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Time Warner Cable To Trial Data Download Pricing
More downloads will cost more $$$?
weeks




msg:3550888
 5:59 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, you're a cable TV firm looking at technology such as Apple TV and you see that your primary TV business model is going to heck in a hand basket. Very, very soon folks will get it all of their TV via the web and you'll have zero control. No HBO to sell, no ads to sell, no subscriptions. What to do?

The Associated Press is reporting this morning that:

Time Warner Cable "will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday."

The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.


[news.yahoo.com...]

The article said that the cable firm is saying that five percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.

[edited by: encyclo at 11:47 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] added link to article [/edit]

 

LifeinAsia




msg:3550948
 6:35 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am all for this (I think), as long as they also provide lower priced options for people who use amounts at the lower end of the spectrum.

The Contractor




msg:3550994
 7:16 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, you're a cable TV firm looking at technology such as Apple TV

No, where they are getting slammed is by AT&T U-Verse. Here in a specific part of Ohio is where Time Warner Roadrunner (high-speed internet access) all began (we were the test city). AT&T laid a ton of fibre and offer packages (TV and DSL) that are much cheaper. A&T didn't offer TV service until now. There are local "professional" predictions Time Warner will lose 80-95% of their current subscribers to AT&T in those areas where U-Verse is available.
I can tell you everyone I know switched to AT&T when it became available. Cable companies didn't have any real competition until now (satellite never caught on in huge numbers or in areas with bad weather). Cable companies also got away with telling customers needing service "we'll be there in a few days", well you can call AT&T and have someone out in less than an hour if your phone line is down (not so with cable…days) and the same day if TV service is not up to par (from what I've heard). Cable companies are in for a rude awakening at their business model and customer service level.

Bad thing is I moved recently and it won't be available until later this year. I currently have both Cable(TW)for Internet Access(6.7mbs) and TV, along with DSL(AT&T 3mbs) service.

borntobeweb




msg:3551004
 7:26 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many ISPs here in Canada do this already in varying degrees. One local company has an nnGB limit per month and charges $x more per 10GB over that limit, or you can pay more monthly for higher limits and higher speeds. Another one doesn't charge more if you go over their limit, but if you do it consistently they make you switch to their home office package that costs more but has higher limits.

ZydoSEO




msg:3551104
 9:12 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, at least you know if the guy down the street is sucking up all of YOUR bandwidth downloading p*rn and movies, that he is paying for it...

weeks




msg:3551105
 9:13 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Contractor, I think you make a good point--competition is a major factor. But, overall, I think the technology is changing the biz model.

engine




msg:3550933
 6:28 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.

Time Warner Cable To Trial Data Download Pricing [news.yahoo.com]

Will this finally stop the, "you've used too much bandwidth this month," cap messages?

[edited by: encyclo at 11:45 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2008]

Anolonda




msg:3550930
 6:27 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

[msnbc.msn.com...]

[edited by: encyclo at 11:45 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

blaze




msg:3551271
 12:41 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's fine.. though high bandwidth apps (torrent, secondlife, etc) will suffer greatly because of this.

However, frankly, it's a huge improvement over loss of Network Neutrality..

vincevincevince




msg:3551275
 12:54 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

So long as cable TV from Time Warner coming down the same line is billed at the same rates, I can't see a problem. i.e. someone watching 10 hours a week of Time Warner cable should have the same usage charges as someone watching 10 hours a week of Internet-based TV. Subscription charges to whichever service should then be on top.

TheRealTerry




msg:3551289
 1:27 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

F all that. Paying by the bit is nonsense. The only way that kind of pricing can be justified is if I am getting 100% of my packets through, period. That's what infuriates me about paying by the bit on cell phones. I can sit there and start downloading a web page, and my connection gets interrupted and I have to start all over again. Guess what bits I get to pay twice for. If I'm paying for bandwidth, they better not be making me redownload a single packet due to latency. How many times do you have to hit reload because an errant image timed out or your connection was funky for a bit.

I will never pay for anything but a flat rate because there is no way these service providers can ever deliver the type of bullet proof connection you'd have to have to guarantee they aren't going to just rip you off left and right. Don't buy into it, it's a scam!

dauction




msg:3551295
 1:35 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Agree with realTerry ..the Idea that they WANT to do this simply means they now they can make more money off us by bandwidth charging

..if 5% are eating up 50% of bandwidth.. then target the 5% and leave the rest of us alone

carguy84




msg:3551361
 3:50 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Haha good luck with that Time Warner. Enjoy your short term bump in earnings and your Enron-like ending.

kaz




msg:3551384
 4:49 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

With this new pricing model, would customers who have minimal (less than average) usage expect to pay less money?

dakuma




msg:3551412
 6:16 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can't help but think this will be the first step towards a "Landmine Pricing Policy". Comparing internet connection plans to cellphone plans, I use my internet connection 24/7 without fear of any hidden fees/charges. When I use my cellphone some of the things I need to consider are:

calls - duration, time of day (when outgoing)
data - amount of data I've used this billing cycle, type of data (differnt data types can be charged at different rates)
messaging - number sent this cycle
location - am I roaming?

