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Customers in Beaumont, Texas still get metered price gouging

Time Warner Cable has been under harsh criticism from consumers and politicians alike to stop their proposed tired internet pricing trials. The trials were to be started in Rochester, N.Y., Greensboro, N.C., Austin, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas. The trials would have seen users currently paying about $40 for unlimited bandwidth forced to pay $150 per month for the same service.

Time Warner has now announced that it is not going to be adding the new areas to its metered pricing trial. However, customers in Beaumont, Texas who are already paying for metered access will continue to do so.

Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt said in a statement, "It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption-based billing."

Much of the consumer protest surrounding the metered trials was in the Rochester, N.Y. area reports the AP. In that area, U.S. Rep. Eric Massa had said he was preparing legislation that would ban metered billing of internet access.

Timothy Karr from Free Press said, "We're glad to see Time Warner Cable's price-gouging scheme collapse in the face of consumer opposition. Let this be a lesson to other Internet service providers looking to head down a similar path."

Under the Time Warner metered plan, consumers would have paid at least an extra $1 per gigabyte over the miniscule monthly allotments provided. Streaming video would have been the hardest hit internet service under the tiered pricing plan. One gigabyte of data equals about three hours of streaming video.

Karr added, "Consumers are not going to stand idly by as companies try to squeeze their use of the internet."

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Have you seen COX's policy?
By Elk5432 on 4/17/2009 1:07:29 PM , Rating: 5
I was researching how I could save money on my cable bill when I came across the policy below. The prices (not 100% on this) Value package is $30/month, Preffered is $46/month, Premier is $59/month. Thats right, for $30/month you get 4GB cap:

Premier Package -Feature Maximum Limit
Maximum monthly bandwidth consumption cap 60 gigabytes download ; 15 gigabytes upload

Preferred Package -Feature Maximum Limit
3. Maximum monthly bandwidth consumption cap 40 gigabytes download ; 15 gigabytes upload

Value Package - Feature Maximum Limit
3. Maximum monthly bandwidth consumption cap 4 gigabytes download ; 1gigabyte upload

Economy/Lite Package - Feature Maximum Limit
3. Maximum monthly bandwidth consumption cap 3 gigabytes download ; 1gigabyte upload

The cost to cable companies per meg of bandwidth has dropped by possibly 10x (pulling these guesstimates out of my a-- :) ) since 2000 yet our cost for the same speed connection has stayed the same. Now they add this tiny cap.

I agree with the comments above, a reasonable limit is 250 GB. Their whole complaint was that a few bad apples were being bandwidth hogs and abusing their network. Putting these low caps isn't about solving those problems, it's an excuse.

Sadly, I'm all about free enterprise and the ol' adage of "if you don't like it, go somewhere else" so I hate being a whiner about this. Unfortunately, I don't have a choice of different cable companies and DSL just doesn't compete that well (in my opinion). More than likely though, I'm going to switch to DSL now.

Sorry for the long post, I usually just read. I actually created an account just to post because of how much I'm bothered by this.

RE: Have you seen COX's policy?
By Elk5432 on 4/17/2009 1:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Minor note: Incase it wasn't clear, the speeds are higher for better packages. 1.5mb/sec for value, 9mb/sec for Preferred, and 15mb/sec for Premium.

RE: Have you seen COX's policy?
By hcahwk19 on 4/17/2009 4:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
I just had a conversation with a Cox technician the other day here in Tulsa. He told me that they are not setting limits like that here. He said the download/upload bandwidth caps are set high enough that only those who are trying to run servers out of their homes are affected. Even then, they only throttle those people down. When those people call about their internet slowing down, Cox asks what kind of computer they are running, and the answer is always that the person is running a server out of their home. So, in order for them to keep their faster service, they would have to switch over to a business line to run their server. He said that there are NO extra charges for going over the bandwidth cap. He mentioned that in Tulsa, they might even be looking at possibly removing some of the speed caps, because, in his words, "London just rolled out 100Mbps service." He said that Cox ran tests in Tulsa one night without speed limits. He said that since he and other technicians were not notified of the results, it means that those results were extremely positive.

RE: Have you seen COX's policy?
By The0ne on 4/17/2009 9:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's prob true where you are however I had a different experience. Out in spring valley I had the courtesy call to stop going over 10gig/month on download or they shut my connection down and I have to call in and explain why. This happened 3 times and I finally decided to move.

Do they honestly think I won't know that my connection isn't working? I laugh at these idiots.

Now I deal with TWC :)

RE: Have you seen COX's policy?
By icanhascpu on 4/17/2009 6:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like their company name is futureproof with that new change.

RE: Have you seen COX's policy?
By kyleb2112 on 4/19/2009 2:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
All this freaking out over tiered bandwidth is a little surreal to me. You guys seriously have been using all the bandwidth you want up until now? What's that like? In my world there's Death, Taxes and Bandwidth Caps.

I've been working under the Cox restrictions since I ran afoul of them ~2003. They're REALLY sensitive to your daily upstream. I got cut off and referred to the ominous-sounding "Abuse Line" when I was uploading family reunion video of all things (they should put that in their commercials). But I regularly exceed the monthly downstream cap(40 gigs) without incurring their wrath. Which begs the question, how much internet am I cheating myself out of now?

But I'm thrilled to see the villagers grabbing pitchforks. Hopefully cox will start feeling the heat too.

By SavagePotato on 4/19/2009 11:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's really becoming a bad situation.

I work for an ISP with very tight limits compared to what most people are used to, and the word abuse get's used a great deal when it comes to high bandwidth.

The problem is the times are changing and ISP's are not. I have had this conversation with administration regarding "abuse" versus how bandwidth consumption through many mounting "legitimate" means is growing.(I remember one situation with a lady blowing her bandwidth in about 3 days not realizing there is a cap or even what any of the numbers meant, because she got a video ipod for Christmas.)

It used to be an ISP could just say any heavy bandwidth was abuse because it was likely the "evil P2P" and against their terms of service. What is happening is ISP's are outright failing to realize the growth of non P2P bandwidth use. Things like Xbox live marketplace, itunes, netflix, even youtube. 20 megapixel cameras are more and more common, I imagine that makes for some damn big family photo albums as well.

The consumption of bandwidth is advancing beyond what ISP's are prepared for and many of them are out of touch completely with WHY it is advancing and just sweep everything under the "evil P2P" rug.

It is going to get worse as bandwidth demand grows further, and it is poised to explode over the next several years with streaming content, and things like live consoles(the onlive for example)

Where something is going to finally give, I do not know.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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