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The Internet Businesses Communications

Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150 479

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the super-size-me dept.
unr3a1 writes to tell us that Time Warner Cable has responded to the massive criticism of its new plan to cap user bandwidth with a new pricing model. Users will be given a grace period in which to assess their pricing tier. The "overages" will be noted on their bill, allowing them to change either their billing plan or their usage patterns. "On top of a 5, 10, 20, and 40-gigabyte (GB) caps, the company said this week that it would offer an additional 100GB tier for heavy users. Prices (so far) would range from $29.95 to $75.00 a month, with users charged an extra dollar for every GB more they download, although that charge is also capped at $75. An 'unlimited' bandwidth plan, therefore, tops out at $150."
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Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150

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  • Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guga31bb (841932) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:48PM (#27534689)

    -Comment about lack of competition
    -Comment about poor quality of US bandwidth relative to other countries

    What did I miss?

    • by EdZ (755139)
      - Obligatory note that broadband in the UK is even worse.
      • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:54PM (#27534773)

        Obligatory observation that having the perspective that someone happens to have it worse still doesn't change the fact that these guys suck.

        • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:59PM (#27534823)

          Oblig comment about how those $150 dollar/month heavy users will likely still be throttled anyway, regardless of any promises or assurances the company is going to make to the contrary.

          • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Interesting)

            by halber_mensch (851834) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:28PM (#27535265)

            Oblig comment about how those $150 dollar/month heavy users will likely still be throttled anyway, regardless of any promises or assurances the company is going to make to the contrary.

            Oblig comment about likely all unlimited users' information will make it into the hands of the MPAA/RIAA, who will conclude that the only way a user could use that much bandwidth is if they were pirating copyrighted content.

      • by thermian (1267986)

        - Obligatory note that broadband in the UK is even worse.

        Rubbish. I pay £12 for an unlimited 8mb connection. Really unlimited, we have caned it for three years now, sometimes over 200Gb a month, and its been fine.

        • Re:Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

          by nizo (81281) * on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:32PM (#27535331) Homepage Journal

          Really unlimited, we have caned it for three years now...

          Now I know what my problem is; I haven't beaten my internet connection often enough.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nabsltd (1313397)

          Even 200GB/month is nowhere near testing "unlimited" on an 8Mbps line. It's only 600Kbps (or about 7.5% utilization), continuously.

          3200Kbps is what I have my BitTorrent client limit set at during the "I'm likely to be doing something else that I don't want delayed" times.

          I've averaged about 6.5Mbps over the course of the last few months, which is about 2TB/month. Most of that is upload...I only download about 200GB/month. And, I'm still using only about 4% of my download and less than 40% of my upload ba

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What did I miss?

      Obligatory conspiracy theory about how the info of unlimited-bandwidth account holders will be faxed to RIAA lawyers and their private investigators.

    • by aaandre (526056)

      You missed the fact that both types of comments are relevant to the situation.

      I doubt that TW & Comcast would be jumping on the charge/per/kilobyte model so quickly if they hadn't monopolized and divided the market.

      What are our options for alternative providers? Any suggestions for the LA Westside area?

    • You missed... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:24PM (#27535935) Homepage Journal

      Obligatory mention of 1996 Telecommunications Act that these fuckers still have yet to deliver upon, and it's past their deadline. What did we give out 200 billion for, again? To get screwed over?

      This would be a perfect FML post from our citizens as a collective whole.

      "Today, We paid $200 billion to the telecom companies to deliver bidirectional 45mbit internet and 500 channels to our houses. They told us to fuck off, capped our data rates, charged us more, and sold our asses out to the NSA. FML."

  • WOW (Score:4, Funny)

    by qoncept (599709) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:48PM (#27534695) Homepage
    What an awesome deal!
    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cabjf (710106) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:51PM (#27534735)
      "We'll give you the same access you have now, just for three times the cost."

