Monday, April 13, 2009

Time Warner Announces Unlimited Internet for $150/month

Time Warner has been exploring a tiered billing service based on usage. Basically the idea is a tiered plan that is more affordable for those who don't use it much and increasing charges for who use more bandwidth. It's a system that is in use overseas and I look for other Internet providers here in the states to begin to at least explore the idea here.

What Time Warner is thinking about (according to to Landel Hobbs, chief operating officer of Time Warner Cable) is the following:

  • A 1 GB per month tier offering speeds of 768 Kbytes downstream/128 Kbytes upstream for $15 per month. Overage charges will be $2 per GB per month. TWC's usage data show that about 30 percent of its customers use less than 1 Gbyte per month, Hobbs wrote.
  • Road Runner Lite, Basic, Standard and Turbo packages will include expanded bandwidth caps to 10, 20, 40 and 60 GB, respectively, for the same price. Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month.
  • A new 100 GB Road Runner Turbo package will be added, offering speeds of 10 MB/1 MB for $75 per month. Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month.
  • Overage charges will be capped at $75 per month. "That means that for $150 per month customers could have virtually unlimited usage at Turbo speeds," Hobbs added.
This is an interesting idea. You'd have to really be using the service to go over 100 GB in a month, but I know of people who do. I'm not sure how this will shake out. U.S. users may complain enough that the idea disappears, but personally I have no problem with it. Users who clog the system cause the rest of us to pay for their habits. Pay to play is fine with me rather than subsidizing the heavy users ourselves.

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