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Screw Time Warner!!!!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I'm so mad... I just found out that Time Warner Cable is going to impliment bandwidth caps for Roadrunner (RR) customers in Rochester starting in September! I knew they were testing this out in select markets, but I'm rather annoyed that Rochester is now one of them. The funny thing is they seem to only being trying this garbage in markets where there is little to no competition. The only other option for internet access here is Frontier DSL which is pathetic at best. The best speed you can get out of DSL here is around 3Mbps, and that's if you live like right next to the CO in your area. I can get 10Mbps easily with RR now, even at peak times at night. I was extremely satisifed with the performance, but what good is having superfast download speeds if you can only download up to a certain amount per month? Because you can go over your cap, you just get charged $1/GB even though the going rate on bandwidth is a fraction of that cost.

Personally I think they're doing this to try to save their pathetic Video On Demand (VOD) service and their in-show ad revenue. The way people view media is evolving, many don't just sit there watching crap on the tv, they download their shows commercial free using bittorrent, they stream shows from hulu with limited commercials or use services like Netflix. Why would you pay $4 for a movie via VOD when you can rent it from a Redbox or Blockbuster for $1? Since probably nobody is using their services, now they're going to force you to because it'll cost you to download the media over the internet. A full length DVD is about 4GB of data, at $1/GB (when over your cap) is $4 for a movie, the same price for a VOD movie.

Of course there are no details on TWC's website as far as pricing, but rumor has it, there will be 4 tiers to choose from, depending on the usage. How much do you want to bet that the lowest tier (with the smallest cap) will cost the same as their basic unmetered service currently? They already increased the cost of their service by about 12% this year (AND last year too) without notifying customers first of course. We called to complain when we noticed this, and of course they said they mailed a notification home, but we never saw it either time.

Friday morning I came across the contact info for TWC's Vice President of Public Relations and I wrote him a email expressing my disappointment in their decisions. Surprisingly he replied about 10 minutes later confirming that it's basically all about the money saying they're a for-profit company who has to pay their bills and employees and that this was the decided as the best means for generating the revenue they need. I replied saying I hope this doesn't drive all their customers away having the opposite effect on their income; he replied a few minutes later saying he does too. I also found his Twitter page and there are a bunch of people who are giving him shit about this whole situation, I think that's pretty funny.

What's next, capping the amount of TV you can watch? You get 20 hours of TV in a month and after that they start charging you per minute?

Comments (15) Subscribe

#1 - Apr 7, 2009 at 1:21 PM
TBH Frontier is not that bad, especially after this.
I'm going to reserve judgment until I see the pricing structure, although it will probably suck. Bandwidth caps need to be more reasonable. Let's take Japan. Average cap there is 500GB up, unlimited down. American ISPs are being much more restrictive as a matter of profiteering instead of charging the top 5% of users extra.
#2 - Apr 7, 2009 at 5:38 PM
I had Frontier for a few years and you're right, it's not that bad, but it all depends on where you live. I rented a house off Monroe a few hundred feet away from their Field Street CO, and got very good speeds. Then when I lived in one of the Harley houses, the phone line was terminated at that same CO 3 miles away. I barely got 256Kb/s.

One of the major reasons I think we're so far behind places like Japan and South Korea is simply the size. Japan is about the size of California, rolling out fiber nationally isn't as big a deal as it would be for the US.

I just found out that we can get Earthlink cable here over TWC's last mile coax. Seems like a decent alternative; same network, same devices, even paid on your TWC bill.
#3 - Apr 8, 2009 at 9:11 AM
I live pretty close to a CO, I usually get about 3-4mbps.
You're right that the size of the US is a factor. Only the big telecoms can really compete, especially with cell providers, and they take every opportunity to pillage your wallet and give subpar service and hardware.
#4 - Apr 10, 2009 at 1:17 PM
We have Frontier DSL and it's fine. Although we have the super max speed one not the lite. Or something. Anyway, I don't notice a difference between our service and broadband or verizon fios.
big brother
#5 - Apr 12, 2009 at 3:16 PM
So when are you going to include a script on your page with a live usage gauge? we are all curious what your tally is looking like
#6 - Apr 13, 2009 at 5:01 AM
There's now legislation being introduced to prohibit the tiered usage price structure.
#7 - Apr 15, 2009 at 8:20 AM
Brad mentioned this on twitter today:

#8 - Apr 15, 2009 at 1:05 PM
I just found out that the IM client I use (Digsby) is based out of Rochester, so this change is going to really hurt their ability to run their servers.
#9 - Apr 15, 2009 at 7:18 PM
Pat, the whole script setup is way more complicated than it needs to be. I have a linksys router flashed with dd-wrt (linux firmware) that has SNMP running to get the bytes in and out of all the interfaces. Then on my mail server I get all the numbers and store them in a database. Then I have webscript that pulls the data, sums it up and generates a graph:

Since I only started doing this on like April 5th, that monthly total is only for the last 10 days.

JR, I saw that that in Brad's facebook status too.

There's some kind of meeting with TWC and some Monroe County officials on Friday. I'm going to give the county exec and town supervisor a earful before they go to this meeting...
#10 - Apr 16, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Another update from Brad. Yay for Senator Charles Schumer!
#12 - May 29, 2009 at 9:19 AM
A bit off topic, but perhaps you should replace IE with Opera on school computers. It's definitely more secure and in my opinion it's more stable (I get maybe 2-4 IE crashes a day here) and faster.
#13 - May 29, 2009 at 10:55 AM
#14 - May 29, 2009 at 2:14 PM
Haha, I'm going to have to agree with Rachelle on this one. Maybe if your fellow students wouldn't consistently destroy the library and lab computers it wouldn't be crashing. Why aren't you using firefox portable? I know you all have it in your snap folders.

As for security, students shouldn't be doing anything online that requires security anyway...
#15 - May 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM
Many of the IE crashes are because of the Flash 4-7 that seems to be sporadically installed on library computers. Some occur on the same website repeatedly, suggesting either a problem with IE or a problem with Flash.
And I do use Opera portable, because Opera > Firefox.
Could you elaborate on how the students destroy the computers exactly and how that would cause IE crashing?
As for security, I'll assume that you're referring to using SSL, which, far from being something students shouldn't be using, is used by most decent webmail services, which is definitely one of the main uses of school computers. I was speaking more in terms of browser exploits, since most implementations of SSL should be pretty much the same.

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