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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Shohat, 3 Jun 2008 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Idiots Vs Engineers.. BIG gap...

    Cable company shills ? I'm on the other side of the world, mate. I don't need the money, or care about Time Warner or tiered Internet access.
    Internet access measured only in bandwith is stupid. If we had to stick to that model (which we did up until now, and then ISPs suddenly realised some people download *nix distros and HD media and started disconnecting people), It'd logical to cap access at around 20 Kbs, and not 1.5 Mbps.
    Here's math :
    20Kbs = 72 MB/hour
    =~50GB a month.
    This is what happens when a user uses just 20Kbps.

    Now let's assume the same user goes from dial-up to low-end broadband with 1Mbps.
    = 2.5TBit a month

    So, instead of sending the users back to 20Kbps dial-up speed due to inability to deliver 2.5TB/user, they do this.

    As I see it, it would actually create more competition because ISPs have a lot of flexibility with deifining tier/caps for their programs (unlike bandwidth), and users will finally get full disclosure, instead of super-fine print .

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.