Gallaga: Relaunch Unlikely

TWC has suspended the metered Internet trials. I just finished posting my take on the issue. Omar Gallaga has been covering this issue closely for the Austin American-Statesman, and he just posted his take.

He’s seeing the glass half full (or better):

The company didn’t close the door on the possibility of revisiting this kind of billing, but it’s hard to imagine a situation where it wouldn’t again meet such a backlash, especially now that customers and those who fought on Twitter and the Web against it will know that their efforts seemed to have turned the tide.

I hope he’s right, and I do agree that any future attempts will be retooled to avoid such a backlash. But where we disagree is that I believe they’ll be back. The cablecos perceive the threat of online video too grave (and the revenue opportunity from monetizing bandwidth consumption too great) to just throw up their hands and walk away.

Read the full article here: Time Warner Cable shelves tiered billing; what just happened?

10 comments to Gallaga: Relaunch Unlikely

  • Bill O.

    It’s not over till it’s over. In the meantime, here’s a little rhyme to have ready if it ever comes back to haunt us:

    Time Warner Roadrunner Blues

    Hang onto your wallets
    Watch out for your purses
    Time Warner get ready
    For protests and curses!

    Before we get shafted
    Sideways from Sunday
    We’ll consider by golly
    The switch to Grande!

    We’re not gonna take it
    No way, no how
    Let us out of Time Warner
    Let us out now!

  • Carrie

    Yeah, this thing isn’t over. I’m worried about what will happen in a year or less.

    The whole “customer education process” line really got me angry, it was very condescending and they still don’t seem to get it.

    Hopefully by the time they think metering is something to bring back, there will be other viable options within Austin.

    Just found out this morning that Beaumont is still stuck with metering. :( I thought for sure they’d be free too.

  • Larry

    TWC is actually getting a pass by the media. They are reporting that the tests are ‘shelved’ yet they are still going on in Beaumont. I’m also shocked by a number of posts that suggest metered billing is ok as long as it’s cheap. Anyone that has ever had service from TWC knows that they have billing creep. Once they get metered billing in place the prices will skyrocket to the point where what they’ve recently purposed will look like a good deal.

  • I’m a little surprised that OmarG is ending on a note that seems sympathetic to TWC’s position: “And perhaps the most valuable lesson we learned from Time Warner and this situation is that Internet traffic isn’t free….Time Warner struggling to find ways to deal with customers who use a very high amount of data every month….”

    Nobody has explained how transporting a lot of bits costs more than transporting a few bits. I can understand how higher speed costs more.

  • Carrie

    @Larry

    I noticed the ‘creep’ too. I was supposed to have ‘surf & watch’ for ~$100/mo, and for 6 months they honored that price. Then, out of nowhere, they didn’t send us our bill for a month, and our price went up to $123/mo due to a late payment. They won’t back down on the price, either, now. We’re kind of stuck with TW, since our apartment complex has a contract with them.

  • margaret

    Now is the time to start writing our representatives in Congress to get caps outlawed. We should not wait until TWC starts making noises about caps again.

  • Jenn Brown

    I hope it’s over, but I’m not going to hold my breath. As others mention, TWC has a real problem with billing creep. Anything we can do to prevent this metering and related charging from happening the better. Once they have it, it’ll be all but impossible to repeal it. Thanks to social media, and watchdogs, it’s harder for them to sneak this sort of thing through unawares.

  • David

    I’m curious, where are the Texas state policymakers on this issue?

    According to the press reports, it would appear that Texas consumers should thank New York state Senator Schumer for taking a firm stand.

  • This is NOT over. I thought it might have been over when I was standing right next to Sen. Schumer when he was doing his press conference. I was assured that this was as good as dead. When I got home, there was the TW press release.

    I spent today completely reviewing this from top to bottom talking to my own sources within TW, the media, Washington, industry people, etc., and I came to the conclusion this is not only NOT over, it’s a stall technique.

    I expand on this on stopthecap quite a bit, but do not be lulled into complacency. They will be back after a few months of the gas gauge, telling people to see if they consumed enough bandwidth to matter, and also assume that if they didn’t, they would not engage in this fight.

    They are sly, but so am I.

  • Earl Cooley III

    By the way, TWC RoadRunner just boosted my connection speed without me asking for it; it looks like they’re softening us up for future efforts. Also, they’re pushing market share lockdowns by offering sweetheart deals to apartment complexes: $35 a month for “expanded basic service” (generally equivalent to “standard service” but the new name gives them the flexibility to bait and switch if the want to later) which becomes a mandatory service fee on renter lease renewal. So, even if I want to switch all services to a competitor, I’ll still have to pay the $35 a month for services I’m not using.

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