Time Warner quotas to spread to more cities

Bad news for Time Warner Cable customers. According to Alley Insider, the cable firm has revealed plans to expand bandwidth usage restriction trials to more cities this year. Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs reportedly broke the news during the company’s fourth-quarter results call yesterday.

The trials kicked off last summer in the Beaumont, Texas area, where users have to deal with quotas ranging from 5GB to 40GB per month depending on their service tier. (Last we heard, the 40GB quota applied to the $54.90-a-month, 15Mbps service, while the 5GB limit covered the cheaper 768Kbps tier).

Folks who go over have to cough up an extra $1 per gigabyte per month, which can ramp up costs quite quickly—especially considering the increasing amount of high-definition streaming video around the web. At a full 15Mbps, it should only take about six hours of non-stop downloading to reach the 40GB limit.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 11 years ago

    Commonly called the ‘foot in the door technique’ in psychology comes full circle.

    • psyclone
    • 11 years ago

    This is a shot at NETFLIX as well. Part of the reason TWC is doing this is to KILL the NETFLIX instant movie download business and make you pay for premium releases from TMC.

    Bush wouldn’t know a GB from a terrorist, maybe someone in the Obama administration will see this for what it is, a MONOPOLY trying to drive a possible competitor for some of their revenue stream out of business.

    • potatochobit
    • 11 years ago

    I have been using time warner for a while now and I live in Texas
    Service is pretty good in Dallas, I also had it half the time I lived in Austin
    but if they cap my internet I’ll have to cut my girlfriend’s cable when I switch ISP as well, :eyespin:
    it would be nice if FiOS would be available in my area soon

    • v_guru1
    • 11 years ago

    Sounds like internet 2 is becoming a reality — sorry to here that the net is being taken over by these pirates taking us for all were worth. Any good ISP who has lost its market share should take of all restrictions and advertise it heavily. Also STOP USING THE BAND WITH FOR THAT BAD VOiP it takes down the network and is a bandwidth hog

    • gtoulouzas
    • 11 years ago

    That is… insane! And it will heavily interfere with the commercial viability of iptv. I have sometimes used up twice that in a single week. Good thing I get to have an actual *flatrate* 24mbits adsl2 connection with my 30 euros of monthly fees (I’m in Greece).

    • Suspenders
    • 11 years ago

    Not only is this bad for consumers, it’s bad for society as a whole as well, as it kills any future business/innovation that might have occurred with ever improving internet infrastructure. Let’s hope it doesn’t catch on with the other providers.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Who cares?! Long-term thinking is dead in American capitalism. It’s not just about profits or good profits, but absolutely maximizing profits, and all that matters is the next few quarters.

        • Suspenders
        • 11 years ago

        Sad but true. The power of monopoly allows them to pursue rent seeking, rather than innovation as a means of squeezing out profits.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 11 years ago

    wow at that rate id owe half a grand easy each month 🙁

    • Imperor
    • 11 years ago

    I feel really sorry for you guys living in the fascist part of the world!
    I just got boosted from 40/8 to 60/20, no cost added and with no limitation!
    That’s Sweden for ya’! Home of the Pirate Bay!
    Sets me back about $50/month with phone included…
    Even if I want to flee this cold damned place sometimes there are a few things wotrh staying for! Like the unlimited supply of hot chicks, cheap internet and the world’s least religious people! Except for the freakin’ cold winters and among the world’s highest taxes (which do actually pay for a lot!) it’s a perfect place to live!

      • jstern
      • 11 years ago

      Sounds like a cool place, because it’s extremely hard to find any hot chicks around where I live, plus it would be cool to have cheaper internet. Around where I live today, 20 degrees, so damn cold today,I hate it, but if only there were hot chicks.

      • kvndoom
      • 11 years ago

      Need a roommate? 🙁

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    40GB/month MAX?? 5GB/month???

    You could break that latter cap just purely BROWSING.

    Ridiculous. I thought Comcast’s 250GB/mo cap was annoying but fair. This <40GB/mo garbage is absurd.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    this is a load of bull, sorry this is just a rip. if they want they can come down on people torrenting illegal stuff but i download tons of stuff legit, just to think if i put steam on a new computer and install like half of my catalog I’d use up my month bandwidth. that is crap.

