When I accessed the Internet in the early 90s with my superfast 33,6 Kbps modem I had to sign a contract with a company that made me pay per minute that I was online. This put a lot of pressure on me and my bankroll at that time and many companies later gave in to user demand and offered flatrates instead. Unlimited access to the Internet without having to look at the clock or the amount that I have downloaded have since then become an important part of my life and I would never accept to go back to a time or bandwidth limited account.
I know that some users prefer those accounts however because they save a few bucks when signing up for limited accounts and since they only check emails and visit websites that's all they need.
A leaked memo from Time Warner suggests that they will trial bandwidth caps meaning that users have to choose from a tiered structure that will certainly confuse normal customers especially when you consider that every user would have to keep track of the bandwidth already used to avoid being charged if he goes over the limit.
My personal opinion is that these tests will come to the conclusion that customers will not accept this tiered structure. It has become a way of life to access the Internet freely without having to look at bandwidth or time limits.
It does make perfectly sense from a companies point of view though. Users pick a bandwidth plan and one of two things will happen. Users remain below the allowed bandwidth which means that Time Warner is making more money because of the difference between paid for and used bandwidth.
The other scenario is that users will use more bandwidth than they paid for which would surely mean a heavy fine per Gigabyte that they exceeded their limit. Again, a win for Time Warner.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.