Friday, April 03, 2009

Time Warner Expands Internet Usage Pricing - Could Stifle Web Video Use


Update: AT&T is testing 20-150GB DSL plans, and I'm wondering if Netflix should show you how many gigabytes you've streamed in the past 30 days.

Businessweek reports that TIme Warner will be expanding the Internet usage pricing model to additional markets. 

Time Warner Expands Internet Usage Pricing - Could Stifle Web Video Use
Fri, 03 Apr 2009 06:14:13 GMT

As I have said in the past, tiered pricing like a cell phone bill is the wrong approach. This just goes to prove it.

This is designed to do one thing - get you to spend more money with either Time Warner or AT&T. Ignoring video downloads for a moment, I am willing to bet your VOIP phone service through Time Warner will not count against your Internet usage, however using Vonage or other such VOIP service will. Same with AT&T land lines. In a way I hope that is true and they get slammed by the SEC.

One big problem is there is no competition in most places for high speed Internet. Last I checked I can only have Time Warner. Right now I do have Earthlink, however it runs on 'Time Warner's lines and once the contract with Earthlink is up I will get stuck with Time Warner's crappy data plans. Not that other choice is any better: AT&T is currently the only other option in town, but I am literally 1 block out of DSL range.

The tiered plan benefits no one. Most people, regardless of what they say, will end up paying more overall with no real benefit. If they REALLY wanted to help the average customer, they would go with a metered plan like electric or water. Grandma who only gets a few emails and photos of the grandkids would pay considerably less per month for the faster access, and those "bandwidth hogs" they talk about would pay appropriately for their usage.

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