The Last Straw with Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable Truck

Image by The Consumerist via Flickr

You can’t help but sigh when your locality is being hit by enormous stupid business plans like tiered Internet. What’s interesting is that the rest of the world is going to a non-tiered service arena (take a look at wireless telecommunications) while Time Warner decides to go backwards instead of forwards.
My serious annoyance here? Everything I do is Internet driven. Voip, high definition streaming, and to top it off, TWC has raised their rates for seven years straight since I’ve moved to the South thinking that I wouldn’t notice the pennies to dollars change each year and calling it “this fee” or “that fee”.
And if the Greensboro market is truly being tacked with this stupid plan and they city doesn’t have some sort of backlash effect, then you can be sure that the rest of the Triad will be hit by the same thing. In fact, I’d be curious if this test market doesn’t actually include “triad.rr.com” instead of just Greensboro.
I had hoped that Beaumont, TX test would have failed miserably and I wouldn’t have to get up in arms about this ever in this area. But it seems like this ridiculousness is about to unfold here and Roch puts out some action plans for city leadership. I definitely believe that Winston-Salem should be up and fighting this alongside their regional neighbors. So should High Point.
While I disagree that MuniWiFi should even be on the table, I think that this gives opportunity for other corporate players that should be sought out to level the playing field. Roch points out that Verizon FiOS [Fiber Optic service] is a contender and I agree. FiOS, or originally FTTP (Fiber To The Premises), is basically fiber optic line to your home or business. This allows you to have high speed internet and other data transmission send over fiber optic cable. Guess what? It’s a subscription unlimited service.
This also paves the way for Clear’s WiMax service. While it is currently in Greensboro, there is a lot of service connection issues that need to be bolstered. But I believe that if they run a good marketing campaign and reinforce their technologies, Craig McCaw’s company can definitely be in the running.
It takes very little to have city leadership question why we should even be bothering with paying “more” when technology keeps innovating towards higher bandwidth environments and in these bad economic times, we really shouldn’t be paying more for the same services.
Let’s be frank here. TWC claims that the top 25% of their users use 100x more than their bottom 75%. But do they take into account perhaps that these are the same individuals that use say… Internet for their jobs? Perhaps actually first adopt technologies like streaming technologies which eventually actually become mainstream? Let’s not forget that TWC actually jumped on the entire VoIP bandwagon AFTER Vonage made it more worthwhile and cheaper to take on the phone companies. Not before.
This entire thing stinks to high heaven, and something needs to be done.

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  • “Perhaps actually first adopt technologies like streaming technologies which eventually actually become mainstream?
    Well, that’s an excellent point (and probably, unfortunately, a statement of the obvious). I think it is safe to say that that top percentage of bandwidth user are, as you suggest, a sign of what’s to come. I think TWC is trying to set plans in place that will require more and more people to move into higher priced tiers as they discover more uses for the internet — either that or Greensboro will become a backwater where people don’t use the internet as much as people in other parts of the country because they must limit their access.
    Austin, TX is also in TWC’s cross hairs, their elected leadership looks a little more proactive than Greensboro’s as one of their city council people (and a mayoral candidate) has already issued a statement condemning this move.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/03/30/daily47.html

  • “Perhaps actually first adopt technologies like streaming technologies which eventually actually become mainstream?
    Well, that’s an excellent point (and probably, unfortunately, a statement of the obvious). I think it is safe to say that that top percentage of bandwidth user are, as you suggest, a sign of what’s to come. I think TWC is trying to set plans in place that will require more and more people to move into higher priced tiers as they discover more uses for the internet — either that or Greensboro will become a backwater where people don’t use the internet as much as people in other parts of the country because they must limit their access.
    Austin, TX is also in TWC’s cross hairs, their elected leadership looks a little more proactive than Greensboro’s as one of their city council people (and a mayoral candidate) has already issued a statement condemning this move.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/03/30/daily47.html