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Time Warner Shutting Off Austin Accounts For Heavy Usage 591

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-threw-them-a-shovel dept.
mariushm writes "After deciding to shelve metered broadband plans, it looks like Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers whom they deem to have used too much bandwidth. 'Austin Stop The Cap reader Ryan Howard reports that his Road Runner service was cut off yesterday without warning. According to Ryan, it took four calls to technical support, two visits to the cable store to try two new cable modems (all to no avail), before someone at Time Warner finally told him to call the company's "Security and Abuse" center. "I called the number and had to leave a voice mail, and about an hour later a Time Warner technician called me back and lectured me for using 44 gigabytes in one week," Howard wrote. Howard was then "educated" about his usage. "According to her, that is more than most people use in a year," Howard said.'"
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Time Warner Shutting Off Austin Accounts For Heavy Usage

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  • Two words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:23AM (#27712517)

    Fuck them.

    • by sycodon (149926) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:31AM (#27712593)

      DSL.

      But then I have the lowest tier so It would take a decade to download 44 gigs.

      • Re:Three Letters (Score:4, Informative)

        by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @01:07PM (#27713961) Homepage Journal

        I have ADSL2+ on here (in Australia), syncs at 13Mb/s down and 800Kb/s up.

        I am on a plan which says I can download upto 80GB a month, this means there is no fucked up phone calls, not dicking around about "omg are they going to call me". If I download 40G in one week, it means I have 40G left for the rest of the month, they wouldn't give a fuck if I downloaded at 13Mb/s constant till I hit cap, thats the advantage of a limited account from a good provider, theres no bullshit invisible limits, just you getting what you pay for.

        • Re:Three Letters (Score:4, Insightful)

          by countach (534280) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @06:52PM (#27716823)

          Exactly. I'm in Australia on a 55GB / month plan. Costs around $US 40 per month. ($AUD 55). There would have been some weeks I got close to downloading 44GB in a week, which is ok because I know where my cap is, and anyway it drops down to modem speed when I hit it, I don't get cut off altogether. This US invisible limit stuff is crazy.

      • Re:Three Letters (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @08:20PM (#27717369) Homepage
        Actually, seventeen days would be sufficient to download 44 GB of data over a 33 Kb modem.

        128 Kb ISDN could do it in 4.3 days ...

        So, TWRR cut this guy off for using about half the bandwidth available from ISDN ...

    • Re:Two words (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Smidge207 (1278042) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:35AM (#27712623) Journal

      Agreed and THIS: I tried to cancel all my TWC services over the phone. When asked why I told him because of their caps. I told him I'd be willing to come back if/when Time Warner states explicitly that they will not cap internet usage.

      In the meantime I told him I'm taking my business to ATT. The rep proceeds to argue with me about metered usage for a good 5 minutes telling me that ATTs terms of service state they can meter at any time, and blah blah blah. To which I responded if/when ATT does meter in Austin I'll consider coming back to Time Warner if they aren't metering but I'm still leaving you guys now because ATT isn't metering in Austin.

      He continues to argue the same ridiculous points telling me that the metering was only internet rumor and they weren't going to do that. My reply was something like what about your COOs statement about the metering or your PR reps Tweets?. It's all rumors. Finally I said, fuck it, fine, just cancel it all you aren't going to change my mind.

      He says "Well I can't disconnect over the phone, you have to bring the equipment to your local office."

      I hope he's reading this...thanks for wasting my time D-Bag. I'm bringing the equipment up there today.

      =Smidge=

      • Re:Two words (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flyneye (84093) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:58AM (#27713373) Homepage

        This guy is a clown.My favorite thing to do is keep saying " let me speak to your superior." and "What about 'right now' don't you understand,moron?" until you are speaking with someone suitably responsible, then lay it on the line.
        " So, I'm sure my readers will love a warning about your 'no-tell' capping system and your bungling service. It's nice to be able to finally let my readers know AT&T is the only acceptable broadband in the Austin area. Of course though readers from other markets read me as well. It's too bad we couldn't clear this problem up. Your service represenatives seem to think that Streaming entertainment constitutes too much bandwidth for your little network to take. I'm sure they'll be glad that AT&T aren't asshats to their customers and mind their own business."

