Today brought another splendid reminder of how loudly the broadband vanguard can roar when service providers start messing with the Internet.
Bowing to a groundswell of populist outrage, Time Warner Cable has dropped plans to expand trials of a usage-based pricing plan for its Internet service.
The company put out a press release today charmingly announcing that it was “shelving the trials while the customer education process continues.”
That misunderstanding had manifested in some pretty ugly forms, with allegations of price gouging and monopolistic behavior.
Time Warner Cable claimed the steps were necessary to shoulder the bandwidth costs associated with providing service to an increasing number of insatiable data gluttons who spend their days downloading movies and playing massive multiplayer games.
The problem was that the data caps (1 GB on the low end) seemed too small, while the fees (maximum $150 per month for exorbitant data usage) appeared extravagant. The talking point became that the pricing change could more than triple the cost of an unlimited data plan. While in practice that would have only been the case for a very small portion of subscribers, the sticker shock was bound to raise some eyebrows.
And it certainly did…