Today on a quarterly financial results conference call, Time Warner Cable COO Landel Hobbs said the cable provider would be expanding its metered broadband trials beyond the city of Beaumont, Texas (where AT&T is also conducting tiered broadband trials). Jeff Simmermon, a spokesman for the cable company, says those trials will be coming to four new markets and will feature more than the 5 GB, 20 GB and 40 GB monthly caps offered in Beaumont. Data usage over those caps costs $1 per gigabyte.
Simmermon couldn’t disclose the cities or the time frame, but he said Time Warner wants to make sure the offering works “in larger markets with customers who use the Internet differently.” He said Time Warner had learned a lot during the trial — from how to make tiered broadband work from a technical perspective to how customers are using the web. As a result of that, Time Warner will create unspecified larger tiers (and a “super-tier”) for customers who use a lot of bandwidth.
When asked if its tiers will be more in line with those offered by rivals, such as AT&T’s 150 GB per month tier, Simmermon said Time Warner is aware that there is competition. It also will create what sounds like an even lower usage tier, “so people don’t have to pay for bandwidth they’re not using.”
He also said that Time Warner is working on a broadband meter that would allow customers to measure their consumption and “choose a tier that’s right for them and their family.” Notice of such a meter arriving will apparently be one of the signs that the metered broadband apocalypse is approaching your town.