Time Warner Says People Want Metered Billing; Cablevision Says People Hate It

from the which-do-you-think-is-right? dept

As Time Warner Cable continues to roll out metered billing/capped broadband to more locations, the company's COO is apparently defending the practice by claiming that it's actually what customers want. That argument is easily demolished by Broadband Reports at the link... but it's great to contrast it with another story, also over at Broadband Reports, where Cablevision notes that metered billing confuses and annoys customers:
"We don’t want to give consumers more to think about. We think [broadband] is a pretty powerful drug and we want people to consume more of it."
While Cablevision has had its fair share of questionable practices over the years, one thing you have to admit, is that it's always been much better than a lot of other cable companies on these sorts of issues -- and often goes against what the other big cable companies do. Unlike Time Warner Cable, which caved to Hollywood about running a remote DVR service, Cablevision stood up for its rights and won (so far). The company also has gone against the grain in suggesting a la carte cable channels isn't such a bad idea. Plus, the company offered one of the first truly high speed broadband offerings, and then combined it with cheap or free additional services that helped build marketshare, rather than following the other cable companies in trying to offer every new service at a high price. And, now, it seems like it's taking the customer-centric approach to metered broadband as well (unlike Time Warner Cable, which just claims it is).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    And the customers want to pay much more per MB too !

     

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    Matt, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    What the customers want my ass...

    What the customers want is faster speed, cheaper prices and unlimited usage; not these data caps that TWC are pushing especially in this economy. People want more bang for their buck.

    How will people know if they are going over the cap, Time Warner? Im sure you think that people will just keep track of that themselves right? It wont be hard to go over these caps either. If you download songs, stream Netflix or HD content, upload photos, play games online (PC or console) or just download a massive amount of porn you will go over easily. People dont seem to realize how much data they pass back and forth on the web and TWC is betting on that to increase their revenue.

     

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    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    I have AT&T right now, but Cablevision also serves this area and they say they'd love to have me as a customer. If AT&T expands its usage caps to this area, I'll switch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:40am

    BW Caps = bank overdraft fee

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    I love the idea of a la carte cable channels. I even like the idea of metered billing as well, but only as long as the internet provider is willing to cap thier price for unlimited use at an acceptable rate. If they were willing to offer basic connectivity of high speed internet at a starting price of $10 a month for up to 250MB of transfer a month, then prorate it up to a capped $75 for unlimited (within reason, say 50GB transfer/month?)I think people would find that reasonable. But only if they adopted this in lieu of thier current internet tiers based on speed. I think they would have to offer this at the fastest throughput possible and base it upon monthly traffic instead speed.

     

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    C.T., Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    I'm not sure I fully understand the debate. What is the problem if a company offers a tiered pricing system whereby users are free to pay for unlimited usage if they want... or pay slightly less for a capped subscription? It would seem that this would be more pro-competitive. Isn't this essentially the the model for cell phones?

    What am I missing here?

     

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    Chunky Vomit, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    I would love to see the question that Time Warner asked its customers. It would also be interesting to know who they targed with their questions.

    I consider myself a power user. And if you were to ask me the question: "would you want metered billing if it would lower your connection rate", I would answer yes. It wouldn't surprise me if they asked something like that.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    When durveyed, 9 out of 10 heroin addicts said drugs are good.

    Let me know when DSL reports actively goes out and surveys actual average end users, and not the top 2% of users that show up at their site. Preaching to the choir, once again.

    What the customers want is faster speed, cheaper prices and unlimited usage; not these data caps that TWC are pushing especially in this economy.

    @matt: they also want free music, they don't want to pay for cable, and the would like dinner for free too.

    There is a point here where you all stop whining and start letting the market decide. If TW goes to all caps and you don't like it, MOVE to the other providers in your area. Vote with your wallets.

    I suspect there won't be a big enough move to make a difference, except for the highest bandwidth users moving to another service.

     

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    AnonCow, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    Considering that my ISP (Comcast) can't (or won't) tell me my monthly usage, I would be highly skeptical of any type of metered usage plan.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    Exactly. What happens when we have no alternatives?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    WH, I don't know how competitive the market is in your area but where I live we have only two choices: either the cable company (and there is only one) and the telco. I suspect this is how it is in most if the US.

    It is hard to vote with your wallets with only two cjoices especially when the telcos are starting to experiment with these caps too.

     

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    dkp, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    twc

    I am a twc customer and I live an area that is supposed to get tiered later this year and I am completely against the caps especially 4 gigs I can go through that way to fast.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    When a company is granted a monopoly such as cable franchises, they have to accept more regulations than in more competitive industries.

    Hopefully the FCC will step up to the plate and put a stop to this type of nonsense. Otherwise, I think we will be seeing more if this type of thing as cable companies become scared of internet video cutting into their profits.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    If they adopted the cell phone model it would involve something more like this:
    -Unlimited nights and weekends (except since thats when most people use the internet, it may look more like: "Unlimited standard business hours for residential tier")
    -Charging you extra for anything that becomes popular (Even though data is data, including voice, text, blackberry service etc... if you demand it we'll charge you for it.) In the case of ISPs this would attempt to make google search an additional service for which they can charge you. Watching YouTube, using Facebook/MySpace would become 'features' that you could also spring for at additional cost.
    -You would be able to select 'My Faves' and have 5 sites which you are able to browse unlimited each month (no torrents though)
    -Having the ISP open 'optional' ports like VPN, SSL, IMAP, etc may cost you extra. (Port 80 comes free though!)
    -Family plans would allow you to a have a router in your home network between the ISP modem and any computers in your home. This proprietary router of course would have to be supplied by the ISP at additional charge.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Yeah, Weird Harold! Vote with our wallets. Because there are SOOO many choices for internet...it's so hard to pick which one. I mean...do I choose Cox? Or Cox? Or maybe Cox?

     

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    R. Miles, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    How in the hell can you keep putting your foot into your mouth?

    Re:
    There is a point here where you all stop whining and start letting the market decide. If TW goes to all caps and you don't like it, MOVE to the other providers in your area. Vote with your wallets.

    Show us anywhere in the U.S. where people have such a choice, Harold. 2 options isn't a choice, especially when one of those options is held by AT&T.

    I'm with Brighthouse, which is owned by Time Warner. This company does not innovate, it dictates, knowing there is no other suitable option.

    The true definition of monopoly.

    In the past 5 years, cable costs have skyrocketed. At once $70 for the tier 3 we're on is now $145. That's a markup over 100% for no damn good reason.

