Time Warner Cable said on Wednesday it is planning a trial to bill high-speed Internet subscribers based on their amount of usage rather than a flat fee, the standard industry practice. The second largest U.S. cable operator said it will test consumption-based billing with subscribers in Beaumont, Texas later this year as a part of a strategy to help reduce congestion of its network by a minority of consumers who pay the same monthly fee as light users. The company believes the billing system will impact only heavy users, who account for around 5 percent of all customers but typically use more than half of the total network bandwidth, according to a company spokesman.
[SOURCE: Reuters, AUTHOR: Yinka Adegoke]
* Activist Groups Mixed on TW’s Test of Flexible Data Pricing
Public Knowledge, which has pushed for more consumer control of the Internet experience, praised Time Warner Cable’s decision Thursday to test flexible pricing for its Internet service, while Free Press, another network neutrality fan, was less sanguine. Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, said the move was better than disconnecting users or impeding traffic, but building better networks and adopting open access policies is the better way.
* Time Warner Cable to Test Internet Caps in Texas
* Time Warner to test metered Web use