June 18, 2009, 7:45 AM — Remember back in April when Time Warner Cable announced it would start testing 'tiered pricing' for broadband access? At that time, Congressman Eric Massa of NY got involved in the issue and helped to convince TWC to shelve its plans, at least temporarily.
Yesterday, Wired brought us a progress report. Massa has finished and introduced his bill, now called the Broadband Internet Fairness Act. It doesn't outright block tiered pricing, but instead forces ISPs to justify their plans to federal regulators.
The Wired article quotes Massa as saying “Cable providers want to stifle the internet so they can rake in advertiser dollars by keeping consumers from watching video on the Internet...” but Time Warner Cable denies that: "Time Warner Cable says the new pricing model it yanked from its proposed trials has nothing to do with protecting its cable operation since there’s no evidence that people are cutting that cord — at least not yet. "
Coincidentally, Ars Technica also had a broadband post yesterday, this one a report on Pew Internet & American Life Project's report on broadband usage. Turns out the economic downturn isn't adversely impacting American's thirst for broadband, with 63% of us having a broadband connection at home (up from 55% last year) even as the average amount we spend has gone up ($39/month this year, $34.50/month last year).
So what does one post have to do with the other? This quote from the Ars article:
Pew points out that while Americans admitted to cutting back on numerous services during the economic slowdown, broadband did not appear to be one of them. For example, 22 percent of adults said they cancelled or cut back on cable over the last 12 months...
Doesn't exactly jibe with Time Warner Cable's dismissal of Congressman Massa's accusation, does it?