Feeds

Time Warner gives America metered internet

Choose a bandwidth cap. Any bandwidth cap

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?