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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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more charges?
By zolo111 on 1/17/2008 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
So, let me get this straight. John who downloads around 1GB a month, pays a flat fee, plus whatever they charge him for that 1GB he downloaded... while Albert who downloads 50GB a month, get's chareged a monthly fee plus a charge for downloading 50GB?? Customers are already paying around $60 a month for thier internet service, and now TW wants to ADD even more charges?

The only reason I'd pay $40-$60 for a high speed internet service, is if they don't limit the bandwidth. Oterwise I'd get a crappy 1MB service, and live with it, or switch ISP.

I'm not saying allow customers to abuse the service and dwonload 200+GB a month, but if they're gonna charge a flat fee + extra fee for each MB or GB downloaded, they first should lower thier monthly fee to something like $19.95 for thier 8MB service.

RE: more charges?
By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
um, it's not abuse to use a piece of electrical equipment. You are ascribing human characteristics to a router.
I have a router that I pump data through all day at maximum speed and it doesn't "wear" it out any at all. It's not abuse to use something for it's intended purpose. The whole concept of "abuse" only came along for the purpose of charging more money, so please don't use that concept unless you understand it's origins.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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