Time Warner's Tiers May Prompt New Legislation

Time Warner's planned implementation of a bandwidth cap on broadband usage has received negative reactions nationwide and now may be the impetus of new legislation limiting such measures.

U.S. Representative Eric Massa of New York was none too pleased when Time Warner announced that it would be rolling out the new tiers in his district. Massa said he would draft new legislation to prohibit Internet Service Providers from implementing unfair tiered pricing structures, especially in areas where they hold a monopoly.

"I am taking a leadership position on this issue because of all the phone calls, e-mails and faxes I've received from my district and all over the country," Massa said in an April 10 statement. "Time Warner has announced an ill-conceived plan to charge residential and business broadband fees based on the amount of data they download. They have yet to explain how increased Internet usage increases their costs."

Time Warner's Chief Operating Officer Landal Hobbs subsequently released a statement saying, “We realize our communication to customers about these trials has been inadequate, and we apologize for any frustration we caused. We’ve heard the passionate feedback, and we’ve taken action to address our customers’ concerns."

So far, the only action Time Warner has taken is to say that the most any customer will ever pay for internet usage is $150.00 a month. However, this gesture is meaningless considering customers (where the tiered plan trials are not being tested) currently have no usage cap on a $40 plan.

As we covered in a recent news article, Time Warner's new tiered plans would have bandwidth caps of 5GB, 10GB, 20GB, 40GB, and 60GB with a new Turbo Package capped at 100GB. The plans would cost from $40 to $75 a month with any overage charged at $1 a GB up to a maximum total of $150 a month.

"Time Warner's decision has the potential to more than triple customers' current rates, and I think most families will find this to be too taxing to afford," Massa said. "Time Warner believes they can do this in Rochester, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Austin and San Antonio, Texas, and it's almost certainly just a matter of time before they attempt to overcharge all of their customers."

"At a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs and businesses are struggling, I am compelled to fight against additional, unnecessary burdens placed on my constituents," Massa said.

No details of the proposed legislation have yet been released, but Massa said it would also include provisions aimed at increasing competition in areas currently serviced by only one provider.
Via:  eWeek
3vi1 5 years ago

More power to Massa! It's refreshing to hear about an elected official that doesn't take the side of the billion-dollar company.

I like Time Warner's comment:

>> We’ve heard the passionate feedback

Translation: They threatened to replace our blood with Draino.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

Yeah I'm glad to see that someone is doing something about this. It really sucks for people that have no other option.

ajayd 5 years ago

I believe the amount people download every month is already relatively proportional to the speed of their connection, therefore they are essentially already paying for a given amount of bandwidth. Irregardless of that belief, Time Warner's new tiered pricing structure is outrageously overpriced for such insufficient speed and limited bandwidth caps. I can comprehend paying $150/month for unlimited download capabilities on a FiOS connection (50 Mbps download/ 20 Mbps upload), but not for Time Warner's measly 10 Mbps connection.

3vi1 5 years ago

Regardless of your use of a fictitious word, I wholeheartedly agree with you: They're overselling their capacity and passing the burden on to the customer.

One could argue that they are selling you a "burst" (CBS) speed, but if that's the case they need to advertise it as such. "Comcast! 10MB burst speed, 98*K*B sustained rate per month".

yoda8232 5 years ago

That's terrible, mine is worse though. My company that my parents are with is terrible, Rogers.

I live in Ontario and there are two major ISP's, Bell and Rogers. Rogers is cable but VERY expensive. I used to have 1 MBPS download with a 25 GB cap, yes 25 gigabytes. It was hell. Now I have 7 MBPS download with a 60 GB cap which is the next step up from the 1 MBPS package.

So that means no package in between 1 MBPS and 7 MBPS, terrible. Customer support is great though it's just really overpriced.

3vi1 5 years ago

Ouch! :( Sorry to hear about those insanely low caps. I had heard about Rogers before, but didn't know the numbers.

yoda8232 5 years ago

The only place where you can get a decent download cap is DSL which is no cap at least around here. Most cable ISP all have caps, I want to go to a 5 MBPS DSL connection but it has NO CAPS at all and free 100 GB online storage on their server. They are in the USA too.

ajayd 5 years ago

I appreciate the fact that you agree with my assessment, however I will have to disagree with you in regards to my use of a fictitious word. Irregardless is indeed a word, circa 1912 to be precise. While some may repudiate its validity and defame its reputation, I happen to prefer it to regardless on occasion.


yoda8232 5 years ago

Uhh what?

Did you read the posts after your last one or am I just not understanding you. :P

Anonymous 5 years ago

Cable ISP's are doing caps because they have to put all those HD channels over the same pipe. The technology is there in the form of on-demand multiplex switching which sends the signal for channels as they are requested to each individual set top box but cable companies do not want to invest in the technology so we have all those channels on the pipe at all times. Plus the FCC has mandated that cable companies get rid of the set top box requirement. TV's will come with a card slot instead where you can put a card from the cable company that allows them to authorize your access. This has been in the works for 10 years with the cable companies fighting it all the way. They don't want to lose the revenue from the set top boxes. They (The cable companies) are trying to get all the money they can, while they can.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

I think I will die waiting for cablecards. I was really excited a year or two back when it looked like they were finally coming for real.

yoda8232 5 years ago

Makes sense then with the HD stuff.

I just need to switch to some DSL place with uncapped internet and it's good.

It's not that expensive either.


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It's about $32.95 after but still that's really cheap.

Kiristo 5 years ago

The internet in Portugal and Italy is this way, capped. But there is only like 2 tiers, 10GB and unlimited. I think it is like 120 euro every 2 months for unlimited at 20Mbps. Which, I was pissed about at first (when I was in Portugal, where I paid that for 8Mbps. I've gotten used to it now though, and while it's still expensive it's what you gotta do because there are very few companies and they have a monopoly. Good to hear the Govt is not sitting by watching these big companies do the same in the states.

Anonymous 5 years ago

You can get 160Mb/s download speed packages in Japan for the equivalent of $60 due to competition. We need that here.

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