      Well, I guess they finally figured out how to make pirates pay. And the artist still gets no money.
      • Irritating, isn't it? I wouldn't mind the caps so much if there were a nominal increase in speed. Gimme a synchronous 20Mb line and I'd be OK with that.

      • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

        by QuantumRiff (120817) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:04PM (#27535737)

        Coming soon, Telco Definitions..

        Instead of 800 Minutes a month (every call rounded up to nearest minute)
        they are going to release:
        40 GB A MONTH*

        *All transfers rounded up to nearest Gigabyte..

    • Re:WOW (Score:5, Funny)

      by cjb658 (1235986) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:29PM (#27535993) Journal

      I'm getting a way better deal than this. 6Mbps down/512 up, unlimited bandwidth, and it's $45/mo. My ISP is Time Warner.

      Oh shit...

  • Anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:49PM (#27534713) Homepage

    Is there anyone who didn't see this coming?

    First they whine that unlimited is not unlimited. Then they put a number on what 'unlimited' is, and change the contract that you had already signed. Then they decide that they can actually give you the service you originally signed up for, but only if you pay them $150 more.

    • by bwcbwc (601780)

      You forgot
      4. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
      5. ??
      6. Profit!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CityZen (464761)

      They built out some infrastructure, put out some plans, then people starting signing on.

      As the system fills up, they have two choices:
      -build out more infrastructure, sign up more people
      -jack up prices (and hope to keep signing people up)

      The short-term plan is easier to "sell" to stockholders, most likely.

    • Re:Anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dave562 (969951) on Friday April 10, 2009 @06:04PM (#27537371) Journal

      So you mean to tell me that things change? Holy I-Ching Batman! The providers are becoming more transparent and letting you know what you will get depending on what you pay. Up until a year or two ago, an "unlimited" connection really was unlimited. For most subscribers, it still is unlimited. Only the people out there on the cutting edge are bumping up against the caps. There is finally enough content available that people are able to tax their connections nearly full time. Being asked to pay $150 a month for truly unlimited internet access isn't that bad of a deal.

      I'm only thirty, but I'm already having an old man moment here. I don't think a lot the people posting on Slashdot realize how far technology has come. I remember connecting to the internet at 14400. I remember connecting to BBSes at 2400 baud and being able to type faster than the connection could echo back the characters. Busy signals were a constant problem. Swapping 1.44MB worth of data took over an hour (at 2400 baud). If you dialed outside of your LATA, you had to pay toll charges. Compared to back then (get off my lawn!), we're in a totally different world. The amount of content that is available nearly instantenously is mind boggling. Until I discovered ways around things, I was spending hundreds of dollars a month in phone charges to get the same kind of software that I can get from the Pirate Bay... and that was in the mid-1990s.

      The term "entitlement generation" has reached my ears from time to time, and discussions like this one serve to highlight the truth of the matter. Where the hell do you people think all of this capability comes from? Do you think that the cable company just plugs in a router, and all of a sudden "the Internet" just works? I wonder how many network engineers Time Warner employees. I wonder how much those guys make a year. How about field techs? Customer service operators? Sales reps? How much do they have to pay in property taxes and electricity to keep their CO's running?

      Here's a dose of reality for everyone. If you don't like the prices, don't pay them. If you can do without, do without. If you can't, suck it up and deal with it. You don't need a 10mb+ pipe to get on the Internet. Spend $25 a month and get a DSL line and you won't have to worry about bandwidth caps. I was on a 3mb DSL line up until this year, and it worked just fine. It cost me $45 a month. I make far more than that in a couple of hours at work. Lets say you make $20 an hour, and given that this is Slashdot, I'd be surprised if anyone made any less than that. For one day's worth of work, you get unlimited, high speed internet access for a month. Now check your reality. Is one day worth of your labor worth an unfair trade for the labor of all of the people who have to labor for you to have an always on, available, high speed internet connection? Or is your labor so much more valuable to society that the one day of your labor is worth so much more than the labor of all the other people who give you 30+/-1 days a month worth of internet access?

