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TWC caps will include $150 "unlimited"

updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri April 10, 2009

TWC Cap Increase

Time Warner Cable's expanded trials of metered Internet service will include significantly higher average caps and a pseudo-unlimited option, the company's COO Landel Hobbs said in an online statement. After facing criticism for offering a maximum cap of just 40GB per month in Texas trials with unlimited overage fees, the provider is now boosting its original 5GB-40GB range for Road Runner service to 10GB-60GB and is adding a 100GB tier for $75 per month. It will also limit the overage charges themselves to a maximum of $75 extra per month and, practically, restore unlimited Internet access at a price of $150 per month.

Some markets will also get DOCSIS 3.0 access at $99 per month for 50Mbps downloads and 5Mbps uploads, though it's not specified whether these users will be subject to the same caps as regular users on the DOCSIS 2.0 network.

Hobbs nonetheless maintains that caps are necessary and claims that "industry analysts" have warned capacity on many Internet providers may run out by 2012, purportedly forcing carriers to increase their prices to both discourage excessively heavy downloading and help fund network upgrades. A bandwidth-based model theoretically keeps use in check while allowing the truly light users to pay as little as $15 per month.

"This [use increase] could result in Internet brownouts," he argues. "If we don't act, consumers' Internet experience will suffer. Sitting still is not an option."

Critics, however, have observed that the actual cost of bandwidth for Time Warner and others is disproportionately low relative to the new prices, even on the projected timeline. They note that the trials significantly avoid areas where Verizon's FIOS and other uncapped, high-speed service co-exists alongside Road Runner and is thus likely to steal customers from Time Warner's network. Others have also charged that the caps are being kept artificially low to protect Time Warner's TV business as customers may cancel regular TV service in favor of iTunes purchases or web video services like Hulu.

Trials are set to expand to Greensboro, North Carolina and Rochester, New York in August and will return to Texas for Austin and San Antonio trials in October. It's not yet determined whether the trials will become permanent or apply to all areas.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Surff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    TWC Caps

    This is just another money grab. Comcast rates for 30 Mbps are around $75.00 a month without caps.

  1. Surff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    TWC Caps

    This is just another money grab. Comcast rates for 30 Mbps Down and 5 Mbps Up are around $75.00 a month without caps.

  1. pastusza

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Verizon FTW

    I have DSL and am moving to FIOS when it comes along. Time Warner better hopo that ATT Uverse or Verizon FIOS doesn't show up in areas that are capped. You'll see a huge mass exodus, then.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    time warner...

    as like most other companies in the cable industry is being stingy when it comes to their services. Compare any US cable provider to the European Market and parts of Europe have had reasaonably priced service around 20Mbps for years now.

    But the Internet providers are following the Music/ Entertainment Industries and also the Auto-maker Industry simply trying to milk every last greedy dime they can out of their existing technology before it dies off and they ALL are forced to change their business models to keep up with the newer technologies being adapted.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One Less Subscriber

    The minute Time Warner tries to pull this c*** in New York City, they'll have one fewer subscriber here. And probably most of the heavy internet users I know, too.

    Besides, Time Warner has a pretty bad selection of HD channels. PLUS, they're constantly replacing channels. Discovery HD was great, then disappeared.

    Gee, but now there's cage fighting and NASCAR to take it's place. How lucky I am to have such cultural enrichment available right at my fingertips,... all for a nominal monthly fee.


  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One Less Subscriber - Me

    I live in the Greensboro TWC district. Way back when they started testing this in some city in Texas (I think), I emailed them and told them I would be off their network in a New York minute if they tried that here. Well, now they have, and I've already notified them to discontinue my service on the day they throw the switch. See, I'm way out on the fringe of their service area, and there is a local telephone co-op here that offers fiber-cable and internet, although their internet service is slightly higher priced than TWC, but slightly faster d/l speeds and much higher u/l speeds. Most people in the Greensboro district have no such alternative solution from what I understand. I'll be moving my service as soon as their plan goes into effect, no matter what they may have changed their usage caps to at that time.

    I even wrote to the NC Atty General about what TWC is doing. What a joke. They sent me some canned blurb from TWC. It's as though I had contacted a TWC employee rather than the government agency that is supposed to be looking out for me.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does that $150 include a monthly supply of AstroGlide?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    come on people!

    Don't you see they are looking out for your best interest? By capping internet, they're making you more aware of how much time you waste.... er..... spend on-line.

    Plus, it isn't a "money grab". They clearly state that this is all about making sure they have enough funding to make the capital improvements so that your internet tubes don't get clogged and you can have the privilege of even faster and better internet experience in the future.

    Assuming you can afford to use it.

    Kind of ranks up there with the "We're raising your cable TV rates so that we can upgrade the system to be able to handle twice as many channels, so that we can then raise your rates because we're offering you twice as many channels".

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