& cplSiteName &

TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/17/2008
50%
50%

A pilot project set for later this year by the second-largest U.S. cable MSO offers further evidence that the days of an "all-you-can-eat" high-speed Internet service are heading toward extinction.

DSL Reports got its hands on an internal memo outlining plans by Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) to try out a usage-based billing model for its Road Runner service in Beaumont, Texas, in the first half of the year.

A Time Warner spokesman confirmed that such a project is underway but passed Cable Digital News along to another official who did not return a call prior to publication of this story.

Between peer-to-peer downloads and the increased quantity and quality of streaming TV shows and movies, cable broadband networks can be taxed. Today, a small fraction of customers are the source of this "problem," but that pool of heavy users will certainly grow as more customers tap the Web as source for short- and long-form video, including massive files in bandwidth-gobbling hi-def format.

According to the memo cited by DSL Reports, the consumption-based model will attempt to generate additional revenue from "5 percent of subscribers who utilize over half of the total network bandwidth."

The trial, which apparently will put some new customers on the metered billing plan, could turn into a national offering if successful. The memo further indicates that customers who are part of the trial will be able to track consumption via the Web and, if needed, upgrade to a higher tier.

That some MSOs are considering consumption-based services is not a surprise. Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI) of Canada is already applying a cap of about 90 gigabytes to its 18-Mbit/s speed tier.

Others have already argued that the current, flat-rate HSD model is not sustainable as Internet traffic grows 50 percent a year and the consumption of video over the Internet goes through the roof. That effect will become even more pronounced should services such as Hulu, Joost , the reshaped Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) TV, and the new "unlimited" movie offering from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) gain in popularity. (See Apple TV: A New Channel for Movies.)

"Eventually, we will go to a usage-based solution," predicted Marwan Fawaz, CTO of Charter Communications Inc. , last month at the CableNEXT conference in Santa Clara.

But cable must also be wary of the consequences that could be wrought by customers, regulators, and consumer interest groups.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has faced heavy criticism over "invisible" byte caps and the throttling of P2P applications. The latter has resulted in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) probe into the matter. (See FCC Probes Comcast, FCC Eyes Comcast's P2P Policies, and A Tip of the Broadband Cap.)

And even Time Warner Cable's coming trial has gained the attention of pressure groups.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, called TWC's metered approach "better" than impacting apps such as BitTorrent. "At least customers will know what they're getting into," he said.

"But," Scott warns, "metered prices may chill innovation in cutting-edge applications because consumers will have a disincentive to use them."

Scott suggests that a move toward metered pricing for broadband represents a "symptom of the deeper problems in our communications infrastructure."

Most MSOs have not outlined their deployment plans for Docsis 3.0, a new platform that promises shared speeds in excess of 100 Mbit/s, but Comcast has said it plans to have a Docsis 3.0 infrastructure in place in 20 percent of its footprint by year's end. Its PowerBoost system aims to provide faster bursts when there's latent capacity on the network. (See Comcast Closes In on 100 Mbit/s.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(20)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:46 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
You will pay for more! Especially all those that believe BW is cheap.

I and many others have over the last few years posted reasonable ways to charge for this. The Cellphone model might be most applicable.

OP

PS VBNs soon
roybean
50%
50%
roybean,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:45 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
Go Fios.

roybean
50%
50%
roybean,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:45 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
That Comcast would go the other way.

For users that have very little usage, lower the rates ?

If an email only person, few web page, usage, that person should pay 50%-75% less.
vlui
50%
50%
vlui,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:45 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
So the carriers cannot come up with innovative profitable new services, and think they can squeeze more revenue out of the consumers charging by the bits. Most of the 95% of those consumers will be discouraged by this and watch fewer Youtube junk videos, download fewer porn movies (which is a LARGE % of videos consumption online), check their facebook messages fewer times each day (or just do it at work?!), and maybe twitter themselves every 5 mins instead of every min...

Perhaps it will not change the bahavior of those 5%, but is this really a profitable strategy, at all? The next thing you know is the carriers will have to lower $ per bits so low that it is no different than the cell phone plan with a flat rate 1000 mins that you can't use up. And it goes back to where we were yesterday (the all-u-can-eat plan). What is the point of all this? (Ok, i guess they capture some of the revenues from the porn industry)

Look at the usage behavior of the 15-25 age group. The current and next generation users are about videos, P2P, constant connectivity, etc. If the carriers make any wrong moves now, it is clearly detrimental to innovations.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:45 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
Even if it moves to the cell phone-like usage model, it will be intersting to see how consumers react to it because they've been paying a flat rate for so long. Probably no big deal for people who don't eat up the majority of the network resources, but there could be revolt among the power users.
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:43 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
That is true if you can get B-PON FIOS (like my neighborhood), but VZ is moving to new installs with IP FIOS that have the same type congestion points as Comcast & TWC.

OP
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:41 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
I'll have to check, but I thought they offer a low-end, lite tier of some sort for people who don't need fast speeds or don't consumer much capacity... maybe not promoted openly but used as a save tactic.
rjs
50%
50%
rjs,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:35 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
A 100Kbps line operating 24hrs a day translates into 1.08GB of data. For a month that means about 30GB of data.

Think about it ... (FCC listen, FTA, Politicians, listen!) that means that a quota of 30GB per month translates into a 100Kbps line aggregate throughput!!!! They call this
BROADBAND ..... TIME WARNER should be ashamed of pulling such a con on the masses who, unfortunately cannot do arithmetic.


Just for reference, your good old telephone line since 1960's can provide a minimum of 64kbps.
This is a clear case of a monopoly trying to squeeze the stupid arithmetically challenged consumers.

By definition of Broadband, namely, 1Mbps of aggregate rate which is just 1% of 100Mbps Fast Ethernet peak rate, the data allocation should be a minimal of 300GB or more per month.
If Time Warner puts a quota less than this, they should be sued outright for misrepresentation since they are NOT providing broadband.

-RJS


Brad Green
50%
50%
Brad Green,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:35 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
Thats an interesting way to think about it. Most people dont use 30GB a month, only speed is important, since we arent online all the time. Does the actual official definition of broadband require that the service provide sustained 1mbps?
rjs
50%
50%
rjs,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:49:34 PM
re: TWC to Test Broadband Toll Booth
There is no standard agreed upon definition of
broadband. Maybe someone out there knows if there is anything defined by FCC.

If one is charging by bit, then the numbers are
as mentioned. If one is charging by peak capacity and not aggregate throughput, then it should be so defined. Apples to apples comparison is what is required to avoid misrepresentation and confusion.

One thing is quite clear though ... if you want to download media, you are better off having two pots lines and running them 24 hrs to get your download.

-RJS

"Arithmetic is not an opinion ...." as the saying goes.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.