Feeds

Time Warner gives America metered internet

Choose a bandwidth cap. Any bandwidth cap

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Time Warner Cable is two days away from rolling out metered internet service in the Gulf Coast town of Beaumont, Texas.

In January, Broadband Reports leaked a Time Warner memo that discussed this "consumption based billing" trial, and yesterday, in an interview with the Associated Press, the company finally announced the details.

Beginning this Thursday, company spokesman Alex Dudley tells us, new Beaumont customers will be forced to choose a monthly bandwidth cap: 5-, 20-, or 40GB. Pricing plans will range from $29.95 a month for a 5GB cap and 768kbps download speeds to $54.90 for a 40GB cap at 15mbps. There's also a 10GB cap option, but that's only available alongside phone and TV service.

If customers exceed their bandwidth cap - which covers uploads as well as downloads - they'll be charged an extra $1 per extra gigabyte. "It's just a like a cell phone plan," Dudley says. And they can track their usage via a "gas gauge" on the company's web site.

According to Time Warner, 5 per cent of its customers eat up half the capacity on its network. And the company says the Beaumont trial is an effort to make those 5 per cent pay for their bandwidth love.

That internal memo indicated this trial would determine whether the company rolls out metered service nationwide. But Dudley wouldn't discuss future plans. "Anything is possible," he told us. "But right now, this is just a trial. We're hoping to get some good data and good customer feedback and see what folks think of the plan before we make any other decisions."

In post dial-up America, metered net service is new territory. American ISPs do have bandwidth caps, but typically, they keep them secret. We would argue that well-defined caps are a good thing.

That said, Time Warner's Beaumont caps are on the low side. If you saddle some users with a 5GB monthly cap at 768kbps, you're targeting more than just extreme bandwidth lovers. Comcast is also mulling a bandwidth cap, but it's thinking 250GB. ®

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

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
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.
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.