It seems that the internets are abuzz with Time Warner’s plan to have bandwidth limits on their high speed cable modem accounts. They have yet to release the price/bandwidth numbers but I have to say that this makes me glad that the market I’m in (Houston) was one that was switched over to Comcast. Though if this trial run turns out to do good things for Time Warner, Comcast will probably not be far behind in doing something similar.
Time Warner says that this switch is to stop the 5% of people using BitTorrent heavily and thus using up 50% of the bandwidth that is available. The downside is while this might be the case now, by the end of this year (or next) it won’t be the case at all. With Apple releasing movie rental downloads and Netflix looking at set top box (Tivo is already doing movie/television downloads through Amazon’s Unbox), the average consumer is going to start performing what Time Warner considers “large downloads” and they need to accomodate for that rather than placing needless bandwidth caps on usage. Instead of placing caps, why not expand the network? It was wasy to see with consumer high speed lines where data usage was going to go. This should have been expected. And if this was not planned for, well that is poor planning on Time Warner’s (or any other company’s) implementation planners.
I’m hoping that these “tests” are complete failures. We got away from “usage” tiers when AOL went unlimited. Lets not step backwards but rather start looking forward.