Time Warner Cable is starting it – soon other companies will follow. Charges for using the Internet do not just stop with getting connected. I recommend that you read the Businessweek article and learn more as this will be something that everyone will face with their service provider. I’m sure we will see more creative ways that charges are assessed as the years pass…
By Creighton Welch on Apr 01, 2009 9:39 AM
Downloading a lot of “movies” via the Internet these days? Be prepared to pay a little extra for all that high bandwidth downloading.
Businessweek reports that Time Warner Cable this summer will begin charging a premium to the heaviest broadband users in San Antonio. Austin, Rochester, N.Y., and Greensboro, N.C. also are on the list. Time Warner is supposed to start collecting data on customers’ Internet usage this month.
The plan works similar to cell phone plans, where you have to pay more if you exceed your minutes. The article says customers will be charged from $29.95 to $54.90 a month, depending on what gigabyte cap level you want. For each gigabyte over that cap level, you’ll be charged $1. A download of a high-definition movie typically eats up about 8 GB.
Time Warner has been testing the program in Beaumont, the past few months and found that 14 percent of the test group busted their limit and paid an average of $19 more per month.
UPDATE: 4/13/09 ——————————————————————————————–
Officials with the cable company said Monday they are postponing implementation of a new billing format for San Antonio and Austin customers based on Internet usage until October.
A trial program intended to charge varying rates depending on usage was slated to begin this summer. The decision to delay the meter program was prompted mostly by customer reaction, said Gavino Ramos, Time Warner’s vice president of communication for South Texas.
“What happened as we’re continuing to listen was we worked in some of the comments and ideas that got sent to us,” Ramos said. “We came to the realization, let’s do this in October.”
San Antonians have plenty to say about this “stay in execution”:
Amid resounding backlash from customers and lawmakers, Time Warner Cable said Thursday it will shelve a trial tier-based billing system for Internet users in four U.S. cities, including San Antonio and Austin. And while critics of broadband caps claimed victory after the announcement, the cable company gave no indication that it was permanently backing down from the bill-by-the-byte business model.
In fact, Time Warner plans to continue collecting usage data from customers and outfitting them with measurement tools intended to help them understand how much bandwidth they use. A Time Warner spokesman said no date has been set to resume the trials, and the company would reconsider implementing a test program that charges varying rates based on Internet usage after renewed efforts to educate customers.