuse? If it's advertised as "reasonably large use", at what point is it abuse? I see no correlation between paying an ISP for net service and welfare because a welfare recipient isn't paying anything. For someone with a net connection, we're all paying the same amount. Just because one person uses only 10 MB in a month, am I abusing their right because I use 100 MB in a month? That must be a 1000% overage compared to the 10 MB user! I must be a bandwidth hog because the 1000% differential proves it!

And unlike a natural resource, bandwidth isn't a limited resource. It's a constrained resource at any given moment in time. The net effect is simply that someone will not achieve the maximum bandwidth potential. But quite frankly, if only 5% is using the maximum throughput they're paying for (8 Mbps), how is that abusing anyone else's rights if the 95% do NOT choose or need that full throughput? If 95% of users only surf the web or read their email, they wouldn't even notice a degraded service. Heck, I'm sure they'd be just as happy with a 512 Kbps DSL connection!


RE: An important lesson in welfair too
By mdogs444 on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
By bhieb on 1/18/2008 1:01:34 PM , Rating: 1
First I own part of a $150mil S corp so I do agree with you on the unfairness of the sliding scale. After all my personal return has enought taxes in it to pay for a small house. I know boo whoo, but the main problem is that my actual take home is not that much. My company made money, but the vast majority of that income was put back into growing the company (an by it's very nature helping to pay some 3000 employees). Oh well at least my kids get to layoff the employees and liquidate the company to pay the inheritance tax. /rant

On to my point. Problem with arguing the tax line (and I make quite a bit so I am right there with you) is that it is not just a tax problem it is much more a spending problem. If you assume that the government will spend what they need to spend then the money has to come from somewhere. I don't think just a flat tax is the answer, as it does effect lower income people more than upper income (I have not always been fortunate I used to work for $4 /hr). Raising the $7/hr guy's taxes from 18% to 30% will greatly imapct his ability to make ends meet. I have read lots of your posts and you seem to have your head screwed on straight, so even you will see that doing this will do one of two things. Increase cost of labor because no one can afford to work for $7, or increase unemployment. IMHO It really needs to be a hybrid system part flat income tax, but mostly federal sales tax. Sales tax is the only real way to tax illegals that do not pay income tax, but uses public funds. Afterall the more a person makes the more they spend. It helps Joe average just trying to feed the kids and survive (necessities like groceries should not be taxed), because he does not pay much sales tax. It justly penalizes the rich because my luxury car is just that a luxury I don't need them to survive, so if I have to have them I pay more.

The current method is what I call forced "charity". The IRS makes me give more because the government "needs" it. The problem is that it gives it to the worse possible charity the US government. There is not a single entity on the plantet that can piss away money more effectively, including my wife!


By johnbuk on 1/17/2008 5:47:16 PM , Rating: 4
Another reason that the welfare analogy doesn't work is that it contradicts the cable industries own argument about not offering TV channels a la cart.
If you can charge me individually for my internet usage, then you should be able to only charge me for the dozen or so TV channels that I actually watch. In fact, why not base my cable TV bill on how much TV I watch.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki