The QiRanger Adventures

The Unlimited Cap

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For the past few months, TimeWarner Internet services have been playing with the idea that they should introduce tiered services. Essentially, you pick how much of the Internet you want to be able to use and you pay a fixed price. If you go over, you pay more. While this kind of pricing scheme has been implemented abroad, it’s never been put to the test here in the US. Needless-to-say, it was met with great resistance and the idea was finally shelved.

But Slash-Dot reported something interesting today:

After deciding to shelve metered broadband plans, it looks like Time Warner is cutting off, with no warning, the accounts of customers whom they deem to have used too much bandwidth. ‘Austin Stop The Cap reader Ryan Howard reports that his Road Runner service was cut off yesterday without warning. According to Ryan, it took four calls to technical support, two visits to the cable store to try two new cable modems (all to no avail), before someone at Time Warner finally told him to call the company’s “Security and Abuse” center. “I called the number and had to leave a voice mail, and about an hour later a Time Warner technician called me back and lectured me for using 44 gigabytes in one week,” Howard wrote. Howard was then “educated” about his usage. “According to her, that is more than most people use in a year,” Howard said.’

Most people don’t use 44gb in a year? Is she kidding me? When I upload a video to YouTube each one is nearly a gb in size, if not more (I have a per file limit of 20gb per movie). When you look at Australia, there has been a cap on Internet plans for a long time. I was speaking with my friend Dave this morning and wanted to confirm my suspicions.

He’s currently on the 25gb per month plan (the only one offered in his area). By the time the end of the month rolls around, all his activity (YouTube, Stickam, Skype, etc.) he easily uses up his 25gb. This puts his annual usage at 300gb. Just a bit more than the 44gb than TimeWarner alleges is excessive for a year, I’d say.

Now I will go on record and state that 44gb in one week seems a bit much, but something I could easily push through in the day of

  • On-line Video Sharing Sites
  • Video Conference Calls
  • Video Gaming
  • HD Streaming Movies
  • Legitimate Music and Video Downloads

44gb is nothing. Really nothing.

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Written by Steve Miller

April 25, 2009 at 8:41 am

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