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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. ..


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]

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.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA
TWC = We're going to bill by the byte (as will Comcast, AT&T and others).. we just can't ram it down your throats for really high profits on it from day 1.

Eg. the 5GB-40GB 'standard' packages that would be netting TWC profit from day 1 would probably have to start off more like:

10GB (1.5Mbps or less connections)
100GB for 'standard' (6-10Mbps)
160 GB for 15/2 Mbps
250GB for the higher packages

I suspect that since TWC can't make immediate profits on the low end billing by the byte TODAY that it wants, it will do 2 things:

1. Raise rates (the 10Mbps/1Mbps 'standard' package will be probably $52/month now vs. $46)
2. Make the low end packages less attractive - the 1.5Mbps or less packages at +$30/month or require install fees, bundling, etc.
3. Offer an 'internet lite' package. Not 'true' internet, but have filters, caps, and all sorts of other methods to make 'lite' users happy and not cost much. Downside, being a 'not true' internet would be sort of old school AOL ish, with no access to bittorrent, etc. It would have to be sold as a unique service.
--
Canada = Hollywood North
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

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

and your point is?
--
BlooMe
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH
said by myokitis:

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

- "Techie" Jim
myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

1 recommendation

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.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

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
myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

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.

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

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...

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

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by sivran:

If you ask AT&T, competition is the race to see who can gouge their customers more.
I couldn't agree more. It seems as though the two compete against themselves to see who can create the most confusing package to entice a customer to their service. All the while providing the least amount of actual service possible.

They don't compete on the actual merits of their respective offering. Verizon and Cablevision seems to be the only larger companies who do that.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH
said by myokitis:

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.
I understand that, but you were also making it sound like the select few areas that they are competing equates to the entire (or at least a majority) of the market, which it does not. I just don't see the "ravenous" competition that they so often claim. For example: Just because they are competing in, lets say five, select markets... is it really necessary to claim stiff competition when the majority are not in areas with much or any competition? See my point?
--

- "Techie" Jim
myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by jimbo2150:

... is it really necessary to claim stiff competition when the majority are not in areas with much or any competition? See my point?
I think I do, but it sounds like you're speaking in terms of %of geography, while the companies need to look at things in terms of %of customers (where their revenue comes from).

The current acquisition offers d'jour from select MSOs & Telcos are around $200 in value (cashback,credits, etc; I know of at last one major telco and one major MSO w/ offers like this), and the companies wouldn't be spending that $$$ to win customers from each other if they didn't think they needed to, if their management and shareowners weren't applying the pressure on their organizations to do so.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. This is a situation where "position determines perspective".
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
said by myokitis:

said by jimbo2150:

said by myokitis:
But that doesn't change the fact that both groups of companies are indeed intensely competing against each other for survival.
At every post, you're displaying arrogance. Survival? Hardly.. dominance? Sure..

In the SMALLER areas, you may have a provider, such as Embarq, competing for survival.. bu that just goes to show why all the smaller companies merged and sold to larger ones back in the late 90's/2000's.

No.. right now, it's about dominance and king. But, it's not an over blown survival game like you say it is... far from it in MOST cases.
Luminaris

join:2005-12-01
Waterford, VA
Reviews:
·exede by ViaSat
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.

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA

1 recommendation

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by Luminaris:

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.
Did you read the part where he said they're between a rock and a hard place?

What do you do when you have two bad choices? They're going with the one they think everyone will be doing in a couple years and hoping they can ride out the churn.

Here's the thing, everyone is looking at this from the point of view of right now. People see they had good profits last year and using that to "prove" that their cries of running out of money are nothing but BS. They are looking 3 to 10 years in the future something the majority of people don't do, which is pretty much the root cause of all the problems in society.

You can be sure that the people at the helm of Verizon and the others are all sitting at the helm with their finger on the button. No one wants to be the first to do it, the desperate companies are going to be the first to do it and the rest will hang onto flat rate as long as they can comfortably do so to snatch up all the defectors of the early adopters, then they'll switch to metered billing.
--
Come let us reason together.
Lazlow

join:2006-08-07
Saint Louis, MO

Re: ISP/Video Competition

Combat Chuck

If you think TW has been looking ahead, you are deluding yourself. It has been obvious what direction the bandwidth usage has been headed for years. Yet, TW still has a ton of systems still running D1.1 and D2. If they had really been looking forward, a significant amount of their footprint would be D3 today.