  • I mean, I thought the original package said "unlimited"?

    Or is this really just "ulimited*"?

    *Unlimited til you use more than $150 of bandwidth.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just how greedy are these fuckers? If I wind up having to pay $150/month for internet, I'm going to cancel the cable TV, which is already approaching that amount. Can't imagine I'm the only one thinking along those lines. I guess TW's left hand doesn't care what its right hand is doing...

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:51PM (#27534729) Journal

    Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150

    When will the hurting stop? Bandwidth is measured in kbit/s, Mbit/s, etc. Please express this in some rate related to seconds if you're going to use it because the phrase "unlimited bandwidth" means to me that I should be able to sit down and at the drop of a hat (or the spinning of several platters) have a DVD from my friend's computer located on my computer.

    I think a more appropriate term would be something like "no monthly download limit" or some such thing ... not as seksi as bandwidth but for the love of god please keep these ideas separate. Unless you're going to start talking about bandwidth as in GB/month or TB/month which would drive the hardware and network guys nuts because that is a meaningless metric.

    • by scotsghost (1125495) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:00PM (#27534829) Journal

      Amen. It's not "unlimited bandwidth"; it's "unlimited usage".

      And it's not even that; if you drill down, the $150 plan is actually a $75-for-100gb/mo, with a promise to cap overage charges at $75 -- thus virtually unlimited usage for $150. How long before they renege on that particular promise?

      Here's the article's source; sadly, it's the original source of the confused use of the term "bandwidth": http://a.longreply.com/109511 [longreply.com]

      • by StringBlade (557322) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:34PM (#27536035) Journal

        I'm one of the fortunate few to be in Rochester, NY and fall under the tyranny of Time Warner Cable. I've talked to their customer service reps. I've read their statements. And yesterday I had the opportunity to hear some of their low-level execs try and defend the plan at a town hall meeting with our congressional representative (who's on our side BTW).

        They simply don't acknowledge that access (bandwidth) is not at issue here, limiting the use of that bandwidth in terms of some arbitrary amount of data is the issue.

        If you look at their 2008 SEC filings (linked by their corporate site timewarnercable.com [timewarnercable.com] then you'd see their costs went down about 12% from 2007 and their revenues and new customers both rose about 10% over 2007. Clearly usage is not really an issue.

        The issue they're not admitting to (except in their SEC filing) is Internet video like Hulu and Netflix is their primary threat and the way to mediate this threat is to make it more expensive to watch videos on the Internet than to pay Time Warner for cable and Video on Demand services.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      150 (GB / month) = 478.484324 kb / s

      ..says Google [google.com].

    • And, because it's not unlimited bandwidth[1], it is also not unlimited usage. The maximum speed they appear[2] to offer is 15Mb/s, which works out at a 4.7TB/month cap, or around 3Â per GB. This is easily the cheapest I've seen quoted for bandwidth, while the $2/GB they charge for the 40GB/month package is close to the most expensive. If you're using 4.7TB/month, it's very good value (for the first month, until they find some reason to kick you off). If you're using 40GB/month, it's pricey. If you

    • by Phoenix823 (448446) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:45PM (#27536167)

      (I picked up a nasty pedantic habit in college from a professor, so sorry I just have to throw this in :)

      Bandwidth is the capacity of a communications channel and is measured in Hz and Mhz. kbit/s and Mbit/s are data rates, not bandwidth.

      • by Facegarden (967477) on Friday April 10, 2009 @06:29PM (#27537575)

        (I picked up a nasty pedantic habit in college from a professor, so sorry I just have to throw this in :)

        Bandwidth is the capacity of a communications channel and is measured in Hz and Mhz. kbit/s and Mbit/s are data rates, not bandwidth.

        Actually, you're wrong to make that correction.

