For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Free Press Organizes Nationwide Opposition to Time Warner Metering

Group calls on Congress to investigate unfair Internet penalty

WASHINGTON -   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:


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at

Share This Article