Space Ramblings

Comcast Vs Time Warner, Blocking Vs Metering

Comcast is taking the bulk of the heat for its tampering with Bittorrent but what consumers should be more worried about is Time Warner’s plan to implement a metered internet, bringing back the good old AOL days of paying by usage to those who thought they had left them behind long ago.

On the one hand cable providers are driven to offer speed and on the other they’re driven to cut costs by jettisoning or restricting customers who actually make use of that speed. But Time Warner and Comcast both enjoy virtual monopolies thanks to the transition from local dialup providers to a handful of national cable and telecom companies now looking to cut services while expanding their customer base. Never mind that this is a virtual contradiction in terms.

Comcast’s blocking at least gives customers the chance to play cat and mouse. Time Warner’s metering instead brings cell phone provider type tactics to the broadband market, jettisoning the least profitable customers in favor of the most profitable consumers. The ideal cable customer has become the little old lady who pays 50 dollars a month to check her email, but that’s not a realistic expectation of cable customers.

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