Late Thursday, Time Warner Cable said it was putting plans to roll out metered broadband billing for more markets on the shelf for now. Beaumont, Tex., remains the sole "test" market for metered billing.
Congressional and public pressure was brought to bear upon Time Warner Cable (TWC) after it announced plans at the end of March to expand its metered billing trials to Rochester, N.Y., Greensboro, N.C., Austin, Tex., and San Antonio. U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, representing the Rochester area, announced last week he was preparing legislation to ban metered billing and this was followed by a discussion on Thursday morning between the senior U.S. Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, and Time Warner Cable's chief executive Glenn Britt. TWC and the Senator's office later issued press releases announcing the pull back.
In addition to the Congressional influence, public interest groups and the local paper in Rochester also put pressure on the company.
Despite the retreat, TWC is still holding firm on the Beaumont trial, and it plans to roll out software in all of its markets to let customers know how much bandwidth they are consuming. TWC had planned to introduce four tiers of charges, with a max cap of 40 GB at $54.90 a month, plus an unlimited service plan at $150 per month.
Be interesting to see if TWC ponies up to the trough for broadband stimulus money after this controversy.
- see The Associated Press story
Congressman drafting bill to ban metered bandwidth billing
Heat rises on TWC metered billing plans
TWC recently said it would expand metered billing into several new markets
The cable TV company's Beaumont, Tex., trial began in 2008