    Two years ago, this company gave us an addition 8Mbps increase on our bandwidth, only to remove it within a year and increase the price from $39.99 to $49.99.

    With that, I decided to look into my only alternative: AT&T's Uverse.

    After summing it all up (taxes, fees, equipment "leasing"), it saves me a whopping $12.67 per month.

    Wow, what the hell to do with all this and take a chance of AT&T's infinitely stupid decisions to change its services after customers sign up.

    What damn choice do I have now, Harold. Enlighten me. If you can't, I suggest you educate yourself before you post ignorant statements like this in the future.

     

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    RFdesigner, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    1995 called and it wants it's metered internet access back. Christ this reminds me of when AOL used to charge per hour and you know how popular that became when unlimited internet usage was offered.

    Also voting with your wallet is only really an option in areas services by cable, DSL, and FiOS.

    This entire tiered internet access is a huge step backwards. What they should be doing is offering folks at a minimum an order of magnitude greater in bandwidth.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Part of the problem with metered billing with the internet (besides the insane prices being charged) is how does an individual know they were billed correctly? Is TWC going to provide a detailed statemenat listing every website visted. Besides the obvious privacy issues with doing this, the statement would be enormous.

     

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    Common Sense, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    Harold, a vital piece of information that you're missing is that many parts of the country don't have options that you could turn to like you're suggesting. In my town, I would have two choices if I owned a house, either Comcast or a Dish. Since I live in a condo, and the association doesn't allow dishes, I don't have a choice.

    A lot of times, you're plain wrong about things, but this isn't one of those things. In an ideal world, we'd be able to do exactly what you're suggesting, unfortunately, in this real world which is far from ideal...that plan isn't possible for far too many of us.

     

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  20.  
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    Charles W - T Consaul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Free At Last

    I was a victim of Time Warner Cable for over twelve years. It started with them charging to put two lines into my house because I wanted more than four televisions hooked up. Two years later I found out that they had been running me off of a splitter. Next I had to buy licenses for each computer I wanted internet on. Then I found out that there was no such requirement for their wireless customers. Between the frequent outages, slow repairs, missed service calls (one month the refunds for missed service calls literally paid my bill!) and out and out lies, I finally accepted the fact that I would have to switch to ATT&T's DSL. They advertise a 3.3 connection but I have yet to experience any slowdown in my service compared to Time-Out Warner's "Up To" 6.6 megabit connection! If Times-Up Warner ever goes to a plan where they actually charge people based on what they deliver, they will lose some serious money because based on my personal experience, Time-To Switch Warner simply does not deliver!

     

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  21.  
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    Overcast, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    I suspect there won't be a big enough move to make a difference, except for the highest bandwidth users moving to another service.

    I'm not much into torrent or streaming video or audio. But I do remote server support; which entails a VPN connected and Remote Desktop/Citrix or other connections open. Often times; I need to copy data to or from my computer to the corporate network - sometimes, I need to leave the RDC session open for extended lengths of time to monitor file copies, backup jobs, or whatever.

    Limited bandwidth - I really can't deal with. I don't need something kicking me or capping me when I hit a certain number.

    Unlimited nights and weekend would not cut it for me - at all; typically most of the work I would do is in the early evening or perhaps during the day, if I'm working from home.

    What I do in my recreation time is typically play online games - another potentially big user of bandwidth...

    I am GLAD I do not have Time Warner in light of this.

    But - this should make the Telecom companies happy now. Seemed a lot of users were moving to cable for the faster speed; but if they are going to limit total data transfer, I suspect some DSL carriers will have a great advertisement now, "Unlimited".

    If my cable company - Insight - does this, I will have the cable service dropped completely - phone, cable TV and all - and go with DSL, POTS line, and Satellite.

    But Insight has thus been a spectacular company, not blocking ports or otherwise trying to monitor usage like it's a corporate network.

     

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  22.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    Most end users don't know the difference between a bit and a Gigabyte. So, when explained what a cap truly is, most people will freak out because they don't understand what a 5G/m cap truly amounts to. This isn't like a cell phone minute limit where one minute in real time equates to one minute in cell time (where it really doesn't), there is no comparison that can be made. And when explained that just using youtube will kick you over that cap, most people will be against it.

    TW is using the present ignorance (like you show in this comment) and current monopoly standings to force these down their clients throats. They also use an amazing play on words to make a 5G cap look like a hell of a lot more than it really is. 5,000,000 sounds like a lot of E-Mails until you realize that 1K is ridiculously small for an E-Mail (this is truly how they spun it).

    These arguments don't even take into account other things like XBL, PSN, whatever Nintendo is using, Netflix, VOiP, MySpace, Flicker, and however many thousands more.

    So when fully explained the truth about download caps, most people will say that it's a dumb idea, but most people will not change because they don't have a choice. You're correct on the last sentence, but none of the rest.

     

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    SPAM, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    ?

    Drugs are good.

     

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    JL, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    For get a la carte channels

    With more and more TV programming coming online for free*. TV seems like it might go the way of the newspaper soon. Why should users pay their cable company for TV and broadband?

     

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  25.  
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    jonny_q, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    You have much more control over your cell phone use. It's easier to keep up with how long you talk or how many text messages you receive. Even on cell phones, bandwidth is harder to track and most people that use cellular internet get unlimited plans.

    Tracking your home bandwidth usage is nearly impossible. You don't know how much bandwidth various websites or videos are going to use. You have multiple devices in the household, including video games, that connect to your router and consume bandwidth. You have computers, consoles, and software that silently run nightly updates that use undetermined amounts of bandwidth.

    I have a router that does monitor bandwidth and can actually cut off usage at a certain point.

    Most likely, companies will do one of two things when you reach your limit. They'll cut you off unexpectedly or charge you huge overages.

    There are possible models for metered usage that would be fair for customers, but they might not be cost effective for the companies. (How much does it cost to meter you? How much are they saving when you use less bandwidth?)

    So logically, unlimited plans are still the only sensible option.

     

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  26.  
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    Noah Callaway, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:44am

    Re: (Weird Harold)

    "There is a point here where you all stop whining and start letting the market decide. If TW goes to all caps and you don't like it, MOVE to the other providers in your area. Vote with your wallets."

    And if there are no other providers in our area? As is the case for me, several other commenters and - I suspect - many cable subscribers.

    What then? We have an absolute monopoly here, and there's not much I could do about it if comcast doubled its internet rates overnight, or added a bandwidth cap, or ...

     

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    dave (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Not only am I ready to drop timewarner services the instant they roll this out (both my business and residential services) but all the companies they subsidies will not be getting my bushiness as well.

