Time Warner to Test Tiered Internet Access Charges
Posted on January 18, 2008The Associated Press is reporting that Time Warner Cable is going to experiment with a new pricing structure for its high-speed Internet access where heavy bandwidth users will be charged more. Those "lucky" enough to live in Beaumont, Texas will be the first to experience the trial.
Company spokesman Alex Dudley said the trial was aimed at improving the network performance by making it more costly for heavy users of large downloads. Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.Time Warner may see this as a way of "improving the network performance" but customers are going to see it as nothing more than a way to charge them more money.
Dudley said he did not know what the pricing tiers would be nor the download limits. He said the heavy users were likely using the network to download large amounts of video, most likely in high definition.
It was not clear when exactly the trial would begin, but Dudley said it would likely be around the second quarter. The tiered pricing would only affect new customers in Beaumont, not existing ones.