Tick Tock: Time Warner Cable Tests Metered Internet Use

bandwidth cable

The move is an attempt to curb bandwidth hogs who the company believes use an excessive amount of peer-to-peer applications. However, Kevin Leddy, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president of advanced technology, said that just five percent of the company's subscribers take up half of the capacity on local cable lines.

"We think it's the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure," Leddy told the Associated Press.

Pricing for new customers will be between $29.95 per month for service at 768 kilobits per second and a 5-gigabyte monthly cap to $54.90 per month for faster downloads at 15 megabits per second and a 40-gigabyte cap, according to Reuters. The charges cover the cable portion of subscription bundles that include video or phone services. In addition, both downloads and uploads will count toward the monthly cap. There are 90,000 customers in the trial area.

As an example of the new pricing tiers, downloading just five movies a month from Apple's iTunes store would go over the 5-gig cap on the least expensive subscription, according to figures from The Silicon Alley Insider.

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Time Warner said it will give new users a break: the gigabyte surcharges won't be incurred in the first two months. New users will also be able to monitor their data usage on a gauge on the company's Web site.