Bandwidth Metering Meters the Wrong Thing


Time Warner Cable has modified its tiered pricing plan -- slightly.

It's not enough to mollify users outraged by the caps, or to ease fears of the ripple effect on businesses.

Vint Cerf, the Google exec and paterfamilias of the Internet, tells me that metered broadband plans are set up wrong in the first place.

"People are not making a distinction between rate, and rate times time," he says. "It's like traveling in a car -- it's not how far you go but how fast you go that gets you in trouble."

Which is to say that you can consume a lot of bandwidth over the course of a month without putting any stress on the system. The Time Warner plan, Cerf says, could easily penalize users, "even if people aren't demanding much of the network."