Time Warner has been testing broadband plans with traffic caps
for several months, and apparently it likes what it's seen, as it plans to soon expand the caps into four more markets
. The company alleges it has to switch to capped plans in order to "support the infrastructure of the broadband business," even though the supposed bandwidth crunch ISPs cite when talking about these plans is little more than a myth
. As the company's CEO notes, getting the cat back in the bag by getting consumers to switch from unlimited to capped plans is going to be very difficult. Previous studies have found that even light internet users would look to take their business elsewhere
if their ISP introduced caps, mainly because they have absolutely no idea how much bandwidth they're consuming. That's a good thing, because the absence of mental transaction costs helped wired broadband take off, and laid the groundwork for all sorts of innovative internet services -- not to mention lots of revenues for ISPs. Compare this to the mobile world, where per-KB or per-MB pricing helped stymie
the growth of data services.