Time Warner Cable To Take Metered Broadband Offer Nationwide, Though We Have No Idea Why You’d Want It

Back in May, we warned you about the tempting-but-sketchy Internet Essentials plan being tested around the country. Now the plan, which offers discounts for customers willing to accept a strict data cap and possible overage fees, are set to roll out nationwide.

As we mentioned in the original story, the Essentials plan provides a $5 discount to subscribers willing to stay below a 5 GB data cap each month. Any data used above that cap will be charged at the rate of $1/GB with a maximum of $25 in a month.

“If having your bandwidth consumption tightly constricted for no particular reason appeals to you, you’ll be happy to note that Time Warner Cable has expanded the plans throughout their entire footprint,” writes DSLReports’ Karl Bode, “except in their Hawaii Oceanic territory.”

So while this might be good news to thrifty customers who use their Internet access only for checking e-mail, the growing number of consumers who stream video, music and play games online will easily hit and exceed the 5GB cap.

To that end, Time Warner Cable says it’s not doing away with unlimited Internet access; it’s just offering the Essentials as a low-cost option.

Though given TWC’s recent roll out of the controversial modem fee, customers who take advantage of the Essentials discount are really only saving $1/month. That’s assuming the modem fee doesn’t increase and that the customer stays under the 5 GB cap.

Back in 2009, TWC ended up with mammoth amounts of egg on its face after cancelling its plans to roll out metered broadband to all customers in the U.S.

“We have heard from a vocal minority of our customers and have determined that we need to spend more time educating everyone on this new model,” the company said at the time. “While we still believe that Consumption Based Billing is the right way to equitably charge our customers, it is clear that we need to first teach customers about how much bandwidth they actually consume.”

Thanks to David for the tip!