Austin Chronicle: An 11 on the Stupid Scale

Cartoon of a video game player tripping an Internet bandwidth cap.An article in today’s Austin Chronicle says that the Time-Warner Cable plan to meter Internet usage is an attack on its very best customers, and “on the stupid scale, this is an 11.”

Kevin Brass homes right in on the fact that the TWC metering plan isn’t really about preserving network capacity, but about business models and suppressing competition.

Once Time Warner has its hand on the faucet, the cable company can exert huge power over the flow of the Internet. A quick reconfiguring of the tiers, a heartfelt note, and customers will be squeezed for a few more dollars, simply because they like to watch Saturday Night Live on Hulu instead of TV.

With users counting their gigabytes, Time Warner would then be able to wield more influence over content providers, perhaps negotiating deals with certain sites to allow consumers to download that site’s content without the surcharge – giving favored status to whichever company pays Time Warner. Such proposals have been floated in the past (triggering the “Net neutrality” debate), raising concerns that only big companies will gain access to networks, squashing innovation and smaller competitors.

Read the full article here: To the Cyber-Barricades!

1 comment to Austin Chronicle: An 11 on the Stupid Scale

  • Matthew Henry

    “In essence, the cable giant wants to change the pricing paradigm, taking broadband back to the good ol’ dial-up days…”

    How about we bring back common carriage from the dial-up days instead.