More users with Time Warner Cable broadband will have to watch their bandwidth before long. BusinessWeek reports that the cable firm will soon expand bandwidth quota trials to Austin and San Antonio, Texas, alongside Rochester, New York and Greensboro, North Carolina.
The cable firm will start monitoring bandwidth use in Rochester and the Texan cities in April, with consumption-based billing to take effect "later this summer." The change will happen earlier in Greensboro, although BusinessWeek doesn't say when.
Apparently, Time Warner Cable plans to stick with the tier-based billing system it tested in Beaumont, Texas last year: quotas will range from 5GB for the cheapest tier to 40GB for the $54.90-per-month service. Customers who go over their monthly limit will have to pay $1 per additional gigabyte transferred.
Interestingly, BusinessWeek says only 14% of users in the first trial area actually went over their quota, although they did have to pay a surcharge averaging $19 a month. Another report by Ars Technica claims "other major ISPs" only see users consume 2-6GB of data a month on average. That article suggests Time Warner Cable may be more interested in keeping customers tuned into its cable TV services (which face competition from online services like Hulu) than dealing with excessive bandwidth use.