Time Warner Cable shelves bandwidth quota trials


— 6:00 AM on April 17, 2009

It looks like Time Warner Cable won't be extending bandwidth quota trials to more cities this summer as planned. In fact, the cable provider has decided to suspend the trials altogether, citing a need for "customer education" before the scheme can go forward.

Here's the word from Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt himself:

It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption based billing. As a result, we will not proceed with implementation of additional tests until further consultation with our customers and other interested parties, ensuring that community needs are being met. While we continue to believe that consumption based billing may be the best pricing plan for consumers, we want to do everything we can to inform our customers of our plans and have the benefit of their views as part of our testing process.

The announcement comes shortly after Time Warner Cable promised to raise quotas in affected areas and introduce a new $75 service with a 100GB usage limit. Folks with the previous $29.95- to $54.90-a-month services still faced monthly quotas of 10GB to 60GB, though—and going over meant paying $1 per extra gigabyte transferred.

According to eWeek, pressure from both consumers and Congress contributed heavily to Time Warner Cable's decision. Reportedly, New York Senator Charles Schumer said he "didn't want his constituents used as guinea pigs," and consumer advocacy group Free Press got folks to send 15,000 protest letters to the cable firm.

   
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