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Thread: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

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    All-Universe tayb's Avatar
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    Default More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    You guys should seriously be knowledgeable of this. Anyone who watches TV online, plays video games, watches netflix online, utilizes a game downloading service (a legal one such as Direct2Drive where you pay), has ever downloaded World of Warcraft and the patches, watches movies on iTunes, downloads music on iTunes, watches videos on youtube, etc. This isn't something to ignore. This isn't something that you just hope will get better. If we sit around here and let the ISP's do this to the consumers it won't ever go away. It needs to be nipped in the bud NOW, while we can.

    This is an article from Toms Hardware giving a run down of just what exactly Time Warner Cable, among others, is planning to screw the consumers (all of us) out of money by giving us less service for the same amount of money.

    There is an online petition which can be signed at the bottom and already has half a million signatures. Considering it has only been a few days since Time Warner announced this new that is a staggeringly high number of signatures.

    I, like many people, have been subscribing to Internet connection services since the days of 3600 baud modems. Then I upgraded to 14.4k, 36.6k, 56k, DSL, and now cable. Unfortunately, due to where I am living today, I'm stuck on 3 Mbit Verizon DSL service, which is often running at less than 1 Mbit. Thankfully, my service doesn't have a download cap on it--at least not yet anyway.
    Much like everyone reading this article, I'm a genuine supporter of advancement in hardware and technology services. Suffice to say, I was happy with the progression of Internet connection services over the years. Recently, however, I would have to say that Internet connection advancement in the U.S. and Canada has been purely an interest of the corporations that provide them and not about serving the consumer--you--and the advancement of technology in America in general.

    In late March, I wrote an article on Tom's Hardware explaining why HDCP (high definition content protection) is the bane of movie watchers everywhere. Not only is HDCP an invasive technology that kills the enjoyment of movies for enthusiasts, it does nothing to stop pirates. We all know this to be true.
    Don't think for a moment though, that big media doesn't know this--they absolutely do. Now, they have a new plan. Since big media can't directly go after pirates, they've decided to go after to after the group of people who they think can't do a thing about it: anyone using an Internet connection.

    You.

    Several years ago while at DailyTech, I wrote a series on net neutrality. If you haven't heard, the big issue on net neutrality is about ISPs creating tiers of net connections for both businesses and consumers. Tiers allow companies to effectively charge you more for your downloading habits rather than the speed you're after. Net connection services have always been mainly about speed for the consumer. Want to subscribe to a faster service? Pay more. It was simple and effective. Without net neutrality, ISPs not only charges for speed packages but also for how much you download.

    At the time, Verizon and others were very vocal about net neutrality, especially when the U.S. government and FCC were looking into the matter. Verizon and others made it clear that net neutrality was much ado about nothing. They lied.

    Time Warner Cable, which provides Internet connectivity for millions is a big opposition to net neutrality. Alright, let's cut the bull: Time Warner Cable, which provides Internet connectivity for millions, wants to screw you.

    But TWC isn't the only company out there with an interest in charging customers more for less. Most major ISPs are on the same bandwagon. The big reason for this? Online video and music.

    Cable companies have a vested interest in protecting their business, which is providing TV and movie services to their millions of subscribers. The more online movie and music services that pop online, the more threat there is to their bread and butter. The only way cable providers can slow this process down or stop it, is to limit how much you're able to download.

    This week, TWC released a new set of tiered connection plans ranging from a ridiculous 1 GB per month plan to something TWC calls the 100 GB "super tier" plan. Super?

    "We need a viable model to be able to support the infrastructure of the broadband business," said Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt. Despite what Britt claimed, 2008 was actually a great year for TWC: 10-percent more subscribers, but operating costs didn't go up. So what kind of math did Mr. Britt learn in school? Not the kind of math I learned; but that doesn't matter since Britt has an annual salary of $16.2 million.

    Here's some more logical math for your consumption: consider TWC's 40 GB tier. It costs a whopping $54.90 per month. If you only watch 7.25 hours a video per week, via Netflix, your Xbox 360, or any other service, you will be slapped with a bill of $200 at the end of the month. Worried? "Don't worry," says TWC's COO Landel Hobbs.

