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The Internet The Almighty Buck

Time Warner Shelves Plans For Tiered Pricing 210

Posted by timothy
from the meek-will-continue-to-subsidize-the-bold dept.
The FNP writes "Time Warner has postponed their plans to test tiered data caps in Greensboro NC, Rochester NY, San Antonio TX, and Austin TX. This announcement comes shortly after the media started reporting on Eric Massa's opposition and protests planned for this Saturday outside of Time Warner's offices in Greensboro and Rochester." There's also a good piece at Ars on the fall of the current tiered-pricing plans.
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Time Warner Shelves Plans For Tiered Pricing

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:12PM (#27603593) Journal
    Anybody who tries to screw over their customers, gets called on it, and then says that they are defering until customers can be "educated"(no doubt with an expression of injured innocence) has a one way trip to the special hell waiting for them.

    It's exactly like normal hell; but your nose also itches.
  • It will be back (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BabyDuckHat (1503839) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:12PM (#27603597)
    They'll just find another way to screw you. Internet connectivity should be a regulated utility.
    • Re:It will be back (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BabyDuckHat (1503839) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:51PM (#27604083)
      Here's why it will be back, or something like it:

      From their recently filed 10-K report:

      "Technological advancements, such as video on demand, new video formats and Internet streaming and downloading, have increased the number of media and entertainment choices available to consumers and intensified the challenges posed by audience fragmentation.
      The increasing number of choices available to audiences could negatively impact not only consumer demand for the Companyâ(TM)s products and services, but also advertisersâ(TM) willingness to purchase advertising from the Companyâ(TM)s businesses.
      If the Company does not respond appropriately to further increases in the leisure and entertainment choices available to consumers, the Companyâ(TM)s competitive position could deteriorate, and its financial results could suffer."
      Full Document Here:

      http://ir.timewarner.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=950144-09-1481 [timewarner.com]
    • Re:It will be back (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:10PM (#27604343)
      No, no, no, no, no, and heck no. Regulation in the style of power/water companies will end up with no innovation. Theres really no difference if I have water from utility A, B, C, or D. Neither really with electricity companies A, B, C, or D. On the other hand theres a heck of a lot of difference between NetZero, Time-Warner, Generic local ISP (which are a rarity these days), and Comcast. What this will lead to is board of regulators either approving rate increases for no real reason, or them not approving rate increases for increased speed. If ISPs had been regulated from day one, the fastest connection any of us would get would be possibly DSL. Regulation makes sense for utilities because just about everything is equal, you can't get really any faster water or electrical service and theres little need for more high-capacity lines to homes, so its all about reliability.
      • other hand theres a heck of a lot of difference between NetZero, Time-Warner, Generic local ISP (which are a rarity these days), and Comcast.

        No, there isn't. There are different tiers, but the internet you get from Time Warner, NetZero, AT&T, Comcast, or any others is the SAME INTERNET.

        And if you think the power grid doesn't have the same market variety that the internet has, you've never held a job.

        • Trust me the internet I get from NetZero is *not* the same internet I get from Verizon DSL or Comcast Internet. Netzero can't even stream video since it's so slow. And Comcast customers don't get access to disneyconnection.com or espn360com, while Verizon customers do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cramer (69040)

        Utilities are regulated monopolies because of logisitical and physical limits. Imagine a world where you have 6 water companies all burying 16" mains in the right-of-way infront of your house. Or 12 power companies stringing lines all over the place. There's only so much room for water lines, gas lines, power lines, phone lines, sewers, etc. The more stuff hung from the poles or stuffed in the ground, the harder it is to keep track of it all to prevent them interfering with each other -- and eventually,

    • by fortunato (106228)

      If they can't find a way to make the market competitive then I agree, but I think it would be much better if they had to compete like cell phone companies compete. Then instead of trying to invent ways to avoid upgrading infrastructure and rape their customers, they would actually have to provide decent service at competitive prices.

      But until someone figures out how to bypass the need to "share" infrastructure, like phone wires that were paid for by the local phone company monopoly, I don't see how that can

  • Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:13PM (#27603609)
    Glad to see some *real* grassroots movements working.

