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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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RE: I buy that for a dollar.
By Christopher1 on 1/17/2008 4:36:33 PM , Rating: 0
I have a friend who works for Comcast, and he says that 'evil 5%' thing who are using all the bandwidth is not true.

He has monitored the usage of a sub-section of 1000 households, and has found that most households use about 100GB's of traffic a month right now.

And it's not to download legal or quasi-legal (like japanese hentai games or japanese music that aren't available in the United States) either.

It is downloading videos from Youtube, downloading music from legitimate sites, downloading TV shows off sites (which is NOT illegal as long as you are subscribed to that station), etc.

Now, I am one of those customers who uses an extreme amount of bandwidth each month: about 500GB's, as I said in earlier postings.

However, people doing that are less than 1% of 1% of people using the services in the United States, not anywhere NEAR the 5% they try to make you think it is, and we are the ones who are ALREADY paying higher prices by having cable-internet or some other kind of high-speed internet.

The real gripe with these companies is that they are not making as much of a profit off us as they would like to make.


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