    "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," says Hobbs.

    That's an incredible deal if I ever saw one. Right? (sarcasm).

    YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and many other online video services are becoming more and more popular. Arguably, Netflix is putting Blockbuster out of business. Hulu, iTunes, and others like it are a major threat as well. Tiered plans however, ensure that you only get to watch a limited number of videos per month as well keep your downloading of videos to a minimum. Why have a really fast net connection to enjoy online media services and downloading when in reality, you can't?

    The answer is: so you, your friends, your family, and anyone else you know that has an Internet connection can keep dumping money into traditional cable programming. TWC, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, and others are not for the consumer in any way, shape, or form. Because of their traditional business practice, which is quickly becoming obsolete, cable providers want to make sure you, the consumer, will pay more to keep them afloat.
    Download capping is the new DRM.
    It ensures several things:
    - You will be more hesitant to download movies and music legitimately--even though you've paid to watch/listen.
    - You will watch more cable TV (so you can see all those great ads).
    - You will accidentally pay more for less.
    - Pirates get a whacking.

    Big media and ISPs can't effectively eliminate piracy by going after pirates directly or stop online video and music streaming services. So they have a better plan now: go after everyone.

    You can do something about TWC and others. A for-consumer organization called FreePress has an online petition, which is 500,000 strong at the moment, aims to convince Congress to put a stop to net capping schemes (scams?). Sign up here and make a stand.
    Glenn Britt, Landel Hobbs, or anyone at TWC who still cares about the consumer, I invite you to e-mail me at tuannguyen at bestofmedia.com. I'll be delighted to talk about how to bring your business into the 21st century.

    Source : Tom's Hardware US
    Last edited by tayb; 04-11-2009 at 06:29 PM.

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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer dragons08's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Well I have Uverse.
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Yeah, there's a simple solution to this... Get rid of Time Warner. I have U-verse as well.
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    If I had a poll, graph, or chart I would feel more comfortable discussing this...
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    I have TWC out here in El Paso, so hopefully they dont go to this crappy tiered system out here anytime soon.
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    All-Universe tayb's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by dragons08 View Post
    Well I have Uverse.
    Quote Originally Posted by svhorns View Post
    Yeah, there's a simple solution to this... Get rid of Time Warner. I have U-verse as well.
    It isn't as simple. There are a lot of areas that only have one cable or DSL option and many places in America where that only option is Time Warner Cable. You also have to consider the domino effect. Time Warner get's away with these caps so AT&T thinks it can get away with these caps and then Verizon thinks it can get away with these caps. Comcast already has data usage caps but they are a far more realistic 250GB. Think that number is going to remain that high in areas where they are the sole provider?? I don't.

    Trust me people are going to bail from Time Warner, where possible, but to think that if this goes unchecked Time Warner is going to be the only company with unrealistic data caps would be very very foolish.
    Last edited by tayb; 04-11-2009 at 11:14 PM.

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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer DrEdward's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    For slorch's benefit in discussing this:




    You can judge for yourself the distirbution of capacity utilized across customers. It is clearly a very skewed distribution. Under those conditions, one can legitimately ask is it appropriate for those low capacity users to pay the same price as those high capacity users? Low volume users (which appears to be approximately 90% in this graphic, although I suspect it is somewhat less than that although it will be more than half the users) may well think it is quite appropriate to adopt a different pricing system that the current widespread version. High volume consumers of bandwidth capacity will certainly like the current flat rate pricing structure. The economic issue comes down to how much is the incremental cost of adding additional bandwidth capacity to the net?, what are the demand characteristics of the users? and how much additional costs might be involved in undertaking and performing the measurement function?

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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    I prefer the cheddar gold fish.
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    All-Universe tayb's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Yeah except the 5% that is referred to is people on business tiers who are already paying for a premium service. Of course Time Warner has the ability to spin their OWN bandwidth numbers whichever way possible to make their caps seem justifiable.

