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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 12:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
rather than any principled perspective of the economics of ISPs. Just be f-ing true to yourself and admit that your real argument is "I want to pay as little as possible, and I want to download as much as I want." Of f-ing course that's what consumers want.

True to yourself? How much did they pay you to write that crap?
As I said before, companies are charging per meg to use their services!!! I pay 60$ per month to my ISP, I pay 30$ a month for up to 20gig of streamed movies, another 10$ a month for music and radio streams, I also purchase E-books and Audio books, which take up bandwidth. Can you get a f*n clue? I think being charged for imaginary traffic is an invention of retards. I have a home network and I copy huge amounts of data back and forth to my computers, it makes no difference to me, as the equipment doesn't require quarters every few packets, they require electricity and that is it! I already pay for my electricity so why the hell should you tell me that every electrical pulse that is sent that contains information should be charged 4 times over. Once for the electricity, once for the privilege, and once for the content, then pay more on top of that if I exceed an imaginary privilege line?
Oh and I also pay for 10$ per month for e-faxing, which is more bandwidth, and I also pay 10$ per month for electronic voice mail that converts everything to wav files and sends them to my email account (which is again more bandwidth).

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