April 16, 2009, 9:10 PM — In the wake of a customer backlash, Time Warner Cable said Thursday that it was shutting down bandwidth cap trials for its Internet services.
In a prepared statement released Thursday, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said that the company was shutting down the trials in response to customer complaints about potentially paying overage charges for exceeding a certain monthly bandwidth cap. Britt said that there was a "great deal of misunderstanding" about Time Warner Cable's plans and that the company would shelve the tests "until further consultation with our customers."
Britt emphasized, however, that the company still believed that "consumption based billing may be the best pricing plan" going forward and he did not rule out restarting the tests at some point in the future.
Last week, Time Warner Cable began walking back its bandwidth cap trials by upping the number and the size of the bandwidth caps it was offering. Originally, the company was only offering two types of services with bandwidth caps of 5Gb and 40Gb. Under the new plan, the company would offer users several different types of capped services that ranged from between 1GB and 100GB. Overage charges for all the services would be capped at $75 per month, the company said. ISPs have been experimenting with implementing bandwidth caps since last year, when Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T, all announced they were trialing new capped services. All the caps have proven controversial, however, as one woman has even sued AT&T for being billed US$5,000 in Internet overage charges.