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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer DrEdward's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by tayb View Post
    Yeah except the 5% that is referred to is people on business tiers who are already paying for a premium service. Of course Time Warner has the ability to spin their OWN bandwidth numbers whichever way possible to make their caps seem justifiable.
    I doubt very much that Time Warner is spinning the numbers in this case, as they are too easy to confirm by other studies. In addition, the distribution of internet bandwidth usage is quite similar to others in the telecommunications industry - very much skewed with a small fraction of the users representing an overwhelming fraction of the consumption.

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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer slorch's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEdward View Post
    For slorch's benefit in discussing this:




    You can judge for yourself the distirbution of capacity utilized across customers. It is clearly a very skewed distribution. Under those conditions, one can legitimately ask is it appropriate for those low capacity users to pay the same price as those high capacity users? Low volume users (which appears to be approximately 90% in this graphic, although I suspect it is somewhat less than that although it will be more than half the users) may well think it is quite appropriate to adopt a different pricing system that the current widespread version. High volume consumers of bandwidth capacity will certainly like the current flat rate pricing structure. The economic issue comes down to how much is the incremental cost of adding additional bandwidth capacity to the net?, what are the demand characteristics of the users? and how much additional costs might be involved in undertaking and performing the measurement function?
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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer slorch's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    I capped my personal bandwidth years ago...it's called marriage.
    CJK5H

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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    The real reason for imposing bandwidth caps is to strangle the growth of Internet Video before it becomes widely available on the TV. The CATV industry is realizing that consumers are discovering that they can transform their TVs into giant monitors into the Internet Cloud merely by connecting a laptop computer to the TV and using the laptop (or cheaper netbook) as an Internet Gateway for the TV.

    Often it is actually easier to connect a computer to the TV than it is to connect a cable set-top box.

    The CATV industry is worried that if popular TV shows and movies become widely available on the Internet subscribers will cancel regular cable service. Over the long term it is a valid concern.

    However, strangling Internet Video and other multimedia applications in the cradle will have a damaging impact on our nation’s ability to compete in a World economy. We already rank a disappointing 15th among EEOC countries in terms of broadband Internet penetration. Furthermore, the CATV and Telco industries are being given grants of at least $7 billion from the Obama Administration to more fully build-out the country’s broadband infrastructure.
    Last edited by country club; 04-12-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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    All-Universe tayb's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEdward View Post
    I doubt very much that Time Warner is spinning the numbers in this case, as they are too easy to confirm by other studies. In addition, the distribution of internet bandwidth usage is quite similar to others in the telecommunications industry - very much skewed with a small fraction of the users representing an overwhelming fraction of the consumption.
    Those numbers have not only already been called into question as far as their validity but Time Warner's COO has used a different set of numbers twice so far this past week to try and justify the caps. Which set of numbers is it?

    And they don't have to spin the numbers. 5% of the users using that much bandwidth are already paying for premium speeds to even make it possible to use that much bandwidth.

    Let's assume all companies have a GB cap. AT&T and Verizon don't but I'll just assume they have a realistic cap, much like Comcast, of 250GB.

    Time Warner Cable 40GB Cap $54.90 a month. Price per GB: $1.37

    Comcast 250GB cap $52.99 a month. Price per GB: $0.21

    Verizon 250GB cap $44.99 a month. Price per GB: $0.18

    AT&T 250GB cap $35.00 a month. Price per GB: $0.14

    One of these things is not like the other.

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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by tayb View Post
    It isn't as simple. There are a lot of areas that only have one cable or DSL option and many places in America where that only option is Time Warner Cable. You also have to consider the domino effect. Time Warner get's away with these caps so AT&T thinks it can get away with these caps and then Verizon thinks it can get away with these caps. Comcast already has data usage caps but they are a far more realistic 250GB. Think that number is going to remain that high in areas where they are the sole provider?? I don't.