     

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    Nathan, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    That's a really good point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: For get a la carte channels

    "With more and more TV programming coming online for free*. TV seems like it might go the way of the newspaper soon. Why should users pay their cable company for TV and broadband?"

    With these caps, the cable companies will still get paid if you drop you cable tv for free internet video. They will just get paid form overages for going over your cap instead of from people paying for cable tv. So there will be no such thing as "free" internet video with these caps in place.

    To make things worse, if you purchase a video from itunes or something similar, you are paying twice. Once for the video and again for the bandwidth to download it.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    "they say they'd love to have me as a customer"
    aww how sweet of them :P

     

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  31.  
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    Yakko Warner, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    They probably targeted their stockholders. :/

     

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  32.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    Miles, once again you are off on a rant, busy proving my point for me without realizing it.

    You have choices, YOU JUST DON'T LIKE THEM.

    The reality is that to provide the services to your area, there is a price. If the price is so high, I am sure another company will come in and offer a lower cost alternative if there is enough demand and a business model to support it. You already have at least two choices (and we won't consider dish, or any of the other off brand DSL companies that might be able to provide service in your area). I would suspect you have any number of alternatives in your part of the world, but none of them are price competitive or match your needs.

    Since I don't know specifically where you live, I can't go out and do the research for you, but I think you will find that there are at least 2 alternative providers in every market. You might not like the alternatives, but they are out there.

    I am suspecting what you want is an open 100Mbps connection, no caps, and a price about $20 a month. For that, you are dreaming.

     

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  33.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: For get a la carte channels

    When you buy a video from Amazon, you pay for the video and the shipping fee to get it.

    When you buy a video at Bestbuy or wherever, you pay for the video and the gas / bus fare / taxi ride to go get it.

    When you download a video from TPB, you still pay bandwidth.

    Even "FREE!" ain't free.

     

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    photobug_fred, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    The problem with caps...

    Actually I have a lot of problems with broadband caps and metered usage, but one issue that I haven't seen anyone mention is the broadband used that you have no control over. How many times have you clicked on a link only to find streaming video ads or other bandwidth sucking content? I didn't ask for that content, I didn't want it... but I'm going to get it and it is going to count against my metered usage. If I can't control exactly what content and broadband usage comes to me per site, then can I charge back the content providers for using up my bandwidth?

    The cable companies can make up excuses and reasons all day long, but the bottom line is that they are terrified that people are going to shut off their cable and start streaming TV shows they want. We are getting close to that now. Most of the TV shows on cable right now are just filler junk! So why do I want to pay for that? Most of the shows I would be interested in are available for streaming. The others that aren't... oh well, I can find plenty of other things to keep me occupied.

    f

     

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    Clint, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    I have Time Warner. For the past month, my service has been on and off. It's due to competition opening up and the lines getting all messed up, at least, that's what I believe. Anyway, if they bring this CRAP to my market, I'm out. I'll ditch them and go with whoever that other company is. I'm already close due to the lack of service, but at least they gave me a month free because of it.

     

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  36.  
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    Yakko Warner, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Won't. Not can't, won't. They must be able to, otherwise how could they tell when you've gone over?

    Ah, but why won't they tell you? So you'll live in fear. So you won't go to Hulu or YouTube or Netflix to download movies or TV, because you won't know how close you're getting to the cap, and you'll "play it safe" and use their video-on-demand service or just watch your cable TV like a good little subscriber.

    So you won't go to Vonage for VOIP phone service, which runs over the internet and is subject to the cap. You never know how close you are to the cap, but you know that every phone call you make brings you closer. How close? I don't know! Must not use it! Instead, use Comcast's digital phone, which doesn't use the same network so it's not subject to the cap! (Baloney; why then do Internet and Phone come in through the same single cable modem?)

    I know how much internet I use (because I'm able to install my own monitor on the Linux server acting as my router), and I still don't want to try out Netflix, because I don't want to decide I like it and discover that my use puts me close to losing my internet completely (as a computer programmer and web designer, an internet connection is a must-have), and I don't want to have to start "budgeting" my internet usage...

     

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  37.  
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    Erv Server, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    caps

    I want my AOL dialup back

     

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  38.  
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    Revolutionary1, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    choices???

    I have 1 choice TW. Nobody else offers service where I live. Even for cable satellite fails due to trees not on my land.

    I can't vote with my wallet other than to do without. I'm at the mercy of TW 100% if I want broadband or cable tv.

    My choice is ante up whatever they ask for or do without. Given that I'd prefer not to see changes that result in my paying even more.

    It was government regulation that created the monopoly that "serves" me now. I think that if you are going to enjoy a government granted monopoly then you should not be free to do whatever you want with the prices.

    If they want to have caps then they need to open the market so I can have another choice.

     

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  39.  
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    DG Lewis, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    "there are at least 2 alternative providers in every market."

    Define "Market". If by "Market" you mean "SMSA", well, hell, sure. If by "Market" you mean "at any given residential address", absolutely not.

    I live in a three-year-old upscale housing development in suburban NJ. My choice for internet is Cablevision or dialup. We're too far from the CO for DSL; Verizon isn't installing remote DSLAMs, and FiOS hasn't been built to our development yet. (When the utilities were being installed in the development, Verizon was in a pissing match with the state of NJ over statewide video franchises, so decided to stop building out FiOS in the state. I therefore have a lovely 4-pair cable coming to my house.)

     

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  40.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    You chose to live in an area with no options. That isn't cablevision's fault. If your neighborhood was a good business model, your phone company would install a remote CO to run DSL. Ia m suspecting that it isn't a good business model for them. have you considered forming a small company, getting service from an internet connectivity supplier and reselling it? Apparently there is a need in your end of the woods.

    Oh yeah, no 3G? no Wimax? No Dish?

     

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  41.  
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    Common Sense, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're wrong again. I'm in CT, and the law here is that one cable company can provide to a town, Comcast has about half the state, and Cox has the other half. I would take ANY alternative that I could, even if it meant slower speeds and no HD for my TV, but I don't have a choice.

     

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  42.  
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    Almost Anonymous, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    Um. Post bad, this why:

    "$10 a month for up to 250MB"
    Do you have any idea how -little- 250MB is now? You can probably surf that out in one day with very little effort.

    "capped $75 for unlimited (within reason, say 50GB transfer/month?"
    In one breath you type unlimited, and in the next you set a limit... is that you Time Warner?

     

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  43.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re:

    It is Cablevision's fault. They lobby the government to keep the ridiculous laws that keep other broadband providers out of the market.

