Did You Think Earthlink Would Help?

So, many of us are scrambling to find alternatives now that Time Warner is going on about it’s draconian bandwidth cap, irrespective of the objections of it’s captive audience. Well, if you thought that Earthlink was going to be a viable alternative, forget it. Friends of the website have been exploring this exact avenue, only to find out that TW’s bandwidth caps will follow suit there.

So, a monopoly is a monopoly.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

3 replies on “Did You Think Earthlink Would Help?”

Today, TWC posted a reiteration of their “proposed” capping fees. It’s not pretty:

• To accommodate lighter Internet users and those who need a lower priced option, we are introducing a 1 GB per month tier offering speeds of 768 KB/128 KB for $15 per month. Overage charges will be $2 per GB per month. Our usage data show that about 30% of our customers use less than 1 GB per month.

• We are increasing the bandwidth tier sizes included in all existing packages in the trial markets to 10, 20, 40 and 60 GB for Road Runner Lite, Basic, Standard and Turbo packages, respectively. Package prices will remain the same. Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month.

• We will introduce a 100 GB Road Runner Turbo package for $75 per month (offering speeds of 10 MB/1 MB). Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month.

• Overage charges will be capped at $75 per month. That means that for $150 per month customers could have virtually unlimited usage at Turbo speeds.

• Once we implement this trial, we will not immediately start billing customers for overage. Rather, we will first provide two months of usage data. Then we will provide a one-month grace period in which overages will be noted on customers’ bills, but they will not be charged. So, customers will have an opportunity to assess their usage and right-size their service packages before usage charges are applied.

• Trials will begin in Rochester, N.Y., and Greensboro, N.C., in August. We will apply what we learn from these two markets when we launch trials in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, in October, but we will guarantee at least the same level of usage capacity in these trials.

• As we launch DOCSIS 3.0 in the trial markets, we plan to offer a 50/5 MB speed tier for $99 per month.

I suppose I ought to make this an anonymous post, so here it it. This was sent to ‘’, who promise to carefully consider comments from TWC’s customers:
Dear Sirs:

In reading the various articles in print news, and on the Internet, concerning the broadband cable usage caps Time Warner Cable is proposing, I feel that some logical questions should be asked.

Although I would not consider myself a “power user” of broadband cable on a daily basis, when my job at Thomson Reuters requires it, I need to log in from home, working overtime at night or on weekends. When this occurs, significant downloading of business files takes place.
• Should I accept the premise that working from home will cost me more money once you implement these caps?
• If your answer to that question is “Yes”, then does this mean that freelance and contract programmers who telecommute should expect to be charged more, the longer they work?
• If your answer is still “Yes”, then how does this promote the use of the Internet as a business entity?

As MicroSoft works toward providing MS Office as an Internet service, as Adobe offers larger downloads, as videogames become streaming data, and NetFlix offers streaming downloads of films, would you agree that TWC will stifle the use of these services, to some extent by limiting their use?
• If your answer is “No”, then you should understand that, when a commodity becomes more expensive, people use it less, and Microsoft, Adobe, NetFlix, Time Warner, and the Internet itself will lose.

While your quoted fees have emphasized the Big Picture (X Gbytes for Y dollars), there is some bookkeeping to be done here.
I receive a tremendous amount of spam, some with hefty attachments. This is unwanted download product over which I have no control.
• When I am surfing, the bulk of web pages comprise a small amount of information, surrounded by large amounts of advertisements. Many web pages constitute a 10/90% content/advertisement ratio in byte count.
• Am I expected to pay for the spam and ads, or can I audit my account, and subtract the unrequested content?
• If the answer is “You pay for everything”, that becomes a matter of legal contention.

Finally, the question that most deserves an honest answer is, why is TWC broadband service being capped?
• Bandwidth can’t be running out; all customers are continuously throttled, so the overhead is available.
• The only attribute of cable service being offered is capping. No improvements or enhancement of service have been mentioned.

While I consider my options in response to your new pricing structure, I would appreciate receiving any information from you that would dispute my opinion that the only winner in these changes is Time Warner Cable itself.

Earthlink already has a cap of 699 mb per any length of time. I tried downloading 4GB iso files and it won’t happen, whether wireless or directly wired to the modem. Earthlink support is the most elementary and pathetic I have ever worked with in my 20 years of IT support.

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