        Your definition is correct, and historically your definition was more common, but bandwidth now has two definitions:

              1. The numerical difference between the upper and lower frequencies of a band of electromagnetic radiation, especially an assigned range of radio frequencies.
              2. The amount of data that can be passed along a communications channel in a given period of time.

        So when being pedantic, do it right at least.

        Also note that, as people have said, bandwidth is still being used incorrectly in the article, because they can't possibly supply unlimited bandwidth, but not for the reason you state.
        -Taylor

  • by MaxwellEdison (1368785) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:52PM (#27534741)
    If they're charging a max of $75 for the overages, whats to stop someone from using the $29.95 plan, and maxing the fee...effectively getting an unlimited plan for $104.95 (plus obligatory taxes of course)
    • by ZiakII (829432)
      If they're charging a max of $75 for the overages, whats to stop someone from using the $29.95 plan, and maxing the fee...effectively getting an unlimited plan for $104.95 (plus obligatory taxes of course)

      Where I have Time Warnter the $29.95 plan is capped to 1.5 Mbps, while there other plan is caped at 6 Mbps, although I'm not in their bandwidth limit testing area, so could be different but I would imagine it is the same.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SlashdotOgre (739181)

      I have a feeling when you reach $75 in overages, they simply cut you off and tell you if you want access again you either have to fork over the difference for the $150 plan or wait until your next billing cycle. Also I'd presume the $29.95 plan is at the lowest speed possible which might be low enough that to reach the $75 cap you'd need to run your connection at full speed for the entire month (although I doubt it, it's possible).

      I wonder how long it's going to be before Comcast pulls this crap. Also now

    • I'm sure they cut off the internet entirely after +$75, then you can call them up and switch to unlimited for $150 on top of that (not pro-rated or anything halfway sensible).

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      They will just change the rules again to prevent it.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:52PM (#27534743) Homepage

    You have to draw a line somewhere, and put a price under it.

    • by Shados (741919)

      Correct. Within their own network aside, even the ISPs themselves have some form of limit at the end of the day. So bandwidth speed limitation aside, they will always have to cut you off eventually.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "You have to draw a line somewhere, and put a price under it."

      You're always bandwidth capped, so it could be unlimited given the maximum bandwidth you have, meaning even if they max'd the bandwidth 24/7 all month they would not reach the cap.
  • by OMGcAPSLOCK (1507399) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:52PM (#27534747)
    At current exchange rates, $150 works out to be about £100. By comparison, I'm getting uncapped 24mbps ADSL downloads for £22 per month in the UK. I think this might be the one sole instance where the UK gets a better deal on something than the US.
  • Clarification on $75 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:53PM (#27534765)

    The other story I saw on this said that the monthly bill was capped at $75. They assumed that meant subscription + overages. So the 'unlimited' plan would be only $75. (Still high for an ISP only charge.)

    Is there a 'horse's mouth' release anywhere that doesn't have that ambiguity?

  • Funny. Over at speakeasy, I can get a line that is not only faster, but guaranteed bandwidth, and is unregulated as far as what I do with it. No idiot company blocking my ports, bitching about my fileserver, etc. Further, I can sign up for a resell plan and make money on my line, with speakeasy doing all the billing. Oh, and I can have that bundled in with VoIP access too? All for around the same $150? Gratuitous link: http://www.speakeasy.net/home/ [speakeasy.net]

    Please mr. ISP, tell me again how you aren't a simp
  • For $14.99 a month via DSL.

    Technically speaking, there's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, though, I would expect if an ISP advertised "unlimited usage" for a 6 Mbs line, I'd be able to download (6 Mbps / 8 bits per byte * 3600 s/hour * 24 hours/day * 30 days/month = 1944000 megabytes = 1.944 terabytes per month). Sadly, no.

    The problem I have with these plans is that they're charging more for essentially the same service as before. Sure, you'll always have those people who are "excessive downloa

    • by jlarocco (851450)

      Unfortunately, for most, the only way to get a fair price is to talk your congressman into price controls; ISPs are often monopolies in the area in which they serve.

