Time Warner Cable May Abandon Unlimited Internet Access
On Thursday, Time Warner Cable will start trials of cell-phone-like Internet access plans for its customers in Beaumont, Texas. Under the plans,
Per the story, the trial will charge $1 per gigabyte over the limit, which ranges from $30 a month for 5GB and a 768 kbps connection, to $55 for 40GB and a 15mbps connection.
I've seen these kind of limits suggested previously as a potential alternative to the traffic throttling performed by some ISPs to limit peer-to-peer file sharing on their networks.
The idea seems somewhat reasonable when you're talking about 250GB per month limits, which the AP story says Comcast suggests using.
But I remember thinking that implementing these limits would create the possibility of steadily lowering the cap until it did hit the average person.
That would make Internet access plans like cell phone plans, which to me represent some of the most consumer-unfriendly contracts around (after credit cards).
This type of metering would be a horrible move for business and consumers alike, and I feel sorry for the Texas guinea pigs who will be subject to this test come Thursday.