The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

Free Press Organizes Nationwide Opposition to Time Warner Metering

Group calls on Congress to investigate unfair Internet penalty


In response to Time Warner Cable's announcement yesterday that it
will move forward with plans to limit consumers' Internet use, Free
Press is urging its 500,000 members to voice their opposition to

"People want more Internet, not less," said Timothy Karr,
campaign director of Free Press. "But instead of meeting broadband
demand, Time Warner is penalizing consumers for using the Internet.
This nickle-and-dime approach flies in the face of efforts by Congress
and President Obama to make cheaper, faster Internet a key component of
our economic recovery."

Under Time Warner's new pricing model, consumers would be forced to
pay excessive penalties for exceeding a low monthly usage limit. The
company initially began testing this system in Beaumont, Texas, last
year, but recently announced plans to expand the trial to Austin and
San Antonio, Texas; Rochester, N.Y.; and Greensboro, N.C. All of these
are areas where Time Warner faces no competition with Verizon's FiOS

Despite receiving widespread public backlash and opposition from public officials like Rep. Eric Massa
(D-N.Y.), Time Warner plans to keep its overage fees in place.
Yesterday, the company introduced a basic plan that would cost
customers $15 per month for one gigabyte (GB) -- the equivalent of one
30-minute HD television show -- with a penalty fee of $2 for every
additional GB over the limit.

"Watch one high-def episode of Lost online, and you're over the limit," said S. Derek Turner,
research director of Free Press. "By putting the cost of Internet video
at such a premium, Time Warner is obviously trying to ensure that
consumers continue to subscribe to the company's cable television

Time Warner claims that the limits are necessary for "upgrading
network infrastructure." But with hardware, bandwidth and network costs
in decline and the company reportedly earning healthy broadband profit
margins, many see this as an attempt to stifle the emerging online
video market -- a competitive threat to Time Warner Cable's television

"Time Warner's new scheme is an innovation killer," Karr said.
"Charging consumers penalty fees on top of what they are already paying
to download a movie or show will cripple online video. This is a
win-win situation for Time Warner. But it's consumers who are the
biggest losers. Congress must investigate these anti-competitive
practices before they become a nationwide problem."

Read Free Press petition:

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

(202) 265-1490