All cable companies (or companies in general) have debt. Take a look at their 10k. After expenses they still made 4 BILLION dollars. Spend, say 1/3 of that, on network upgrades (today) and they will no longer have capacity issues for the next few years. You are correct in that the demand for more bandwidth will continue to grow. But the way to handle that is to plan for the future and provide the capacity for that bandwidth, not to try and stop it. Essentially what they are doing is like a car company selling a car that you can only drive 40 miles a day. If you want to drive more than 40 miles a day, they are going to charge you $1/mile. All trying to do stuff like this is going to accomplish is to drive customers elsewhere.

As far as other ISPs watching this; sure if customers are actually stupid enough to put up with this, they will want in on the action too. If customers will put up with it, any business would be foolish not to try something that will ten fold their profit margins. There is nothing in this that the ISPs have to do this.
soothsayer15

join:2002-03-01
Irving, TX

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by Lazlow:

Combat Chuck

If you think TW has been looking ahead, you are deluding yourself. It has been obvious what direction the bandwidth usage has been headed for years. Yet, TW still has a ton of systems still running D1.1 and D2. If they had really been looking forward, a significant amount of their footprint would be D3 today.

All cable companies (or companies in general) have debt. Take a look at their 10k. After expenses they still made 4 BILLION dollars. Spend, say 1/3 of that, on network upgrades (today) and they will no longer have capacity issues for the next few years. You are correct in that the demand for more bandwidth will continue to grow. But the way to handle that is to plan for the future and provide the capacity for that bandwidth, not to try and stop it. Essentially what they are doing is like a car company selling a car that you can only drive 40 miles a day. If you want to drive more than 40 miles a day, they are going to charge you $1/mile. All trying to do stuff like this is going to accomplish is to drive customers elsewhere.

As far as other ISPs watching this; sure if customers are actually stupid enough to put up with this, they will want in on the action too. If customers will put up with it, any business would be foolish not to try something that will ten fold their profit margins. There is nothing in this that the ISPs have to do this.
Use the profit to upgrade the network and invest in the company's future? Probably won't happen. They will use the profits to pay out dividends and increase the value of executive stock options.

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA
said by Lazlow:

Combat Chuck

If you think TW has been looking ahead, you are deluding yourself.
You're deluding yourself if you think that looking ahead is limited to the goal of figuring out how they can provide more bandwidth for you. They're looking at money, it's fairly clear that Time Warner cares little about their front end infrastructure.
--
Come let us reason together.
Lazlow

join:2006-08-07
Saint Louis, MO

Re: ISP/Video Competition

Combat Chuck

You really do not understand how business works do you? In a consumer based market, if you do not keep up with what the consumer wants, you are going to loose customers. Loosing customers (in significant numbers) means that you are loosing money. The only reason companies reinvest in their infrastructure is so they can continue to be competitive. Fios did not come into play becuase it was a "cool" idea. It came about becuase it was obvious that ever increasing amounts of bandwidth were the direction things were/are headed. Cablevision understood this too (which is why they have 30Mbps D2 available today). Comcast even understands this, as evidenced by their rapid (relatively) switch to D3(despite their official caps, there has been no significant amount of action done to those that have exceeded the caps). Even Charter (broke as they are) recognizes that they have to offer more bandwidth (slower switchover to D3).
GyroCaptain

join:2008-08-01

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by Lazlow:

Combat Chuck

You really do not understand how business works do you? In a consumer based market, if you do not keep up with what the consumer wants, you are going to loose customers. Loosing customers (in significant numbers) means that you are loosing money. The only reason companies reinvest in their infrastructure is so they can continue to be competitive. Fios did not come into play becuase it was a "cool" idea. It came about becuase it was obvious that ever increasing amounts of bandwidth were the direction things were/are headed. Cablevision understood this too (which is why they have 30Mbps D2 available today). Comcast even understands this, as evidenced by their rapid (relatively) switch to D3(despite their official caps, there has been no significant amount of action done to those that have exceeded the caps). Even Charter (broke as they are) recognizes that they have to offer more bandwidth (slower switchover to D3).
Loosing eh?

