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Time Warner Cable Backs Off Broadband Caps

20 Apr, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Time Warner Cable has backed down on its plan to test usage-based pricing for its Road Runner broadband subscribers.

The company April 16 announced it would not continue with its four-tier pricing plan that it wanted to test in Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Greensboro, N.C.; and Rochester, N.Y. Consumers would have been charged anywhere from $29.95 to nearly $55 a month, and users would be capped at 5GB per month on the cheapest plan and 40GB a month at the high end. Users who went over their allotment would be charged $1 per gigabyte.

“It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption based billing,” said Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt. “As a result, we will not proceed with implementation of additional tests until further consultation with our customers and other interested parties.

“While we continue to believe that consumption-based billing may be the best pricing plan for consumers, we want to do everything we can to inform our customers of our plans.”

The announcement came shortly after local and state politicians voiced their concern about the proposal.

“With limited choices in broadband providers, and virtual monopolies in many market areas, I view this as nothing more than a large corporation making a move to force customers into paying more money,” Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) said in a statement April 7. “I firmly oppose capping Internet usage and I will be taking a leadership role in stopping this outrageous, job-killing initiative.” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also came out against the idea of usage-based broadband billing.

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