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Summary:

*Time Warner* may have revised its controversial plan to roll out metered broadband access packages (complete with bandwidth caps, via PC Ma…

image*Time Warner* may have revised its controversial plan to roll out metered broadband access packages (complete with bandwidth caps, via PC Mag), but it’s still moving forward with the trials in two states. The issue of how much more expensive the pay-per-download plan will be remains a hot-button topic for consumer advocates (per Mediapost) and legislators like N.Y. Congressman Eric Massa, but it could also affect gaming companies like *Microsoft*, *Sony* and newcomer OnLive.

Both Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) are bulking up their libraries of downloadable content, and OnLive aims to entice gamers with a micro-console that only plays online games — but if metered access plans make downloading games or playing online too expensive, then these emerging business models are shot.

But judging from their responses to MTV Multiplayer about the issue, the three companies don’t seem to be very concerned.

Microsoft is taking a wait-and-see stance, telling Multiplayer:

  1. Problem is that the average user is not going to go beyond the caps, but the average FAMILY of 3 or more users aggregate WILL.

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  2. 60GB? The proposed cap for RR standard is 20GB. 40GB for Turbo.

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  3. Caps of any type are a step backwards and are prime examples of failure by ISP's to realize customers and their usage models. Many of us now watch a ton of movies via netflix or other providers streamed online and will go elsewhere for services when faced with stupidity like what TWC offers.

    TWC=TheFAIL! Idiots deserve to lose a ton of customers over this as they should. Caps=Lame!

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  4. Microsoft saying that a 60GB ought to be enough for user is that same as bill gates saying 640K ought to be enough memory for computers. It was wrong then and wrong now. The only good cap is NO cap period

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  5. At first, most people paid for cell phones on a per minute basis, and got hit by massive fees if they went over their allotment. Now I bet those same people (like myself) opt for the unlimited plan to avoid that. Could be that Time Warner thinks we'll all eventually go unlimited for internet access too.

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  6. @John

    Whoa…Someone is a Microsoft hater. Should read everything before you post.

    "Sony spokesperson Abigail Murphy said players shouldn’t worry, since the minimum mid-tier plan (60GB) is “more than suitable” for the average user’s download needs."

    If I'm not mistaken…It's Sony who said a 60Gig cap was "more than suitable." Not Microsoft.

    Anyways, metered limits are retarded. Hopefully people who use Time Warner as an ISP will cancel their account and go elsewhere. I know I would of changed already if I had Time Warner.

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  7. There is nothing wrong with metered plans, if they're honest and transparent, and actually allow you to save money.

    Time Warner's proposed plan for a $15/month rate, with a 1G quota, suits us just fine. That may shock and amaze the average blogger, but I know dozens of people in similar shoes. We don't stream, don't use Vonage or Skype, and don't have kids in the house to run up a bill or run out of color ink in an afternoon…

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  8. With a family of 5 that has pcs and consoles, 1gig is a joke.
    I would switch providers in a heartbeat.
    If the cable companies keep going it will make more scense to purchase
    your own T1 or better in the long run then to put up with the cable co's terms of service garbage. I may not be as fast… but I'll be able to do whatever the heck I want with the bandwidth!

    Offer a service without all kiddie rules and regulations and people will
    use your service. Start playing network bully and people will leave!

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  9. If Time Warner makes bandwidth cost-prohibitive, they will be losing a big audience. Like Jason says above, I would switch providers as well. It's a similar model to data plans with the Wireless providers. At some point, it needs to be unlimited, and you can have the customer choose. The problem is, the measurement seems to somehow benefit the provider rather than the consumer. With the consumer moving slowly from TV to the smaller screen, MSOs are looking for a new way to monetize content all the way around.

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  10. Harald Meyer Friday, April 17, 2009

    Cable One the cable company owned by the Washington Post also uses Bandwidth caps. You can't trust the Washington Post on this issue.

    In Germany unlimited internet is 20M down 10M up for only 20 Euros.

    American customers get ripped off like always.

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