                  Just ad lib it a bit and kick 'em in the crotch good. You'd be surprised how attitudes change with the threat of constitutionally protected opinions available to their customers.
        If not, well, f**k 'em anyway. Blog it up.

        • Re:Two words (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jurily (900488) <jurily@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:15PM (#27713493)

          Your service represenatives seem to think that Streaming entertainment constitutes too much bandwidth for your little network to take.

          This sentence is just too cool for words. Thank you.

      • by failedlogic (627314) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @01:48PM (#27714351)

        If you tell them the real reason you're cancelling 1) The company doesn't really care. They want to get rid of you. You're wasting your breadth. 2) If you tell them you're moving, they'll try to sell you the service where you're moving to. Unless you tell them overseas!

        So when it came time for me to cancel service many years ago, I lied. I told them "I have a severe case of CARPEL TUNNEL SYNDROME". I got no resistance. They can't really ask you any more question, or you'd have to be a real douche to. I was off the phone in about 1 minute, service cancelled and tech picked up my modem. I told them it was really hard for me to drive (truth, I do not have a car).

      • "Well I can't disconnect over the phone, you have to bring the equipment to your local office."

        Or you could just download 44 gigs and he'll figure it out.

    • by frieko (855745) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:10AM (#27712959)
      It's so absurd it makes more sense as a comedy sketch than an actual business practice.

      Hypothetical Will Ferrel: At TWC, we value our customers tremendously. Now, I hate to nitpick, but is there any way you could pay us money, but then, we don't give you anything in return?
  • ...of ISPs I will avoid.

    Hey, I might be moving soon, so I might actually have a choice. Is there anyone decent out there? [slashdot.org]

  • The rise of Hulu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by downix (84795) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:23AM (#27712521) Homepage

    My bandwidth usage averaged about a gig a week, between internet radio, VoIP, etc. but then, I noticed my usage jumping to 12Gig/week virtually overnight. Initially I feared a virus. Then I checked, all of the traffic was going to my wifes computer. I then cross-referenced it, the day it jumped was the day she found Hulu, and signed up for Netflix. Now imagine 3-4 computers in the house, each one with someone seperately watching netflix or Hulu....

    • And then imagine (Score:5, Informative)

      by transporter_ii (986545) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:41AM (#27712689) Homepage

      Every house on every block doing it.

      And wait until boxee, netflix, tivio, etc., finally have that killer set-top box and everyone wants one.

      There was just an article a week or so ago that everyone using bandwidth at the same time didn't cost comcast a dime more than if nobody was using it.

      But there are parts of the Backbone that are oversold, and it would be physically impossible for every customer to use 100% of the bandwidth at one time and get the speed they were advertised.

      I know that may not be true for some large ISPs, but if it is a smaller ISP, they oversell bandwidth. And they HAVE to in order to survive and make a profit. You could not sell 3 meg down for 29.95 a month and built out an infrastructure that would deliver 3 meg to every customer at the same time...or maybe you could, but it would take a hell of a long time to pay it off. Might be different in socialized countries, but that is the reality here.

      transporter_ii

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by downix (84795)

        But is that the customers fault or the ISP's for not meeting demand?

      • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:44AM (#27712719) Journal

        there are parts of the Backbone that are oversold, and it would be physically impossible for every customer to use 100% of the bandwidth at one time and get the speed they were advertised.

        Then that is the problem than needs fixing, not these "abusers".

      • by AigariusDebian (721386) <aigariusNO@SPAMdebian.org> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:09AM (#27712949) Homepage

        South Korean ISPs can afford to have backbone pipes of dozens of 1 Gbit fiber optic lines. Time to grow up and upgrade you decades old infrastructure USA. If the companies cann't do that maybe it is time for socialism and have government do it. Best Internet in the world with lowest cost is municipal Internet.

