Time Warner retreats from plan to test capping subscriber bandwidth

After delaying its plan to test capping subscriber bandwidth usage, Time Warner has opted to retreat from the approach altogether.

In a statement today, Chief Executive Office Glenn Britt said, "It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption based billing. As a result, we will not proceed with implementation of additional tests until further consultation with our customers and other interested parties, ensuring that community needs are being met."

Organizations which stood in opposition to the trials, such as Free Press, claim this as a major victory for consumers. Campaign director for Free Press Tim Karr said, "We're glad to see Time Warner Cable's price-gouging scheme collapse in the face of consumer opposition. Let this be a lesson to other Internet service providers looking to head down a similar path. Consumers are not going to stand idly by as companies try to squeeze their use of the Internet. This is a major victory, but the fight for a fast, open and affordable Internet is far from over."

But Time Warner's statement clearly says this was not a response to unified consumer action, but rather a response to widespread consumer ignorance. Before delaying its capping tests, the company tried to break down its tiered pricing scheme to consumers by comparing broadband usage to overeating, and gas consumption, two things Americans have a reputation for understanding quite well.

COO Landel Hobbs said "When you go to lunch with a friend, do you split the bill in half if he gets the steak and you have a salad?"

Moving forward, Time Warner will be providing the "gas gauge" to consumers first, so they can have a firmer grasp on how a tiered billing plan would affect their daily life.

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