      It's not your congressman, but your city council who you should talk to. They're the ones who give out the local monopoly in the first place.

    • by swilver (617741)

      ISP's in my country have realized the following:

      Q: What happens if we just let our customers download as much as they want?

      A: They could download 2 TB each month.

      Q: 2 TB's?? Where would they store all that crap?

      A: They can't unless they're just maxing the line and throwing it all away.

      Q: So... if we'd let them download as much as they'd want, it's likely they'd stop downloading that much in a few months at most?

      A: Yeah, that's likely, since they can't store that much data anyway.

      Sooo... in my country, ISP's

  • by d_jedi (773213) on Friday April 10, 2009 @01:59PM (#27534821)

    Definitely disappointing, but not surprising.
    The problem is, residential broadband networks were never designed to handle the uses many people make of them nowadays (particularly due to P2P) - there are some heavy users who transfer terabytes of (sometimes of dubious legality) information every month.. it is unreasonable for these people to pay the same price as someone who just checks their e-mail and sends photos to their grandchildren.

    The caps and prices here are quite unacceptable - double the cap and half the price, and maybe we're talking..

    • by berzerk8 (1525125) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:14PM (#27535057)
      So you think that the average user (IE the person that just checks email and sends photos to their grandchildren) should be the standard to which we are all charged 29.95 for a 5gb plan? I can download 5gb in a couple of hours without there being any "dubious legality". Those of us that are more technically inclined should not be punished because of the "average user", who are in all likelihood the people on the phone with Dell when their wireless mouse runs out of batteries...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by swillden (191260)

        Those of us that are more technically inclined should not be punished because of the "average user", who are in all likelihood the people on the phone with Dell when their wireless mouse runs out of batteries...

        Who cares if you're "technically inclined"? If you're using orders of magnitude more bandwidth than the average user, I think it's perfectly reasonable that you pay significantly more.

        Ideally, prices should boil down to a reasonable margin over actual costs. It costs your ISP a certain amount to install and maintain the equipment that supports your connection no matter how much you do or don't use, and every MB of bandwidth that you consume that goes out of their network has a cost. The price to you sh

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by edmicman (830206)

        I agree, and actually, I'd propose that what is considered "average" use is changing. The story of typical usage being light browsing and checking email is tired. Average use now is downloading music and movies from iTunes, streaming video from Hulu, Youtube, and Netflix. And online gaming via Xbox Live and Wii Arcade.

        What happens when today's "heavy" users become tomorrow's "average" users?

    • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:35PM (#27535375)

      The problem is, residential broadband networks were never designed to handle the uses many people make of them nowadays (particularly due to P2P)

      Albany, NY was one of RoadRunner's test cities, and they ran it out of Troy, NY, just down the street from RPI. If you want to find a group of people who are going to abuse a system, RPI students are right up there. Regardless of what residential broadband networks are designed for, I know what they were actually used for in 1997 during RR's ramp up. The problems RR faces now are problems they had at the beginning -- a buddy of mine paid his tuition using ad revenue from hosting a porn site on his residential cable modem. They say P2P is bad because it's hundreds of incoming connections and a whole pile of outgoing bandwidth -- exactly what this buddy of mine was doing for his $40/month residential connection. Roadrunner handled Napster well, and it handled the next P2P replacements well.

      Roadrunner used to control their bandwidth by mirroring major destinations (TuCows, back when it was interesting, for example) and peering with bigger ones with dynamic content. Time was, their binaries usenet collection was the best around.

      Roadrunner and the mega corps want to decrease their costs -- everybody wins when they get special peering with major destinations. Private pipes to YouTube, Hulu and the like will take care of their video streaming costs much better than the typical general purpose backbones. Major outfits like YouTube who have hundreds of easily deployable servers could certainly come up with a handful of mirrors for the most in-demand content and put it on RoadRunner's own network. BitTorrent's P4P and Ono, with the cooperation of the ISP, can drastically reduce the load on the ISP -- but RoadRunner is seemingly absent.