        • by Dissman (997434) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:43AM (#27713233)
          Korea, and Japan are highly competitive markets when it comes to telecommunications. So, I beg to differ that "the best internet in the world with the lowest cost is municipal internet." The problem in the US is very low population density combined with a duopoly when it comes to internet service. Municipal/Government corporations have a history of being less effective, and more expensive than private business... If anything, stimulus money needs to create competition in regions... I.E. a competitor to AT&T, and the CableCo. So, pay Verizon to overbuild AT&T... AT&T would have to compete or die. Like i said, it's simply the lack of competition.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Planesdragon (210349)

            Municipal/Government corporations have a history of being less effective, and more expensive than private business

            But far, FAR more even.

            You can easily build a business selling internet service in New York City. For the whole state of New York, though... well, if the state didn't require telecoms to service some parts of NY, they simply wouldn't get serviced.

          • by tsm_sf (545316) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:19PM (#27713525) Journal
            The problem in the US is very low population density[...]

            This comes up again and again, as if the population were evenly distributed. I don't know how this meme got started, but it's foolish and needs to stop.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by badasscat (563442)

            Korea, and Japan are highly competitive markets when it comes to telecommunications.

            Not when it comes to infrastructure. All infrastructure projects in Japan are heavily funded public works programs, including their internet backbone. The competitive market comes in as a result of that, not a cause. Their markets are as competitive as they are because the government invested the money to make them that way.

            It's not that nobody in the US government realizes this - that's why Obama included high speed int

          • Partially right (Score:5, Insightful)

            by aepervius (535155) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @02:02PM (#27714503)
            The problem in the US is very low population density we always hear that lame excuse. But many (if not all) of your high density city have sucky broadband access. Only countryside and small cities would have a problem with low density. The *SOLE* problem you have is the partially again one you cited in the next sentence. The problem in the US is very low population density combined with a duopoly when it comes to internet service. The problem is that many high density corner of the US have a partial or full monopoly, not even a duopoly. So there you have it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Ecuador (740021)

            Right, the low population density myth. I have been trying for the last 2 years to get a decent connection in 4 locations in NYC. Two in Manhattan (ZIP 10023 & 10010) one in Brooklyn (11209) and one in Queens (11105). No fiber available in any of these places. Only options: DSL 3/768 for $35/month or Cable 5/512 for $60/month. I repeat, 512kbps upload at 60 friggin' dollars a month. IN THE MIDDLE OF NYC. Yeah, the problem is population density.
            Since last year the Manhattan location got another option! A

      • by andymadigan (792996) <amadigan@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:11AM (#27712963)
        People know that an ISP can only do best effort for the advertised speed. If streaming is too slow, they'll stop using it, or use it less often (low reliability = low usage). There's also the fact that both of these services use Akamai. Simple solution, get Akamai to put a server on your (the ISPs) local net, pay them money for it if you have to. Akamai's business is getting data to people fast, if they're not doing it somewhere I would think they would want to fix that.

        The simple fact is that TW is trying to protect their Cable TV business by degrading their internet service. For this reason I think the government should get involved and split RR from TWC. Obviously TW's conflict of interest in this area threatens people's access to a service that has become a necessity of modern life (Cable TV still isn't). Letting them arbitrate how much internet access people get is unacceptable.

        Charging people for using the internet "too much" is ridiculous. The problem is bandwidth on the pipe, not the number of bits it can handle in a month. Offer them speed tiers, not usage tiers.
        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @01:18PM (#27714059)

          The simple fact is that TW is trying to protect their Cable TV business by degrading their internet service.

          And this is the real reason. Time Warner knows that anyone who downloads 44 GB a week downloads a whole lot of video and entertainment. And because of the likely cable monopoly that is the area, that is money coming directly out of their pocket. So the only logical proposition for them is to terminate heavy users. No matter how much they pay TWC, they will never pay enough to make up both data costs and lost opportunity costs.