Classic.
Lazlow

join:2006-08-07
Saint Louis, MO

Re: ISP/Video Competition

My apologies for my typo. I should always have caffeine before I type. Despite my typo, I think everybody understood my point.

espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Vitelity VOIP
said by Lazlow:

If you think TW has been looking ahead, you are deluding yourself. It has been obvious what direction the bandwidth usage has been headed for years. Yet, TW still has a ton of systems still running D1.1 and D2. If they had really been looking forward, a significant amount of their footprint would be D3 today.
That's a little optimistic -- DOCSIS 3 early-use hardware didn't start manifesting itself until Q2/Q3 of 2008, with final full D3 certified gear arriving in Q4.

Comcast appears to be leading the way in DOCSIS3 deployments, and they aren't even close to 50% deployed yet.

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

sturmvogel
Obama '08

join:2008-02-07
Houston, TX

1 edit
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.
I am a CUSTOMER. In my area the competition is ZERO, I have as the only option for good high speed internet access Comcast.

The lies about competitive market are just designed to hide the truth from uneducated politicians and customers. and that is what they are:

LIES.
--
Obama '08. Will help resolve the terrible broadband issues we have that put us so far behind other countries.

El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL
Seriously...

I worked for a major Telco, and that's the refrain they'll keep repeating not to pay you a decent salary, and the one they tell the customers to keep gouging them.

If I had to do it all over again, (work in the Telecom field that is) I'd go with a start-up, cause my career would have nowhere to go but up.
--
Working to bring you closer to a Bell and Rogers free household.

maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3
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.
Sure, if you look at an area like the greater southern california area, where half of telco-land is owned by Verizon, the other half owned by AT&T, and where Time Warner Cable owns about 90% of the cable business.... (and 5% to Charter, and 5% to Cox, give or take) ... there is plenty of competition there.

I get calls from AT&T at least once a month (and they are allowed to do so as they supply one of my phone lines, thus existing customer) if I don't want to switch to their DSL service. TV ads from FIOS, Uverse, and Time Warner are slamming each other.

I never believed for one minute that in the greater SoCal area, they would ever introduce caps, as both Verizon and AT&T would have a FIELD DAY and rake in the customers.

But if you are living in a city like Boise, ID where the competition is a sub-par DSL provider that considers "standard" to be 1.5 Mbps and "ultra" is 3 Mbps, and the city is so widespread, with so many neigborhoods far away from any CO.... cable companies can easily introduce caps and get away with a whole lot more.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by maartena:

I get calls from AT&T at least once a month (and they are allowed to do so as they supply one of my phone lines, thus existing customer) if I don't want to switch to their DSL service. TV ads from FIOS, Uverse, and Time Warner are slamming each other.
Advertisements do not equal availability. Time Warner and Comcast advertise in my area but do not serve my house. They serve neighborhoods up north and south I think, and in my area is a smaller cable co, but as far as I can tell none of them compete with each other... only with satellite.
--

- "Techie" Jim
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
Ok, then take it from someone that has been in the industry for many years when I tell you that I disagree with you 1001% on what you said.

Billing by the byte is not necessary.. its a much better billing model for THEM. RIGHT NOW, they say "most only use about 5g to 10g of data" which is about right... for RIGHT NOW. So, there IS urgency to get this plan in place NOW rather than later. NOW, it's true, LATER, when people will start moving over that 5 to 10g of data per month, NOW it makes sense to have that kind of billing system in place. HOWEVER, by that time, where AVERAGE data (which is important to say AVERAGE in billing terms) IS exceeding say even 50gb a month AVERAGE, then it will be easier to justify a higher charge AND the "back haul" systems will be able to more than accommodate. If they CAN'T handle that kind of data flow, then the consumer is being screwed.

