No, folks -- this is no prank. Time Warner Cable really is throwing caution (and public opinion) to the wind and moving forward with its evil consumption-based internet billing. If you'll recall, we heard that the operator was trialing the method -- which imposes premium rates on big broadband users -- back in early 2008, but now it seems it's quietly hoping to roll it out into more major markets. Starting this month, TWC will start gathering information on its customers' internet use in Austin, TX, San Antonio, TX, Rochester, NY and Greensboro, NC; if all goes "well," consumption billing will hit those markets this summer or sooner. We'll point you to the read link if you're interested in just how outrageous these capped plans look (particularly for internet TV viewers), but we'd be remiss of our duties if we didn't share this gem of a quote from TWC CEO Glenn Britt: "We made a mistake early on by not defining our business based on the consumption dimension." Thanks for clarifying, Glenn-o.

[Thanks Kevin, image courtesy of Corbis]

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TWC moves consumption-based internet billing to more markets