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Premium Speed Tiers = Bragging Rights, Higher Returns, Happy Customers

Phillip Dampier June 2, 2009 Cablevision (see Altice USA), Comcast/Xfinity 18 Comments

Although Time Warner Cable has downplayed the impact of deploying DOCSIS 3 upgrades to their broadband network outside of New York City, other cable operators making the switch are now enjoying the benefits of bragging rights, higher returns from “heavy users,” and a whole lot of happy customers.

Cablevision delighted the cutting edge crowd when it announced the launch of the fastest residential broadband service in the country — 101Mbps for $99 a month, and absolutely no cap on usage.  Now other players are maneuvering to follow their speed lead.  Broadband Reports noted this morning it had a source claiming that the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast, was cutting prices on its 50Mbps tier by $40 a month to $99.95 for customers taking a product bundle.    The website earlier noted the company may have a 100Mbps plan in place shortly as well.  Comcast’s cap at 250GB per month does seem to apply.

Even bankrupt Charter Cable is enjoying the benefits of their super premium 60Mbps broadband service in the St. Louis area.

Heavy broadband users, as these companies have learned, often turn out to also be the “early adopters” that will readily respond to marketing for higher priced tiers of service offering higher speeds, as long as those companies don’t also bring along draconian usage caps which completely devalue the deal.  Cable operators enjoy the extra revenue they earn from these customers, retain customer loyalty, and earn praise from customers.

When Time Warner Cable proposed a 50Mbps/5Mbps service for $99 a month, we heard from several readers who were interested in the offer, right up until they learned it would come with a usage cap starting at 150GB per month, which meant customers would pay a whopping 67c per gigabyte, which represents an enormous markup.  Interest evaporated immediately.

The contrast could not be more clear — Cablevision gets industry and customer praise for offering an uncapped premium plan at twice the speed proposed by Time Warner Cable for $100 a month, while Time Warner Cable  dangled a 50/5 tier for the same price, but only after customers supported a consumption billing system and a vague, non-specific timeline for the eventual deployment of DOCSIS 3 which would make that possible.

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Ric
Ric
12 years ago

Once again the coax clutzes dont get it. We will pay a premium FOR a premium service. We wont be interested in these services until you quit trying to gouge the consumer. PERIOD. Comcast already rapes me up the *** every month as it is making me pay for ‘basic’ cable when I dont even own a TV. They better thank the gods that be for their unchallenged monopolistic practices for making me do business with them with no alternatives to be found. Otherwise I would kick them to the curb for their 250GB cap in a second though I… Read more »

preventCAPS
preventCAPS
12 years ago
Reply to  Ric

TWC, I’ll pay more for 50 or 100mbs service w/o caps and all you have to do is provide me a $35 DIOSIS 3.0 modem, or let me provide my own!

David
David
12 years ago

Of course the ‘heavy users’ are waiting in line to sign up for higher speed tiers (with no caps) as they are the same users that lined up to get the high speed internet in the first place. TWC and their ilk are really biting the hands that fed them and got services like RR going in the first place…Think about how many of us here were among the first in our areas to get high speed internet when it arrived in our towns…I know I called TWC every day for 2 months to set up my install when they… Read more »

David
David
12 years ago

I did the same thing with the Turbo tier, as soon as I heard that the price dropped to $9.95/month I was on the phone with TWC setting it up. As I said that any higher speed tiers need to come resonably priced and with no caps and if someone can provide that (TWC or otherwise) I will be on the phone with that company to sign up for a higher speed tier in a NY minute.

waiting and watching
waiting and watching
12 years ago

The newest neat thing TWC has done is make their bills simpler for custoemrs. They removed all that nonsense about what you are paying for and just have a fee. If you have both tV and internet services it just lists them as “Digital Cable and Roadrunner”. You don’t get to see how much each is costing, but get to see a total for both. Also they changed the way their subscription services work. Your bill will now show “Movie Tier” for any subscription movie channel to make it more eaily understandable for the customer. WHAT? So if you want… Read more »

Rob
Rob
12 years ago

“When Time Warner Cable proposed a 50Mbps/5Mbps service for $99 a month, we heard from several readers who were interested in the offer, right up until they learned it would come with a usage cap starting at 150GB per month, which meant customers would pay a whopping 67c per gigabyte, which represents an enormous markup. Interest evaporated immediately”.

