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.
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.