          Fer fuck's sake, how deeply bought off are politicians that this is in place? This is a classic case of a vertical monopoly abusing its position. Not to mention that it's compounded by the fact that there is at best a limited oligopoly providing internet access.

          The reason this development bothers me is that this is actually the most rational approach for a cable provider. This is the future for cable - or for any provider with an existing content delivery arm.

      • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:01PM (#27713397)

        Well, the people using 40 gigabytes a month are just a harbinger of the future.

        They can oversubscribe right now, but they can't stay at the same oversubscription numbers forever, if they do, they will be shooting themselves in the foot (as far as new revenue and better competition against dialup internet service is concerned) -- i.e. they can't offer "5 megs download", and not expect customers average usage to eventually increase over time to 5 megs sustained usage when they're doing things on the internet like watching high-def movies.

        Just to be clear, using 5 megabits of download speed sustained for 2 hours a day, results in a usage of 4500 megabytes, or 4.5 gigabytes per day. Which is a weekly usage of 31.5 gigabytes per week, and 126.0 gigabytes per month.

        And what if someone wants to watch two movies one day?

        This is not even counting usage of commercial download services like iTunes, which are only becoming more and more popular. It's definitely forseeable someone may want to watch a few movies during the day (esp. on weekends), and download a bunch of music and videos off iTunes.

        The ISPs are going to have to eventually upgrade their infrastructure to be able to provide as much per month to every customer that their customers want.

        It's just a fact that logically arises from the fact that customer demand is increasing as more commercial bandwidth-hungry services are made available. This is a good thing (not a bad thing) for ISPs, as it means the customer pool will also increase, the more popular and useful these services are, gives more people reason to want high-speed connections.

        It's only a question of time.

        By cutting off these "extreme users", they are only delaying the inevitable a little bit, and pissing people off (possibly losing more and more customers, to competitors, who will respect that bandwidth requirements for ordinary users are in a process of massively increasing and/or realize the demand).

        When it comes to new video technologies, new uses for bandwidth, there will often be a small number of early adopters of new technology, who will ultimately increase demand from the public both for new ISP services and for better ISP services.

        By discouraging, shunning, or disconnecting these users, they are disconnecting/shunning new sources of revenue for the coming years... These people will pick competitors like AT&T.

        They'll eventually have to build out their infrastructure further, and if they want to be competitive, INCREASE the speeds of the links they offer (so that they're oversubscribing again, but at a bandwidth much higher than their customers need).

  • by chill (34294) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:28AM (#27712565) Journal

    Why is it so difficult for people to comprehend that if you use more, you're going to have to pay more?

    And why is it so hard for TWC and others to advertise what they actually offer instead of what they know they can't deliver? The word "unlimited" means "no caps" or "without limit". You don't get to redefine it by slapping on some fine print.

    • They have a cap system but they don't charge for extra data. In the case of my plan, I pay $80 per month for 20gb but if I go over it I start paying $3 per gig. So it isn't as though I lose my connection - I just have to pay more.

      Btw, I remember years ago with unlimited internet on dial up and the net result was exchanges would get clogged and the phone number to dial up the ISP would be constantly engaged. It is the same situation now; as soon as you have unlimited people abuse it. For me, have a tiered sy

      • Re:The problem is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chill (34294) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:51AM (#27712789) Journal

        When I worked for Lucent as a network engineer, I ended up doing some work for Cricket Wireless down in Fort Lauderdale.

        You see, Cricket was started by some wireless guys that looked at the numbers and said "Hey, the average length of a local telephone call is under 3 minutes. The median length is under 1 minute. At those network usage levels, we could start a company giving people UNLIMITED local calls for $20 a month and make a killing!" Right?

        Wrong.

        I was down there with a couple other engineers to assess how best to upgrade Crickets collapsing network. You see, people figured out that they could buy two of the phones and use them for things like BABY MONITORS! Just dial and drop one in the crib. Don't hang it up and wander around with the other, all over town if you want. It was cheaper, had better sound quality and less interference than normal baby monitors. They were seeing the average call length jump to over an hour, with some peaking at 8-10 hour calls!