    3G is a limited option, WiMax is available in like one city, and even the Dish doesn't work everywhere ether. Why are you even thinking they are options. You yourself stated "and we won't consider dish, or any of the other off brand DSL companies that might be able to provide service in your area".

    In Pittsburgh we have 4 choices for broadband. One cable and 3 DSL(I'm not counting Verizon twice). In Altoona there are still sections of town that have only Atlantic Broadband. They don't even have the choice for any DSL (Verizon DSL only in other parts). And Altoona is one of the largest cites in PA (4th or 6th, I forget now).

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    WH, another cable and phone company can't just set up shop if they want to. These cable and phone companies are often granted exclusive franshise agreements usually at the local or county level so many only have two options. If there was true competition (say 5-6 choices), there wouldn't be these caps and prices would most likely be heading downward.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    I wonder if you could kick someone off...

    In my own monitoring, I've noticed that quite a bit of incoming traffic I get are connection attempts from various viruses and worms looking for a target. The connection is rejected, but the attempt is the source of a few bytes of data "downloaded".

    I wonder if you could kick someone off the internet -- or at least run up their bill -- by sending them a couple hundred gigs of unsolicited packets. Sort of like a DDoS, but it wouldn't require all the data to be sent at once, just spread out over the month. My guess is they won't be analyzing traffic to see if the "downloads" are in response to an existing connection.

    Yeah, this won't be abused...

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    B-Ri, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or you are living overseas. There aren't real choices in this and there hasn't been since Broadband hit the scene. At least with Dial-up you could choose from a larger pool of companies. With Broadband you are dealing with a sanctioned monopoly. How many areas have more than one cable operator available. I don't, and I live within an hour of the Twin Cities in MN. Most towns have an agreement with one cable company or another. This allows that company to service the residents exclusively. Don't get me wrong, you do have choices but as you say most people don't like the options. I could try to get DSL, or maybe switch back to dial-up, maybe try out the satellite services. The choices aren't choices if they aren't equal or better than your current option. Do you have to drive a car? No you could walk or ride a bike or take the bus but those aren't equal choices and wouldn't work for everyone either.

     

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  47.  
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    Hairy Weirdo, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I just mouth off about stuff that I know little to nothing about ... it is entertaining for me and keeps me off the streets

    Thx

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Korrosive, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: What an idiot

    "You chose to live in an area with no options" Wow. Wow. You can not be serious... I have never read such bullsh.. How do you turn your nose up and say if the consumer is suffering it is his fault for living where he does? WOW!!

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    Part of the problem with metered billing with the internet (besides the insane prices being charged) is how does an individual know they were billed correctly?


    How do you know you are billed correctly for electricity? How do you know the meter is accurate? But I bet you still use electricity, don't you?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Anyone can go read their own meter and compare it to the bill they pay. Can you say the same thing for the metered ISP offering?

    Hint: the answer is no

    How do I know the meter is accurate - so why have one, is that what you are saying?

     

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  51.  
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    Meter Hater, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Metered Usage

    "We don’t want to give consumers more to think about."

    That's called the "mental transaction cost". That's also why I quit using electricity. I just couldn't stand having to figure out how much it was going to cost me every time I flipped the light switch or opened the refrigerator door or turned the TV on. So I just quit doing it and had my electricity disconnected. (I had to walk down to the library to make this post)

    Same thing with water. The worry about how much it cost to flush the toilet or take a shower just wasn't worth it so I had my water turned off too. Now, I only shower if it rains and I crap in the yard. Life is good!

    Metering does not work!

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    Why the F...

    Why the heck would I WANT tiered broadband? Especially one that is so expensive for the cap given? If they want to offer more reasonable caps for less than I pay right now per month for the more basic users and then say a multimedia tier for the same price I pay now and then a little more for an unlimited tier then I will be all for it. The first two should have a cap that is 5 to 10 GB higher than the average 40-50% of users use so that they have breathing room.

    They should also prep everyone by giving us a tool to check to see what we normally use every month and even see a day-to-day breakdown of the data. That way we can pick a plan that won't screw us. They should also remove the bandwidth (speed) limits and just offer the fastest possible for all tiers.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re:

    You chose to live in an area with no options.

    Yeah, how is it anyone's fault but his own if he doesn't have the balls to move to a different country? If he doesn't, then he deserves whatever he gets.

     

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  54.  
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    Sarcasm, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    TW has very competitive rates

    Check it out

    29.95 a month with a 5G cap

    this is ~$6 per G

    That is a very reasonable rate !!

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Luci, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    I've been a Cablesystem subscriber for ten years, now. Never had a problem with them. Connection and speed have always been solid, help desk is actually /helpful/ and /local/, no quota caps to bother with, and only ever one DMCA notice about infringement that actually wasn't me. (Not that they kick people off for that, here, either.)

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Why the F...

    They actually came out with their pricing plans.

    $150 for unlimited seems pricey to me.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    "the company's COO is apparently defending the practice by claiming that it's actually what customers want."

    with out even reading the linked article i have 1 question who in his right mind wants less service/product for what he is paying.

    perhaps AC#1 figured it out

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    "month for up to 250MB of transfer a month"

    !!! are you on crack or something 250MB doesn't cover my daily transfers, and my speed is only: 256kbs down 32 kbs up.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am suspecting what you want is an open 100Mbps connection, no caps, and a price about $20 a month. For that, you are dreaming.

    Or you live in South Korea.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Now they want to offer a unlimited plan for $150 (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/10/1650221&from=rss)

    I wonder how long before that unlimited plan becomes limited

     

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  61.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    I love the idea of a la carte cable channels. I even like the idea of metered billing as well, but only as long as the internet provider is willing to cap thier price for unlimited use at an acceptable rate. If they were willing to offer basic connectivity of high speed internet at a starting price of $10 a month for up to 250MB of transfer a month, then prorate it up to a capped $75 for unlimited (within reason, say 50GB transfer/month?)I think people would find that reasonable. But only if they adopted this in lieu of thier current internet tiers based on speed. I think they would have to offer this at the fastest throughput possible and base it upon monthly traffic instead speed.

    no no no no no no no.

    you start with your current cable bill, only now there is a cap on your usage, and you pay more if you go over the cap. they make more and provide less. that's cable company 101.

    cable companies don't charge *less*, they always charge MORE. when have you ever seen a cable bill go down? maybe when switching to a competitor or canceling services, or temporarily as a promotion, but never as a general practice has a cable company actually lowered prices.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re:

    These arguments don't even take into account other things like XBL, PSN, whatever Nintendo is using, Netflix, VOiP, MySpace, Flicker, and however many thousands more.

    the caps are in place to prevent those services. why use vonage and max out your cap when you can use their phone service which doesn't have a cap?

    once the caps are in place, the companies will roll out their own services (gaming, video, phone, etc.) where the use doesn't apply to the caps.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Hairy Weirdo, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "once the caps are in place, the companies will roll out their own services (gaming, video, phone, etc.) where the use doesn't apply to the caps."

