Time Warner Cable conducts blog outreach on test Internet pricing plan

NEW YORK: Time Warner Cable's PR staff is conducting blog outreach for its test of an Internet usage-based pricing plan.

NEW YORK: Time Warner Cable's PR staff is conducting blog outreach for its test of an Internet usage-based pricing plan.

The cable company's test rates range from $29.95 per month for service with a 5-gigabyte cap to $54.90 a month for 15-megabit-per-second downloads with a 40-gigabyte limit, according to a report by the Associated Press. Time Warner Cable will not apply the rates to the first two months of the trial, which will begin June 5 in the Beaumont, TX area with new subscribers.

Eight members of Time Warner Cable's internal staff are engaging bloggers, mostly in the technology and consumer verticals, said Alex Dudley, VP of PR, who added that the company communications staff is also analyzing online coverage.

Time Warner Cable is stressing that high download rates would not apply to all Internet users, Dudley said.

“No matter what ISP you're talking about, the fact is that it is a very small percentage of users who [use] a very high amount of the network's capacity…at some level, there's going to have to be some network management,” he said. “We're not doing this as a panacea; it's just a test, but we thought it was important to be forthright about what we were up to, what the plan entails, and what the new specifics are.”

Time Warner Cable initiated media outreach by pitching the Associated Press with the story, Dudley said.

Bloggers on Web sites such as GigaOm.com, GlobalGeekNews.com, and SiliconAlleyInsider panned the metered Web usage plan.

Time Warner Cable anticipated a mixed reaction from the press and blogosphere, Dudley said.

“Some [bloggers] were upset, and some were reasonable about it, and that's about what we expected,” he said.

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