Profits from broadband are very high right now and with those profits they need to be reinvesting into their pipes. If they are not, they are simply screwing the customer. Internet use IS on the rise, however, with the profits they make they need to be keeping up with those demands.

Billing by the byte is insurance in advance protection so secure more revenue as they need it in the future. They need to ALL simply be honest and charge for the service what it's worth. I don't think that DSL at $25 a month, and cable service at $40 a month is an honest price. I believe they need to raise the price about $10 on average.. if they did that, alone, they could EASILY rebuild their networks sooner, rather than later, and make everyone happy.

The consumer needs to realize that broadband prices are a deal right now - that I will say is true. You can't expect lower prices and demand better service at the same time. The consumer is also demanding that they see return on their monthly fees in the form of improvements.

I can't disagree with you ANY more on your post and if there was EVER a shill on this site, it's you.

The most dangerous thing you can say on this site is "Take it from somebody in the business"... becuase you just opened yourself of for attacks, and quite honestly, you sound totally arrogant at the same time. Not everyone here is stupid OR ignorant. However, in what you are talking about, which is mostly speculative and opinionated, to say "take it from someone in the business" you just told everyone they have no clue what they are talking about. You look dumb saying this.

No, the competition is NOT intense as you think.. Much of the DSL providers have contracts so their base is somewhat secured. Cable doesn't go by contract but they sell on speed and value. They have a harder job keeping a customer than phone. AND, I find it ironic that cable is actually being more consumer friendly in the lack of contract over phone any day.

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

Good one..
myokitis

join:2004-06-19
Alexandria, VA

1 edit

Re: ISP/Video Competition

said by fiberguy:

I can't disagree with you ANY more on your post and if there was EVER a shill on this site, it's you . . .No, the competition is NOT intense as you think..
This is now getting personal . . .

I won't bother replying to all of your points. But my viewpoint is formed by this: I've seen way too many colleagues laid-off/RIF'd to be comfortable that is is somehow not a competitive industry. The jobs aren't going away because there's not competitive pressure.

According to their annual reports, in 2007 T & VZ combined lost 6.4M residential access lines, and only gained 1.5M broadband lines. To somehow imply that competition is not having a profound impact on these companies is just not rational.

The intensity-level in my daily work environment is constantly escalating. The corporate culture has irrevocably changed. Again, complacency is not causing this.

I care not what you or others on this site say. Myself and all of my colleagues live it daily. We're fighting for our jobs.

Link8

join:2001-12-16
Davis, CA

Re: ISP/Video Competition

Don't throw out your unused Rollover Megabytes(tm)! Some customers just aren't lucky enough to be on TimeWarner Cable, the world's most reliable network!
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
Maybe it's time to stop raping customers for $upwards of $40 for local phone service.

I'm sorry to tell you, but you can spin this how you want, but not many are going to buy it. Residential access line loss? to what? VZ's own cellular service? And, are they losing residential lines to the fact they are charging WAY too much for a land line anyway?

.. get this one. AT&T service.. if you buy a regular POTS line, local service with a typical feature pack is about $40 a month. HOWEVER, when you buy it as part of U-Verse, somehow, that copper line is subject to different rules, terms, etc. SOMEHOW that VERY copper line's Voice Mail becomes no charge, ie: included. They give you the option of using their voip service or remain on copper.. but again, the copper line now falls under a different set of rates and rules DRAMATICALLY lowering the price.

Phone companies I do NOT feel sorry for. It has NOTHING to do with competition. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact they do not want to get into the game.

You call it competition, I call it the loss of a horrendous century of strong holds on consumers and over charging them for sub-par services.

You're not the only one here, guy, that works or has worked in the industry, yet you make it all dramatic and sound like you know more than anyone else. Again, smug..

The providers need to stop manipulating consumers, and the prices they pay. Put out a product, sell the service at a reasonable rate, PROVIDE CUSTOMER SERVICE and the customer will come. But, ANYONE in the industry that thinks the consumer wants to talk to a recording, or have a recording call their home to do the job of a human, or that somehow the copper service provided is worth far more than it really is.. well, it deserves to die.

