Time Warner Cable Is Ready For A 'Conversation' About Rising Costs, But Not The One You Want To Have

from the choose-your-friends dept

It's no secret that lots of internet users hate the idea of metered broadband. It adds serious mental transaction costs in using the internet ("will watching this movie actually cost me lots of money in overage fees?") and generally limits innovation by limiting what you can do online. On top of that, there's little evidence that such metered bandwidth is necessary (contrary to the claims of marketing people, when you talk to the tech people, they don't see any real congestion problems). However, the broadband providers absolutely love the caps because they basically allow them to make more money without having to actually invest in expanding their infrastructure.

So it's interesting to see that Time Warner Cable has set up a site, called Time Warner Cable Conversations, which they claim is a conversation with consumers about how to "fight rising costs." Except... they really only want the conversation to be about rising costs caused by what the TV networks charge to carry the channels. If you want to talk about fighting rising costs by arguing against broadband metering, well, too bad. The whole site is moderated and limited and it appears that only conversations about TV networks and such are allowed. That's not much of a "conversation" now, is it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Alana (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:20am

    I'm in NZ and I have metered broadband.

    It sucks. In my-- a customer's-- opinion, it sucks.

    That is all.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    DataShade (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:51am

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Titania Bonham-Smythe (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    This is reminiscent of the Department for Education consultation that's currently running in the UK regarding options for censorship "to protect the children". It doesn't ask whether censorship should happen, it asks which variety of censorship you want.

    https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations/a00211052/paren tal-internet-controls

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Metered internet sucks massively, a complete money grab and unhelpful.

    Time Warner

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    relghuar, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:03am

    discussion

    Of course it's a discussion!
    It's exactly the kind of discussion they want everyone to have. Any other kind is simply not worth having! (meaning: can't bring them more easy money)

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:04am

    Metering costs

    If you talk to the tech people in telecoms then what they have been saying for years is that the major cost is the cost of the metering - which they predict will in time exceed the cost of the service itself.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    anon, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:06am

    Fiber

    I think all of those people now struggling to keep there internet usage under there limit will eventually have other options with Google fiber being released. If anything all of the big players are going to have a mad rush to install more fiber so they can compete because there prices and infrastructure, which has had billions of money invested by the government is just not capable of supplying what Google can.

    It is really good when competition shows how the existing networks have been ripping people off.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:06am

    Poor TWC

    "While were working to reach an agreement, we think its wrong for Fox to hold Padres games hostage putting fans in the middle of our business negotiations. But with Fox playing hardball, Time Warner Cable has to hang tough."


    We too are working hard to reach an agreement with Google. We think its wrong for Time Warner Cable to impose unnecessary bandwidth caps and hold our bandwidth hostage, putting their greed above our service. While you play hardball we will encourage Google to move into our service area.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    DataShade (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:24am

    The desire to lockdown the conversation isn't really that hard to understand.

    Cable company vs. FOX is kind of like Alien vs. Predator - on one hand, you enjoy watching because they're both terrible, and the more damage they do to each other the better; but on the other hand, you take whatever shots you can at them because, at the end of the day, they're fighting over who gets to eat you.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:39am

    so it's a totally one-sided exercise then? about normal for any of the entertainment industries. discuss how they can rip customers off further and make more money or move along. nothing new here!

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Overvalued content

    It all starts with overvalued content. The Padres want to squeeze more from the fans who don't want to pay the ticket prices so they watch the games at home. The response is for the Padres to charge Fox more, then Fox charges TWC more, then TWC wants to explain why it wants to charge the fans more.

    End result - more cable cutting. Fans decide to pay less on their own terms.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Re:

    "All respondents are in favor of censorship."

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    Re: Metering costs

    Metering costs is just another brick in the wall for micro-transactions: The cost of administrating. You need an incredible amount of automatisation. Before such systems exist and the tax-legislation can support it, micro-transactions are just not worth it in many cases!

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re:

    Yes but how can you indicate that you are not in favour of censorship?

    Or are they just assuming that the whole of the UK is against censorship unless they respond? (I think not)

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    Do they provide an accurate method of measurement?
    If so, do they charge for its use?

