Trial hails usage-based broadband billing

Time Warner Cable will begin a trial of usage-based billing for broadband access, according to a report that first appeared at Broadband Reports, which possesses a copy of a TWC memo discussing the trial plans. The trial will start with a small number of customers on metered usage plans, but don't be surprised if TWC and other broadband service providers quickly adopt usage-based billing as rule of thumb.

Unlimited usage plans helped kick-start the broadband revolution, but as usage has surged, Internet video has arrived and peer-to-peer content applications have started to take over, it has become apparent you can have too much of a good thing.

Comcast's traffic-delaying controversy was just the beginning. As the Federal Communications Commission investigates that flap, it may start to appear more like an event all its own, but the truth is that the entire broadband industry is looking at ways to preserve service quality, manage network traffic efficiently and avoid inspiring road rage on the information superhighway. That's what deep packet inspection-related deals like Arbor Networks' acquisition of Ellacoya Networks are all about, and you could say the same of any experiments or forays into bandwidth-tier or usage-based billing.

For more:
- check out this report at Broadband Reports
- and this follow-up at Light Reading's Cable Digital News

Related article:
- Arbor Networks yesterday announced the Ellacoya acquisition