Do you like streaming? Help kill this now! - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:34 PM
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Default Do you like streaming? Help kill this now!

With Verizon the last holdout, everyone should work to ensure that this doesn't become the norm. From the Consumerist

I am a concerned consumer in the Golden Triangle region where Time Warner (The cable monopoly of Southeast TX) has decided to launch testing for overage charges on unrealistic caps made for their service.

Recently I have tried to stop relying on more costly services such as VOD so I have turned to NetFlix and Hulu which both have online viewing services. These changes soon put me over the 20 GB cap for my internet plan placed in our area. I am aware Comcast is taking a similar route but their limits are set substantially higher @ 250gb. I am not trying to do anything illegal here mind you. I am just trying to find cheaper alternatives to enjoy television. I was hit with a $10 charge ($1 per GB over) and this is what prompted a phone call to them and made me aware of this new billing process they are running only in my direct service area. I was told by a rep that streaming content like NetFlix creates a "bottleneck" type situation and makes other customers suffer. I find this hard to believe since other companies who do not use this method make out just fine. 20GB a month just seems far to low for someone who uses legal online resources like myself.

To Time Warner's credit I was credited back the $10 as a "one time courtesy" w/ the option of paying more ($10) for their Road Runner Turbo which has a 40gb cap which is still far from reasonable, or be discouraged from using my Netflix/Hulu. Additionally they gave me the signin to an online resource showing the amount of bandwidth coming from my modem each month.(their math also perplexes me in the attached picture). I am not upset with my speed as it is @ 7 MB/sec but to pay more just for more bandwidth seems ludicrous! As a matter of fact this practice could also discourage users from OTHER VOIP providers like Vonage. It seems TWC is trying to further discourage competition in an area where they are already a monopoly! If not then why didn't they start it in someplace where there are other cable providers for competition?

Since I have no alternatives to switch since I have no use for phone and Dry Loop DSL is not available in my area I am apparently over a barrell up a creek!


P.S. I have attached a picture showing you also how their tool shows a bit of strange math on how they calculated my overages! Mind you the calculater is my exact calculations which seems very simple math! (100 (for percent) divided by 20 (gb) times the 27.56(gb) i went over. Which should give me my percentage (137.8% not 147). If I am missing something please tell me!
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:43 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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From the lack of direct competition, I'm guessing that's why they chose your area.

The party's over before it ever really began folks.

It's only a matter of time before Charter does this to me.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:00 PM
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Downloads are the future!

Seriously though, pretty crappy situation.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Shitty situation but until it affects me I don't really care. Luckily I live in an area where I have several choices so if one tries to impose a download cap I'd switch over to something else.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:15 PM
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Honestly I'm really curious how many changes the cableco's are in store for in recent days. It seems like in the past the federal government was not terribly interested in actually enforcing federal law, and with in the FCC that culture is still VERY MUCH in full force. Case in point I was just told by the FCC that they are not responcible for enforcing compliance with federal cablecard mandates. They've left that up to individaul states to deal with. It seems these days though there's a new general culture at the federal level, one that seems to be more interested in the federal government actually enforcing their own regulations.

Now I don't doubt it will take some time before we get to the point where cable companies are being properly regulated again. I'm just not sure how big a priority it'll be seen as, possibly pretty big but also possibly not. But I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Now what does this mean regarding the OP since right now there are no laws to stop TWC? Well it also seem's there's a culture of net nutrality brewing at the federal level, while caps don't necessarly violate the letter of the principals and theoretical laws, it seems to me they certainly violate the spirit of them... Such as TWC's practice of technically offering cable cards, but switching a singificant portion of their programing (and most of the most popular content) over to SDV so cable card subscribers have no access to it... While also offering no solution to cable card subscribers.

BTW I suggest unhappy TWC customers contact the BBB with their complaints when all else fails.... Right now that's the one entity that will cause TWC to snap into action. I filed a complaint with them last week, the very next day I had an appointment schedueld to receive a beta tuning adapter. My settlement terms were:

Full refund of my $160 fee for the NHL network access + an appropriate reduction in monthly service fee's as I do not have full access to subscribed contact


A tuning adapter

They really stepped on the gas getting me that TA once they saw that, they also sent a tech supervisor to install it and the dude didn't leave until he verified I had access to all the content I should have access to.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:18 PM
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Lots of dark capacity with fiber optic lines unlight all around.

Its a local monopoly, so they will try if they can.

From the last junction on down cable is kinda a party line for usage in your local area so there is some sort of rationale, but obviously it discourages usage of large files like Internet Video.

Of course, for a cable provider who is making most of their money on cable subscriptions and people paying to watch cable TV, thats exactly the point. They are in no hurry to have subscribers move from paying for cable TV to free Internet videos streams or downloads that they are not making money from.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:20 PM
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Yes Downloads are the Future ... of charging you more for less. Things won't change unless there is enough complaints and legislative action sadly, I don't think this going to happen.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:06 PM
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It may be a local monopoly but they are expanding these limits to 4 markets this year:

It's off to Covad as soon as they hit my market. AT&T is another who can go pound sand.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:31 PM
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Very unfortunate, indeed, but I am not interested in the future.

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Old 03-09-2009, 06:56 PM
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Ironically enough, it is metered data systems like that this that could make digital distribution a profitable venture for studios. With unlimited bandwidth, the value of digital media is diminished. The only other barrier to free movies is the dreaded DRM. Ubiquitous and unlimited bandwidth combined with broken DRM schemes can and will eventually lead to the destruction of "movies" as we know them. Monetary value associated with movies will eventually drop to zero as digital distribution takes over as, without workably strong DRM, it will simply be easier to gather movies from illegal sources than to jump through the hoops of DRM. Without profitability, studios will no longer have capital to produce new films and the industry implodes.
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