Time Warner Cable Expands Metered Billing To Four More Cities

If you live in Rochester, NY, Austin or San Antonio, TX, or Greensboro, NC, your broadband access from TWC is about to be capped. The company is expanding its trial run from Beaumont, TX to these additional four cities, where TWC broadband customers will have to choose one of the company’s tiers of service—anywhere from 5GB to 40GB per month. DSL Reports notes that all five markets lack Verizon’s FiOS as an option, and TWC faces little to no competition from other providers.

“Time Warner Cable Expands Metered Billing” [DSLReports] (Thanks to pezhore!)
(Photo: Willrad)

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  1. buckfutt says:

    Oh, yeah, that’ll go over well in Austin. About as well as Muzak in Antone’s…

  2. ShruggingGalt says:

    That’s odd. Austin and San Antonio have AT&T U-Verse. That’s what I have.

  3. Cattivella says:

    Does a cable/internet bill reflect how much bandwidth you currently use? I don’t recall seeing that listed when I previously paid for cable, so I’m not sure how consumers would know which tier they belong in and could see them either under paying and getting a big overage charge or constantly over paying – both beneficial for TWC.

    • Ein2015 says:

      @Cattivella: TWC’s current billing doesn’t for Dallas, TX. However, they’ve disconnected me at least 3 times for “downloading too much” (aka 30gb in a week between 2 nerds).

      Fuck TWC. WCIA.

      • Yokai Monsters Spook Warfare says:

        So you two nerds are to blame! I was wondering why my Netflix Instant Queue on our Xbox has been so freakin’ slow lately (I mean I know its TWC, its ALWAYS TWC!)

        :o)

        Seriously, though, I know they are capping Dallas next, I can just feel it. Does anyone out there know if HD Tivos work with AT&T Uverse or Verizon FIOS? I know satellite is out because of the Cable card issue.

  4. MacQix says:

    I was told by a cable installer here in Portland that they tried the cap here, but decided it wasn’t worth it so they ditched it.

    I don’t have confirmation of this information, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt.

  5. Alys Brangwin is a Tar Heel bred says:

    I live near Greensboro but also Winston-Salem. I am now very annoyed.

  6. WelcomingFacebookers_GitEmSteveDave says:

    There are times I am thankful I got my FiOS and dumped my cable company. When downloading a torrent, I sometimes peer at my Actiontec Router and just go:

  7. Jesse says:

    Metered billing wouldn’t be so bad if there was a benefit to the consumer using less bandwidth.

  8. Nathan Yost says:

    question: from someone who dumped cable and satellite…how does this affect watching streaming video from netflix or online?

    • Jesse says:

      @Nathan Yost:

      I’m almost positive that streaming Netflix movies counts against your cap. If you stream a movie occasionally, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

    • runchadrun says:

      @Nathan Yost: If you do a lot of streaming you very well could go over. That’s why TWC is doing this: to pressure you into using (and paying for) their VOD service.

      • Raekwon says:

        @runchadrun: You are pretty much screwed if you do BluRay and other HD streaming. 5GB plan would get you no where. 40GB would last 1-2 movies maybe.

    • Andrew Mitcham says:

      @Nathan Yost: What this means is all data transfered using your TWC connection counts against the caps they are imposing. With Netflix, one streamed movie is about 2GB of transfer. HD movies are about 3GB per movie:

      [blog.streamingmedia.com]

      That would limit your movie watching to 2 movies if you’re capped at 5GB a month, and 20 movies if you’re on the 40GB cap… and that’s for Netflix’ SD movies. It would be even less for HD movies.

      This method of capping has it’s plus sides… it is net neutral, but considering the dirt cheap cost of bandwidth these days, it’s entirely unnecessary. That’s why they do this in markets where there’s little to no competition. Who the hell are you going to switch to? I’m lucky enough to have FiOS where I live, so this crap would never fly here. The former Charter monopoly here is crumbling so fast, I doubt they’ll be around much longer.

  9. Justin Emmons says:

    I live somewhat near Rochester. Time warner mailed me a notice telling me they were raising my rate. I called them and said, “I’m switching to fi-os if you don’t lower my rate.” They said, “alright” and did.

    • karmaghost says:

      @Justin Emmons: Really? That worked? I looked all over and I couldn’t find anything about FiOS coming to the Rochester area. But hey, if it isn’t and you got shit sorted out anyway, way to go.

  10. Sunflower1970 says:

    Nooooo! I’m in Austin! If I had another choice I’d use it, but at this time, all that’s available in my complex is TWC.! Only wish this was an April Fool’s Day Joke!

  11. cristiana says:

    If this comes to NYC I am going to be pissed, because where I live the only other alternative is Speakeasy, and for equivalent speeds (DSL: 3m/768k, cable: 10m/512k) speakeasy is almost double the price of cable (~50 vs ~100). Granted, with DSL you get higher up speeds, and almost guaranteed bandwidth (that’s why I picked the 3 up as a comparison).