        Needless to say, this was NOT in their business model. They didn't take into account that the average usage was so low because people had to pay for it.

        Just about every other utility -- electricity, gas, water, sewage, garbage -- you pay by volume used. The Internet isn't any different.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tuoqui (1091447)

      Why is it so difficult for people to comprehend that if you use more, you're going to have to pay more?

      Probably because people are being overcharged already.

  • 44? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anonieuweling (536832) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:28AM (#27712569)
    44 GB?
    That is just 10 DVD's!
    Not even two per day for a wholeweek!
    Why is that abuse if he paid for bandwidth and the didn't tell him that there is a lower limit?
    • 44 GB really isn't much when you consider that most news articles now come with video, many people browse youtube for several hours a week, and facebook profiles have video all over them. Plus, with the rise in popularity of sites like hulu and netflix, bandwidth requirements are rising very quickly. Then throw in a couple hours of games a week. Adds up quickly. Especially if you have a roommate or two.
  • Or at least, that's what I got out of some guy in Florida after getting an AUP violation warning letter. Now I have a local ISP which out and out tells me I have a 30GB cap, but it's a local WiFi ISP so I'm not complaining, I'm ecstatic.

  • by Xest (935314) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:36AM (#27712637)

    All this cutting off, severe capping etc. has been common practice by UK ISPs in the UK for about 2 or 3 years now such that pretty much all of them do it.

    If you're lucky you'll start paying about 50 times above cost for extra bandwidth per-GB on top of your "unlimited" subscription next.

    The problem is, I think the internet rush has finished, that is, pretty much everyone that was ever going to be a potential internet customer is already one nowadays, so ISPs are struggling to figure out how to further increase profits. Pretty much all businesses wont ever be happy with a fixed profit margin, they'll always want to increase it and this is what's happening both here in the UK and now seemingly in the US - they're doing away with users who actually use what they're paying for, they're cutting the amount of bandwidth available to everyone else, and then charging more with a massive markup if you want more.

    I'm not really sure how else ISPs can increase their profit margins though to be fair, content is the obvious one, ISPs in the UK like BT are going for Phorm, but that's most certainly not the answer. Content seems to have failed so far because it's generally meant working with the music and movie industry who are still clueless about the internet and hence impose unrealistic licensing and DRM restrictions on the content. I think ISPs would need to become content producers if they want to get anywhere, but I guess that requires thought, effort and investment and apparently they feel it's better to simply screw your users for more profit instead. Time Warner though should at least have less trouble moving into the content bundling business than most but again, it would require more effort than simply screwing the users.

    I understand that bandwidth isn't an infinite resource and some heavy users are a problem in that respect, but I do think that excuse is severely over-used, I'm not convinced there is as much of a bandwidth shortage as ISPs would have us believe, it's just an easy and convenient way to justify fucking the user over for more money.

  • by jmccarthy (228531) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:37AM (#27712645)

    One would think being sold all you can eat service, then having it cut off for using it would be seen as universally crappy.

  • In Stockholm, no one questions one's usage, even on genuinely unlimited Internet accounts, ie, unless you're accessing unlawful content.

    There, unlimited means umlimited .

    I think it's a matter of rights of individuals & profits of companies.

    Let's all try to get past this, eg, by reducing data costs (so companies don't have much to "lose" when users use what they will, of downloaded Internet data).

    All this capping and "unofficial capping" seems to be causing more problems that it solves.

    If tiny Stockholm

  • For now, perhaps.

    As more people discover streaming video, and demand better picture quality and less jittering, the demand for bandwidth will skyrocket. One HD movie per week would be over 200GB per year, probably closer to double that.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:44AM (#27712717) Homepage

    Comcast may cap, but at >250GB. 250GB is not a problem.

