Time Warner Cable Tiered Broadband Test Begins

from the if-only-there-were-competitors dept

Earlier this year, the story came out that Time Warner Cable wanted to experiment with capping its "unlimited" broadband, trying to force the heavy users to pay more. Even worse, it appeared to want to use exceptionally low caps that would discourage innovation. Despite all of the concerns, Time Warner Cable is moving forward with the test as planned.

The end result will be taking away value from customers -- not just in limiting how much bandwidth they get, but by adding a huge mental transaction cost. Basically, what Time Warner is doing, is adding a huge overhead in terms of whether or not users are willing to actually use the bandwidth they signed up for. Just the fact that people need to think about how much they're using will decrease usage significantly. While that may be what TWC wants, what it really does is annoy customers. This would never actually happen if there were real competition, but with very little competition out there, TWC can try out this plan. Any other broadband provider competing against TWC in areas where this test is going on should be hitting on the limits in any advertising campaign. TWC is free to do whatever it wants, of course, but it's never a good business move to take away features from customers -- especially if in doing so you add an annoying mental transaction fee.

Filed Under: broadband, broadband caps, cable, tiered service
Companies: time warner cable

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  1. identicon
    Brian, 3 Jun 2008 @ 2:29am

    It's definitely true that wide-spread adoption of transfer caps would significantly hurt innovation. In fact, it would be like regressing the current state of the internet as we know it. Many of the current services which we all enjoy right now will likely disappear as no one will be able to afford to use them. Businesses and investments all over the world would suffer and go to waste respectively. Jobs would be lost and children would cry. (Chill. That was a joke.)

    In the end, I think a move like this would not only hurt the Telcos in terms of angry customers cutting off their service but less overall revenue because businesses and individuals who once used the internet's various services will find other, more cost effective ways to get what they need done.

    People definitely need to put their foot down and tell these greedy douchebags to lay off. I personally pay quite a lot for my connection and am already ready to draw the line. I pay nearly twice as much for my internet connection as I pay for gas and electricity combined. I even had to bitch out and threaten to go to cable some local manager when they tried to raise my rates. If my current provider told me that they were moving me to a tiered, capped system, I'd terminate the contract and go elsewhere, and if there were no elsewhere, I'd try to do without or with the absolute minimum.

    I've done it before, and I'll do it again. Vote with your wallet, people. Write letters. Make phone call. Be annoying and make them hate living.

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