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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 roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they are getting it though. I currently pay for movie downloads, and music downloads, and I also support linux distrobutions with peer2peer (sharing my bandwidth to help a cause). I also share my bandwidth and processor power for folding and other distributed projects.

So what does this do? It makes me pay for something I have already paid for.
It's just a sad way for them to "terrorize" you into paying more for a piece of crap out dated system.
Just look at the networks in any country besides here, and you will see that they have speeds of 1mbit-100mbit for home subscribers, and not only that, when is FIOS going to happen? My god, the price is going to go up to 300$ a month with a plan like that. Instead of offering more bandwidth and upgrading, they are slowing it all down, trying to say that every packet or blip of information should be taxed, tripled charged, and billed to the limit.
They are trying to kill the internet.
Can you imagine if every road you drove over was a toll road? And if you decided to drive faster than everyone else to get to work early, you would have to pay triple the price?
People forget that these speeds are IMAGINARY, they equipment goes much faster than they let on.
It's just a way to milk more money, by creating imaginary tiers and having retarded marketing execs come onto public sites and say stupid shite like "well grandpa john only downloads 10 megs a day, why should he have to pay more?". That is f*n stupid. The comapanys will make grandpa john pay as much as they can without getting a riot, they just want an excuse to make even more money off all the media.

So think of it as a media tax on you. They want a peice of all that revenue they are (and will) make off of movies and music online.

The morons try to make you believe that the only people that this will effect is pirates who supposedly "download way too much" cough cough.. This is a blatant lie designed to make you think you are safe. You can bet they only see dollar signs in the actions, and it's about cashing in on media sales and advertising.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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