    The ISP's usual quote of "Its only 5% of our customers using 40% of traffic" argument flew in the face of the "So we're going to cap things so low everybody will hit it" response they kept trying to ram through.

    If it's only 5%, set the cap just below where they are and only punish the *actual* problem children...or better yet, don't 'cap' but rate limit. Doesn't DirecTV's internet access do this already?
    • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:16PM (#27603647) Homepage

      Well not to mention the "we would have to spend some of our $billions of profit on infrastructure if everyone uses their connection fully wah wah!" argument only applies to prime-time, yet the plan they put forward in no way targeted peak usage hours. Download from 2am - 6am, you'd still hit the cap even though the cost to them for providing that bandwidth is marginal enough to be effectively zero.

    • Thats exactly right.. freaking rate limit them to 128k/s Painful, slow, horrible, but still able to pay their bills online if they need to, or send an email.. painful enough that they won't do it again...

      • by Yaur (1069446)
        How would that even work? It seems to me that rate limiting customers paying for a "turbo" connection below the rate of a "normal" connection is a class action suit waiting to happen.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MBGMorden (803437)

          If it's spelled out in the contract they can limit it however they wish. DirecTV's satellite connection already basically does this. You get 200MB per day on their basic plan at full speed (and unlimited from 3am to 6am). If you exceed your 200MB limit, then you get scaled back to essentially dial-up speeds for the rest of the day until you get your 200MB back for the next day. It's written into the contracts, so legally it's fine. It's a little too limited for my tastes, but if it was truly down to be

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chabil Ha' (875116)

        I think the issue is bigger than that. When you start hearing reports that the cost of upgrading the infrastructure ends up only being $75-$100 to handle it, what is the consumer left thinking? We're getting screwed. But now, I'm not satisfied with them merely walking away from their cock-eyed ideas for caps. Where's my infrastructure upgrade? Can I pay the one time $100 upgrade fee to get the 20Mb service? (I know it doesn't work that way, but come on!)

        I think they got more than they bargained for by

    • If it's only 5%, set the cap just below where they are and only punish the *actual* problem children...or better yet, don't 'cap' but rate limit. Doesn't DirecTV's internet access do this already?

      Better yet, get congress to give them a large sum of money to get better tubes. Pretty good idea isn't it? I wonder why no one has thought of it yet.

      • They've already got it, they just don't want to spend it.

      • So, then everybody pays for effectively the same thing, through their tax money.

        I find that idea just as pukey.

        • What? You mean the government doesn't have its own money? It has to swipe it out of my wallet to pay for these "free" services? Gosh. /end Average_American_Idiot mode

      • Last time that happened, they pissed the money away. The REAL solution is to have municipal owned fibre networks, that all connect to a community hub. ISPs would then run fibre to the hub. Home owners (or the gov't) would be responsible for the cost of the fibre installation, but would also reap the benifets of real competition.
        • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:44PM (#27604005) Homepage Journal

          However, the wires should be owned by a regulated entity that doesn't play favorites with interconnection carriers and data providers.

          If ACME Wire Company owned all the wires and local switching stations, and they invited all comers to install Internet, telephone, and cable switches in their switching centers, and they invited all data providers who could afford to do so to colocate at those centers, and they charged everyone - consumers, transport providers, and data providers - reasonable and presumably regulated rates, this would leave the telcos, cable companies, ISP providers, and data providers an opportunity to compete based on price, product, service, etc.

          • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:15PM (#27604391)

            However, the wires should be owned by a regulated entity that doesn't play favorites with interconnection carriers and data providers.

            That won't happen. Every regulatory body will play favorites, heck, just look at MS basically buying out ISO, an international standards body. Congress is supposed to be in the favor of the people, that doesn't happen. The truth is, regulatory bodies don't do anything good. In fact, I'd rather be screwed by a company that I have a power (no matter how limited) to get into the market and make a better product then to be screwed by the regulatory bodies where I have zero control over them.

