Surprise! The American Cable Association favors tiered broadband pricing

Guess what everybody? Time Warner Cable isn't the only one who thinks tiered broadband is the future -- so does the American Cable Association (ACA). The group claims that a stepped set of packages is the only way in which the high-speed industry can survive the coming hellstorm of your online TV viewing and rampant MP3 downloads. According to ACA president Matt Polka, "the outcome is certain," that metered pricing is on the way -- even if there aren't standardized plans in place yet. The ACA's ex officio chair Patrick Knorr adds that current billing models are "not a sustainable business model," and that "a la carte for the net is consumption-based billing."

Though some of the arguments are compelling, the ACA also dramatically suggest that grandmothers shouldn't subsidize those with HD downloading habits, and can't seem to get a fix on just how they want to meter users or what kind of overages should be charged -- both of which seem to be common points of debate. While we're not sold that there's only this single option for pricing broadband (one which heavily favors the provider's bottom lines), the group does bring a tiny bit of thoughtfulness to the discussion, with a member noting that Time Warner Cable's approach hadn't made a very good case for the practice. We suggest a page from Cablevision's playbook, guys.