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Time Warner Cable Admits Few Have Shown Interest In Usage Caps
by Karl Bode 08:58AM Thursday Mar 13 2014
After Time Warner Cable took a public relations beating for pushing mandatory low caps (as low as 5 GB) and high per byte overages (as high as $5 per additional gigabyte) on consumers back in 2009, the company has been stepping very carefully in what is quite obviously their relentless desire to charge consumers broadband overages. Early last year their metered billing option returned to a few tiny markets as a voluntary (for now) option named "Essentials."

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Under Essentials, the company originally promised users a $5 discount off their bill if they sign up for the plan, which features a 5 GB cap and $1 per gigabyte overages. Granted if you actually use your connection for anything more than checking the weather a few times a week, that very slight "discount" evaporates immediately and you potentially pay more than you did previously.

Time Warner Cable has since tinkered with the plan slightly, now offering users a $8 discount of they agree to the 5 GB cap (only modestly better), or a $5 discount if you agree to a 30 GB cap. That's still not much of a savings when you factor in Time Warner Cable's various fee increases, including their recently imposed Broadcast TV fee.

Not too surprisingly (aside from seeing the company admit it), Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus says that very few subscribers have signed up for the plan:
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday morning, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus said very few broadband subscribers have opted for its Internet plan that caps data use at 30 gigabytes (sic) per month. In fact, the number of subscribers taking the use-based service tier is running only "in the thousands" -- a very tiny slice of the MSO's roughly 11 million US broadband customers.
The company has never been very good at listening to consumers on this issue, and as such Marcus stated he'd still like to see this pricing option pursued further. Despite the broadband industry's claimed interest in simply wanting to explore "creative pricing" (versus, you know, price gouging uncompetitive markets), the proposals they frequently come up with lack creativity or value of any kind. It's worth noting that potential new owner Comcast has been engaged in usage cap trials of their own.

Company executives have repeatedly made their intent on this front clear, but have had to settle for other forms of rate increases (like the company's ever-increasing modem rental fees) because you folks annoyingly ruined their plans to charge $5 per gigabyte back in 2009. Advancements like Google Fiber's introduction of $70 uncapped symmetrical 1 Gbps fiber lines hasn't helped Time Warner Cable's case. Time Warner Cable seemed to believe that they could still get metered billing implemented if they did it slowly (much like the boiling frog analogy), and layer on enough empty rhetoric about how they're simply interested in offering you value.

That doesn't seem to be working.

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·Verizon FiOS

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reply to Skippy25

Re: ... but surely

You can make claims all you want based on your opinion, but again stick with the facts and if you don't know them, then shut the hell up and stay out of the conversation. I am not sure why you have a hard time with that but it certainly seems to be a battle for you.

Fact is, a friend of mine sells TV ad space and they charge more today then they did last year EVEN WITH THE DVR.

Well a friend of mine who works in the advertizing division of a major corporation TOLD ME that he has been paying less and less each year for the typical commercial spot. How you like them apples Mr. Heresay?


Arlington, TX

2 edits

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caps will be a thing of the past when fiber comes to town.

any provider playing the Caps game is going to see pressure to end the caps when actual competition comes to town besides ma bell or Verizon. I can see if major Fiber deployments happening capping will end quickly unless they want to lose customers due to trying to squeeze profits because a portion won't subscribe to TV. What is even more messed up is when you subscribe to the TV service and they still try to get money from you for downloading over their arbitrary limits.

I would not be surprised if these comments play a factor in Comcast's attempted merger. This merger is already getting a big stink from major companies such as Fox.

would love to see when they realize that being the cap free option in areas that have capped providers has led to increased revenue that having unlimited internet does provide a profit that is reasonable and actually gets good approval when there isn't congestion.

honestly the problem is investors are expecting a unrealistic ROI and are causing the industry to collapse as they are squeezing the subscribers to the breaking point I believe between 2014 and 2016 the breaking point will be reached. The problems are:
content pricing is being beginning to bubble dramatically
fees are getting beyond insane charging outrageous fees to satisfy investors
customers are leaving due to poor service and poor investments in services such as not unifying the customer experience nationwide etc.

I see that since at least 2008 that there is a pricing bubble in the Cable/Satellite industry in pricing and it will burst but when?