Thursday, January 17, 2008

Time Warner will test charging for excess Internet use, in a Texas city

In 2007 there were media stories of people getting cut off from cable Internet service for too much broadband use (usually several movies a day); this can become a bigger problem as high definition increases. There were also stories of people getting cut off for calling customer service excessively.

Time Warner Cable will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas (on the Gulf Coast, about 100 miles east of Houston) where high speed Internet customers are billed by use, in certain tiers, after the exceed certain thresholds. The practice will start in the Second Quarter of 2008. The story on USA Today is called "Time Warner tests billing by Web use," and the link is here. Stratification of customer use apparently showed that about 5% of the customers in that area accounted for 50% of the capacity.

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