The Internet – A World of Limited Possibilities

Posted: April 18, 2009 by jlmarti in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As of yesterday, Time Warner Cable decided to scrap the idea of implementing the very unpopular proposal of a tiered Internet usage plan. For those of you not in the know, this plan was going to offer Time Warner Cable Internet customers a limit on the amount of gigabytes used based upon each household’s given plan. Unsurprisingly, the plan has hit a roadblock in nearby Rochester, NY where many customers have complained of the new restrictions.

As part of the plan, the Internet service providers were going to offer customers online plans ranging from 5 gigabytes to 40 gigabytes a month, with an additional $1 charge for every gigabyte over the allotted limit. However, one of the major complaints people encountered with the new initiative was that they did not know how much a gigabyte was exactly. E-mails don’t take up much of the threshold but downloads, uploads and streaming video would have been especially taxing on the limits. The metered plan would have been particularly unfavorable for college students, who regularly download music, stream videos, and upload photos.

Just to clarify, a DVD-quality movie takes up 1.5 gigabytes, while downloading up to 20 albums worth of music takes up 1 gigabyte. While these numbers may not sound like much, other factors have to be taken into consideration. Some households have many people sharing one connection. Also, the average college student tends to view their favorite TV shows online, and that begins to add up. In the long run, we should not have to curb our Internet usage because our plan does not allow it.

This Internet cap plan is the result of two things: the Internet service providers trying to make a buck, and the Obama initiative trying to give everyone the opportunity to obtain Internet service.  While I am all for giving everyone the same Internet opportunities as myself, what I wonder is at what cost will it take for this proposal to take place?  When will doing what’s best for the country become just being swindled?  Plain and simple, from every way you look at it, the idea of such a plan is just ridiculous.

~ Jose Martinez

  1. Katie says:

    Could you explain how Obama’s internet-for-all plan lead to Time Warner being dicks?

  2. Kate says:

    It also is a way for Time Warner to continue offering cable services as it would discourage college students from watching their favorite TV shows online. As more and more of us no longer subscribe to cable television due to the ability to watch our favorite shows online whenever we want, Time Warner loses a lot of business. We’ve started getting our content directly from the network, rather than through a cable service, cutting out a middle man. Time Warner was trying to make it economically less viable to cancel your cable subscription.

    I would LOVE to see how this metered service would apply to a business or Syracuse University which uses a ton of bandwith on a regular basis.

    It’s also very interesting to note how the ability to host videos on a website has cut down the business of distribution of video content. The internet must be a real irritant to middlemen.

  3. jlmarti says:

    Kate, I think you make many valid points about how Time Warner is trying to recover much of their lost revenue since many people have now resorted to watching their shows online, thereby as you put it, “cutting out a middle man.” While I only touched on it briefly, this new service would especially hurt college students financially because what mostly expends the bandwidth limits is downloading, uploading and video viewing, which is the three things college students use the most of.

    In response to your first question, Obama’s internet-for-all plan is a very honorable initiative, but Time Warner is at fault for exploiting his plan and tweaking it to fit their personal interests. Even though Time Warner is currently losing a lot of money for offering a flat rate for internet service, the company must find another way to regain their lost profits other than placing a cap on how much of the internet each household consumes. I really do hope that this plan Obama has set forth will benefit us in the end, but not at the cost of us all paying these outrageous metered pricing.

  4. Kate says:

    Jose, just for clarification, Kate and Katie are two different people:)

  5. jlmarti says:

    God, that’s embarrassing. Sorry for the confusion.

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