    • Lazier_Said
    • 11 years ago

    I understand bandwidth isn’t free.

    But these fine print, unadvertised quotas – with no tools provided to control or even measure usage – are just plain sleazy.

    At $1 / gb and a 15 Mbps line, a good DDOS could cost the victim a hundred bucks a day.

    • highlandr
    • 11 years ago

    Man, part of me WISHES I could get 40 Gigs a month out of my ISP. Instead, they BLAME me when their network gets slow, rather than realize that they need to upgrade their backbone.

    As soon as my yearly contract is up, I’m switching.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I have Shaw up here in the Great White North, and around christmas it got really slow for anything BT. I got really suspicious that they were testing out traffic shaping (confirmed by this §[<http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/01/how-canadian-isps-throttle-the-internet.ars<]§ ) so I ran that MeasurementLab test against my ISP and found it was totally true. Oddly enough, about 4 days later they stopped shaping BT and it's running fine now. If they ever restrict me to an unreasonable cap rate, I'll cancel my service, which has been going for around 11ish years now Continuously.

      • _Sigma
      • 11 years ago

      I’m a Shaw user too. If you set encryption on your torrents it’s way better. They just upgraded me for free to 7.5 down for $5 less a month, so I’m not complaining! 🙂

        • DrDillyBar
        • 11 years ago

        Turned on encryption long ago 🙂

      • p645n
      • 11 years ago

      I’m also with Shaw & had problems around XMAS. The cause of my very slow connections was a conflict between uTorrent & NOD32. If you dig around out that’s a well documented problem with a simple fix.

    • Smurfer2
    • 11 years ago

    I thought 250GB from Comcast was high enough to not interfere. (I still detest it….) But, 40GB on a 15mbit line? Seriously, that makes the increased speed meaningless…

    P.S. 250GB is hard to over legally, though 40GB is not…

      • Lord.Blue
      • 11 years ago

      What about all those new streaming video services like Netflix over X-Box Live? They offer HD streaming, so watching movies, or TV shows over that could get nasty if they implement that in any area where people have those services. Even 250gb would be easy to go over with these services. I hope the cable companies figure out what they are going to do, and that it’s something other than this.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        Most HD movies are around 7-10GB, aren’t they? That would be 25 movies a month on the 250 plan. That’s still alot.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    just send my bill to Earthlink. They go through TWC. Whats the point of the speeds anyway? I barely get 1.5mbit these days while i am paying for 10mbit…unless i watch hi def vids at 3 am. TWCs overall performance is below subpar.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Not only are they adding a cap, but the have raised prices AND lowered the quality within the last few weeks (at least in LA). Numerous reports on DSL reports are complaining about evening speed and latency with no Time Warner response.

    • ScythedBlade
    • 11 years ago

    Now, Verizon can advertise:

    Not only is DSL and Fiber better … we don’t cap!

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    Now I’m starting to feel better being on DSL all these years when friends constantly flaunt their super giga-fat cable pipes in my face. I’ll be saying “Enjoy it while it lasts.” from now on.

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    I’d switch in a flash to a slower, unlimited service from another ISP. I don’t need crazy speed, but I do download a lot and even 40GB is definitely pushing it.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      I did. I was using a 10Mb line from Rogers (up here in Canada), but they whined and whined about me downloading more than 10gigs worth of stuff a month (ok, slight exageration. It was a bit more than that).

      I switched to a dsl line, which unfortunatetly only gives me 500Kb download, which is sloooooow. But, I’ve come close to their 200GB share limit, and they haven’t said a word to me about it. They’re a keeper.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        How much crap do you download?

        • S_D
        • 11 years ago

        200GB in a month?!?!?

        Why do people think that ISPs can afford to provide 100’s of GBs of data transfer in a month for only $40 or whatever it is. Do people not realise how much the backbone infrastructure that provides that kind of transfer actually costs? It’s just not a realistic demand.