            • regulatory bodies don't do anything good. In fact, I'd rather be screwed by a company that I have a power (no matter how limited) to get into the market and make a better product then to be screwed by the regulatory bodies where I have zero control over them.

              If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

              As long as the wires need to cross multiple properties, the only way they will ever get emplaced is via local government. You've got more chance of voting in a new regulatory board than you do of competing with a telco monopolist. In fact, you probably have more chance of being personally elected to such a board than you do have of competing with a telco monopolist.

              • >>>You've got more chance of voting in a new regulatory board

                So young. So naive. Like voting makes any difference when the same politicians keep their jobs for 30-40 years. They don't listen to the voter. At least with a private company, if they piss me off, I can simply cancel my service. Good luck trying to cancel a government service - they just keep sucking the money from your wallet, or else throw you in jail. (Or worse, draft you and send you off to die in some godforsaken country.)

                Cor

          • Is it moral to take tax breaks you don't need? Discuss.

            Maybe. But it's definitely stupid not to.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonaskoelker (922170)

      If it's only 5%, set the cap just below where they are and only punish the *actual* problem children...or better yet, don't 'cap' but rate limit.

      Why? Why must the heaviest users per se be punished for using what they bought?

      You'll always have some asymmetry in the use of bandwidth. Why not just charge people what the Internet actually costs*, and let them use it as much as they care to pay for?

      (* plus a reasonable profit)

      Oh right, I know the answer: the company exists not to fulfill societal needs and wants, but to move money from customers to shareholders.

      Someone should set up a non-profit ISP; in general, non-profit companies rule: you pay less

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Why not just charge people what the Internet actually costs*, and let them use it as much as they care to pay for?

        Because that is more than the average person would be willing to pay. If an OC-3 costs $5000, then someone with 1 Mbps should be paying $32 for Internet, plus access fees, overhead and profit. That would be closer to, say, $100. Now that's per megabit. So if you wanted a 10 Mbps link, you'd be paying $1000 for it. And there are people out there with more than that for less than the $100 n
    • If it's only 5%, set the cap just below where they are and only punish the *actual* problem children...or better yet, don't 'cap' but rate limit. Doesn't DirecTV's internet access do this already?

      Verizon's FIOS is essentially that.
      It varies a little bit by location, but they've got three rates:
      5mbps
      20mbps
      50mbps

      Each one costs more than the other. So, if you really need to suck down a lot of data, you can pay the premium for it. I know a few people who are happy to pay the ~$150/month for the full-speed 50mbps option vs ~$60/month for 20mbps.

      • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:33PM (#27606353)
        I think you missed the point.

        Yes tiered pricing is in place from a number of vendors, even cable vendors. The issue here is when your sum total amount of downloaded bits goes over a fixed limit you can't download AT ALL without incurring fees regardless of what speed plan you've signed up for.

        I'm too lazy to do the math, but given predicted monthly caps could it be determined what the *effective* download speed over the month could be? my guess it would be pretty friggin slow.

        Kinda like giving you a set amount of gas with your choice of cars: Yugo, Mustang, Ferrari. You can go different speeds but the faster you go the less time you have available.
  • It's unfair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magamiako1 (1026318) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:16PM (#27603637)
    It's unfair to sell and offer the service as "unlimited", which they did years ago when the idea of "unlimited" was big for dial-up companies, and then turn around and tell people they're going to limit them.

    I would be more understanding of the situation of metered billing and usage if I was under the impression that they were doing all they could with the money they had and physically couldn't do anymore, but that's not the case here.

    It's not a problem with any technology, it's not prohibitively expensive, it's greed and nothing else. And until they can prove to me and the rest of the people that it really isn't about greed then we aren't going to stand for them ripping us off.
    • It's unfair to sell and offer the service as "unlimited", which they did years ago when the idea of "unlimited" was big for dial-up companies, and then turn around and tell people they're going to limit them.

      Can't we put this to rest? If they advertised their service as unlimited years ago, then they can't change it now? Things change.

