Maybe you’re the type of person who uses your computer to check email, create a few spreadsheets, and do a little shopping. If so, Time Warner has a deal for you. It is offering customers a $5 discount to their monthly bill, if they agree to a 5 GB data limit. Right now the deal is only available in parts of Texas, but Time Warner says it plans to roll it out nationally. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The offer will be available to customers on three lower-speed tiers, which cost between $34.99 and $54.99 a month. Customers who go over the cap will be charged $1 per gigabyte up to a maximum of $25 extra.” According to a Cisco study in 2010, the average data-consumption rate is 17.1 GB per month, but that study also predicts that average to skyrocket to 60 GB per month by 2015. Thank you streaming video and cloud storage.
This isn’t the first time the company has tried consumption-based pricing. It was skewered for trying to cap data usage for customers in parts of New York and Texas back in 2009. This time around Time Warner is billing the new plan as a way for people, who might have fallen on tough economic times, to keep their Internet service up and running, and it’s being very careful to explain that this is an opt-in plan.