Time Warner is testing the usage billing. Again

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When AT&T announced caps back in May you probably pretty much figured out that Time Warner will be headed there too quite soon. Well, the soon is now. Bloomberg reports that TW CEO says they’re working on installing meters. Just like the Communist Party, it will be done “for the sake of fairness” and, I bet, at the request of customers (NOT).

And, judging by the following statement:

Time Warner likely will charge fixed amounts for specific levels of service. In that scenario, consumption-based billing probably would only affect Netflix customers who watch streamed content for more than the average of eight hours per month, he said.

It used to be that an hour of streaming from Netflix consumed 2.5 Gb data (they lowered it to 1Gb per hour for severely handi-capped Canadian ISPs), so that’d be what, 8 * 2.5 = 20 GBytes per month.
Funny how two years after initial PR disaster we got back right to the very same 20Gb data per month for the same price as unlimited costs now. Except there’s one less option, as AT&T is also capped.

Heck, if CEO caught a wind of Netflix introducing lower streaming quality then it could be as low as 2.5Gb per month (two and a half gigabytes — as lowest quality stream is 0.3GBytes/Hour)

The questions thus will be:
- Would Earthlink be forced to do caps as well? Last time Time Warner tried to introduce those ridiculously small caps and huge overages their sales people claimed Earthlink over their wires would be capped as well
- How about independent ISP over telephone line?

Also, that will be a big fat negative for Apple’s idea of “over the air updates”. I mean Apple’s engineers seem to be incapable of making a diff file, and every time they fix something in XCode I have to download whole 4Gb enchilada. Add to that Lion image, which I bet also will be more than 4Gb, and you’re 40% through your monthly cap. And that’s without doing anything else. Yuk.

How about online backups? Well, that will probably cost now more than just buying a new hard drive every couple months (and throwing old one away).

Steam client game download will eat the same 40% of monthly allowance too, so buying games online may be out for those who have 20Gb capped internet.

Google Chromebooks? Yeah, you guessed it, depend on your connection and will bump your data usage too…

Lovely, just lovely.

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