I, and many people here, are not about supporting a business that continues down the past of yesterday just for the name of it's own survival. The communications industry needs to focus more on the customer's needs like every other's business.
HexCalamity

join:2005-03-16
Salem, OR
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.
Ahh, competition, sucha wonderous thing. Come on out to Salem OR where its been Comcast and Qwest DSL for years. Qwest is finally competing somewhat with new 12mbps fiber service in some neighborhoods. Many are still 1.5mps or 6mbps. They send me directly 1-2 mailers a month, newspaper ads and tv as well. Their deal is 15.99/month for 6 months for 1.5mbps. Of course that requires a 2 year contract and the price jumps up to 39 I think. It all depends on their packaging deals too. That doesnt include buying their approved modem or renting it at $8/month (which is just insane). Though they have offered deals for cheap modems thru BestBuy etc.. The non contract price is $10 more per month last I saw.

Comcast is almost as bad with their mailers, simply because they want me to reup beyond the basic tv package (which made no sense unless you wanted digital cable until the Feb. HDTV switch over).
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
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.
Intense competition? Bullshit. In Hawaii TWC has a complete monopoly on all FOUR ISLANDS. This hell was predicted several years ago when the last holdouts were eaten by TWC. As for DSL, that is from Hawaiian TelCom which is in bankruptcy and doesn't have the funds to compete well with TWC. I live in the second largest city in Hawaii and I cannot get DSL. HawTel refuses to extend it to this very nice area of Hilo where there are three large condos as well a residences. I have no idea what you could possibly mean by "intense competition". I have NO choices. It is TWC or dialup. With TWC we have NO TURBO RR...only standard and lite plans. That is because Oceanic TWC cannot get Turbo working on any of the neighbor islands. Again, where is this intense competition? If HawTel cannot get out of bankruptcy the PUC will likely dump the POTS on Verizon again. You think Verizon would ever build up DSL in Hawaii? They couldn't wait to dump Hawaii after the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic. So, again where is this "intense competition"?

You see, Hawaii is the VERY PLACE that TWC will force these horrible caps on. And there will be NOTHING that the vast majority of users can do as there is NO competition in many areas of Hawaii, and limited in the areas where there is some, much less any "intense competition" in Hawaii.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason

Chris H

@cerner.com

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

Hell, even then there isn't. I live in Kansas City Mo, and TW is the only cable game in town.

Bit00
Premium
join:2009-02-19
00000
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.

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kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
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

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KodiacZiller
Premium
join:2008-09-04
73368
kudos:2
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.

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

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

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

Anon51

@rr.com
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 ?

Dolgan
Premium
join:2005-10-01
Sun Prairie, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

1 edit
This model has every thing to do with greed. TWC is trying to circumvent network neutrality and kill off possible competition from online video providers--instead of adapting their business model to reflect the shift in services that customers want, and how those services are delivered. TWC has been/is profitable, and the threats of "internet brownouts" are nothing more than browbeating the public into believing this pricing is a necessity for them to survive when the reality is much different.

TWC should be investing in network upgrades instead of taking the easy, and shady, way out of avoiding competition.

MyNameIsDanger

@ssimed.com
While comcast, Cox, ATT, and Verizon spent millions of bucks rebuilding their infrastructure, TWC didnt... WHY should the customers be punished for that?? You obviously dont get it...

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22
said by myokitis:

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.
Without knowing what their "backend networks" are, how do you know that?

The problem isn't the "backend" networks, it is the last mile. DOCSIS 3 fixes that problem for the foreseeable future.
--
"This is a bus. You know how big a bus is?"

joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
said by myokitis:

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.
Whatever their motive, their PR blew it. There was a better way to roll this out. First, put up the account meters, and offer the GB used on the monthly statements. Then, whatever the service level offered are, a customer can see right off the bat where they fall. The stereotypical "emailing Grandma" can see she can save some money, and is happy. TW can state that only X% of our customers use over XGB, and this will cost them more.

You see, I am on Comcast, where the cap is 250GB, and the rants are no different because most users claim to have no idea of their usage. TW should have learned from other ISPs how to introduce the caps and avoided this PR mess.