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:49am

    Re: Poor TWC

    Well yeah, except they aren't negotiating with Google. Google has all the bandwidth they need. It's a question of what bandwidth you are willing to pay for. There are two ends of the deal, and TW only gets paid for one.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Eric (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:54am

    You have to consider what they think of those who sign up for only Time Warner's internet. Do their opinions not matter, but those who want cable TV do?

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They do not care a lick about the people who do not respond. Since the conversation is weighted wholly in favor of those who support censorship (or can't be bothered to have an informed opinion) then they can safely say that everyone they talked to was in favor os some kind of censorship.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Slime Warner better not pull this Metered Krap in Portland, Maine !!!
    If at all possible ( probably no competition) I would have to drop their service.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    ASTROBOI, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Hypermileing?

    When gas was even more expensive than it is now the sport of hypermileing got a lot of attention. Will we now experience "hyperdownloading" and learn new skills to maximise the increasingly expensive bandwidth? Here are a few work-arounds I see as promising: Aggressively block all web ads as well as unnecessary parts of pages. No "suggestions" or "recommendations" no "other articles you might like", no grey overlays with pop-up "welcome" and "take a survey" boxes, in fact nothing but the article you wish to read. And block all the pointless stock photos, carelessly drawn graphics and video clips that simply say what is already in the text.

    And replace streams with their overhead and buffering problems with free downloads of a known size. Download divx or mp4 formats and forget HD files. Turn off those auto-update pages that refresh endlessly as well as redirecting pages.

    I think you will find that efforts to trim bandwidth will cause users to do a lot of things that the content providers do not want them to do. But faced with overcharges, I'll dump ads and clutter first. Will advertisers oppose caps or just devise new scripts to make advert deletion more difficult?

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    R, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    The problem isn't metered usage - we have that in Australia, and it's never been particularly problematic, with some quotas exceeding 1TB.
    The problem is the *increase* in costs. If they were introducing metered usage in a manner that reduced costs, there would be a great deal fewer complaints.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    I don't know what kind of margins they are making in NZ, but I do recognize that it is a special case being really far from any internet trunk.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    Leave a comment on Time Warner's site explaining your disappointment anyways. Even if it doesn't make it through moderation, someone will read it and it will clutter up their system. Let them know that no one is fooled by their spin.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    and especially complain about anti-competitive laws that benefit them.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Lines

    I want to point out to everyone that the ONLY reason we get rising cable costs is that greedy broadcast companies like Viacom keep asking service providers for more and more money to use their signals to broadcast their shows.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    lcdude, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    data caps

    This sucks bigtime! I have Broadband2Go and it's $1.50 per megabyte. Go ahead do the math for 5gig a month usage.

    I say file a complaint with the FCC and FTC for fraud.

    Google Fiber should teach them all do not lie about bandwidth.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    The same Time Warner culture that trys to stack the deck of any political discussion they ever had in public?

    I am shocked, shocked.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re: Lines

    And if you believe that, I have a couple of bridges for sale as well as some beautiful ocean front property in New Mexico.....

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    arrow101 (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 7:17am

    or the fact the lobbied the state of NC to make municipal fiber illegal, after the town of Wilson distributed their own cheaper network connection to the web

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    J. cAFFEY, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    taking channel 2 away / rising costs

    If, TWC takes channel 2 away, then why would we need cable if we cannot watch our favorite local channels? Local channels should never be threatened. So if that happens and we have to drop the cable, will we be penalized (the consumer). This makes no sense to me.

    We shop for items and pay for it. I buy a pair of shoes I get one right and one left pair of the same shoe. With cable, we cannot choose what we want to pay for. I pay for sports channels I never watch. I pay for a higher teir just to watch one channel. It is fair? WHY? Now I understand why my two daughters do not have cable. They have internet, apple TV, Hulu and Neflex and they are quite happy. Are we all going to be forced to chose other options?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Lsiplin, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 5:08pm

    Common TWC
    Your basic charges are exorbatant and way ridiculous. It is a shame that you and CBS are so money hungry that you subject your clients to your political, greedy b.s.
    I am going to check into other cable stations and be informed if I can get better service, reduced rates and not as many fu----- infomercials for the ridiculous amount I pay you monthly. Further, what about SENIOR CITIZENS who have supported your organization for far too many years and yet no consideration for their senior plights. The thanks we get are elevated costs for services.
    Like I said, I will be shopping around for better service while you all haggle over power and money.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This