There's a broadband battle brewing, and Time Warner just fired the first major shot. The company announced it's going to start limiting data usage for its Road Runner broadband customers in more cities than its single test market in Beaumont, Texas. Stinging from a $16 billion fourth-quarter loss as customers abandon cable in droves, Time Warner must have figured it needs to do something to stop the bleeding.
Company COO Landel Hobbs was short on specifics, but that Texas test program sets a limit of 40GB per month (enough for about two HD movies per week), after which customers are charged for overages. Hobbs didn't say what the limit would be for the additional cities, which cities would be involved, or how much users would be charged for exceeding that limit.
Something's fishy here. Time Warner would rather sell you its on-demand movies and cable TV service than have you using Road Runner to stream or download videos on Apple TV, Netflix box, or numerous other downloading/streaming mechanisms. But Obama's net-neutrality-friendly FCC might not take too kindly to such shenanigans. Them's fightin' words, Time Warner.