In a move with potentially far-reaching implications for Web users and Internet companies alike, Time Warner Cable will test a new model for high-speed Internet access that charges users based on how much bandwidth they consume.
ISPs have long complained that certain uses gaining popularity on the Web are depleting their network resources. Last summer, Comcast was found to have rationed bandwidth when users were grabbing massive files from P2P site BitTorrent. In the wake of that revelation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation Latest News about Electronic Frontier Foundation suggested alternatives to all-you-can-consume monthly plans may be a way for ISPs to legitimately ration their network capacity.
"The availability of metered access alongside all-you-can-eat plans, combined with accurate advertising by ISPs, is one alternative that might solve the congestion issues raised by the downloading habits of a small number of users," EFF staff attorney Fred von Lohmann told the E-Commerce Times.