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Time Warner caps to top 40GB, hurt movies?

updated 04:05 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2008

Time Warner Cap Limits

Time Warner Cable's metered Internet experiment will have caps that may significantly curb increasingly common usage habits, a company spokesman has confirmed. The Beaumont, Texas trial will have 5GB, 10GB, 20GB, and 40GB limits depending on the service level; there will be no unlimited access option when it launches in the spring, Time Warner says. Subscribers who cross the limit for their plan will still have service but will be charged an unspecified amount for each gigabyte of data consumed past the cap. Only new customers in the area will use tiers, while legacy customers will still have unlimited access.

The approach is not unique in the industry but is relatively rare in the US, which either opts for an unlimited model or else 'soft' caps where customers receive warnings rather than extra fees.

However, a successful trial may have a chilling effect on downloadable and streaming video for customers Time Warner or other Internet providers that adopt the policy. Full-length movies from services such as iTunes typically consume more than 1GB of data for standard-definition video, limiting the maximum tier of the Time Warner service to less than 40 movies without any additional usage costs. HD videos available through the Apple TV, Xbox 360, and similar devices typically consume 5GB or more per title.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Malevoiy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006



    Well played, Time Warner. Hobbling the distribution channel for your own content is just the sort of thing to reinvigorate waning sales!

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Anything else in TX

    Is there any other high speed choice in beaumont, TX besides DSL like FiOS? If there is then it'd be interesting to see how many folks stay with TW. If there isn't, then that would explain why they picked this town to try this on. And, if that's the case, why don't they get brave and really try it in a town where they actually have to compete (obvious answer).

  1. dscottbuch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000



    5 GB per WHAT - day, week, month year????? Can't these places get decent reports that read their own material??????

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    per month

    It appears to be per month, but none of the reports (or even the original memo) say exactly for sure.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    hope Cox doesn't follow the lead.

  1. sicembears

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007



    Then they would loose me to sat and dsl if they pulled this kinda c*** here in San Diego.

  1. Mark Holoubek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001


    Bad omen for others?

    I though I had a bad deal when Rogers (whose ridiculous mobile data rates are likely what's keeping the iPhone out of Canada) started capping at 100 GB for the second-fastest tier. Ironically the fastest tier, which costs twice as much but is really blazing (assuming your're visiting fast sites of course) caps at only 60 G...I'm glad to have the second-fastest at 100, but 40?? As a top tier? With 5 and 10 GB limits as well? Sounds like they don't think much about the people of Beaumont, TX!

  1. wingdo

    Senior User

    Joined: Apr 2001



    Where everything is bigger ...... except for you bandwidth.

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    wrong decision

    If TW wants its few remaining and undemanding customers to freely browse without causing bandwidth issues, then it is the right decision. Less people won't force you to develop your lines further, right TW? All the rest will move on to better ISP.

  1. MacAssemble

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Satellite Internet

    Satellite internet from Hughesnet caps DAILY downloads at 500MB (Megabytes!) for the highest home tier service.BTW the highest home service costs more than $100/mo for 1.5Mbs service. When we had the lowest tier service we were limited to a whopping 150MB per day. And what happens if you go over that amount? Your service is cut to Dial up internet speeds for the next 24-Hours! It is a terrible service model, but when you have no other internet choice you just have to bear with it!

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