      • Wesley:

        Quite a few of us have had the service since they were offering it as unlimited. So yes, when we entered the contract with them for "unlimited service", that's what we bought into. If they break that it is a breach of contract.

        It is illegal, it is wrong. And if I had enough money to fight off their lawyers I would take them to court over it.
        • In that case, you should have read the part of the contract (which has always been there) stating that they may change the contract at any time. They probably also have a section stating that if you don't agree to the contract your only choice is to cancel service.

          • First off, a clause in the contract stating that one side has the ability to change the contract is more than likely something that wouldn't hold up in any reasonable court anyway. It just hasn't been tested.

            Secondly, keep in mind that these companies generally charge you a fee to cancel service prior to the contract expiration (which is usually 1 or 2 years). So in some cases it makes it prohibitive in actually reasonably cancel the contract.

            They can change the contract any time they want without reason an
  • Not quite gone. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rayeth (1335201) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:19PM (#27603689)
    More likely the plans have been shelved for only long enough to let the public outcry subside and for some other thing to take hold so they can be quietly rolled out under a different name and with slightly different wording.
  • eh heh (Score:4, Informative)

    by djupedal (584558) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:27PM (#27603781)

    Back in the mid 90's, Japanese telecoms decided that they would charge for a piece of each 'type' of phone action...one rate for voice, another for data, etc., while billing was based on quantity (metered.

    This was while it was trivial to find service in North America that was flat rate, but still unique per type.

    It didn't take much to find ways around the J billing hassles, such as dial-back for international LD. And it only took a few years for the J telcos to wake up to what they were not getting and alter their methods to at least keep them in the game.

    Metered use is just an example of the free reign that domestic telcos have - they can dig into the client's pockets....so they will. Rather than build it so they will come, they cling to business models that are increasingly going out-of-date. And with no one to stop them, the domestic phone market will once again become a killing field of grand proportion, with the victim, as usual, being the consumer.

  • Wha? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icedcool (446975)
    Wow... this actually increases my confidence in Time Warner. That they actually listened to public opinion.

    Huh.. well cool.
    • No, they basically just avoided committing seppuku and it's only a matter of time before they try again. Only next time around they'll go to outrageous lengths to sucker people into it so that they don't realize they're getting totally screwed. I predict some type of awful cell phone style plan - They start offering free internet and then they charge you some an insane amount of money for any bandwidth over 100 MB/mth.
      • No, they basically just avoided committing seppuku and it's only a matter of time before they try again.

        No, having to commit seppuku would indicate that they have some honor to save in the first place. This was a straight-up attempt at fleecing that fell apart when the word got out. The honorable thing to do would've been to upgrade their network when they were supposed, and failing that to offer a fair pricing plan.

    • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rob1980 (941751) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:31PM (#27604581)
      That they actually listened to public opinion.

      More like they tried to pull a fast one on their service areas and got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. If anything, this should make you more alert to sudden changes in their pricing structure - not more confident in them.
  • Thank god... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by surfdaddy (930829)
    ...that the power of the internet has caused us to rise to defeat this proposal. As a TWC subscriber myself, I'm out of DSL range and would have been SCREWED if this happened. I'm paying enough already at almost $50/month for my broadband. TWC is very upset that they are becoming a utility and want to find a way to grow their $$ even while their traditional cable business is under pressure. I suspect this is not the end of ways they will try to feather their caps at our expense.
  • by code65536 (302481) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:56PM (#27604173) Homepage Journal

    In the NPR piece about this, one TW representative compared the current scheme to someone buying a salad and someone else buying an expensive lobster dinner, and the two of them splitting the cost 50-50. In other words, the heavy user is subsidized by the light user. But if this is their rationale, then making the heavy user pay for his/her fair share would mean that the light users would no longer have to subsidize the heavy users and that the light users should see lower prices.

    But that was nowhere in TW's plan, which is why this all seemed disingenuous. I, for one, think it's fair for people who use more to pay more. But not when that is used as an excuse for price gouging. It seems much more likely that TW is just trying to protect their content delivery services from people getting movies digital competitors like Netflix's download service, which would been an abuse of market powers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lenehey (920580)
      Mod parent up. These pricing plans need to be looked at very closely to make sure that media companies aren't illegally tying their content to their monopolistic delivery channels, in an effort to squeeze out other content providers like Netflix.