Is Time Warner listening? Doubtful. I would gladly pay $99 for 50Mbps/5Mbps if it comes without a usage cap.

Oscar@SA
12 years ago
Reply to  Rob

It needs to be 50/10 at least… I play online with friends from Europe.. I need the 10 🙂 and it needs to be unlimited or else is no deal…

Tim
Tim
12 years ago

I know a lot of people that have top of the line for, gaming, downloading video, running servers, doing a FTP sites, ect.. Speed is important and I would say the majority of customers prefer it since a lot of people do online gaming now. Personally, I don’t do too much online gaming but I do download a lot from Usenet. I use to have a 10Mb connection and had to downgrade to 3Mb due to the economy and other stuff and I hate it. Back in the day, I could download 60GB in one day on 10Mb easily. However,… Read more »

Uncle Ken
Uncle Ken
12 years ago

OK if you do not have a choice caps/providers what are you going to do then? I guess gaming and video go down the tubes with it. I would think the gaming and video you buy are going to be very unhappy when you tell them you can no longer use their products and you tell them why.

waiting and watching
waiting and watching
12 years ago

What many people are forgetting with TWC, is that residential customers will be paying about the same thing as current business customers do, but get none of the benefits, and businesses will not be capped. Businesses will still get 24 hour service, no caps, no tiers, etc; while residential customers will get caps, tiers, metered billing, and you will still have to wait for maybe a week for service calls. Why are none of these things going to affect business class customers? If residential customers are going to have to pay for near business class prices, why won’t they get… Read more »

artsal
artsal
12 years ago

People should start demanding business service then.

I’d start a phony business to get one if I had to, if that’s the best of crappy options.

Uncle Ken
Uncle Ken
12 years ago

Artsal: It is very easy to get a business name. You hop on down to the cities county clerks’ office. First you have to stop at the official papers printers’ office and buy the form. Everybody has to have a piece of the pie then you look through a bunch of books to make sure no one else is using that name fill out the form submit it pay another fee and bang you have a DBA. You do not have to state what the business does or will do as it only logs the name and I find it… Read more »

Uncle Ken
Uncle Ken
12 years ago

Rob I only hope people would understand just because you have a 50/5 connection does not mean you going to see anywhere near those speeds. Maybe within the provider’s loop you may get close but once your out in the big bad world you’re only going to move as fast as the rest of the world does. Good luck trying to get a 50dl over an ocean connection to Taiwan.

Tim
Tim
12 years ago
Reply to  Uncle Ken

I know people that have that kind of connection and get that speed off of Usenet servers. Servers can and will in the future support those speeds out of necessity as the internet grows into something more than mere browsing. I remember back in the day, they said we would never use more than 1MB of system memory or would need no more than a 20MB HDD. It amazes me, that given the way technology has progressed, there are still people out there that lack foresight or can’t learn from the past. Technology will always improve, grow, and innovate as… Read more »

Uncle Ken
Uncle Ken
12 years ago

Tim: Im glad you made that comment and thank you for it. TW ditched usenet a while back so one now needs a third party to use it (I think). Im older I remember when Bill Gates stood in front of the world and said no one would even need more then 256 K of memory. Can you picture that today? At that time they even thought a search engine was a bad idea. Microsoft is always playing catch up taking other peoples ideas. Many do not have a clue how to use usenet and glue all the pieces back… Read more »

Tim
Tim
12 years ago
Reply to  Uncle Ken

Usenet predates the internet but nowadays, it isn’t the mysterious beast it once was. It is rather simple now to use. There are numerous search engines for Usenet: Newsleech, Binsearch, Alt.bin, ect.. All you do is browse for what you want, then have the site create what is called a NZB file that contains every post that is required for that particular file. Fire up the NZB file in a news client like Newsbin Pro and it downloads, repairs, and extracts the file all for you. You don’t have to do much but find what you want now. It is… Read more »

Uncle Ken
Uncle Ken
12 years ago

Tim thanks again for the comment. I understand usenet but the minute NZB files are brought up most people ar going to say what? They do not know NZB files are much like a self rebuilding hard drive at first its can be a hard thing to grasp and does take some study to understand. I do not think TW even has text news groups anymore. I liked to read them. Thanks again for the comment.

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