21 April 2009

Bandwidth Limitations

It was recently announced in local news (Austin Statesman) that Time Warner Cable was considering imposing customer bandwidth limitations. When customers use more than a specific amount of bandwidth, Time Warner would begin to charge extra fees. This means that if you watch just a little streaming video, use YouTube or Pandora a lot, you would probably be paying some fees. Time Warner argues that they are experiencing more bandwidth demand than they had previously anticipated.

Below is my comment to the Austin Statesman article. Maybe you agree.

If Time Warner is having bandwidth demand it can't handle, it needs to re-assess it's bandwidth supply. Everything but live or real-time events should be accessible on demand only. This would free up tons of bandwidth, no need to continually broadcast thousands of channels no one is watching. We know time-warner is a regulated industry, but still try to provide service like a competitive industry. when you have problems, don't just charge the user more and decrease consumer surplus.
this will unnecessarily blemish Austin's tech reputation, and Texas's efficient markets reputation.

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