Chicago (IL) – There is little doubt that Time Warner Cable has taken a lead role in figuring out how much consumers are willing to pay for extra bandwidth and we are slowly getting a better idea how much it may cost households to provide their home with all those download, video streaming and future cloud computing services. Time Warner thinks you may be willing to shell out up to $150 per month for your Internet connection.
A recent blog post by Time Warner Cable Chief Operating Officer Landel Hobbs has resulted in a new outrage about Internet bandwidth charges on the Internet. The clear intention of the post was to calm concerns about TWC’s “punitive” charges for its tiered bandwidth pricing plans, which added $1 for every gigabyte that was not included in a certain plan. Those start at $30 per month with a 5 GB cap and top out a hard cap of 40 GB for “heavy Internet users.”
Hobbs said that there was a small “but vocal” group of users who felt that 40 GB was not enough and the company now plans on introducing a 100 GB “super-tier” for those who need it. While he did not reveal how much this plan may cost, some reports indicate that TWC plays with a $75 per month idea. Extra charges will be capped at $75 as well, which means that unlimited Internet will ring in at a maximum of $150 per month.
The question most consumers will have to answer is: What bandwidth do I need? And that answer will largely depend on how many users are in a household, what the usage model is, whether music and videos are uploaded and downloaded and whether the household wants to use video streaming services. An active Internet customer is very likely to exceed TWC’s 100 GB cap every month, especially if video streaming services such as Netflix are considered.
We here at TG Daily still believe that such enormous charges for Internet bandwidth will strangle Internet innovation in the U.S., innovation this country so desperately needs if we look at other countries with a high Internet penetration. It is unlikely that TWC and other providers are not aware of this scenario and it is generally believed that these bandwidth caps are strategies to protect cable companies from video streaming Internet services.