        Here in the UK quotas are a fact of life. We pay for a service and we know what we’re getting. Sorry, but I don’t buy into the whole ‘I downloaded GB’s a month without even realising it’. At the end of the day providing this bandwidth costs $$$ (or £££ depending where you live) and that cost has to be met by the consumer.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          We pay for a service that’s misleadingly advertised with fine print astericks details and TOS that are long and in complicated legal-ese.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            Oh I forgot to say a TOS that can be changed at any time as well. I’m honestly not even sure how that’s legal in a contract. I guess it must be because it’s in the contract that the user accepts (but who actually reads the whole thing?) but it’s not exactly a negotiated contract it’s take it or leave it.

          • Joshvar
          • 11 years ago

          I shouldn’t know, or care, as a consumer how much it costs to produce something. I should only know what I’m paying, and what I’m receiving.

          Effectively what a cap says is you can use your maximum bandwidth for x minutes per month, somewhat like a typical cellular plan, but it’s not marketed like that. It’s *[<15Mb/s for $39.95 per month!!!!!<]* in letters the size of your TV/billboard/etc. Not something like 40GB per month for $39.95, which is effectively what they're selling now. BTW, that's only ~6 hours at full bore. Jesus.

          • swaaye
          • 11 years ago

          I’d like to think that technological progress is being made and that’s why they can offer higher speed grades. But that’s not the case.

          Instead what I think is really happening is they are stretching their infrastructure to the limits for max subscribers while figuring out new ways to sneak in limitations. They come up with new speed tiers that they can’t realistically support without limits. It’s not progress and the cost of service just keeps going up while you are really getting less value for your $$ than you did years ago.

    • d2brothe
    • 11 years ago

    Dear Time Warner,

    CC: All other ISPs.

    We hate you.

    Regards,
    Your customers.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    So how do we tell which cities are affected? I don’t see a list anywhere in the link, and since my apartment is subscribed to TWCNY, I’d like to be aware if this affects me in the near future so that I can avoid being slapped with charges.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    They will be hurting themselves in the long run. If they have competition in those areas, they will lose customers. Keep on with the **AA fellatio, see where it gets you.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      Haha, a cable company having competition. That’s a good one.

        • kvndoom
        • 11 years ago

        DSL, maybe? There really does need to be a better broadband infrastructure in the US, though.

          • Imperor
          • 11 years ago

          Absolutely, I get 60/20 with DSL!!!

        • funko
        • 11 years ago

        fios is doing well against cable

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 11 years ago

          In what, all 10 cities it’s in?

          I live in what I would consider a mid-sized University town (about 100,000 people), and our only options are Comcast, DSL, or really crappy wireless internet. AT&T and Verizon are supposed to be laying down fiber, but it’s going to be at least another year.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      that’s a big IF.
      don’t americans just love monopolies?

    • NeronetFi
    • 11 years ago

    This is going to hurt online video rental services like Netflix.

    • Fighthouse
    • 11 years ago

    what about the users who aren’t knowledgeable to secure their wireless networks? This is not very well thought out on TW’s part. If they do this, I will DEFINITELY be canceling my service.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Less and less of a problem, fortunately. Seems like all new networking equipment these days at least comes with at least 64-bit WEP enabled and a default key printed on the unit. That’s sufficient to prevent casual drive-by browsing.

        • Fighthouse
        • 11 years ago

        Tell that to the 5 open networks I can detect from my home

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Okay. How do I find your home, and do you keep any guns or large animals?
          >:-))

          Edit: I did say “less and less” of a problem, not a gone problem, and how do you know that all of those networks were left open unintentionally?

            • Suspenders
            • 11 years ago

            Well, I leave mine open intentionally. If someone needs to use the internet, they’re welcome to.

    • Captain Ned
    • 11 years ago

    This is all about TW trying to force people to buy cable TV programming instead of getting it as data through the ‘Net.

      • Inkling
      • 11 years ago

      good call

    • marvelous
    • 11 years ago

    per month? That would suck.

      • Preyfar
      • 11 years ago

      This will royally screw over familes, people with kids, people who use steam or those with unsecured wireless. It’s far, far too easy to download gigs and not even realize it. Trust me, I lived in Kyrgyzstan where it was $60 per gig of download. And a gig is gone before you know it (websites with auto-playing video ads, I’m lookin’ at you!).

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