Time Warner Cable Road Runner Bandwidth Cap

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By the end of this year, Time Warner Cable (TWC) will be changing their unlimited Road Runner Internet service to a capped service in the Austin / San Antonio service area. Although official pricing is not out yet, TWC has leaked the following pricing information:

$29.95 a month for up to 5 gigabytes of bandwidth.
$54.90 a month for up to 40 gigabytes of bandwidth.
Unknown amount a month for up to 100 gigabytes of bandwidth.
Apparently all options have a $1 per gigabyte past the bandwidth cap.

TWC claims that 86\% of their customers will not be affected by this change because they will not reach the cap. This percentage is based on a test market TWC ran in Beaumont Texas. A TWC spokesman was quoted as saying, Internet usage is a lot like television viewing. It doesnt vary from geographic area to geographic area. This just can not be true. Austin is well known as the 'Live Music Capitol of the world'. Many people love to stream music and television directly to their computers.

Some high definition movies are up to 8 gigabytes in size. Regular definition movies are just over 4 gigabytes. Let's say on family night we pay to stream the movie Forest Gump and after the movie, stream a live feed of 98.1 KVET to listen to during dinner. We would average about 6 gig of bandwidth for the movie and music. This is just bandwidth being used over a four to five hour period. Not only would we pass the $29.95 cap of 5 gigabytes, we would owe an extra dollar for the extra gigabyte we used. And this is just one evening. This does not include 30 more days of checking email and news stories. The digital information age is getting more and more complex. Even though a majority of users are not using more than four gigabytes, it is becoming more and more likely customers will need extra bandwidth in the future. For example, Microsoft Windows customers need a gigabyte bandwidth just to update Windows through the Windows Update feature.

There are other issues that worry me about these changes. One of the issues being stolen bandwidth. With a laptop, I can drive down any street in Austin and find an open network. Some people have no idea what they are doing when setting up a network. There are tens of thousands of open networks in the Austin area alone. Every one of those customers are now at risk of someone tapping into their network and stealing bandwidth. One month a valued customers bill would be $29.95 and the next it could easily be over $500 because someone decided to download almost a hundred movies during just a week period. TWC is quoted as saying, We know were going to learn a lot in this trial. We will listen to feedback from our customers. Well make decisions based on what we learned.

By signing this petition I am stating that I am either a Time Warner Cable customer or potential customer. I believe that because there are a few "bad eggs" out there illegally sharing software that myself and other customers are being punished. I believe that this change is not in TWC customer's best interest and I will terminate service on Road Runner and quite possibly my other TWC services. I ask that Time Warner Cable reconsider the options on the table. I ask Time Warner Cable to find a better solution to the issues they are experiencing which caused this possible change in the first place.