14 April, 2009

Time Warner wants to put restrictive usage caps on your Internet access

The cable providers are scared of losing their cash cow by people watching TV over the Internet. In the latest volley from the cable companies, Time Warner is rolling out restrictive caps that are high priced, and extremely high if you go over.

Sure, $15 a month for Internet sounds good, until you realize it's for 1 GB of data and an additional $2 for each gig you go over. As Wired points out (in "Congressman Wants to Ban Download Caps"), that's 3 hours of Hulu video or half a standard definition movie delivered online. For a mere (cough, cough) $75 per month, you can get 100 GB per month, and only pay $1 penalty for each gig over. It sure makes Comcasts 250 MB cap at $50 - $55 per month look good.

I've heard some folks defend the caps, claiming we don't need that much bandwidth, but each argument has been based on 1 user. The typical claim has been from 50 to 90 GB average usage. Multiply that by a family of 4 and now you're at 200 to 360 GBs. And if that's not enough, we're doing more and more online all the time.

Do you want your kids to limit online research because you can't afford it? Do you want to miss out on the opportunity to listen and interact with our new President and government because it's too expensive? Or maybe you wont try your new venture after all because the bandwidth costs just got too high.

This is just one more example of old business trying to keep old business models. As long as the content providers are the same as the bandwidth providers (Internet and cable TV), we're going to continue to see conflicts of interest such as this. Lucky for us, at least one Congressman is pushing back. As reported in the Wired article:
New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa called TWC's [Time Warner Cable] proposal to switch its 8.4 million cable broadband customers to metered internet billing an "outrageous plan to tax the American people."
Don't just take my word for it, read the story. Oh, and don't forget the prior government grant to the telcos to build out the Internet infrastructure, which was never done. Then, contact your local Congressman and let them know how you feel.

1 comment:

Dustin T said...

It is an informative post.