Saturday, January 19, 2008

While The Iron Is Hot

Joe.My.God.: Immediately on the heels of Apple's unveiling of their new movie download program comes word that Time Warner Cable is planning to test a new pricing model that charges broadband users based on the amount of data they download in a given month.

Under the experiment, TWC will offer customers four tiers of service starting with an introductory level that allows users to download 5 gigabytes of data per month, and steps up to 10, 20 and 40-gigabyte plans, a source said.

Connection speeds rise with the size of plan. Users who exceed their allotted data plan would be charged a still undetermined metered rate. A company rep said the average user will see no meaningful change in the speed of their connection or the amount of data they download per month. The heaviest downloaders are said to represent 5 percent of the company's user base, but can hog as much as half of the available bandwidth.

Time Warner will begin testing the new billing plan in Texas. Last year Comcast admitted to throttling the broadband signal of its users that were transferring large amounts of data.

LSB: I don't wanna sound like Chicken Little ("the sky is falling, the sky is falling"), but could this be the start of a trend among all of the ISPs? I fear it might... and with it the beginning of the downfall of the Internet? Bush and his lapdog Congress have been feeding at the trough of the telecom companies for so long that the telecom companies want payback. Limited competition and retro-active immunity for their traitorous acts to the U.S. public are just the start. Through an astronomical number of fees collected each month, surely the telecom companies have collected enough money to lay fiber-optic cables coast-to-coast many times over - enough so that the "download problem" shouldn't be a problem. If this is about the property rights of music and film companies - a legitimate concern, - then come up with the technology or a different business model for that. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy what the telecoms are trying to sell us anymore. They lie more than the politicians. This is nothing more than a money grab, pure and simple, before the crooks leave town.

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