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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 Christopher1 on 1/18/2008 10:53:37 PM , Rating: 1
$50 dollars is not a low price, compared to the Unlimited Internet deals in places like Japan.

They have unlimited internet that is nearly 20 times faster than our cable internet, and they are paying less than we do for that than we pay for cable internet.

Secondly, when something is advertised as unlimited, I expect to be able to use AS MUCH OF THE SERVICE AS I LIKE! I have NEVER had a complaint from Comcast even once except a phonecall from some lower-level peon who was getting on my case about downloading a lot 5 years ago. When I pointed out to him that their service was unlimited, he hung up the phone and never called back again, though that might have been because he was fired after I contacted Comcast and reported his phonecall and it wasn't authorized by them (assuming the latter here).

Thirdly, yes, I do believe that everyone should pay the same 'low' price for internet service regardless of how much of the service they use, if something is billed as unlimited internet.
If you don't want to allow that, you are FINE to bill your service as not being 'unlimited' and putting a gigabyte limit on it.... just don't blame me when your business drops off substantially because customers are getting tired of having to count every single mega or giga-byte of traffic they are using.

Fourthly, I couldn't care LESS if more money came out of my pocket for internet service...... as long as the service was still unlimited, I would be willing to pay up to $70 dollars a month for internet service.... any higher than that however, and I would tell any provider to stick their service and simply stay off the internet and NO ONE would get my money.

Fifthly, I do want to tax people who make more at a much higher rate than myself because THEY CAN AFFORD IT, and they have a responsibility to help keep society up if they are not going to allow high minimum wages.
If they would switch to a high minimum wage of about $12-20 dollars, then I would keep them at the same level of taxation as myself..... but let's face facts: most rich people today got rich off breaking the backs of the poor and insider trading their way to success.

Even my one friend, who is worth nearly $10 million dollars now, said that he was SHOCKED at how many people and businesses freely admit that they insider traded or hired people at below minimum wage.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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