Mobile data caps might be almost universal, but home broadband data caps are much less so. Some providers have them, but many don’t. At the moment, Time Warner Cable is in that “doesn’t” category — but Comcast keeps trying to expand theirs. If the FCC grants the corporate union of the two its blessing, a whopping 78% of Americans could find themselves living under the new normal of limited home broadband.
Back in 2012, Time Warner Cable unveiled an optional metered broadband plan: the current iteration gives customers a $5 monthly discount, but caps their usage at 30 GB. It’s not really surprising that customers aren’t exactly throwing themselves at such limited broadband access. What might be a little more surprising is that even the TWC CEO admits it’s a total dud.
Comcast’s slow but determined expansion of its plan to enact data caps and collect overage fees from subscribers has hit its biggest city yet, as the company has decided that Atlanta subscribers should now be hemmed in by these restrictions. [More]
More than a year after Time Warner Cable somehow began suckering people into severely limiting their broadband usage to only 5GB/month — the equivalent of a few HD Netflix movies — for a mere $5 drop in monthly rates, Comcast has decided it wants in on this sucker’s bet too. [More]
While Internet providers look more toward capping data usage and penalizing customers for overages (even though it’s becoming less expensive to provide this service), one expert says many devices used to determine a customer’s usage are not sufficiently accurate. [More]
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. [More]
In February, Time Warner Cable began offering lower-cost, capped Internet access to customers in some parts of Texas. Apparently this was a success, as the company plans to expand the option to other markets around the country.
It’s been nearly three years since Time Warner Cable dropped its much-derided plans to roll out metered broadband. Now the company thinks the time might be right to give it another go, but this time it would be an option for customers looking to save a few bucks.
Like suddenly cool again hypercolor shirts, AT&T has brought back another retro trend back from the dead – metered bandwidth with charges for overages. The ISP yesterday imposed a 150 GB a month cap on all DSL customers. If you go over it more than three times in your account lifetime, you will get a $10 charge for every 50 GB in excess. U-verse customers will have a 250 GB cap. Ah, nostalgia, it feels just like Compuserve all over again! So how do you go on a bandwidth diet?
Today, our friends at Comcast announced their new tier of Comcastically fast broadband service in 40 metropolitan areas. It promises speeds of up to 105 Mbps. Zoom! The future is here. So, with that zippy download speed, Xfinity Extreme get higher download caps, right?
Jodi writes that while she doesn’t agree with Comcast’s habit of turning off customers’ Internet access due to “excessive usage,” while she’s their customer, she intends to play by their rules. This would be a lot easier if her usage meter didn’t indicate that her household used more bandwidth than should have been technically feasible.
Remember when you called up your ISP and, after an unholy modem screech, were billed for every minute you spent online? (Actually, it occurs to me that many Consumerist readers probably don’t remember this.) If ISPs’ current efforts pay off, we may all soon be paying for every little byte of Internet that we use.
Time Warner has revised their Subscriber Agreement to lay the legal foundation needed to implement consumption based billing, including usage caps, tiered rate plans, overlimit fees, and speed throttling. Though Time Warner’s metered broadband plans lie in shambles after a barely-averted run in with Congress’ legislative mace, the cable giant clearly has no intention of letting such a potentially massive cash cow escape from the paddock. Inside, the dangerous new legalese that may soon appear in teeny tiny print on your next Time Warner bill.
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports and parent company to Consumerist, took a look at TWC’s most recent financial statements and couldn’t find any evidence that they “needed” to switch to metered broadband. In fact, TWC’s costs have dropped even as they added subscribers.
While they’ve temporarily shelved metered broadband plans, Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers who they deem have used too much bandwidth. One such customer lives in Austin, TX, one of the original markets slated for metered broadband. Stop The Cap has the story, and an excerpt is inside.
Anti-metered broadband advocates are rejoicing today as TWC admitted defeat and delayed its plan to expand metered broadband to Rochester, NY.
Rochester, NY is one of the expanded test areas for TWC’s new metered broadband program, (along with Austin & San Antonio, TX, and Greensboro, NC.) The people of Rochester are especially upset about the change, including their representative, Eric Massa, who had strong words for Time Warner.