Feeds

Time Warner moots billing based on bandwidth usage

Worth watching

Top three mobile application threats

Time Warner Cable is experimenting with a high-speed internet service that would bill customers based on the amount of bandwidth they consume rather than by flat fee.

The trial is somewhat modest, at least at first. It will begin later this year and is limited to subscribers in Beaumont, Texas, according to Reuters. It is part of strategy to reduce network congestion at Time Warner, the No. 2 cable provider in the US.

Caps and other limitations on network traffic has become a hot button issue over the past few years. Comcast has emerged as the poster child for critics after subscribers complained of Kafka-esque usage caps on the amount of bandwidth they can consume. Comcast also stands accused of terminating customers' BitTorrent sessions, a claim the cable operator steadfastly denies.

Time Warner's foray has already been greeted with skepticism. Bandwidth has come to be viewed with the same sense of entitlement as air and water, and any move to change that isn't likely to be viewed favorably by advocates of net neutrality, who might argue that the tiered billing will penalize people who use bandwidth hogging streaming services or voice over internet protocol applications.

Aside from those issues, it's still not clear if this is simply a ploy by Time Warner to grab more money by charging its most active users higher fees. It will be interesting to know if the provider will discount the rates of subscribers whose usage is relatively modest.

To give Time Warner its due, the operator says that five per cent of its users consume more than half its bandwidth. Assuming that's true, a tiered billing system that, unlike Comcast, clearly lays out the usage caps would be one way for service providers to cope with the growing appetite for bandwidth. We're not sure this experiment is noble, but it's worth watching. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.