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Comments on news posted 2009-04-17 11:26:27: While yesterday's decision by Time Warner Cable to back off their extremely unpopular metered billing trial in four markets was a huge consumer victory, the phrasing of the company's announcement makes it clear that the debate is far from over. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · next


Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

2 edits

TWC = Ignorance

Yep.. From TWC's point of view, every one of their customers is a complete IDIOT and doesn't know anything about computers or technology.

I just love this. At least if I get technical with Bresnan, they know how to answer me. If I get too technical, they transfer me to a Network Engineer to better answer my question.

Ugh.. I hope TWC dies a horrible takeover. I know if I had TWC I'd be hunting for a different ISP immediately. Even my friends and family who read this were like "Huh? Are they crazy?"
--
Bresnan 15M/1M|MyWS[P4HT@4.01GHz,2GB RAM,2x1TB HDDs,WinXP]|WifeWS[P4 2.4GHz,1GB RAM,60GB HDD,WinXP]|Router[2xP3@1GHz,640MB RAM,18GB HDD,Allied Telesyn AT-2560FX,Kingston KNE100TX,2xDigital DE504,Compaq NC3131,iPro/1000DP,Blitz BWI715,Gentoo Linux]


myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

I'm sick of all of this carping about corporate "greed" on this site and elsewhere. IMO, TWC is trying to manage a complex, capital-intensive business in a highly competitive environment.

Consider these factors:
- Demand for bandwidth is growing rapidly as customers use more bandwidth-intensive applications like video, and in the near future, HD video. This would certainly put strain on backend networks.

- TWC is carrying a massive amount of debt dumped on it upon divestiture from the larger Time Warner corporation. I wonder if they have the financial ability, in tight credit markets and under intense competition from VZ & DirecTV/Dish, to make massive capital investments to beef up their network.

- Changing customer habits to increased video streaming/downloading puts their entire video business model at risk.

I think I understand why they're doing this. It has nothing to due with greed and everything to do w/ long-term survival. Unfortunately, caps would probably cause increased churn, so in my estimation they're between a rock and a hard place.



woody7
Premium
join:2000-10-13
Torrance, CA

and your point is?
--
BlooMe


jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH
reply to myokitis

said by myokitis:

a highly competitive environment
I highly disagree. I only notice decent to good competition in larger cities.
--

- "Techie" Jim


Varlik
Without Honor You Will Never Be Free
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Anderson, SC

Looks like the spit and polish routine didn't work

so it's time for plan B. But unfortunately for them you could use an endless amount of air deodoriser and paint it white but a it will still be a turd. And it will still stink more then a heavily used porta potty on a hot summer day.


myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

1 recommendation

reply to jimbo2150

ISP/Video Competition

said by jimbo2150:

said by myokitis:

a highly competitive environment
I highly disagree. I only notice decent to good competition in larger cities.
You obviously don't work for a MSO or Telco. Take it from somebody in the business: The level of competition is intense. They're desperate to win customers from each other, with employment (or lack thereof) implications depending on how the battle goes.

It's the difference between being an armchair quarterback and actually being in the game.


Bit00
Premium
join:2009-02-19
00000
reply to myokitis

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

They don't have capacity issues and they are profitable.

This has nothing to do with consumption of internet services and everything to do with TWC moving to defend their video revenues from ever-rising streaming competitors.

IOW, it's everything to do with greed.


reply to Simba7

Re: TWC = Ignorance

If TWC is stupid enough to force metered service on it's customers I will take my $135.00 monthly payment for it's services and find another provider that does not charge more money for the same service. In my experience TWC has good service, but I refuse to pay per GB for any reason just for their greed. The cable companies are due for more competition and it in my area they are the only provider allowed on land lines. So in addition to going to Direct TV and another internet provider, my city would see pressure from us to allow another land line provider in. This could be the start of more competition as I said and that is a good thing. So bring it on TWC and we will see what happens to your monopoly.


the tribble

join:2008-09-10
New York, NY

at what point

will it be enough, if they do have this instituted, what then, every year the per gigabyte extra - rate will go up? Personally, I'll stick to Verizon dsl until FIOS comes along in Brooklyn, NY .


jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH
reply to myokitis

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by myokitis:

You obviously don't work for a MSO or Telco. Take it from somebody in the business: The level of competition is intense. They're desperate to win customers from each other, with employment (or lack thereof) implications depending on how the battle goes.

