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Conservative Talker Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (WOAI-San Antonio) Unconvinced by Time Warner Publicity Machine

Phillip Dampier April 11, 2009 Issues 6 Comments
Joe "Pags" Pagliarulo (WOAI-San Antonio) Takes Calls from Angry San Antonio Residents About Time Warner Usage Caps

Joe "Pags" Pagliarulo (WOAI-San Antonio) Takes Calls from Angry San Antonio Residents About Time Warner Usage Caps

Conservative talker Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo doesn’t sound too convinced by Time Warner’s explanation of why they need to slap usage caps on their customers in San Antonio. StoptheCap! reader Josh was kind enough to send us the audio. Pags doesn’t like it, and he tells San Antonio listeners Time Warner is already making plenty of money at the existing flat rate.  He also tells listeners that several Beaumont subscribers ended up with Internet bills from Time Warner amounting to “hundreds of dollars” a month.

Joe has been online since the days of Prodigy, so he’s well aware of what sounds like fact and what sounds like fiction.

So much for the “potential savings” Time Warner keeps telling people could be just around the corner.  No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it looks like nobody in the real world is convinced by Time Warner’s Money Party.

Audio Clip: WOAI-AM San Antonio, Texas (17 minutes)
You must remain on this page to hear the clip.

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. Brent says:

    Ahh memory lane. Joe “Pags” for his Rochester connection on WHAM during Lonsberry’s absence, and Prodigy for the countless hours I spent on their gaming message boards as a teenager in high school.

    It sounds like Josh at about 15:15 in the audio tried to plug this website. Hopefully Pags will check it out and publicize it in a future show.

    Here are some relevant, although unreferenced, quotes from the linked Wikipedia article:

    Price increases:
    “In an attempt to control costs and raise revenue, Prodigy undertook two separate actions. First, Prodigy modified their basic subscriber plans by allowing only thirty e-mail messages free each month, while charging 10 cents for each additional e-mail message – a policy that was later rescinded. Then, in the summer of 1993, it began charging hourly rates for several of its most popular features, including its most popular feature, the message boards – another policy that was later rescinded, but not before tens of thousands of members left the service.”

    Pioneering and unusual aspects:
    “Unlike many other competing services, Prodigy started out with flat-rate pricing. When Prodigy moved to per-hour charging for its most popular services in June 1993, it resulted in tens of thousands of users leaving the service.”

    • I thought the name was vaguely familiar. I can’t endure anything on WHAM personally, and while Bob Lonsberry may be a nice guy, his voice on the radio drives me batty. I essentially left local radio behind several years ago and now basically can’t live without my XM Radio in the car and home.

      And I was among the earliest users of Prodigy as well. Loved that clunky 640×480-style early graphical software designed to be the anti-Compu$erve, but perhaps deeper than AOL was around that time. People usually signed up for it based on promotions from Rochester Telephone. It was also basically flat rate, which kept bills rational.

      When I started, on a Commodore 64 way back in 1985, telecommunications then usually meant calling a hobby bulletin board system on a 300bps modem. I started one myself in March 1986.

      Online services on a national scale were usually the obscenely expensive day rates for Compu$erve, the impenetrable GEnie, PeopleLink, and the precursor to AOL, QuantumLink, which used special software to jazz up the look on Commodore-branded computers. On the west coast, a lot of folks liked The Well. In New England, there was Delphi which had a following.

      By the late 1980s, most of us were getting into Fidonet, a network of BBS’s, running up to 9600bps modems (the US Robotics BBS SysOp program made that possible). PC Pursuit allowed people to connect and remotely control modems in other cities to call other hobbyist bulletin boards, and for many, that was our first home access to Usenet newsgroups.

      By the early 1990s, Prodigy had arrived and the slow demise of some of the national dial-up networks began. AOL was the exception. BBS’s were still important until the second half of the 1990s when the Internet and, in particular, the World Wide Web became very important (the good ole web browser and graphical pages). As soon as Internet Service Providers popped up with dial-up access, and the “56k” modem arrived, that led rapidly away from BBS’ing and instead people were dialing up their ISPs and browsing the web. Prodigy was irrelevant at that point.

      In the late 1990s, people were talking about ISDN phone lines and this future technology called DSL around here. But then cable modems arrived in 1998 and ISDN was dead on arrival. DSL arrived here in the mid 2000s I believe and was relevant to those who didn’t want cable.

      I agree BTW, it did sound like a plug was on the way, but never happened. Oh well.

      Point of this long reply is that there are lots of us around here who have been online and connected since the mid 1980s who have seen it all. We can evangelize companies that do the right thing by their customers, and efficiently expose the fact-free propaganda that comes from others looking for a quick payday. There isn’t much you can put past many of us. This new cap scheme for Road Runner would be an example of a put up job, if there ever was one.

  2. Josh says:

    Thanks for posting the discussion. When I sent you the link previously, part 1 of the discussion with Alex Duddly, Timewarner PR rep, wasn’t available. Joe Pags recently upload the first part. To listen, check it out here: http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/SANANTONIO-TX/WOAI-AM/4-2%20HR%203%20part1.mp3?CPROG=PCAST&MARKET=SANANTONIO-TX&NG_FORMAT=newstalk&SITE_ID=1229&STATION_ID=WOAI-AM&PCAST_AUTHOR=Joe_Pags&PCAST_CAT=On_Air&PCAST_TITLE=Joe_Pags_Show_Podcast


  3. Eric says:

    I remember years ago (8 maybe?) where TW implemented a cap on bandwidth with the same justification now – a small percentage of the users were using a large percent of the bandwidth. The cap would make the service “fair” for everyone.

    I haven’t called TW yet, but a couple questions are:
    1. Was that not effective? Why?
    2. Why wouldn’t you implement another BW cap and offer higher speeds for additional cost (kind of like what you offer now with RR Turbo)

    I will switch if they implement this.


  4. Peter says:

    This is all about protecting their very lucrative Video on Demand TV service. By applying these caps it will sway customers from using up their allotted bandwidth on downloading movies/videos from places like netflix, hulu, and other competing video/movie places. Customers will be forced to rent video services from time warner in order to save on bandwidth.

  5. johhnyx says:

    “…This is all about protecting their very lucrative Video on Demand TV service. By applying these caps it will sway customers from using up their allotted bandwidth on downloading movies/videos from places like netflix, hulu, and other competing video/movie places. Customers will be forced to rent video services from time warner in order to save on bandwidth….”

    Peter has absolutely hit the nail on the head. There are other complicated business reasons as well, but this will help them to prop up a sagging business for them.

    (at our expense)

    P.S. I also loved the posts above. I was a Compuserve user in 1981, I think and used it for years and years to get a leg up in business. I also had an early Mac and used aol for it at work and then I used them all at one time, Prodigy, Delphi, GEnie, etc. and of course a million BBS.

    Content was amazing good for reading in those days. The Internet now seems to have made all the fools able to post poorly-written and incoherent cr_ap everywhere. At least then people online were generally a little smarter.


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