Time Warner Putting a Crap on Bandwidth

Ok, it’s ‘up on the soapbox’ time.  You’ve probably heard the scuttle about Time Warner announcing plans to implement a tiered pricing structure for cable internet access based on bandwidth usage.  The plan as they explain it is to charge users who go over a certain limit more as they’re using more of the resources, thus affecting other neighboring users who are on the same shared infrastructure yadda yadda.  

Time Warner will monitor network usage as they already are, but users who exceed as of yet ‘unannounced’ bandwidth limits will be charged additionally for the priviledge of doing so, thus making the whole bandwidth management issue more cost effective for TW.

While I love the fact that the current arrangement allows for unlimited usage at all times for the same cost, I can understand the need to charge “bandwidth hogs” who use inordinant amounts of pipeline.  That aspect of this plan only marginally bothers me, but I at least see the logic.  Sort of.

What bothers me is once TW has a nice, cuddly little database of heavy bandwidth users, what OTHER organizations do you think are going to be interested in getting a subpoena for that information?  Hmmmm – think REALLY hard.  Maybe the RIAA, MPAA or any other group who’s primary hitlist is comprised of . . . oh yeah, HEAVY BANDWIDTH users.

And not that those organizations don’t have every right to pursue their interests, but what about the ‘net neutrality’ that internet providers are supposed to practice?  Doesn’t sound very neutral to me.   Sounds like providing privileged information about private internet usage – kinda like phone records.  Gee, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit over AT&T doing stuff like that, didn’t they?

So, my concern is that if Time Warner should go to this pricing model because it makes sense for them in their business environment, can we at least get some assurance that this database will not be also used as fodder for the witchhunts of lawsuit happy megacorps?

No, we can’t get any assurance.  Because I think that’s EXACTLY where all of this is headed. 

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2 Responses to “Time Warner Putting a Crap on Bandwidth”

  1. tesco says:

    I usually don’t agree with assuming the big corps are out to get us, but i think you’re right on the money here.
    Good post.

  2. Cookie_J says:

    Humph, you’ve changed my mind! Your arguments are convincing indeed. Despite I’m not a person who is easy to be convinced.

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