After Time Warner proposed what would amount to a $150/month unlimited Internet plan, the company has received a massive influx of complaints from customers. As a result, Time Warner has decided to delay the rollout of the tiered pricing plan in both Texas cities by a few months.
Originally, Time Warner planned to roll out tiered pricing tests in San Antonio and Austin this summer. As a result of customers’ reactions, Time Warner now plans to delay the meter program until October. San Antonio and Austin customers should expect to see changes to their bill sometime in January after the three-month grace period that is intended to help customers monitor their usage. Time Warner still plans to continue with the roll out of the tiered pricing tests in Rochester and Greensboro as it originally planned.
The first iteration of Time Warner’s three-tiered pricing plan would have meant that customers would pay between $29.95 and $75 per month for Internet access with strict bandwidth caps. Overage charges would be $1 per gigabyte. After criticism of the bandwidth caps and complaints from customers who feared their broadband costs would rise under the proposed plans, Time Warner introduced its unlimited bandwidth plan that would cost $149.99 per month.
The tiered pricing structure has been met with considerable resistance, and the new “unlimited” plan didn’t go far enough to satisfy users. In reality, the proposed unlimited plan had quite the opposite effect since it would likely raise the monthly cost of Internet for many users.
U.S. Representative Eric Massa of New York isn’t pleased with Time Warner’s proposed tiered pricing structures. As Massa put it, "Time Warner's decision has the potential to more than triple customers' current rates, and I think most families will find this to be too taxing to afford. Time Warner believes they can do this in Rochester, N.Y., Greensboro, N.C., and Austin and San Antonio, Texas, and it's almost certainly just a matter of time before they attempt to overcharge all of their customers." After receiving numerous phone calls, emails, and faxes from his constituents, the Representative has said he will draft new legislation that will prohibit Internet Service Providers from implementing unfair tiered pricing structures.
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