It's the difference between being an armchair quarterback and actually being in the game.
You obviously don't live in an area where you only have 2 options that have not changed in over a decade and commonly see people in areas that have 1 or no broadband options. From what I hear Virginia is already one of the most wired states in the nation.
--

- "Techie" Jim

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

1 recommendation

reply to Bit00

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

said by Bit00:

They don't have capacity issues and they are profitable.

This has nothing to do with consumption of internet services and everything to do with TWC moving to defend their video revenues from ever-rising streaming competitors.

IOW, it's everything to do with greed.
Maybe we need more internet only ISPs, they would not have any video or phone money to protect.

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
reply to myokitis

If things are that hard and that complex, then TWC should quit the broadband business and get out of the way. Their stockholders will thank them.
--
Jeff Howe
Jeff's Blog - »www.jeffhowe.net/Jeffhowe.net/Blog/Blog.html


myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA
reply to jimbo2150

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by jimbo2150:

said by myokitis:

You obviously don't live in an area where you only have 2 options that have not changed in over a decade and commonly see people in areas that have 1 or no broadband options.
I understand where you're coming from. But that doesn't change the fact that both groups of companies are indeed intensely competing against each other for survival. It's just that your area probably isn't one of their primary battlegrounds.


KodiacZiller
Premium
join:2008-09-04
73368
kudos:2
reply to myokitis

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

said by myokitis:

I'm sick of all of this carping about corporate "greed" on this site and elsewhere. IMO, TWC is trying to manage a complex, capital-intensive business in a highly competitive environment.
What exactly is competitive about monopolies and duopolies? Verizon's FiOS is only in, what, about 10% of markets? The "big dogs" like TWC, Comcast, and Cox usually only have mediocre DSL to contend with in most areas, and sometimes no competition at all in other areas.

- TWC is carrying a massive amount of debt dumped on it upon divestiture from the larger Time Warner corporation. I wonder if they have the financial ability, in tight credit markets and under intense competition from VZ & DirecTV/Dish, to make massive capital investments to beef up their network.
As Comcast's CEO and others in that corporation have said, the cost of D3 upgrades equates to "couch change." I am sure the relative cost for TWC would be about the same.

- Changing customer habits to increased video streaming/downloading puts their entire video business model at risk.
Precisely. So their strategy is to drive up the price, cap usage, and charge 2000% mark-ups for overages so they can "discourage" too much Internet video viewing. No, a real business plan would include innovation and investment in the right areas in order to find a way to change with the times (hello RIAA).

TWC's attitude should be, "OK, there is a shift towards using TCP/IP for video, thus we need to make this experience the best possible for our users and focus more on it than the TV side of the business."

Of course, this will never happen without real competition. Period. If TWC can't do it, someone else will be happy to (that's REAL capitalism). The problem is the silly zoning agreements keep the competition out.


RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1
reply to me1212

said by me1212:

said by Bit00:

They don't have capacity issues and they are profitable.

This has nothing to do with consumption of internet services and everything to do with TWC moving to defend their video revenues from ever-rising streaming competitors.

IOW, it's everything to do with greed.
Maybe we need more internet only ISPs, they would not have any video or phone money to protect.
You mean a REAL ISP and not a corporate monster? Those folks are not worth talking about, they do a good job and keep users happy (and most of them do have caps since they have to pay for the bandwidth their customers use) and can not hide profits and losses among the other businesses they have.

I like Xmission and listening to what some of my neighbors say about Comcast and the MSN/QWEST offering, I am not about to change, even if it is a few dollars cheaper to do so.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

Luminaris

join:2005-12-01
Waterford, VA
Reviews:
·exede by ViaSat
reply to myokitis

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by myokitis:

said by jimbo2150:

said by myokitis:

a highly competitive environment
I highly disagree. I only notice decent to good competition in larger cities.
You obviously don't work for a MSO or Telco. Take it from somebody in the business: The level of competition is intense. They're desperate to win customers from each other, with employment (or lack thereof) implications depending on how the battle goes.

It's the difference between being an armchair quarterback and actually being in the game.
This makes no sense in this case. If TW were trying to win customers, they wouldn't even be introducing caps at all. If you want to win customers, you have to be innovative and for the consumer which TW is NOT in this case at all.


Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to the tribble

Re: at what point

said by the tribble:

will it be enough, if they do have this instituted, what then, every year the per gigabyte extra - rate will go up?
They're going right after movie and TV downloading. I don't run a server or anything but just netflix and some TV streaming video would put me in TWC heavy user category.

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to RayW

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

When you say REAL ISP is that a good thing? Ether way I have a "real" ISP(I love them their tech support is GREAT and the owner himself will come to your house, even after hours if you have a problem and the tech guys are @ another house), if they have a cap I have never hit it, even with hq youtube a great amount if time each day, lots(actually about the same, some times juts do not want to go up stairs and use the PC but when I do I get HQ so.....) of nq youtube on the wii, VOIPo, and online gaming.



djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to me1212

said by Bit00:

Maybe we need more internet only ISPs, they would not have any video or phone money to protect.
And that is the actual source of this problem. Our telecommunications providers have become video providers, so none want to be a pipeline for their competitor. That does makes some sense, which is why I'm not totally opposed to metered billing. But it has to be fair, and capping your standard customers at 20GB is not fair. $1/gb overages is not reasonable.

If anyone should be screaming about rising costs of bandwidth use, it should be the smaller independent ISPs that use their own transit, like DSLExtreme. They have very little margin to play with after the gorillas get their share. Yet somehow they're not the ones driving this shift.
--
AT&T U-Hearse
Your funeral. Delivered.

b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

1 recommendation

They just need a good name like "On Advantage"

Remember On Advantage and how AT&T Broadband some how thought that we would accept capping our cable modem speeds at 1Mb as advantageous to the users?

Maybe TW should call it "Advantage Billing".



Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to Corehhi

Re: at what point

TWC would LOVE me then. I use around 20GB a day.

I'd get my first bill and be like "WTF!!??!"


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

The Cable Television Industry should be regulated.

The cable television industry and all broadband services should be regulated the same way the Telephone Companies voice services are regulated. That way such abusive money grabs will be stopped.

Comcast just raised rates in this area. As a result of these increases my total monthly rate increase was $9.50 including taxes. In view of the fact that there is a recession the only way that Comcast can raise prices is that they are a quasi monopoly.

The most diabolical part about the price increase was the fact that they did not raise the price of their premium channels or broadband service. Why? Customers can drop any or all premium channels and still have cable service. Many customers can get DSL Service from the local telephone company so Comcast did not raise prices on that service. On the other hand Comcast did not match Embarq on the price of their economy broadband service which is $24.95 for a 768 Kbps download speed. Embarq offers 1.5 Mbps for the same price. I guess that Comcast wants to keep their economy service so lame that no one will order it.

Time to re-regulate the Cable Television Industry.



FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

They are regulated - for the basic TV tier by franchise agreements. Everything above that is considered an optional premium service and NOT a utility that needs regulation.



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to myokitis

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

said by myokitis:

I'm sick of all of this carping about corporate "greed" on this site and elsewhere. IMO, TWC is trying to manage a complex, capital-intensive business in a highly competitive environment.

Consider these factors:
- Demand for bandwidth is growing rapidly as customers use more bandwidth-intensive applications like video, and in the near future, HD video. This would certainly put strain on backend networks.

- TWC is carrying a massive amount of debt dumped on it upon divestiture from the larger Time Warner corporation. I wonder if they have the financial ability, in tight credit markets and under intense competition from VZ & DirecTV/Dish, to make massive capital investments to beef up their network.

- Changing customer habits to increased video streaming/downloading puts their entire video business model at risk.

I think I understand why they're doing this. It has nothing to due with greed and everything to do w/ long-term survival. Unfortunately, caps would probably cause increased churn, so in my estimation they're between a rock and a hard place.
A highly competitive environment?!? I have two choice, my local ILEC or TW, some have AT&T (DSL, not even U-Verse yet) or TW. That is called a duopoloy and is hardly "highly competitive." In how many areas does Time Warner actually have to compete? Why aren't they rolling out the usage based trials in THOSE areas if they are serious about it? Why are they rolling them out in their extremely UNcompetitive markets? Perhaps because they know the consumers in those markets have little choice but to accept the slop they're fed?

Secondly, Time Warner has turned a $7 or $8 billion profit year after year. That's net, not gross. They took a huge writeoff last year and contrary to what you think, will probably make an even larger profit next year due to the separation from Time Warner Inc. $45 a month internet accounts and $60 TV bills pushed across decade old infrastructure equals a very nice profit margin.

