How Much Time Warner's Broadband Caps Will Screw You

Like the virus in 28 Days Later, Time Warner's internet-strangling broadband caps is spreading all over the country. They've got brand new pricing plans too and they yep, they suck. Let's look.

The old cap scheme was pretty limited, only going up to a max of 40GB. Now they've got a whole Skittles bag of caps. Here's how Time Warner Cable's COO Landel Hobbs breaks it down, all while breaking out the familiar warning that the internet is about to die if you don't limit your porn consumption to two times a day—MAX:

Internet demand is rising at a rate that could outpace capacity within a few years. According to industry analysts, the infrastructure may not be able to accommodate the explosion of online content by 2012. This could result in Internet brownouts.

• 1GB with 768kbps downstream for $15/month with $2/GB overcharges
• 10, 20, 40 and 60GB will go with Roadrunner Lite, Basic, Standard and Turbo packages, respectively, and maintain the same pricing. Overage is $1/GB.
• 100GB will be the new Road Runner...Turbo (I'm not sure why there are two Turbo packages) which is 10Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream for $75/month. This is still an order of magnitude more restrictive than AT&T and Comcast, who have caps of 150GB and 250GB, respectively.
• A 50Mbps/5Mbps down/up speed tier is coming for $100/month when they launch DOCSIS 3.0. I'd expect this in FiOS-competitive markets first.

Overages are capped at $75 a month, meaning $150 a month gets you unlimited internet with the Turbo package—or really, you could just get a lower package and use as much as you want and pay less. The only real consideration is speed. GigaOM astutely notes that $150/month for unlimited internet is the exact amount Time Warner would need to pull in to make the same amount of money if you killed the cable box and switched to watching all of your video online—as we've long crowed that much of this is about their fear of internet video.

It's notable that Time Warner's not rolling this out anywhere Verizon has FiOS deployed—where in certain markets, for under $150 a month, you can get 50Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream (yes, that's more upstream than downstream in any of Time Warner's packages) and it's totally unlimited. Oh, competition, why can't you be everywhere and save the internet? I'd like to hope we don't have to rely on legislators like Eric Massa in NY to do it, since more bad than good would probably come out of the government getting involved. [Long Reply via Business Insider]