Cable Giants Continue Hoping No One Will Notice Their Attempts to Destroy the Internet

Last week, a full-on customer revolt forced Time Warner to cease their metered billing program — a system in which Internet users sign up for differently priced broadband plans and pay extra if they exceed their bandwidth limits. The plan was an infuriating inconvenience (e.g. rip—off) premised on the ethical business concept that you can arbitrarily jack up prices on a product if a heavily-monopolized marketplace leaves customers with little in the way of consumer choice.


Seems like a sweet idea. Except that Time Warner customers, media reform groups and tech bloggers inundated both government Representatives and the company with complaints. Soon, members of Congress were winning easy points by vocally criticizing Time Warner. On April 15th, CEO Glenn Britt announced that the company was dropping metered billing.

Anyway, not having learned anything from Time Warner’s epic fail, AT & T continues to maintain metered billing in Reno, Nev., and in Beaumont, Texas., which signals the cable giant's hopes that the infuriating, universally despised program might just work for them. Except that AT&T risks becoming even more hateable than Time Warner.

As Stacey Higginbotham reports on Gigaom, there is evidence that AT&T doesn’t even bother informing their customers of the usage caps until after they have signed up for service:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.