      I think its equally unfair for the price to jump when the customer exceeds an invisible threshold, requiring customers to constantly check -- using more bandwidth -- what their current usage is to make sure they don't go over. This is the problem with cell phon
    • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:23PM (#27604487)
      Or the companies could build their networks to support the increased load. It's greed and nothing less than greed.

      Let's break down this salad dinner analogy a bit more.

      The analogy REALLY works like this.

      Two people walk into a restaurant and buy dinners. One buys a lobster dinner, and one buys the salad dinner. Though all the dinner prices are advertised at the same price, in this case, it's advertised at the price of the lobster dinner.

      Eventually, everyone starts coming in to the restaurant and starts buying the lobster dinner. The owner of the restaurant realizes that the cost of feeding everyone the lobster dinner is too high because they assumed that very few people actually wanted lobster and most would stand for the salad. Eventually, they start running out of lobster to feed everyone and start telling people you all can't have your lobster dinner. We assumed that most people just wanted salad and offered lobster as a bonus, we didn't expect everyone to jump on to the bandwagon and start buying the best thing we offered.

      Rather than find another supplier of lobster and expanding their business, rather than overhauling their operation realizing that people really don't care for salad as much and want the lobster--they start placing the blame on the people that eat lobster. They tell the people eating salad that the people eating lobster are keeping all of their dinner costs high, and that the business owner isn't to blame for the high prices but the people eating the lobster that they offered are.

      Meanwhile, the owner is walking away complaining about money when he's got a few million bucks in his bank account ripping off the people buying salad by charging them for lobster, and telling the people eating lobster that they can't have as much of it and need to start eating salad.

      If my entire analogy sounds completely absurd, because it does to me, then you get an idea of how absurd this entire fucking scheme is from these cable companies.
      • by barzok (26681)

        Or the companies could build their networks to support the increased load.

        TW has no interest in doing this. They're already cramming more and more HD channels into their service faster than they're upgrading infrastructure; as a result, HD channels are over-compressed and looking pretty crappy.

  • by S77IM (1371931)

    The customers raised a big stink, and the company listened?

    The system actually works?!?!?

  • They are just shelving it, not putting it to sleep. We still need to convince them that that "educating" us is stupid. We need to put this issue to rest. Continue to send emails and sign petitions, and join a boycott.

    Time Warner Petition/Boycott [appspot.com]

  • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:59PM (#27604223) Homepage
    I bet it was fun watching the Time Warner Customer Service dashboard/control panel over the past few days.

    "Look, the cancellation rate is dipping....oh, no it isn't. Doh!"
  • Now, can we get Bell Canada to do the same?
  • Just as with nearly all other "unpopular ideas" they will find a way to sneak this in secretly or quietly. They WANT to do this and it doesn't matter to them that some people oppose it. They believe it will bring in more money and they are obliged to do it somehow...right? People can either keep watching for it or we can get with someone or some organization to finally get ISPs regulated as a utility.

  • by nobodyman (90587) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:20PM (#27604453) Homepage

    I'm torn on this one. Personally I think that metered bandwidth is the most equitable way charge customers, but I think that the way TWC went about it was a shameless money-grab.

    We're already accustomed to consumption-based pricing. We see it all the time: electicity, water, gas, food, etc. Same should go for internet access. And in fact, metered bandwidth is the pricing model that many ISP's use for hosting companies and other ISP's.

    But here's the catch, if TWC went to a per-GB model with the aim to keep their revenues the same as when they had per-month pricing, 95% of their customers would pay less. A LOT LESS.

    But that's not what they were proposing. They wanted that 95% of customers' costs to stay the same, and have 5% of high-usage customers to pay more. Under that scenario, TWC would make TONS MORE MONEY. Essentially they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

    If somebody wants to do metered pricing right, here's what they gotta do. Send each of your customers a letter saying "based on your monthly usage, we predict that your bill would be $AMOUNT under our new pricing model". However, seeing as how the cable companies have totally pissed away consumer trust, I doubt anyone would believe them.

