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?