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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: What do you expect from a CABLE company
By Ringold on 1/17/2008 9:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a job?

Are you vested in to a defined benefit plan, or contributing to a defined contribution plan?

If yes to any part of the second question, then it's quite likely, unless you're 100% in to a government bond portfolio, that you too may well own a piece of the telecom action. With many mutual funds, you have no idea what on gods green Earth your manager may own inbetween quarters.

Instead of making it a concept or political football, I've waited to hear technical reasons why network neutrality is anything to be concerned about. I've heard no such convincing argument why the consumer experience would differ suddenly. In fact, as soon as things got to a stage where such discussion could take place more in the media, the story completely died. I take that to mean it was nothing but a philosophical issue raised by some old-school geeks, and not worthy of public discourse. Might just mean it was too technical, but if it were consequential it wouldn't of died so completely.

I apologize on behalf of "conservative people" if paying for what a user consumes is somehow offensive in principle.

By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Paying for consumption only applies when what is being consumed is PHYSICAL. So apology is NOT ACCEPTED!!!

Here is my boot, now I will help you out the door by using it to gently nudge in the rear.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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