Time Warner tests Internet usage-based billing

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by eastside, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Where would real-time trade data fall as far as bandwidth usage goes ??? Proabably pretty high I would guess.

    I'm not too technical in this area so if any of you gurus out there know, any info is appreciated. Thank you.


    Time Warner tests Internet usage-based billing

    Company said it will try new billing with subscribers in Beaumont, Texas

    By Yinka Adegoke

    updated 2 hours, 40 minutes ago

    NEW YORK - Time Warner Cable Inc said on Wednesday it is planning a trial to bill high-speed Internet subscribers based on their amount of usage rather than a flat fee, the standard industry practice.

    The second largest U.S. cable operator said it will test consumption-based billing with subscribers in Beaumont, Texas later this year as a part of a strategy to help reduce congestion of its network by a minority of consumers who pay the same monthly fee as light users.

    The company believes the billing system will impact only heavy users, who account for around 5 percent of all customers but typically use more than half of the total network bandwidth, according to a company spokesman.

    Slowing network congestion due to downloading of large media files such as video is a growing problem for Time Warner Cable. The company said the problem will worsen as video downloading becomes more popular.

    But the move could prove controversial. Unlike with utility bills such as the phone or electricity, which have traditionally been based on usage, U.S. high-speed Internet subscribers have come to expect a fixed monthly charge. An Internet bill typically only varies based on the speed of the consumer's Internet access.

    Time Warner Cable, which has 7.4 million residential Internet subscribers, is hoping the move will not confuse consumers if introduced nationwide and is planning a trial period.

    "Largely, people won't notice the difference," said the Time Warner Cable spokesman. "We don't want customers to feel they're getting less for more." News of Time Warner Cable's plans was originally leaked on an online industry forum BroadbandReports.com.

    Other cable operators may follow Time Warner Cable's lead and phone companies such as Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc are likely to be watching the New York-based cable operator's plans.

    As U.S. consumers have become more used to streaming and downloading digital media over the Web, their Internet service providers have started to come under pressure to be able to keep up with growing demand in a cost-effective manner.

    Comcast Corp, the largest cable operator with around 13 million Internet subscribers, has been accused by consumer groups of blocking Web traffic moving across its networks, prompting a notice of inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this week.

    Comcast denies it blocks any Internet traffic saying it uses bandwidth management technology to help improve the customer experience but which may slow down some file transfers.
  2. Being a TW user, this could be bad news. Not sure how intense intraday data is, but it could be one of those 'top 5%' people...
  3. If cable does this, I wonder if DSL would then follow ?? Or maybe it works different with the phone line in that your usage doesn't affect others, I'm not sure.
  4. Agreed. Once they get people used to the idea of billing "heavy users", it is a short step to billing for every download. No doubt this is a monopoly market where users don't have an alternative. Leave it to cable companies to come up with new ways to screw their customers.
  5. Bad news for traders who get streaming market data.
  6. The question is - is streaming market data one of those things that push you into a high download area? I have no idea.

    I know downloading movies and such is intensive (as the link mentions) but not sure about streaming data... is it more like web surfing or more like downloading movies/apps?
  7. Yes that is the question if anyone knows...also does DSL work the same way as cable as far as bandwidth use is concerned ???
    Anyone Anyone :D
  8. Time Warner may shed AOL unit and cable


    Bewkes added that Time Warner is holding discussions about changes in the ownership level of Time Warner Cable, a separately traded stock that Time Warner currently owns an 84% stake in.

    He said that the current ownership structure of Time Warner Cable is "less than optimal for both companies" and that Time Warner will make a decision about what to do with Time Warner Cable by the time the company reports its first quarter earnings in May.


    I think it would be great if TW got rid of their cable division. Ever since they took over my Adelphia services, it's been terrible. The customer service is next to none and with their idea of charging per usage, I'd be happy with a new company that focused on cable.

    I had great service with Adelphia. Too bad they were embezzling or whatever the problem was there.
  9. No fool, dsl wont follow.

    Dsl users have their own independent lines. They never have to worry about hogging the bandwidth of others.
    #10     Feb 6, 2008