      10 years ago, RoadRunner was on the forefront of doing everything right and treating the customer the right way (I disagreed with them on disabling accounts of those of us who had personal mail servers, but I now see it was prophetic). Today, they have lost sight of their ability to find win-win situations with new partners.

    • are not such a burden in countries with sufficient competition?
      It's fascinating how when there's only one broadband provider, somehow, people start downloading much more ... or something.

  • A good first step (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:00PM (#27534827) Homepage
    The problem with the mainstream model for ISPs is that in an unlimited use plan, the less aggressive users subsidize the consumption of the aggressive users. Most slashdot readers may not have a problem with that, but I think that a lot of people would rather pay a reasonable, and cheaper rate, for bandwidth they use than pay more for a theoretically uncapped amount that they won't use.
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:04PM (#27534893)

      But they won't. The bottom price will be what they pay now and everyone else will just pay more. Prices are never going to be reduced.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And what this translates into, is that use under-using people are STILL subsidizing just as much as you were before. The heavy users are just helping to line the pockets of the shareholders a bit more, because you know they won't stop and say "hey... if we have so many people hitting the caps, perhaps we should spend that extra cash and flush out our network better.". They'll do exactly what they did with the billions they were given in the past to build out the network and shower it on their investors.

    • Fine then, change the pricing model to a price/GB. Use a two tier system for amount uploaded and downloaded, and show this on the billing statement. This could also give people more of an incentive to keep their PC's secure. As all the spam bouncing around on zombie PC networks would then have an actual cost to the computer's owner other than "Windows is acting funny".
      • Fine then, change the pricing model to a price/GB. Use a two tier system for amount uploaded and downloaded, and show this on the billing statement.

        Now you are DIRECTLY paying for ads and patches.
        Buy a game or application online? Pay for it, and then pay to have it 'delivered'.
        Pay your ISP to deliver your local government information?

        No thanks.
  • Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent AT stone ... intclark DOT net> on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:01PM (#27534849) Journal
    They just don't want you streaming Netflix over your cable. They want you to sign up for their on-demand service.
  • Yeah, but does "unlimited" really mean unlimited?
  • 'unlimited bandwidth' would be basically infinite transfer -speed-. I think what is being offered is no cap on -contents-, which probably means unlimited -throughput-, but at some limited bandwidth (speed). At least my ISP has a sliding scale for real bandwidth, you pay more for more speed, and I'd be really surprised if TW doesn't have the same thing.

  • Here in Rochester, the Boring & Mainstream Local Media (TM) has picked up on this pretty heavily, mainly in the "backdoor price increase" sense

    We use phone-company DSL, so I'd have no idea aobut how TimeWarner is currently working.

  • I'm a Charter cable customer in the St. Louis area. As many probably know, Charter recently filed bankruptcy recently. I have read rumors that Charter is preparing a similar move to what is described by the OP, though I have options. ATT recently established decent service where I'm at ($30/mo buys me 3Mb DSL vs $46/mo for my current 6Mb cable) and to my knowledge has no monthly transfer limits. Given that we use our connection for a LOT of Netflix streaming, this is important to me. There are some dec
    • by Bootarn (970788)
      I'm not an American resident, so I'm wondering if what you pay for your connection is considered to be relatively good pricing? In my family, we're paying 359 SEK/month, wich is about $43/month, for 24 Mbit/s DSL with unlimited monthly traffic. We live in Sweden.
  • Why are ISPs trying to turn into cell carriers (for ones which aren't already) and squeeze every last penny from consumers. On one side, at least someone is honestly selling what they can provide, but at ridiculous pricing tiers. I can easily imagine them trying to charge for certain ports, and applications. One more reason to donate to the EFF [eff.org]
    If I hadn't lost^H^H^H^H ever had faith in the FCC I'd wish they would do something about this debacle before it gets really out of hand. Wait, what am I talking abo
  • I've been a little tuned out, last time I checked in only hearing about Time Warner testing this capping out in other markets (I'm in NYC), thinking it would never happen to me. So I take it this means a cap is already imposed for me, presumably with prohibitive surcharges after I break it?

