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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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Telnet case study
By oe2k on 1/21/2008 6:13:20 AM , Rating: 2
All,

This charging method has been working in Telenet, a cable company from Belgium, http://www.telenet.be for the past 2 years.
It has increased their profit and allowed the subscribers to better manage their accounts spending.

The 5% subscribers that consumed most of the BW where eliminated or decreased.
There is still an option for unlimited usage which is high and can be purchase.

Telenet are using BCE - Business control engine and Billing from FTS. URL: http://www.fts-soft.com
The engine also allows per service usage and boosting the internet BW when needed by the subscriber. E.g. when downloading a movie you can boost the connection dynamically and stop it.

You can read about it:
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=93...

http://www.billingworld.com/articles/feature/Case-...

I am not from FTS nor Telenet :-)




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