    And this called competition in the marketplace, all you freetards will have to pay up now BWahahahaha

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, you have at least 2 choices (cable or DSL) for the most part, and often the DSL is available from many companies. You could also get a dedicated loop service (if you are willing to pay for it).

    If you are short of choices, don't blame the cable company, take it up with the politicians that granted them a monopoly - don't make the cable companies operate at a loss because of it.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Ras, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    ...and pay hourly for watching cable TV

    The solution is not to create a situation where customers pay a penalty for more flow of data. We are in an exciting time with the internet with many great Web 2.0 and cloud computing apps developing. Typical stodgy execs at stodgy ISPs are trying to think of ways to charge for this rather then thinking of ways to build up an infrastructure where we do not need to be having internet consumption discussions. Free flow of data is good for the public. Countries in Asia are kicking our asses in the tech field regarding internet infrastructure. This new meter is just what will kill innovation for web 2.0 apps while other nations go full stream ahead. Please Time Warner exec;s and other - get your collective arses out of your 1990's vision of the internet and stop telling us not to worry unless we intend to send over 500,000 text based emails. You are embarrassing yourself by revealing how out of touch you are with your customers.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re: ...and pay hourly for watching cable TV

    web 2.0 & cloud computing are needless crap that will fade away after everyone realizes the shiney new thing sucks

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Clueby4, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    Where's the compensation for unwanted traffic?

    If they're going to meter, should not users be able to request refunds for unwanted traffic?

     

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  68.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 10th, 2009 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Metered Usage

    Metering does not work!


    Note that both examples you used: electricity and water, are almost always monopolies, and you have no choice...

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    ToySouljah, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 5:29pm

    Re:

    I emailed TW and got this response back from them. I was just wondering if it was a scripted response or if others are getting similar emails. I think anyone using TW or any of their affiliates needs to slam them with emails regarding this issue.

    Dear Mr. ####,

    Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Support.

    I understand that you are upset about the bandwidth plan.

    I apologize for the inconvenience and I certainly can help you with this.

    I totally understand your concern. It is valuable feedback like this, which will enable us to adopt a best course plan, which will be profitable to both the customers and us.
    Our plan to adopt a tiered plan is currently in its nascent stage. We are taking in customer feedback and closely watching the evolution of the Internet so that we may
    decide what needs to be done.

    Also, contrary to exaggerated media reports, no final decision has been taken. Please be assured that any updates regarding this will be reported and you will be informed.

    Once again, we thank you for being a valuable customer and your feedback. We shall forward this to our higher resources.

    Please be assured that we always have the best of intentions for our valuable customers.

    At the moment this plan is not finalized therefore there is no concrete plan as of now.

    As and when the plan is finalized these details will be ironed out and you will certainly be informed about this.

    We value you as a customer, and please feel free to E-mail us again or contact our Live Chat at the following link:

    http://www.timewarnercable.com/Localization/Corporate.ashx?tid=21&linkid=11

    Customer Support is available 24x7.


    Sincerely,
    Ivy Cox.

    Time Warner Cable Online Customer Service

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Anyone can go read their own meter and compare it to the bill they pay. Can you say the same thing for the metered ISP offering?
    Hint: the answer is no


    You don't know what you're talking about. You most certainly can install a device to record your own broadband usage. In fact, my own router does that for me, complete with graphs and all.

    Maybe you should keep your mouth shut about stuff that you obviously don't know much about.

     

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  71.  
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    Ras, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: ...and pay hourly for watching cable TV

    Anonymous Coward,
    Thank you for participating in a blog - a web 2.0 activity!

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Or you live in South Korea."

    Oh, come on! You don't really expect the US to be able to compete with South Korea do you? I mean, they're Asian. That's not fair!

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Metered Usage

    Note that both examples you used: electricity and water, are almost always monopolies, and you have no choice...

    No choice? Hardly. Perhaps you missed the parts about walking to the library, showering in the rain and crapping in the yard. Maybe not attractive choices to many of us, but choices nonetheless.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    ToySouljah, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Where's the compensation for unwanted traffic?

    lol...yeah, they want to charge you to watch their ads. If they are going to switch over to a tiered service we should send them a bill for the ads on their site, one to Google for all their ads, one to MS for software updates, various ones to vendors for using MY bandwidth to update their software, and track down those spammers and script kiddies that are port scanning. A previous poster mentioned these, but I think it needs to be reiterated exactly how much bandwidth is used without you even knowing it. It isn't just the stuff you download personally.

    I think they are thinking backwards in regards to their service. They have started with a tiered service and see how much people really use and work from there. Not let everyone go unlimited and then have them become used to not worrying about the amount of bandwidth we use. In other words they spoiled us and then now want to set a limit...that just does not make any sense at all. I will be emailing them every other day and have a few others here doing the same just to get the point across that they will lose a lot of customers as soon as this goes in to effect. I'm waiting for my day off to write a full report to TW since in the SA area their service has been awesome and I have recommended them to a lot of people because they were the best value as far as speed, cost, and unlimited bandwidth. Now, I am looking around to see what other options there are, but looks like U-verse from AT&T is the closest, but I am trying to get in contact with Grande Cable to see what their plans are like and what I'd have to do to access it. There is also the Satellite and wireless providers, but the speed is lacking for the price I'd have to pay. So hopefully a good ol' petition type bombardment of emails will let them know that this isn't what customers want.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Metered Usage

    "Note that both examples you used: electricity and water, are almost always monopolies, and you have no choice..."

    Where I live I have a choice of over 60 different electric service "plans" from nearly 20 different providers. How's that for choice? And you know how many of those providers offer un-metered all-you-can-eat plans? None. Zero. Nada. Zip. It's all metered.

    So, what was your point again?

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You most certainly can install a device to record your own broadband usage."

    - This is a great idea you have come up with, I'm sure that every ISP customer will be able to accomplish this with very little difficulty and thereby rest assured they are not being ripped off.

    "Maybe you should keep your mouth shut about stuff that you obviously don't know much about."

    - Maybe you should follow your own advice.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: ...and pay hourly for watching cable TV

    "Thank you for participating in a blog - a web 2.0 activity!"

