Time Warner Cable is rolling out a system for metering bandwidth, according to PC World, TechCrunch, and the Associated Press. GigaOm posts a poll -- "Will Metered Broadband Make You Switch Your ISP?" -- and concludes: "get ready to pay more and get less for broadband. Will this spur into action, and switch ISPs or look for alternatives." Many bloggers, such as Boztopia.com, view Time Warner's move as a distinct regression. But not Cord Bloomquist, on Tech Liberation Front, who says:
"Bandwidth metering is probably a fairer and more transparent way to deal with the vast disparities in usage amongst broadband subscribers. Rather than claiming “unlimited” service and then proceeding to restrict access in a few dozen ways, metering gives unlimited use to a point, and then asks heavy users to pay their fair share."
Cord himself uses the "f"-word: fraud. "Claims of 'unlimited' anything should be met with suspicion, especially unlimited bandwidth," he writes. "In a fraud-free world, we can have networks advertised as metered, managed, or really unlimited (total free-for-alls)."
Here at BroadbandCensus.com, we've been expecting this move toward increased metered pricing.
The core motivation behind BroadbandCensus.com is to provide consumers with a central place to which they can go to obtain as-accurate-as-possible information about local broadband availability, competition, speeds and prices.
Tracking the presence or absence of broadband in different parts of the country is one step. Offering speed tests to check a particular connection at a particular time is another step. BroadbandCensus.com aims to put the entire package together, by providing consumers with ability to obtain the objective information about a particular carrier's service plans -- within a local area, like a ZIP code -- and also to obtain pricing, promised speeds, and how actual Internet speeds and network connections compare. Test your connection, and help us map out the world of better broadband. You can help out: Take the Broadband Census and speed test!
--Drew Clark, Editor, BroadbandCensus.com