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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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By roadrun777 on 1/19/2008 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
YES! You see! someone out there actually has a brain!
A company that is incorporated, by law, can not make any decision that will make it loose money.
Lets look at this shall we?
If by their estimates, only 5% of people create all the traffic (which is a lie), then do you really think that they will earn more money by somehow shifting to a bit by bit price scheme? OK! lets go further shall we? Let's say that 50,000 customers pay 45$ per month, and 2500 customers also pay 45$ a month but use much more imaginary bandwidth.
Ok so do you see any reason to take 95% of the profit out of this model? Because there is no way you could milk those 2500 customers to make up for the looses incurred by loosing 80% of your profits by going to a bit by bit scheme.
So stop already.
What they will do, is charge you even more, say 45$ + 10$ just because they can, and squeeze those 2500 customers with an extra 300$ per customer to make a killing.

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