Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Charging for bandwidth use: This could happen only in America

Originally uploaded by JasonCross.
Only in America, the developed nation with the worst high-speed bandwidth infrastructure in the world, would we be taking a step backward like this: Time Warner Cable is trying out a new pricing strategy for users in Beaumont, Texas. The catch: pay per gigabyte used.

Oh, sweet. Rather than working to open the pipes, let's figure out how to make the Internet experience more painful.

This is the wrong direction, folks. If we want to keep ahead (or even abreast) in this world, we need bigger pipes at cheaper prices.

Plain and simple.


  1. I agree with you Peter. Time Warner is in a desperate financial position, which is probably why they are doing this, but think about it, some knucklehead executive probably authorized this - it will probably work to end their business quicker...

  2. I'm not sure "the worst high-speed bandwidth infrastructure in the world" is a fair statement. The US lags many countries (but also has unique infrastructure challenges compared to a country like Japan).

    I was turned off by Time Warner's services a while ago (too expensive and spotty uptime), but TW can do what they want -- and it may turn out that structured pricing will benefit the average web surfer -- those who aren't jacked into bit torrents or spend 9 hours a day on YouTube. The FCC has a responsibility to encourage competition and remove the antiquated monopoly protections still in place (e.g. Verizon "owning" the lines into your home).

    Overall, bandwidth rates in this country are starting to take off. My business is nearly doubling our downstream from 6 to 10Mbps for 25% lower cost.

    Also, fiber direct to your computer is a real possibility over the next 5-10 years. Splitting the light beams over a single cable could mean 10Gbps transfers. Are you ready for that?