    Trust me people are going to bail from Time Warner, where possible, but to think that if this goes unchecked Time Warner is going to be the only company with unrealistic data caps would be very very foolish.
    yep thats exactly what's going to happen TW is first then there goes the followers...i have U-Verse but im pretty sure they will follow TW sooner or later....and guys this is what they call controlling the i-net...its not really surprising....hell i wouldnt be surprised if TV's next..charged by how much TV you watch
    Last edited by rocketgrl94; 04-12-2009 at 03:35 PM.
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEdward View Post
    For slorch's benefit in discussing this:




    You can judge for yourself the distirbution of capacity utilized across customers. It is clearly a very skewed distribution. Under those conditions, one can legitimately ask is it appropriate for those low capacity users to pay the same price as those high capacity users? Low volume users (which appears to be approximately 90% in this graphic, although I suspect it is somewhat less than that although it will be more than half the users) may well think it is quite appropriate to adopt a different pricing system that the current widespread version. High volume consumers of bandwidth capacity will certainly like the current flat rate pricing structure. The economic issue comes down to how much is the incremental cost of adding additional bandwidth capacity to the net?, what are the demand characteristics of the users? and how much additional costs might be involved in undertaking and performing the measurement function?
    These are the numbers, but the assertion that more bandwith usage causes prices to dramatically skyrocket is just not backed up by fact.

    The fact of the matter is that these proposals look fair on the surface, by your very reasoning, but the pricings that TWC is imposing are unfair and completely disproportionate to reality.
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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer DrEdward's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by tayb View Post
    Those numbers have not only already been called into question as far as their validity but Time Warner's COO has used a different set of numbers twice so far this past week to try and justify the caps. Which set of numbers is it?

    And they don't have to spin the numbers. 5% of the users using that much bandwidth are already paying for premium speeds to even make it possible to use that much bandwidth.

    Let's assume all companies have a GB cap. AT&T and Verizon don't but I'll just assume they have a realistic cap, much like Comcast, of 250GB.

    Time Warner Cable 40GB Cap $54.90 a month. Price per GB: $1.37

    Comcast 250GB cap $52.99 a month. Price per GB: $0.21

    Verizon 250GB cap $44.99 a month. Price per GB: $0.18

    AT&T 250GB cap $35.00 a month. Price per GB: $0.14

    One of these things is not like the other.
    No doubt there are variations in the distribution of bandwidth across customers from market to market and over time as well, but the nature of those distribution are consistent. But as you say above, "they don't have to spin the numbers."

    The comparison of the average price per GB among companies certainly would suggest that on the surface Time Warner is out of line in its rate level, if your assumptions as to the other companies' prices are correct But that can be adjusted. I understand that TW's average price level would be a concern, but that's a different concern than the distribution of usage and for the concept of paying for what a customer uses rather than confronting all users with the same price for any amount of bandwidth consumption a customer might care to consume.

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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Cable TV is not a necessity. You either live with the decisions that these businesses make or you find one to better suit your needs. They can and will do whatever they want to do. Why? Because it's their business.
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    Quote Originally Posted by the_phoenix612 View Post
    These are the numbers, but the assertion that more bandwith usage causes prices to dramatically skyrocket is just not backed up by fact.

    The fact of the matter is that these proposals look fair on the surface, by your very reasoning, but the pricings that TWC is imposing are unfair and completely disproportionate to reality.
    I have stated nothing about the price levels other than such detemination to move to such a new pricing structure would be be based on the cost of supplying additional bandwidth, any measurement costs involved and the demand responsiveness of customers.

    The levels propsed by Time Warner may or may not pass such a cost-benefit test, but that is an empirical test which I have not yet seen. My argument thus far is that the concept of charging for bandwidth capacity demanded by a customer,as opposed to a uniform price for all customers, is not necessarily some evil idea. But the prcing of sych incremental bandwidth consumption is likely to have to be something close to, albeit above the incremental cost of provision of such capacity.

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    5A Texas Football.com Hall of Famer stevefoxsc's Avatar
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    Default Re: More details on TWC Bandwidth capping

    and to think i posted this same exact thing last year when it started happening in Europe.

    "That could never happen here you stupid liberal"

    hahaha....
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