  12. Murph1908 says:

    If this becomes a trend and a standard for ISPs, there’s going to be some trouble down the road.

    If I am pushing my cap, I’ll start to get pretty mad at sites that are automatically streaming video advertisements.

    So, at that point, I am PAYING to view a commercial?

    To hell with that.

    • Radi0logy says:

      @Murph1908: This better not become a trend. Why is it that it seems high speed internet providers are only interested in taking steps back in quality? I swear that the first cable modem I got over 10 years ago was not only faster and cheaper than my current options, but also had better latency.

      • Murph1908 says:

        @Radi0logy: et. al.

        More and more services are being offered through the internet. Magic Jack and Skype for phone calls, Netflix and others for movie streaming, a ‘console free’ gaming system is being rolled out now.

        As these innovations continue, and as more and more developers program web-enabled applications, the bandwidth we all use will continue to increase.

        All of this network traffic is being carried on the back of your ISP. Are they going to continue to provide you access to all of these services for a flat $40 a month?

        I hope so. I hope their technology and efficiency continue to grow with the content. I hope competition keeps them in line.

        But the airlines have shown us that once one carrier crosses a line, the rest are often happy to follow. Sure, we could all fly Southwest to avoid baggage fees, but Southwest doesn’t go everywhere we need. Just like we all can’t have FiOS.

        I’d like to also point out that it’ll only be a few years until the generation that grew up playing games and watching streaming movies online will be in their own apartments. When the email-only, Bejeweled playing grannies die and are replaced by the xXFraggerKingXx’s of the world, the burden on the ISPs will increase.

        • Coyote says:

          @Murph1908: Don’t forget google and their plans for an online OS, where every file/song/game will be streamed from a main server to whatever terminal you happen to be logged into.

    • cristiana says:

      @Murph1908:
      That’s an interesting thought, and if more ISPs start with bandwidth caps, ad blocking is going to be come far more popular, and that could have a chilling effect on ad supported sites.
      This is because, right now ad blocking is usually only done by geeks and tech people, so only a few percent of people on the internet use it. But, once those ads start chipping away at your total bandwidth, Joe User is going to learn about ad blocking and find a way to get rid of ads.
      So, once Joe User gets ahold of this, far more sites would see their advertising revenue go down, and may eventually shut down.

      Yeah, I know, this is all hypothetical, but it could happen.

    • HungryTuna says:

      @Murph1908:

      I regularly update my HOSTS file to block advertisements from auto Streaming..

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Murph1908: Ad-blocking isn’t exactly rocket science (with firefox you just install the add on then your done), but yeah, there aren’t very many casual PC users that use it. I know people who are still using IE and they don’t even download microsoft updates for their computer. Although if they were shown how to use it I think they would catch on very fast.

  13. B* says:

    So glad we just moved out of Greensboro last June! You’re right, there wasn’t any alternative that I could find there. I even remember reading about the first trial and thinking, “My luck, we’ll be next.”

    What a scam.

  14. Meathamper says:

    Thank you for warming the cockles out of my heart with a gramatically challenged cat.

  15. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    So, what’s the cheapest router I can get that will run DDWRT or Tomato so I can start monitoring my bandwidth?
    No telling when brighthouse will get the picture, too.

  16. emona says:

    Is there some kind of website or widget that lets you know your bandwidth in real time?

    Not that that would make the caps any better, of course.

    • nybiker says:

      @emona: Although I use Verizon’s DSL service here in NYC, I have a program called “NetLimiter 2 Monitor” running that tracks my usage. I started using when talk of limits were starting. It’s a freebie. [www.netlimiter.com]

      And for grins and giggles, I see that I used almost 30GB in March 2009. Other months this year show 14 and 18 GB values. I think in March I probably watched a couple of Netflix movies or tv shows (in standard def), so that’s probably what bumped up my usage.

  17. shiftless says:

    40GB/month is pathetically low

  18. Nathan Yost says:

    greedy ass motherfuckers

  19. chrysrobyn says:

    I’m an Austin resident. RR is my only broadband choice. Is this 40GB/month cap uploading, downloading or the combination? I can’t really live with 5GB/month, but I can work with 40GB/month, as long as it’s not the combination. I download video and work from home.

  20. Saboth says:

    I love the “Comcast has blazing speeds!” commercials. “Get 12 mbps…BLAZING!”

    #1. That is like 1/3 the speed of many countries, for like 3x the cost.
    #2. The faster my speed, the faster I hit your synthetic data cap.

    I don’t have an issue with it now, but with things like Netflix streaming HD movies, or if you download shows/movies from Itunes…you can hit the cap pretty fast if you watch 1 movie or 2-3 shows a night, and they are HD.

  21. Casandra Camacho says:

    my “price lock guarantee” aka contract with TWC is up in May.
    I’m switching to U-Verse. And I’m not an AT&T fan – but I will not reward TWC with my business any longer.