    - I'm using old tech, still able to participate.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    What do you think?, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Where's the compensation for unwanted traffic?

    How long do you think it will take for the average user to understand that blocking ads can reduce their usage under the cap ?

    How will this affect the ad supported internet model?

    I suggest that the ISP with capped service is not good for the present business model.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Baghdad Bob - icing on the cake - LOL

    Time Warner tries again, fails to justify caps and charges
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/time-warner-cable-to-press-stop-questioning -our-caps.ars

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Why the F...

    $150 for unlimited seems pricey to me.

    I seem to remember one of the cableco bigwigs, I think it might have even been the CEO of TW, saying sometime back that they plan to take the average monthly cable/internet bill to over $200.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    This just in, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:26pm

    $15 per GB - what a deal !

    Consumer Group Asks Congress to Investigate Bandwidth Caps
    http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/consumer-group.html

    TWC's newest proposal sets the first tier at $15/month for a single GB of traffic, with a penalty of $2 for every gig over that

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re:

    aww how sweet of them :P

    Well, when I cancelled my cable subscription, they basically begged me to stay and offered me all kinds of deals. When I told them I really wanted to cancel, they told me that they'd welcome me back at any time and I get at least one piece of mail a week urging me to try their triple-play.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:07pm

    Re:

    I love the idea of a la carte cable channels.

    What happens when one of the channels you really like, gets so few people subscribing to it, that it's no longer financially viable to operate it? Or for the cable company to devote resources to carrying it?

    I was for ala carte cable channels as well, until I read a study of how paying for channel packages funds many of the lesser-known stations that otherwise couldn't survive on their own.

    If they were willing to offer basic connectivity of high speed internet at a starting price of $10 a month for up to 250MB of transfer a month, then prorate it up to a capped $75 for unlimited (within reason, say 50GB transfer/month?)I think people would find that reasonable.

    An unlimited account that's limiting to 50GB a month? How does such a plan qualify as "unlimited"? I probably use more than 250MB a day just in my normal daily usage. When you add downloading files, I probably exceed 50GB in a week or so. I wouldn't find such limits "reasonable" at all.

    If they want to charge more for heavy users, then they better have a truly unlimited plan, one that won't become limited later on.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You have choices, YOU JUST DON'T LIKE THEM.

    Two options don't count as "choices". For that there would have to be more than two. Two options are a singular "choice".

    The reality is that to provide the services to your area, there is a price. If the price is so high, I am sure another company will come in and offer a lower cost alternative if there is enough demand and a business model to support it.

    As others have pointed out to you, new companies can NOT just set up shop in an area due to franchise monopolies. When AT&T started to offer U-Verse in this state, the local cable companies, Cablevision & Comcast screamed bloody murder and the state attorney general tried to block them from offering U-Verse.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you are short of choices, don't blame the cable company, take it up with the politicians that granted them a monopoly - don't make the cable companies operate at a loss because of it.

    And who do you think bribed the politicians into passing the laws that granted the cable companies monopolies? Or do you really think that a bunch of politicians, with absolutely no outside influence, just decided that it would be a good thing to allow companies to set up local monopolies and limit consumer choices?

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re:

    I emailed TW and got this response back from them.

    I see that the reply was wriiten in CorpSpeak. Please allow me to translate it into English for you;

    Dear Mr. ####,

    Dear Cash Cow,

    Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Support.

    I am required to thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable Support, even though I'd like nothing better than to not waste my time answering these stupid emails.

    I understand that you are upset about the bandwidth plan.

    I understand that you, like 90% of our subscribers, are upset about our plans to charge you more for less service.

    I apologize for the inconvenience and I certainly can help you with this.

    We're sorry for the inconvenience of having to explain ourselves to you sheep, but I can certainly offer you a load of BS to hopefully placate you until we can get these plans into place.

    I totally understand your concern.

    I totally understand your concern. I don't actually give a s***, but I understand it. After all, it's not like we actually thought people would be ok with this.

    It is valuable feedback like this, which will enable us to adopt a best course plan, which will be profitable to both the customers and us.

    Having to read this so-called "valuable feedback" is a waste of our time. We have already decided on the best course of action which will be profitable to us.

    Our plan to adopt a tiered plan is currently in its nascent stage.

    Our plan to adopt a tiered plan is currently in its nascent stage of deployment.

    We are taking in customer feedback and closely watching the evolution of the Internet so that we may decide what needs to be done.

    We are ignoring customer feedback and closely watching the evolution of the Internet so that we may decide what needs to be done to placate our customers.

    Also, contrary to exaggerated media reports, no final decision has been taken. Please be assured that any updates regarding this will be reported and you will be informed.

    Also, contrary to exaggerated media reports, no OFFICIAL final decision has been taken, although you won't find a single person working for TWC who doesn't know that our minds are already made up. Please be assured that any updates regarding this will be reported to you after the final decision has been made.

    Once again, we thank you for being a valuable customer and your feedback. We shall forward this to our higher resources.

    Once again, we thank you for being a valuable cash cow. We shall forward this to our shredder/bit bucket.

    Please be assured that we always have the best of intentions for our valuable customers.

    Please be assured that we always have the best of intentions for our shareholders.

    At the moment this plan is not finalized therefore there is no concrete plan as of now.

    At the moment this plan is not finalized as to how low we'll set the caps therefore there is no concrete plan as of now for how much we'll be gouging you.

    As and when the plan is finalized these details will be ironed out and you will certainly be informed about this.

    When the plan is officially finalized these details will be ironed out and you will certainly be informed about this, at which time it will be too late for you to do anything about it.

    We value you as a customer, and please feel free to E-mail us again or contact our Live Chat at the following link:

    We value you as a account, and please feel free to waste our time again or contact our Live BS Session at the following link:

    http://www.timewarnercable.com/Localization/Corporate.ashx?tid=21&linkid=11

    http://w ww.timewarnercable.com/Locallization/Pointless-Feedback-Page

    Customer Support is available 24x7.

    Customer Support is available 24x7 and will give you the same party line.

    Sincerely,

    F*** You,

    Ivy Cox.

    Corporate Mouthpiece

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 9:58pm

    There's one thing that everyone keeps overlooking; ALL internet accounts, even "unlimited" ones, are already usage capped.

    When you sign up for internet service, you choose a set connection speed. This controls how fast you can transfer data. There is no way to upload or download faster than the speed you pay for. This effectively limits the amount of data that you can transfer in any given period.

    So basically, they signed you up for a plan that was already usage capped by the speed, but now they want to lower the cap that you signed up for and charge you more.

