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Time Warner Cable Expands Metered Billing Nationally
Company Offers Option Everywhere, Though Uptake is Low
by Karl Bode 10:11AM Tuesday Dec 04 2012
After Time Warner Cable took a public relations beating for pushing low caps and high per byte overages 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 this year their metered billing option returned to a few tiny markets as a voluntary option named "Internet Essentials."

The company promises 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 "discount" evaporates immediately. Seeing the value yet? Yeah, us neither.

If having your bandwidth consumption tightly constricted for no particular reason appeals to you, you'll be happy to note that Time Warner Cable has expanded the plans throughout their entire footprint, except in their Hawaii Oceanic territory.

Speaking at a UBS AG event in New York this week, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, who once insisted that metered billing for everyone was "inevitable," confirmed the expansion -- but also confirmed interest in the value-limited option remains low:
The specifics of the policy remain unchanged from the one that debuted in southern Texas earlier this year, the official added. Britt said the MSO intends to "always offer unlimited service" but will likewise want to offer lower price options for consumers who don't gobble up lots of capacity. Britt acknowledged that few have taken the Essentials plan, but didn't offer a number.
The company's repeated promise to offer a "low price option" for consumers who consume little broadband has never materialized, given that charging grandma $7 a month for her several megabyte-per-month usage would severely harm the company's wallet. The company had previously insisted that flat-rate pricing wasn't sustainable from either a financial or network integrity perspective, something that has been shown repeatedly (via network performance and quarterly earnings) to be untrue.

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