Time Warner Cable Puts Metered Broadband On Hold

Plan shelved until company can educate and consult with customers.

Time Warner announced Thursday it is "shelving" tests of meter-based Internet billing, which had drawn criticism from Free Press, among others, at least for now.

"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," said Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt in a statement. "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."

Britt said the company still believed that a consumption-based model for billing bandwidth users "may be the best pricing plan."

He also said that Time Warner was developing measurement tools to help customers understand how much bandwidth they are consuming. That tool could be important if Time Warner does re-start the tests, since the FCC has said informing customers is key to any bandwidth management plan.

“Time Warner should be commended for stopping its ill-considered and discriminatory plan to impose unfair usage caps on its customers,” said Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn. “The company properly listened to its subscribers, the public and policymakers, all of whom were highly critical of the proposition in the first place.”

“It quickly became clear the plan had nothing to do with managing Time Warner’s network, and everything to do with increasing profits at the expense of captive customers in an uncompetitive broadband market.”

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), said on his Web site that he had spoken to Britt, to "discuss the overwhelming opposition," to a test in the Rochester area, and said he would be "working with Time Warner Cable going forward to make sure that any future changes in internet pricing are in line with what the community wants and needs."