Time Warner Wants You To Pay For Your Web Usage

My first reaction to this story is that if anything could kill off interactive marketing, it’d be this:

Some customers of Time Warner Cable in Beaumont, Texas, may soon end up paying more for their Internet access than other customers.
In a test of metered Internet access that’s set to begin Thursday, subscribers who go over their limit for uploading and downloading material will be charged $1 per gigabyte, according to an Associated Press story, citing a Time Warner Cable executive.
The trial run for the metered Web use was expected. The company had said in January that it would test the new pricing model in Beaumont as a way to limit the use of peer-to-peer applications on its network. Cable companies and P2P services have long clashed over bandwidth demands, especially for the transfer of large video files.
The tiered pricing will work this way, for the Internet portion of subscription packages that also include phone or video use: At the low end, users will pay $29.95 per month for service at a speed of 768 kilobits per second, with a 5GB monthly cap. At the high end, users will pay $54.90 per month for service at 15 megabits per second, with a 40GB cap.

Web 2.0 applications and rich media websites are big suckers of space, speed, and downloading time. I get frustrated with any slow-loading site, and if it takes too long or needs to refresh, I’m outta there.
If the big ISPs go to metered or tiered pricing, the ad industry will need to react fast. Who would want to download extraneous marketing stuff if the meter’s running? Is this as big as a potential trouble spot as I think it might be?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Not if advertisers “sponsor” your web access with the ISP in return for your commercial attention.
    Kind of like how you get to watch free t.v. in exchange for (supposedly) watching the ads.
    Not saying it’s a perfect solution, mind you…

  2. fortyver says:

    This needs to be nipped in the bud. The telecom industry in the United States is looking to milk every last dime out of the internet. But look at the standard of service that they provide compared to the rest of the wired world. The UK and EU who initially lagged far behind in connectivity have far surpassed even the “top” level of service that US telecom firms provide. Japan kicks all of our asses. Note that everything is based on a average. What that average speed is, varies from day to day. I have a 3 MB down and 768 Up connection at home. Well, I may be lucky to get 1.2 down and 400 Up. My download speed is not so important as having a good upload speed, when I need to upload work files to FTP servers, or email out comps. It is insufferable. Also, I have dealt on a franchise level with telecoms and they promise the world for a price, but don’t give a shit when the service is not working as promised. Time Warner in NYC is the worst, as well as Verizon. I placed an order for my DSL to be transferred when I moved. I made it in plenty of time, but I was without internet access for close to a month, even though it was supposed to be up and running on my move in day. I was told 3 times, that it would be up and running in 24 hours, then finally told, 3 weeks. I was out of luck. Time Warner goes out on a regular basis. There is no fines for them, only on system wide blackouts. Now they want to introduce tiered pricing. Oh god I hope people cancel in droves.

  3. Ed Brown says:

    Will VOIP usage or Sling Box usage make you subject to higher rates?