    How is this not fraud?

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You don't know what you're talking about. You most certainly can install a device to record your own broadband usage. In fact, my own router does that for me, complete with graphs and all.

    Yes I thought so to. I was with British Telecom many years ago and I had a 50GB limit. I monitored my usage, both up and down, very carefully. Yet I still got a whopping bill for a 100GB excess. When I said I didn't use that much they said I did.

    In the end it was there lie against my word, they won. I paid up and left them, never to return. Now I'm with Be internet who provide an up to 24Mbit line with almost no caps. There is a fair usage policy, but I've yet to hit it and you'd realistically have to download 500GB - 1000GB monthly to hit it.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    dave, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    So, how does it work? Someone in Baghdad decided to ping me 24/7, and I have to pay for it? It's bad enough that shit like this eats up my bandwidth, but to have to pay extra for the privilege of being harassed? They are out of their goddamn minds.

    Please understand that I'm not actually advocating this, but what needs to happen in these test markets as a good DDOS attack across the entire metered subnet. It would suck to be those consumers, but I bet most would relish the chance to start a class-action suit over this nonsense.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is a great idea you have come up with,...

    I can't take credit for it because it's something that I came up with. It's pretty well known.

    I'm sure that every ISP customer will be able to accomplish this with very little difficulty and thereby rest assured they are not being ripped off.

    You're right, they are pretty easy to install (they plug right in). But if you can't do it yourself then there are plenty of people you can get to do it for you. Like most people probably don't know how to install electric meters either so they get electricians to do it for them. So what's the problem?

    Maybe you should follow your own advice.

    I try to.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When I said I didn't use that much they said I did.

    Yeah, I've heard the same story about electric power bills too.

    Customer gets bill.
    Customer says they didn't use that much.
    Power company says meter says they did.
    Customer calls power company liars.
    Investigation finds no problem with meter.
    Deadbeat customer has to pay.

    Nothing new there.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That should have been "...not something that I came up with."

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re:

    So, how does it work? Someone in Baghdad decided to ping me 24/7, and I have to pay for it?


    That's why I'm against metered gasoline. A bunch people who don't know how to drive cause a traffic jam and I have to pay for the gas to sit in it? It's bad enough that shit like this eats up my time, but to have to pay extra for the privilege? Or someone siphons the gas from my tank overnight and I still have to pay for it? They are out of their goddamn minds. I bet most would relish the chance to start a class-action suit over this nonsense.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 9:38pm

    Doesn't matter how funny you make it sound, metered internet service is good for the provider and is bad for the consumer. It wil become similar to the bank overdraft fees and credit card late fees, they will use it to screw you.

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I'm sure everyone here knows that you did not come up withthat idea

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Apr 12th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    When durveyed, 9 out of 10 heroin addicts said drugs are good.

    What is a durveyed?

    There is a point here where you all stop whining and start letting the market decide.

    "The Market"? What "market"? Last time I checked - internet is brought to homes via government regulated monopolies - and they exist because the copper used to bring the service to the home is a scarce good. Same with the right of way property lines that copper crosses.

    MOVE to the other providers in your area. Vote with your wallets.

    I have the challenge for you. (Not that you are man enough to accept) Why don't you show us all where internet service is not at all effected in any way by government regulation? A place where 'the market' only answers to the vote of the consumers money.

     

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  97.  
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    alternatives(), Apr 12th, 2009 @ 9:37am

    Re: The problem with caps...

    the broadband used that you have no control over.

    Exactly. Attacks, probes, pings, spam, the useless flash ads, the advertising models in general. I know if caps come my way, I'll install all kinds of scripts to block ads on the pages I go see. (I wonder what Danny Carlton has to say on this cap idea? the Danny link to how got famous on TechDirt Notice how his original site is gone.)

    Is email coming into the Time Warner mail server part of your cap? If not, I'd bet someone would write an application to read and respond to each and every spam message that comes into the email system - thus generating more spam as 'live person who reads spam' - thus costing TW even more in dealing with the increased spam/traffic. If email is not included at all - then email is how people will route around the damage of the TW cap system.

    And if your incoming email box is included in the cap, I can well imagine people on unlimited plans email 'whatever' to others - just to cost 'em money.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "What is a durveyed?"

    I think that is when you dask people what they dink about dtuff.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Update

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
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    dave, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Pretty much... Let's clarify a couple things, just to make the analogy accurate...

    First, let's make the only gas station that I can use charges $25/gallon - if I try to get gas elsewhere, the attendants at those gas stations refuse to serve me, even if I offer to pay them more than what "my" gas station charges. Why does my gas station charge me so much? Because everyone in my town uses their gas, and if they don't reduce demand for their gas, they will run out.

    Ok, that covers the situation with Time Warner and its rates... Now let's move on to the DDOS botnet:


    All those people causing the traffic jam - they are all brainwashed cultists, ok? And their leader has told them that it is their moral duty to come to my town, fill up their tanks at "my" gas station, pay their bills with my credit card, park themselves in the middle of all the interstates, and every time they manage to stop me in the traffic jam, they siphon off some of my gasoline.

    We're still not there yet, but we're getting close...

    Ok, now let's make it impossible to drive the car with the gas tank locked to prevent siphoning. I mean, the only way to prevent the DDOS attack from being metered is to shut off the modem entirely...



    Yeah, your analogy is practically perfect! What would you do if gasoline-robbing, traffic-jamming cultists invaded your town?

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    dave, Apr 12th, 2009 @ 11:52pm

    Re:

    Don't get me started on so-called overdraft fees...

    Banks electronically authorize credit and debit card withdrawals BEFORE the transaction is completed. Banks invariably reserve the right to deny transactions that will overdraw your account.

    Because they are aware of your account balance and have both the right and the ability to deny a bank card withdrawal before the transaction is completed, when they authorize a transaction in excess of your account balance/limit, they are extending you a line of credit: they are giving you a short-term loan. Charges resulting from these transactions are not "overdrafts", but the cost of the loan, aka "interest". And every state in the US has a usury law that prohibits exorbitant interest rates. Depending on the state, up to 35% annual interest may be charged. Overdraft fees can be over 250,000% interest. Oops.

     

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  102.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re:

    Harold, it seems you like are trying to act smart by using the words 'business model'.
    However you still fail and make yourself seem like an idiot by misusing them completey.
    English must not be your primary language. At least then i could forgive you a little for talking like a smacktard.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Jeff Rife, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    What you're missing is that caps won't do anything but raise prices.

    For example, let's say the current lowest offering from TWC is 6Mbps/1Mbps with no cap on total transfer, for $40/month.