Do we want our internet connections to resemble this in any way? Hell no! I'll pay for more pipe, but not for a Media Express Plan (includes free evenings *evenings now start at 8pm* & weekends for the first 3 months)

Angelis




msg:3551491
 8:34 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

This system is already available in the UK so it doesnt seem like much of a big deal to me. The capped packages are available at a lower cost which will hopefully happen in the US.

vincevincevince




msg:3551494
 8:38 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Angelis, the difference is that in the UK the capped packages are typically capped internet packages and nothing else. Time Warner are a cable company offering multiple services through the cable - not just internet. It seems they can find plenty of room on the cable for their own TV services... but not for anyone else's.

Angelis




msg:3551497
 8:40 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see my mistake.

Would be interesting to see the structure of the pricing method if they change it, they would have to split it by Internet and TV, you cant really make someone pay more for watching more TV than your next door neighbour surely!

The Contractor




msg:3551638
 12:54 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

In our area Time Warner is advertising heavily for a "Low Cost" solution for internet access trying to stop the bleed-off of customers to AT&T services. The trouble is they are offering "High Speed Internet Access", but the fine print shows they are capping the cable modem at 768 kbps. That won't fly when AT&T is offering 3 Mbps at the same price.
They are trying to bundle this with their TV packages to try to remain price competitive (they are still higher than AT&T for the total package). I'm glad the phone companies can finally offer TV packages as the cable companies have held a monopoly on TV services for a long time.
Verizon is also offering TV, Phone, and Internet Access that are much cheaper than the cable companies in other states.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3551655
 1:19 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Time Warner will lose 80-95% of their current subscribers
> to AT&T in those areas where U-Verse is available.

Uverse won't last a year here before it goes under. We have Uverse here and it is more expensive than TW for the same service. We are at 5meg now, and the default Uverse package is only 3meg (which is dsl). My neighbor switched a month ago and has already put in to switch back. There is going to be very little that at&t is going to grab from Time Warner. UVerse is a real step back as far as I can tell. The real competitive threat is from sat tv, where they are rushing head long to more HD channels than TW and AT&T combined.

The funny thing is AT&T will not admit on the phone that uverse is going to be delivered over DSL. They know everyone already knows that dsl can't beat cable.

I am very much in favor of ISP's charging the heaviest users for what resources they use - it only makes sense. I hope they put any extra funds into better customer support. Waiting 25mins to talk to a human, to report a problem with THEIR network, is infuriating.

thecoalman




msg:3551658
 1:31 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Placing the cost on the consumer works for me, the only thing I'm concerned about is that all sites/software or whatever else you want to run on your connection remains on an even playing field unfettered by the ISP.

The ISP's should not be allowed to offer their own services or services from other companies at enhanced speeds or discounted prices to the consumer. To do otherwise will put them or large media companies at a distinct advantage over developing comapnies and sites. The only reason I feel this way is because most broadband ISP's have a monopoly in many areas, in my area for example the same plan that I'm on is significantly less in other areas of the country where there is competition.

weeks




msg:3551721
 2:30 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Brett said:
The real competitive threat is from sat tv, where they are rushing head long to more HD channels than TW and AT&T combined.

From where I sit, this would have been true a year ago, but now the business model is changing. The number of HD channels (the number of any channels of any type) is moving to toward infinity. With firms such as Apple offering both a network and software and hardware that will allow you to download what you want when yo want it, offering "more channels" on your TV isn't going to be a sales point much longer.

You'll be able to watch Law and Order anytime you want. (No, wait--bad example, that's already true.) How about, you can watch any Law and Order episode at any time.

For real fun, watch how the sports leagues are approaching this. The NBA and the NFL and major league baseball all see this differently.

Brett_Tabke




msg:3551767
 3:30 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

> the only thing I'm concerned about is that all
> sites/software or whatever else you want to run
> on your connection remains on an even playing field

There is no reason that I can see that ISP's should be penalized for the runaway success of high bandwidth sites. If video sites and file sharing sites use the most bandwidth on an ISP to reach their customers, there is no reason that the ISP shouldn't be compensated for that fact. If ISP's get out of line with their pricing, then the market should rein them back in. I love to see competition in the ISP and "last mile" delivery markets.

agreed weeks - that OnDemand is a major perk that cable has over sat. We never go to blockbuster any more...

