Tiered Broadband Versus Innovation


"I think that any of the caps are going to be bad for the companies that implement them over the long run." So writes Ron Culler in response to a this post about bandwidth caps imposed by broadband providers.

I wrote a newspaper column about Time Warner Cable's new tiered pricing plan in the Greensboro (NC) News & Record. Greensboro is one of the markets where the plan will be tested.

From the column: "The cap is a serious issue for Greensboro," says Vint Cerf, a senior executive at Google who is known as the "Father of the Internet" for his pioneering work as a network engineer. "It will inhibit innovation. People will cut back on usage and become afraid to try new applications. It will be a terrible drag on new entrepreneurial services, and that's got to be exactly the wrong thing at a time when we're trying to stimulate the economy."


2 Comments for "Tiered Broadband Versus Innovation"

  • Coriantumr April 16, 2009 4:30 pm

    The capping limits are completely inadequate. A lowly college freshman project would eat up the allotment. On the one hand you have the push for a mobile society, where everything, be it entertainment, news, is available on-line, 24/7 so that essentially the line between time off work and work blurs to nothing. On the other hand you have both a cable establishment and an entertainment industry rooted in the 1960's. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise..........for all of us. Not for Yahoo, Google and the online advertisement community. Not for Apple or Napster or Netflix either. I would e-mail them first so they can use their leverage to bust this move. Also some trimming on the ranks of some ISP’s is needed. To solve an issue with my current ISP [the one with the funny Globe] I was transferred between 2 customer service operators, the “access specialist”, the “multiple billing specialist” and the “rewards specialist” and 45 minutes later we’ve solved our differences. It is a good thing that this company is also my Wireless provider, with roll over seconds, which could have not come handier at this point. E-mail your representative and most importantly, e-mail the money…the people that have the most to loose. I can live with books perfectly fine.

  • James Pulley April 15, 2009 8:53 am

    Earlier this year I turned off my RoadRunner service through Time Warner in favor of DSL. While Time Warner had the faster solution I was not happy with their expressed desire to move to tiered pricing. Also, with Verizon beginning to provide DSL service and with the hope that FIOS would make it to my area I jumped ship after close to ten years of cable modem use. It would be interesting to see if Time Warner is only doing this in markets where they feel "safe" from competition. This feels an awful lot like when Microsoft introduced a platform check in SQL Server & SNA Server back in 1994 which caused everyone running on Windows NT workstation to have to upgrade to Windows Server...paying a lot more for the same level of connections and functionality. Companies that feel "Safe" in their customer base from competitive pressures can do a lot to extract extra revenue without much recourse from those that are locked in.

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