Time Warner's Unlimited Web to Cost Same as Cable Triple Play

Cableco's new pricing plan would charge $150 a month for unlimited downloads

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If you want unlimited downloads over your cable Internet connection, it could cost $150 a month from Time Warner Cable. The top tier is included in new tests the cableco is running on different rates for Internet consumption.

Tiered charges are one approach being considered by Internet providers. They say that heavy users will force the building of new Internet infrastructure -- and that not everyone should bear the cost.

The good news is that the company will lower the charges for light Internet users. About 30 percent of its customers pull down less than 1 gigabyte of data a month, Time Warner says. They would qualify for a new, lower rate of $15 a month.

But that top rate has raised a clamor among techies, who are the ones most likely to bump up against the caps by downloading or streaming Internet videos. They and others suspect Time Warner is simply trying to protect its cable business.

The $150 rate only reinforces those suspicions, says Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm:

...it’s...the perfect amount to keep Time Warner’s revenue stream intact should I start consuming all my video and voice via my broadband connection, rather than by purchasing a triple play bundle.

Buying all three services as part of a triple play would cost me $139.95 a month–$10 less than it would cost to consume anything and everything via broadband without fear of caps. Coincidence?