    The new pricing will have that lowest offering be 6Mbps/1Mbps with a 50GB cap, for $40/month. What that means is that you will only be able to use your Internet connection at full 6Mbps speed for a total of 18 hours/month (or about 2.5% of the total time).

    I wouldn't really have a problem with a cap of 500GB at that price, as you would have to use your connection at full speed 25% of the time, but TWC is setting ridiculously low caps. In particular, even with the "soft" caps they have (where they warn you if you "use too much"), nobody with a 6Mbps/1Mbps plan would get warned until they hit at least 100GB.

    With things like Hulu, Netflix, etc., it doesn't take long to hit a 50GB cap, so many users will have to upgrade to the next higher plan (say 8Mbps/1Mbps with a 100GB cap for $55/month). And, the real "screw the customer" part is that if you go over your 50GB/month, you pay $1/GB extra, so if you use 100GB, you'd pay $40 + $50 = $90, instead of the $55 you should have paid for that level of cap. This is all designed to get people to sign up for higher tiers than they really need, just to avoid paying huge penalty fees.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Jeff Rife, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re:

    If you must have your Internet connection for your job, pay for a business connection.

    They are surprisingly affordable, they are tax-deductible as a business expense (although you need to pro-rate if you use the connection for non-business uses), and none of them (not even the cable companies) have any caps.

    I regularly transfer over 2TB/month, and if I didn't want multiple static IPs, my monthly cost would be $100 for a 20Mbps/20Mbps connection.

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    One thing you have to keep in mind is that the cable companies don't want some of you as customers. They are perfectly happy to sign up the people that only use the Internet for email and light surfing yet pay $30 a month for that. They use up almost no bandwidth yet pay month after month and don't cause problems for the company. The people they want to get rid of are the 2% of customers that use 90% of their bandwidth.

    Of course our governments have slowed down competition. Here in NJ Fio's had to go town to town to get approval to install. There was a lawsuit to try to get state approval, but not sure how that worked out. Cablevision has our towns approval, but to get that, provided free Internet to our schools, our library and our town hall. After doing that, I can understand why Cablevision would fight someone else coming into our town for free. Why shouldn't they have to pay for the same things Cablevision did?

    As a Cablevision customer, they might not have caps (but then again, they just might, but I can't imagine our account is ever anywhere near it) but the service is slow. They use the famous "Up to 15 down and 2 u") phrase, but I have never tested out our speed at over 8 down (interestingly, I can get 5 up) so that up to is nice but I have never seen it. The service goes in and out also.

    $99 for voice/video/data isn't bad, when Fio's comes in I will look at it, but if a contract is required and Cablevision is still at $99, I would have no reason to switch.

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    Tom Epps, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Weird Harold

    "There is a point here where you all stop whining and start letting the market decide. If TW goes to all caps and you don't like it, MOVE to the other providers in your area. Vote with your wallets."

    Except that in my city we haven't had another option for over 30 years. No market to decide, just a monopoly.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    DG Lewis, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    WH writes..."If your neighborhood was a good business model, your phone company would install a remote CO to run DSL. Ia m suspecting that it isn't a good business model for them. have you considered forming a small company, getting service from an internet connectivity supplier and reselling it? Apparently there is a need in your end of the woods.

    Oh yeah, no 3G? no Wimax? No Dish?"

    My neighborhood is about 170 single-family homes ranging in price from $575k to $950k. I would guess that high-speed internet penetration is north of 95%. The houses that don't have cable TV have DBS; many of those have two dishes. It is a lovely place for an ISP to do business. "Business model" has nothing to do with it. It's all about politics -- NJ got kicked to the bottom of Verizon's priority list when they were fighting with the state BPU over a statewide video franchise, and our neighborhood hasn't made its way back up the list yet.

    FiOS will be there, eventually - but Verizon isn't going to invest in deploying RDSLAMs that will become irrelevant in two or three years when they get around to deploying FiOS.

    3G as a viable alternative? Don't make me laugh - I can get about 200 kb/s on my AT&T 3G wireless card. No WiMAX providers. Dish, as I said, is present for video, but satellite internet can not hold a candle to cable, FTTX, or DSL as far as capacity or latency is concerned.

    And please put away the strawman about whether or not it's "Cablevision's fault" - I never said it was; I was saying that your claim that "there are at least two alternative providers in every market" is, when examined at anything lower than the SMSA level, utter bullshit.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    Doesn't matter how funny you make it sound, metered internet service is good for the provider and is bad for the consumer.

    Some of the arguments presented against it ARE funny, ridiculous even.

    It wil become similar to the bank overdraft fees and credit card late fees, they will use it to screw you.

    You seem to be confused. Metered service is not the same as capped service. With metered service there are no caps, you just pay for what you use like with most other utilities. Thus there are no "overage" fees. Capped un-metered service, though, is another thing.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    cathybrogna, Apr 16th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    change

    That did not aswer my question. I use to connect through cable and now its broadband which takes so long.

     

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  110.  
    identicon
    Amanda Walton, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 6:07am

    Re: Metered Billing

    $75 per month for only 50GB, I get 100 GB for $60, and that was a recent upgrade from 60 GB which we went over. We don't download porn but my son watches movies online, goes to youtube and I upload pictures into my site. Any media stream will suck up your bandwidth fast. I watched last month alot of CNN's video which took alot of the usuage up too. For a year we were on Hughes satellite while we travelled in our RV and had to pay $101.00/month for 10 GB per month. We had to learn to conserve our usuage and we were homeschooling our kids and running my business with that much. Mind you no YouTube, itunes or any media stream was allowed or we'd go over in a heartbeat and would be penalized. Metered billing would not work, not in my opinion, coming from someone who was capped for a year.

     

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  111.  
    icon
    Krevco (profile), Nov 12th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Haha..yah, people WANT metered billing. I am DYING to see the study that showed this to be the case. I can think of no situation where people would WANT metered billing, unless they are incredibly light users. I wonder, do any of these limits apply to uploading? I am wondering if receiving tech support via remote pc access software would run up my quote to the limit...

     

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  112.  
    identicon
    Bryon, Feb 17th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    Pay TV

    I agree competition is needed to keep companies "honest." Since the invention of satellite though it seems competition has increased. DISH Network has been around for over 30 years and to celebrate their anniversary they are giving their existing customers free programming. I don't have to work for DISH to know that is a great thing to do in light of how many companies don't give their customers anything. Plus free HD for life for qualifying customers? Come on, competition like Cablevision is the least of DISH Network's worries with complaints like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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