Time Warner Cable will beginning testing a broadband service cap of 40GB/month in Beaumont, Texas. The first thing I want to say is that this would end up costing me roughly $40 more per month then what I am paying now.
I would not consider myself to be a heavy user, I probably download roughly 3GB per day though, which, in my opinion, would be considered some one who uses it more than the average joe but not nearly as heavy as the user who has bittorrent running 24/7.
I pay $45 per month and get roughly 4.5Mbps download speeds, they advertise up to 4Mb so I am very happy with the speed compared to what they advertise (I’m not very happy with my speed compared to many of the other people I know throughout the country who are paying just as much as me using Time Warner and routinely getting 8-10Mbps, but that’s another story) but if they brought this pricing to my neck of the woods I would be paying $55 per month for the 40GB and another $20 for the extra downloads (and that’s assuming they aren’t going to charge me for uploads which, if they did, would probably cost me another $20-30).
Many have said that this seems to be an anti-competative move by Time Warner Cable to keep other VOD and VOIP services from being very economical to their users, this would keep almost all of the people who know and use these services on Time Warners side of the fence and away from Skype, Vonage, iTunes, etc. I absolutely agree with that statement, it seems to me that the cable companies, just like the record industry and the movie studios are trying to hold on to a business model that. when you consider what’s possible on the internet, is incapable of doing anything but crashing and burning.
I’m sure many of the people who work for Time Warner Cable are smart but until they start to realize that the best way to fight off competitors isn’t by annoying and hurting customers, they might as well just start throwing their money down the toilet, because that’s where it’s going to end up sooner or later.
On the flip side, Beaumont, tx is a small but growing community. The 40GB cap is probably related to the amount of bandwidth available to the community more than anything else.