If the caps are so low that most will pay more, that's another story, I suspect it's about 10% of users that will have real issues.
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Re: More Populist ISP Bashing from BBR

said by joetaxpayer:

If the caps are so low that most will pay more, that's another story, I suspect it's about 10% of users that will have real issues.
Many RR users from the time TWC introduced the caps in Texas went and got a free or paid bandwidth meter. I have been using NetMeter (free) since Oct 2007. I have all the stats from that date to present.

The caps proposed by TWC are definitely low enough that MOST will pay more. My bandwidth usage, as seen with NetMeter, varies widely from month to month and is never what I would even begin to consider "excessive". I'm always below 40GB a month but if I started downloading netflix movies or increased my BitTorrent usage from extremely modest to just a small amount more with proper seeding, (necessary to getting a good download speed, plus, not seeding is extremely rude), then I would go over the 40GB quickly some months and I am a very conservative user of bandwidth. I have the standard plan. (That is the only plan here. Turbo does not exist for us).

So, yes, most everyone, except a person who only uses email and only turns on their computer for one hour or less a day, and has no other users in the household, will have to pay more. Since TWC has a monoply here, I don't think they should be allowed to place these low caps ...or any caps for that matter.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason
Expand your moderator at work

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.
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 .

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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".
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.

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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.

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maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3

But.... don't you guys know that....

5 Gb is a whopping 500.000 emails, and 100.000 websites, and it is at least 500 songs!

5 Gb is HUGE!
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

jadebangle
Premium
join:2007-05-22
00000
kudos:1

Re: But.... don't you guys know that....

said by maartena:

5 Gb is a whopping 500.000 emails, and 100.000 websites, and it is at least 500 songs!

5 Gb is HUGE!
Thats only true if you compare it to dialup connection and take video content out of the picture...
bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

1 edit

The right way to offer metered Internet service

I think the mistake TWC made was replacing unlimited service. What they should be doing is creating a new, metered offering. Instead of $XX per month, make it 85% of $XX per month with a YY GB cap. Folks who normally stay under the cap will switch to the metered service. As time goes on, the prices for the two services will diverge according to the comparative value proposition each offers. As average consumption among un-metered customers climbs, then obviously the average value derived from the offering by those customers climbs, and so the price should climb (beyond inflation) commensurately. Meanwhile, the average value derived from the metered offering is effectively capped, so its price will not climb (beyond inflation).

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viperpa33s
Why Me?
Premium
join:2002-12-20
Bradenton, FL

Why don't they offer TRUE metered billing?

I don't understand why they don't offer TRUE metered billing if it's all about fairness? They say they should have a system like the electric company but don't apply it that way. They offer bread crumbs with packages that make people think they are getting a great deal with metered billing when they're not. Then they offer high bandwidth content hoping that people will go over there caps. The overage fees is going to bring in huge money for TWC.
--
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them" Thomas Jefferson

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33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

1 edit

canada 2005 p2p numbers

sept 2005 : 5.4 million using p2p all the time.
March 2006 ( before throttle of course)

9.8 million canucks ( canadians )using p2p simultaneously at same time on average.

NOW give me that users BS about 20-30GB avg use.....
go for it, utter non sense and backed by stats prolly form 2000 before bit torrent existed.

thats_not_it

@76.226.196.x

doesn't feel right

suggestion that it might continue with a glossy PR coat

people have made it clear, there's bills in congress, there's competitors that don't do it in many markets

my gut feeling tells me this is over.

statements are statements, they want to keep the door open, but this is done.

metered billing isn't going to work - everyone knows that. Remember, they want metered billing - not "this is what it takes to get booted". If most people use 5-10 gigs, having a "cap" that is over and above that is pointless, right?

Why metered bill only the top 5% or whatever of your customers? You have to metered-bill everyone!

This is poorly thought out, and it isn't going anywhere. Sometimes I wonder.

whoitis

@rr.com

gubment regulation again anyone?

so whos up for letting the gubment control it all again?

hands? anyone?