The Contractor




msg:3551839
 4:28 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Uverse won't last a year here before it goes under. We have Uverse here and it is more expensive than TW for the same service.

Well that cannot be said in my area by any means. U-Verse is much cheaper and the equipment included (three boxes) would cost even more to the cable user.

We are at 5meg now, and the default Uverse package is only 3meg (which is dsl). My neighbor switched a month ago and has already put in to switch back. There is going to be very little that at&t is going to grab from Time Warner. UVerse is a real step back as far as I can tell. The real competitive threat is from sat tv, where they are rushing head long to more HD channels than TW and AT&T combined.

Well I had satellite for 3 years and I can say I liked it much more than my cable. Bad thing was we get some real rain/snow storms in Ohio and satellite went out constantly even though on a clear day my dish had a 93% signal. Every time it snows I had to go out and brush off the dish as the satellite would give the ominous "searching for signal".

The funny thing is AT&T will not admit on the phone that uverse is going to be delivered over DSL. They know everyone already knows that dsl can't beat cable.

Yeah, but Verizon already offers 10meg DSL to their TV/Internet subscribers to someone we both know (toolman) at a much cheaper cost than cable/6meg access in a certain southern state. With all the fibre they are laying they can provide way beyond what cable can offer as far as speed. I see them offering 24meg access (ADSL2+) in the coming years as there are already places in the US getting that (also, look at other parts of the world that already do).

When was the last time your cable went out? When was the last time your phone/dsl went out? When you did lose service, who would be at your door addressing the problem? Face it, cable sucks when it comes to the reliability and service...heh..heh

Murdoch




msg:3552056
 8:12 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The thing that will really piss people off about paying for the amount of TV that you watch is that most people, myself included, shut the TV off when they stop watching TV, and not the actual cable box. Imagine if you had to pay for hours of television that you didn't actually watch, and how long it would take for people to get acquainted with turning off the cable box AND their television.

Am I getting this right here? Would they actually charge you for the length of time you watch TV or just if you order OnDemand like they do now?

Rugles




msg:3552115
 9:24 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Every time it snows I had to go out and brush off the dish as the satellite would give the ominous "searching for signal".

Odd, I live in Canada, due north of Ohio and I am sure that our weather can't be much different than yours.

I can count on 1 finger the number of times the weather has knocked out our satelite service in the last 3 years.

Must be your dish, or the angle your dish needs to be at... hmmm.

thecoalman




msg:3552198
 12:21 am on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

There is no reason that I can see that ISP's should be penalized for the runaway success of high bandwidth sites.

Agreed but they won't be where this is concerned, the burden falls on the consumer. The content providers are all on an even playing field, everyone's happy. :)

.... well except the people using unnecessary bandwidth swapping songs on P2P 24/7.

rushglen




msg:3552275
 5:14 am on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I live in Canada too! (Alberta), could it be that from our vantage the satellites are so low in the sky that our dishes are nearly vertical and so don't easily collect snow!


Odd, I live in Canada, due north of Ohio and I am sure that our weather can't be much different than yours.

I can count on 1 finger the number of times the weather has knocked out our satelite service in the last 3 years.

Must be your dish, or the angle your dish needs to be at... hmmm.


Brett_Tabke




msg:3552521
 3:38 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Yeah, but Verizon already offers 10meg DSL to their TV/Internet subscribers to someone we both know

That's not dsl - thats the verizon fiber service.

> The content providers are all on an even playing field, everyone's happy.

Yep, the real joy here is that there is finally some competition in the broadband ISP market.

Clark




msg:3552639
 8:33 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't hold my breath for the phone companies to save us from the crazy prices and service. Look how badly they are reaming us w/ the cellphones. Monopolies and cartels are supposed to be illegal in the U.S., but isn't it weird how all the cellphone companies mess with us in the same way?

The sales person can only help sell the phone, but when you have a problem and go in the store, they have to call the same number you do for tech support. Doesn't matter which carrier. The phones all are handicapped unless you pay more to turn on features native to your phone. Doesn't matter which carrier. They stick you with two year plans no matter who you sign up with... They all suck in similar ways. They probably get together in Davos or somewhere and discuss what strategies they will use to screw us as a team so we have no choices...

Cable feels very similar except you can't even switch away since they don't usually have more than one cable company in a particular area.

ATT will not save the day.

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