The proof of this is right in their 10-K filing and I've heard it out of the mouths of local engineers when I was given a tour of their local RDC. They make an absolutely BOATLOAD of money on TV and VoD services. Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Unbox, all are eating not only into their TV profits as consumers downgrade cable packages, but they state it's expected to cause their advertising revenue to fall.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to protect that revenue stream, but at least make a reasonable effort and be very clear about your reasoning. The caps and outrageous overages were designed to discourage use of these online services, but were also designed to increase existing revenue. So in the middle of the largest recession most can remember, Time Warner wants to eliminate the ability for you to save money and simultaneously pop the average family with an extra $5-$10 a month on their cable bill in overage charges.

It is absolutely ludicrous and the fact they thought they could just slip it in under the noses of 8 million customers and technical minded people shows the arrogance and complete disregard for consumers that is prevalent throughout corporate america.


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to FFH

Re: The Cable Television Industry should be regulated.

said by FFH:

They are regulated - for the basic TV tier by franchise agreements. Everything above that is considered an optional premium service and NOT a utility that needs regulation.
Perhaps it's time we updated that then. I am going to suggest as much to my local franchising authority.

six9

join:2001-12-03
Atlanta, GA

1 recommendation

Then just make it reasonable.

I am not necessarily against metered billing. HOWEVER, it has to be reasonable. Second, there has to be an accurate way to measure usage at my router. One PC doesn't matter when you have VoIP, 3 computers and a DirecTV receiver all on the internet.

So how about a base price plus usage? Maybe $10 for the line and $0.25 per gb from there. I don't have any clue how much that would be for me, but I can almost bet it would be less than the $60 I pay now.

The problem I have with metering talk is the $1 per gb. There is no way that is an accurate measure of bandwidth cost.



Anon51

@rr.com
reply to myokitis

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

A few of your point are valid. Time Warner has not kept their network current, as much of the system is still on Docsis 1.1,
while other companies have moved on to Docsis 2.0 and even Docsis 3.0.
This causes a strain on the entire network. Result...
High latency, frequent disconnects, cable boxes continuously needing to be rebooted, Etc.
This didnt stop TW from rolling out new services like Phone service, to make them even more money, all while failing to upgrade their network to support the increased demand.
In your thought process, TW should be excused because the rest of the world evolved and became innovative in new expanding uses of the internet, yet they didn't plan ahead for this ? And now they have an extreme debt burden.
And all this while just one of their executives is taking $19.9 Million in salary and stock option bonuses in 2008.
How is this not everything to do with GREED ?



fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo
reply to myokitis

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by myokitis:

They're desperate to win customers from each other, with employment (or lack thereof) implications depending on how the battle goes.
I don't work for a MSO or Telco but I'm smart enough to observe that someone desperate to win customers is not going to do so with ridiculous cap levels and insane markups when a competitor in the same market has no caps.

If TWC had simply opened their stats for public or independent scrutiny that could determine that in fact they are having bandwidth issues, it would go a long way toward resolving this dispute. That will never happen though.

So I see now, there's hinting at the layoff boogeyman if TWC doesn't "compete" (translation: caps and overages).
--
Tradition: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid. --despair.com


fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo
reply to Matt3

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

said by Matt3:

It is absolutely ludicrous and the fact they thought they could just slip it in under the noses of 8 million customers and technical minded people shows the arrogance and complete disregard for consumers that is prevalent throughout corporate america.
I couldn't agree more!
--
Tradition: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid. --despair.com


sivran
Opera ex-pat
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to myokitis

Re: ISP/Video Competition

Ain't it funny, too, how the "trial areas" are all non-competitive market...

I live in the middle of the DFW area, and the "competition" here is little more than the mere presence of two broadband ISPs: AT&T and TWC. They set up shop, display their wares, and that's pretty much the extent of the competition. They don't even try to respond to one another. It's a "We're here. Pick one." kind of situation.

Being that Verizon FIOS is ~30 miles away from Arlington (and practically non-existent in Tarrant County, and our ILEC is AT&T, I wouldn't be surprised if one of those "trials" showed up here.

Frontier did everyone a favor by making noise about dropping caps in Rochester. What did AT&T do in Beaumont? Implement caps themselves. If you ask AT&T, competition is the race to see who can gouge their customers more.
--
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon profitable cause...