    50GB however, is grossly anticompetitive, because someone who's a heavy user of video-over-the-net instead of video-over-cable will hit that cap in easily.

  • If ISPs are now penny pinching and capping people on the total amount of data they can transfer in a given time frame, it sounds a lot like a cell phone service? What's next rollover caps like rollover minutes? Or overage fees? Can one call their ISP to check on their total usage, just like a cell phone customer?

    It's all very silly. If you buy a rate plan of X upload rate and Y download rate, then the amount of data you use should be unlimited 24x7 as long as the provider supplies the rate you are paying
  • Gee, No Shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:45AM (#27712737) Homepage

    Right now, the ISPs are charging the same price to heavy users and light users. Heavy users cost the ISP more than light users. Therefore, their profit motive is to maximize light users and minimize heavy users.

    Tiering would align their profit motive with heavy users (due to volume discounts).

    As long as heavy users keep demanding that light users subsidize their usage, by not charging differential pricing, the ISPs will continue to be profit motivated to cut off heavy users. They will continue to be on the side of content restriction. They will continue to be the enemy of we heavy users.

    Choose your poison: Get the ISPs on our side by letting them profit from our heavy usage, or keep them in an antagonistic position towards us. I like getting free money from light users, but it's not a healthy market strategy. It puts me in an adversarial relationship with my ISP. I'd rather pay for what I use and have them treat me as their golden customer.

    Support tiered pricing (and net neutrality - which 1's and 0's is none of their damned business). Get the ISPs back on our side (like they were in the 90's, when we geeks were their only customers). It'll cost more, but we'll be the golden-haired boys again. Stop demanding free stuff you cheap fuckers.

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:46AM (#27712741) Homepage

    Cable faces the predicament of being next in line behind print newspapers only for them the situation is even more awkward since they themselve provide the very service that they fear will lead to their demise. They push watching streaming video and music, faster download speeds and a "better" internet experience but dont really want you to use it. Its a rough spot they put themeselves into and the only way cable providers can fight the inevitable is to limit usage and hope the customer base is incapable of finding better alternatives.

    • by brxndxn (461473) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:32AM (#27713133)

      The future of cable TV is 'a la carte' over the Internet..

      As long as I have a fast Internet connection, and a box for every TV (kind of like my fucking cable company now), I could have every service the cable company delivers now.. except then I would have more options from decentralized cable providers all over the world.

  • by david.emery (127135) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:48AM (#27712765)

    Of course, most contracts are written so that the big company preserves the right to do any damn thing they want at any point, but it still might be worthwhile looking at your contract, and then going to your state/county/city consumer affairs office and asking them to look at it. Cable companies are normally regulated utilities.

    dave

  • by feepcreature (623518) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @10:49AM (#27712775) Homepage

    If the terms and conditions ban that sort of usage, then the customer has little to complain about (other than the lack of notice).

    If there is nothing in the terms and conditions about such usage, then the supplier is clearly in breach of contract. That might suggest the customer could sue (was there any financial loss, time and cost of equipment while investigating, etc)?

    Or maybe, if this is a pattern of behaviour, or company policy not mentioned in T&C, the local trading standards authorities might take an interest? Or it could constitute some sort of fraud, or false advertising?

    Is there such a thing as a private prosecution in your jurisdiction?

  • Soon only the rich (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Neptunes_Trident (1452997) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:20AM (#27713037)
    will be allowed to create and educate themselves on the internet. The moment someone creates a limit on how much information one can send or access is the moment the divide between rich and poor begins. There is no bandwidth congestion, look at all the other countries with HUGE amounts of bandwidth to each individual person. Over here, we make money by bandwidth limitation. When we should be making money by bandwidth creation like every other country. We suck and so do our companies. We are killing our own culture and limiting creation and education with these bandwidth caps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 25, 2009 @11:31AM (#27713121)

    I use an EVDO Rev A card for field work, and I am a light user. email, web, etc. No Windows service packs, no downloads, no torrent, no itunes, no porn, no movies. The card is expen$ive for data over my limit (3G / month). oh... and I only use it for field work; I don't do my home surfing on it.