    The one thing I like about Time Warner is that they tend to look the other way (you know what I'm talking about) unlike OptimumOnline for example with their silly letters. I also like having a somewhat static IP witho
    • When I moved up from PA to NY, I switched from a business class DSL line (1.5Mbps down, 384Mbps up) to Optimum Online Business. Back in PA, my DSL line used to run maxed out for weeks at a time (300 GB/month), up here I generally use anything between 100GB/mo up to 300-400GB/mo.

      So far, in 2 years of being with Optimum Online Business, they have never hassled me about usage. Verizon/GTE never harassed me back in PA either about usage (in about 7 years of service).

      The moral of the story is that if you w
  • And THIS time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Real (179104) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:05PM (#27534907)

    Unlimited, and this time, we mean it. Trust us.

  • What's the point?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:06PM (#27534917)

    If you are trying to sell high-speed access, you need to assume that people are going to be downloading about half a terabyte worth of HD video content a month. If the system cannot support that for every customer (10MBit average sustained four hours a day), then you are in the wrong business.

    The more I read about these companies' stupidity, the more I want to start a co-op ISP. In LA it isn't that hard to lease a wavelength off of DWP (assuming you have them passing nearby) to connect to one of the hubs in El Segundo, Downtown, or wherever. Negotiate with a community for the right to run local links, and you can have a system installed for under $500 per node, and all your costs are paid after 12 months, with just bandwidth remaining.

    This isn't rocket science...

    • The more I read about these companies' stupidity, the more I want to start a co-op ISP. In LA it isn't that hard to lease a wavelength off of DWP (assuming you have them passing nearby) to connect to one of the hubs in El Segundo, Downtown, or wherever. Negotiate with a community for the right to run local links, and you can have a system installed for under $500 per node, and all your costs are paid after 12 months, with just bandwidth remaining.

      This isn't rocket science...

      Ah, tell me again, what does rocket science have anything to do with Greed? When it comes down to finding ways to make even MORE money, simplicity, fairness, and even Common Sense are usually absent.

  • Playing left 4 dead on xbox 360 for one minute online results in about 1 megabyte of data transfer for that minute. 1 * 60 = 60 MB for 1 hour. 4 hours a day = about 1 GB so at 30$ a month, I can play my xbox online for 20 hours, or 5 days at 4 hours a day... Not to mention thats no web surfing, email, etc. This is for the entire month. Not to mention those autoplay video advertisements. Youtube videos are highly compressed but still megabytes in size. Could you imagine trying to use windows update, SP3 t
  • Next step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:07PM (#27534937)

    'Friends and family' websites. Get unlimited Gb to your 5 favorite websites. You can choose Google, /., Reddit, Engadget, LKML while little Suzie can choose MySpace, Facebook, Digg, Twitter, AmericanIdol.

    This kind of bs shouldn't be allowed to happen.

  • I don't see this comparison made often, but I like to express the data transfer cap as a sustained bandwidth and relate it to the peak bandwidth they advertise. 5 GB cap in a 30 day month is 5 GB / (30 * 24 * 60 * 60) = about 2071 B/sec sustained rate over the month. That's right, if you average 2.1KB/sec for the month, you hit the cap. That's sure a lot lower than the advertised (peak) bandwidth.
  • Sham (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2009 @02:09PM (#27534981)

    The only reason they want caps is because they know that the internet is starting to compete with their cable offerings. It has nothing to do with bandwidth. They are already upgrading their infrastructure to support huge amounts of bandwidth. The cost to do so is minimal for cable because the latest upgrade happens to occur at the head end and at the modem in the house. That is $40-$100 a home half of which is paid for by the consumer. That is nothing to charge or make back. What they really want to do is tier their pricing in a way that they cannot be out competed by internet TV. We need to break this MaBell up now.