     

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Agreed. Tiered pricing is the way to go. Unfortunately, Time Warner's bad-faith approach to this is going to make it tougher for companies to do legitimate consumption-based billing without getting knee-jerk backlash from users.

    • Oh I could imagine it now.

      "Based on our estimation of your internet usage, the cost of your internet service would go down by X amount."

      Then on the bill...

      Cost of Internet Service: $15.83
      Internet Delivery Fee: $4.99
      Line Maintenance Fee: $2.99
      Cable TV Service: $49.99
      Cable TV Delivery Fee: $4.99
      Cable TV maintenance Fee: $2.99

      YOU CAN NOW PAY YOUR BILL ONLINE FOR ONLY A $2.99 PROCESSING FEE!

      You may not do A, B, C, or D with your service. We reserve the right to cancel your service at any time. Early
    • Equitable? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by S77IM (1371931)

      How is metered bandwidth equitable? We are charged per unit for electricity, water, etc. because they are resources that get consumed. But if no one is using the Internet, those wires just sit there.

      Bandwidth isn't a scarce resource except at peak hours -- and then, bandwidth caps don't do jack to solve the problem. Quality-of-service pricing would. Metered pricing with off-peak discounts would. But just plain metering would not.

        -- 77IM

      • So change the price as a function of traffic.

        That's exactly how they do they pay lanes here in Calfornia (and elsewhere, I imagine).

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:05PM (#27607049) Homepage

      You pay for water by volume and electricity by Watt-hour because when you use either of them, the utility has to treat/create and provide more. They have a bunch of static equipment and pipes/wires that are capable of providing a fixed maximum flow/power, but they also have real incremental costs for every unit consumed.

      Bits aren't like that. The ISP buys a bunch of routers and switches and fiber capable of providing some amount of bandwidth, but if that bandwidth isn't capped then whether you use the pipe or not makes very little difference. The next bit costs the same amount to send regardless of whether or not you used the bit before. At the link level, bits are being sent back and forth regardless of whether or not any valid application data packets are contained therein. Peering arrangements are based on outbound traffic, so your downloads don't cost them anything that way. So outside of the tiny amount of extra electricity needed to process a packet which wouldn't even be worth charging for, the number of bits you consume has no effect on their costs.

      In short, bandwidth costs lots of money, but once you have it, each bit of data costs virtually nothing. Therefore charging for bits makes no sense.

      The only way in which your usage of the existing bandwidth costs them more money is if that bandwidth is saturated such that they cannot provide their customers with decent service, or accept new customers, and they have to buy more equipment/pipes etc. The only time that's going to come close to happening is during Internet Prime Time. Outside of that, and you can peg your bandwidth all you want and it's not going to saturate your ISP's link.

      A person who downloads 2 TB of data a month, but does it all in the middle of the night, is much less likely to cause any problems than a person who downloads 20GB a month, but does it all at 8pm. It's the latter one who is going to force the ISP to go buy more equipment.

      That's part of why this scheme was so transparent -- it didn't even attempt to address the peak usage issue.

      You want equitable? Here's equitable: You pay for bandwidth, however you want, at a per-month rate. You can use your bandwidth as much as you want. However, during peak hours if the ISP is saturated they throttle everyone's connection speeds proportionally to their purchased bandwidth. Then, heavy users have an incentive to download off-peak for better download speeds, and light users who are under-utilizing their bandwidth don't even notice except that their ISP is no longer gagging.

      Oh and if this happens too much, the ISP goes out and uses some of their profits to buy more equipment like any business trying to serve expanding customer needs. :P

      But instead we get some BS about how it's the number of bits you download that is the problem. Which it is, of course, from their scheming perspective. If you download lots of large files, and those large files happen to be TV shows and movies, then you might not need your $60-100/mo cable TV. That is the "cost" that they're worried about wrt large downloaders.

