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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: Digital Downloads
By mdogs444 on 1/17/2008 5:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The people who use more than 500GB of bandwidth a month, like I do on an occasional basis, are a SMALL fraction of a percentage of the people who are using their services.... not even really enough to impinge on the downloading of other people on their service.

And just to further my point...

Your example of being using a lot of bandwidth are a small percentage of the total bandwidth users. Just like how the total amount of federal taxes are paid by the small minority of americans. And those who pay the most, receive the least "value" for their dollar.

Go figure, another hypocritical statement because it all depends on how it effects YOU, right?


RE: Digital Downloads
By imaheadcase on 1/17/2008 10:32:55 PM , Rating: 1
What the ISP's are NOT telling you is that "small percentage" actually increases every year.

Face it people, pay-by-the-byte internet will not work for future internet applications. I can easily download 500gigs a month..even 1tb.

Its not uncommon to download a typical 10-20gig 1080p movie now on internet. You think "oh sure if you pirate", but face it..its not always going to be pirating, same movie i download now in a few years will actually be standard STREAMING movies.


RE: Digital Downloads
By Christopher1 on 1/18/08, Rating: 0
"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














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