  22. yevarechecha says:

    Ridiculous. My college meters bandwidth usage, but the cap is 30GB per student per week. Which is basically impossible to run over unless you have no life whatsoever. 40GB a month? I run a lot of streaming video; that wouldn’t work.

    • karmaghost says:

      @yevarechecha: At the university here, the bandwidth cap is 4GB per week. While that’s 4GB up and 4GB down, it’s still ridiculous. That means it’s 16GB per month. This all started back in the Napster days and there was a big uproar, but nothing was done about it because, well, at most 4 years is all they had to wait until they had a totally fresh batch of people for whom the cap was the norm.

  23. Outrun1986 says:

    Rochester is way too close to where I live so I think I will be sticking with Verizon even if it is only 3mb DSL and the fact that I have constant problems with it. Is there any way to find a list of providers in your area?

  24. nakedscience says:

    WTH. I have rabbit ears and so I watch a LOT of Hulu and Netflix streaming (ALL LEGAL!). More than 40GB a month, I’m willing to bet Thank Gods I live in Arizona.

    • karmaghost says:

      @nakedscience: Yup. This is one of the many, many reasons cable companies are moving to this model. People without cable TV are forced to get cable, people who have cable TV are forced to use VOD, people using Netflix are also forced to use VOD, and people who use a shitload of bandwidth are force to either pay up or tone down.

      Things are only going to get worse from here as ISPs recognize that maybe there are ways to get around this whole “net neutrality” thing.

  25. UrIt says:

    as if rochester doesn’t have enough problems

  26. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    Great for TWC to help Verizon in their FIOS service expansion planning process.

  27. LordSkippy says:

    Somewhat off topic, but one thing I like with TWC is that I can get cable on TVs without a cable box. For instance, in my guest room I have a spare TV connected to the cable outlet without a box. It doesn’t get all the extra digital channels, but it does get the basic channels. Which is nice for visitors. Can I do anything like that with Uverse or FIOS? Or do I need to “rent” on of their boxes for that TV as well?

    I live in Austin, and may be switching to Uverse if they force a cap on me.

  28. Zyzzyva100 says:

    For those in Rochester, [www.oag.state.ny.us]
    Complain to Cuomo. Maybe he can stop going after AIG for a few minutes to screw with TWC.

    I’m in Rochester and this is going to screw me over. Someone said that threatening to switch to FIOS may work, but if you are actually in Rochester or a suburb, I can tell you it won’t Buffalo and Syracuse have FIOS, but Frontier in Rochester keeps them out. Frontier’s TOS impose a 5Gb cap as “acceptable use” (although its enforcement is questionable), and now TWC is going to limit us to 40 Gb/month. Those are the only 2 real options here (Clearwire has a presence, but also has caps). So now Rochester is getting reamed back to the late 90’s and I doubt we can do anything about it. Time to bend over and take it, good thing I’m out of here when medical school is over in 2 years.

  29. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    This still isn’t in my area, but I’m still switching over to Verizon before it is.

  30. Outrun1986 says:

    Another thing people don’t realize is that everything in your house uses the internet these days, unless your over 50, living alone and have no kids. Sorry I know that doesn’t apply to everyone as there are some very tech savvy older people too.

    But people think they are immune, and they are not. Got kids, then you have iPods, the Ipod touch uses the internet. Your daughters iPod touch probably pulls 5GB a month easily just for Wifi use, if not more. This does not count music downloads and app downloads, and video downloads for the iPod.

    Got kids, then you have gaming consoles, almost all gaming consoles use the internet these days. This includes the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and the new Nintendo DSi also features a very viable, full internet browser. The Nintendo Wii is connected to the internet almost all the time as is the Sony PS3 and the Xbox360. I don’t know a family here without an internet enabled gaming console and this is a very poor area.

    You are not immune even if you are a casual PC user, because almost everything uses the internet these days. Heck even many children’s toys are now connecting to the internet and are wifi enabled.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Not sure about the other two cities but broadband choice is extremely limited in Rochester. You can have TWC or Frontier dsl. Frontier’s service is terrible so I’m kinda stuck with TWC. It makes good business sense I guess but what a way to screw over your customers. With Hulu, Netflix streaming, Xbox Live and MMO’s I’m guaranteed to go over any cap they set.

  32. Its_Miller_Time says:

    I have several questions with this…

    1) What about people with more than one PC? My wife and I both have laptops and we both use the internet…sometimes at the same time. Will I be limited to 40GBs just for the both of us?

    2) What about online gaming? I like to play online with my PS3. How much data does that really use?

    This really pisses me off – esp being in the GSO market. I already hate TWC with a passion, but it’s the only thing decent…

    Bastards…

  33. Sunflower1970 says:

    TWC has a reply from twitter: [a.longreply.com]

  34. Disturbance says:

    So Basically, there trying to be WORSE than comcast @ 40GB?

    Time Warner is starting to make comcast look GOOD.