  • This fight never had anything to do with "network capacity". They are saying the don't have enough capacity to stream internet video. Yet they do have enough capacity to stream HDTV 24x7 - so longs as you are paying Time Warner for it.

    This is exactly what happened to radio, and then to television.

    The only goal these companies ever had, is to price the average person out the "real" broadband market.

    Only the wealthy voices, will be disseminated.
    • by Hikaru79 (832891)

      This fight never had anything to do with "network capacity". They are saying the don't have enough capacity to stream internet video. Yet they do have enough capacity to stream HDTV 24x7 - so longs as you are paying Time Warner for it.

      It takes a really strong streak of paranoia and delusion for that argument to not make sense to you. Yes, in general, companies are better able to deliver services and maintain a high capacity when you pay them for it. I know data is just this one cable running into your house for you, but believe it or not it takes some mighty powerful infrastructure to stream porn into millions of houses 24 hours a day.

  • If I go over, what's my recourse to dispute it? I want an itemized list of each movie I watched, icecast I streamed and stippercam to which I whacked off. Phone company does it, and we all KNOW they suck.

    Also, what about roll-over gigs? Are nights and weekends free?

    Personally, I have the lowest tier of TW business class through a deal my wife has at work. Wondering if I'll be affected. Hrm...

  • Does Time Warner offer some kind of better, more expensive internet I didn't know about? How come their bandwidth is worth so much more?

    Can't be just greed, can it?

  • Anyone know what the best way to complain? I have TWC, and I've already emailed them to say I will cancel when this comes to my area. I seriously doubt that will have much of an effect, though.
  • by Jewfro_Macabbi (1000217) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:12PM (#27535815) Homepage
    Funny, their filings state:

    "High-speed data costs decreased for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2008 primarily due to a decrease in per-subscriber connectivity costs, partially offset by subscriber growth.

    "In 2007, TW made $3,730 Million, on high speed data alone, and then had to turn around and spend $164 Million to support the cost of the network. 2007 total profit on high speed data: $3.566 Billion"

    "In 2008, TW made $4,159 Million, on high speed data alone, and then had to turn around and spend $146 Million to support the cost of the network. 2008 total profit on high speed data: $4.013 Billion"
  • DO NOT buy this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Friday April 10, 2009 @03:17PM (#27535869) Homepage

    Us damn geeks, we screw ourselves (well mainly because we live in parent's basement, et al) all the time with this garbage. See if we didn't slobber all over ourselves to wait in line for days to pay top dollar for shit then companies wouldn't rape us.

    Calm down, eat a dorito, keep your current 14.4k/ISDN/DSL/CABLE/T# connection and IGNORE this. Please. If there is no interest they will LOWER the price of it, up the regular speed, or do away totally with the idea... all are GOOD things. By jumping in blindly in a rabid fervor all you do is ensure every internet provider will charge... wait for it... $150 for their unlimited service. Why wouldn't they? Ugh, for a group who is so collectively smart we sure are dumb. :)

  • That's just insane. It makes it 10 times more expensive than to send a burnt DVD ($.5?) through the mail (~$1 I guess?).
    That pricing scheme is about as out of touch as Dr Evil in that scene where he asks for a ridiculous $1 million ransom for not blowing up the planet.
    You can get internet transit in a datacenter on the order of $6 per Mbps per month wholesale; peering is way below that.
    That mean that for $6 you can transfer ~320GB a month; Warner is going to charge 50 times that.
    Sure, it's not the same thing entirely obviously, but the main difference is that you have to build a line to the customer, and you're paying for that already whether you use it very little or a lot.
    The only remaining difference therefore is the connection between local concentrators and the backbone; nothing special and particularly expensive about it.
    Therefore this is a total rip-off, and most likely monopoly abuse.

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