  • by DeanFox (729620) * <spam DOT myname AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:34PM (#27604613)

    "Yes" said the Time Warner representative, The $55 Lobster dinner was subsidized by the $5 Salad eater when they both equally split the bill at $30 each.

    Now, under our new pricing plan, the Lobster diner will pay $95, their fair share after we total their usage and the Salad eater will continue to pay $30. Well actually they'll pay $35 after our proposed price increase. That seems fair to us. Why would any consumer have a problem when we level the playing field so everyone is treated equally? Currently only one consumer, the Salad diner, is getting screwed. With our new pricing plan both the Lobster diner and the Salad diner will be treated equally.

    That makes sense to me.
  • Not that the company believes anything about the plan was fundamentally misguided; as CEO Glenn Britt put it today, "There is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption based billing."

    Standing in front of the smashed shop window at 2:00 A.M. Glenn Britt, wearing a mask and holding a pry bar, exclaimed to police "It's all just a big mis-understanding"

    Schumer announced his own opposition to the plan, then spoke with Britt about the "overwhelming opposition" to the caps. Citizens of Rochester, New York were furious about the caps about to be imposed on them, with Schumer's office describing the reaction as "outrage." The company relented.

    Noticing that the half-dozen officers had drawn their weapons, Britt voluntarily dropped the pry bar and raised his hands in surrender.

    Britt says that he eagerly awaits his opportunity to explain to the judge that it was his evil twin, he was home in bed sick, out of town, in a meeting, and that he was actually breaking in so he could stand g

  • Secret Conversation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @07:43PM (#27605269)
    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Pssst, Chuck.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Yeah?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Sure been tough lately being a Democratic member of Congress.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Tell me about it. Tea parties. Fox News.

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): I know a way you can get real popular.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Go on...

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): People hate Congress and are afraid we're spending too much. I mean we're just rewarding our constituents after 8 long dry years but...

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Yeah, I know.

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): But there's someone even less popular than we are.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Lawyers?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Call that one a tie. Think even worse.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Uhhh...where's my teleprompter? Oh yeah, loaned it to Barrack. Wait, I got it!

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Right, the cable television companies that we're supposed to be regulating to the benefit of the consumer.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Ha ha ha ha ha...

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Well Time-Warner just decided to screw over their customers even worse than before, and they're starting it in our own great state of New York.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): What are they doing?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Their costs are dropping and their profits are up.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Profits are up? Aren't we taxing them enough yet?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Probably not, but that's not the point.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): But raising taxes on other people and spending the money on pork is about all I know how to do - except to blame Bush for everything, that is.

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): This is easy. I'm just a small member of the House and they're not listening to me, but you're the senior Senator from a powerful state. They can't ignore your voice.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): What exactly are they doing.

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): They imposing caps that will raise the average user's bill by at least 66% while calling them pigs for using the Internet connections they actually paid for.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): God Forbid! We can't have that - unless they need the money for more campaign contributions [wink][wink][nudge][nudge].

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): I think they need new private jets.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): So what do I need to do?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Tell them to cut it out, or else - and you'll be a hero to millions.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): That easy?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): That easy!

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): And if I don't, what's the downside?

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): They'll be protesting in the streets this weekend.

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): We can't have any more of that. Except for NBC who is already in our pocket, I don't think we can shut down the rest of the news organizations a second time so soon. Not after the ratings Fox News got out of those tea parties!

    Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY): Then we've got a deal? You'll remember who brought this to you?

    Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Of course, kid. The check's in the mail.
  • For a moment there, I read that headline as:

    Time Warner Plans Pricing For Tiered Shelves

  • Threatened protests are the least of the story. As soon as the economy picks up a bit, these douchebags will be back with their caps and artificially-complex pricing plans and their fuck-the-consumer mentality. Right now, they're scared that customers will just quit, or a lot of very bright people without a lot of spare cash will come up with a way to render them as obsolete as the record companies.

    Then it will just be a case of seeing how much damage the old dinosaur will do before its brain finally f

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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