    I hit 2 G easy every month which is 24 G per year for a VERY light user. If I didn't purposely control my usage it would be very easy to hit 3 G per month.

    10 years ago, web pages were 10 to 20 k bytes, now they are 150 to 250k or more. People send picnic pictures attached to emails that total 50 megs. I get my daughters gymnastics notices (single pages with about 600 bytes of text) wrapped in a Word doc with backgrounds and headers that total megabytes. This is a FAT DATA world!

    I would certainly say 44G per week is a high user but not extreme.

    The ISP may have some legitimacy for surcharging for overage (don't know what "Turbo" is) but cutting off without notice is just plain wrong.

    • 'Turbo' simply takes advantage of unused time slices on the cable network to give a user more bandwidth than the standard amount that can be shared by all users at any given time.

      On a given network segment assume (these are completely BS numbers to make it easy):
      100 users
      100 'time slices' per period of time (for example 1 second)
      100MB/s of bandwidth is available per time slice, or 10GB/s total
      100MB/s of bandwidth per user on that segment to the termination point (CMTS units that terminate your cable modem s

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:14PM (#27713483)
    US taxpayers paid for $200 billion in infrastructure so there should be limits on what Time Warner can do.
    http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/congressman-to.html [wired.com]
    Write your congressman to support this bill
    https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml [house.gov]
  • by stonewolf (234392) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:29PM (#27713603) Homepage

    First off, I have to laugh at the folks in Europe and Asia bragging on their Internet infrastructure. This is *not* an infrastructure issue. In the Austin, and Round Rock, Texas area TWC already has huge fiber infrastructure. The cable box for this part of the neighborhood is in my back yard. The fiber bundle going into the box is two inches across.

    Back in the middle '90s TWC went billions into debt to build out mixed fiber coax infrastructure. When they opened a ditch they dropped a minimum of four cables. Each cable was 4 inches across and each one contained thousands of fiber strands plus power.

    The connection to my home is DOCSIS 2.0 There are 4 Gbps coming in and 1 Gbps going out and more than enough fiber to handle that all the way back to the head end. They have the bandwidth. They have already paid for infrastructure.

    So what kind of an issue is it? Two things, good old capitalism and a corrupt government.

    TWC is desperately trying to preserve their cable tv business and their telephone business. Having sold an all-you-can-eat service they are finding that people are actually using it that way and the people are using it to bypass TWC. They are using it to use VOIP for dirt cheap prices and service like hulu.com that let them access the video they want when they want it. They do not want to be in the business of selling commodity network transport.

    The trouble with commodity network transport as a business is that there a few opportunities to sell high profit premium services. You can only compete on price and performance. And, if there is any competition at all, you find your self in a race to see who can sell the "best" service for the lowest price. TWC and AT&T are scared to death, and will fight anyway they can, to avoid winding up in the commodity transport business.

    That is where the corrupt government comes in. Those two companies have manipulated the laws in Texas to their own benefit and are doing the same everywhere else. Look at the laws barring cities and counties from build their own networks. That is like barring governments from building roads. Oh, yeah, governor good hair (Perry) has been trying to eight years to privatize all the long distance roads in Texas. And, he is succeeding to.

    Republicans are proof that God hates the USA.

    Stonewolf

  • by Renegade Iconoclast (1415775) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @04:23PM (#27715773)

    I live in Austin, and I moved recently, and after the tech guy went up in my attic, I ended up with the cable modem being set up in a bedroom.

    After he left, a lady purporting to be from TW called. She said it was very important that I not move my cable modem. She repeated herself 3 times but wouldn't tell me why.

    I sort of didn't believe it, and so I moved it soon after to use with my XBox360, because that pig is wired.

    Works fine. I was wondering if maybe they installed a usage meter on just one outlet or something. That seemed pretty tinfoil-ish, but now that I see this story, and it relates to Austin specifically, I wonder.

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