an excellent article at Ars Technica outlines what Time Warner is doing to themselves with their plan to roll out bandwidth caps and per-gigabyte usage fees. it’s a good read.
when i heard that my ISP – Time Warner, the company i really love to hate – was putting out feelers for this sort of thing, one of my first thoughts was “what about all those zombie PCs?”
admittedly, my first thought was “i wonder how hard it is to switch back to Earthlink”
geeks and bandwidth hogs are quickly going to jump ship, if they haven’t already, once they’re asked to account for all that on-demand, high-def video they’re soaking up right now on the cheap. each defector, of course, helps TWC with the problem for which per-gig billing is the solution: bandwidth shortage. unless they stay, and just steal the bandwidth from their neighbors.
but back to the point of this post. if TWC is going to send its customers bills outlining just how much bandwidth they’re using, it’s going to finally become clear to a lot of regular people that their PCs are no longer under their control. customer service is going to be hit with a flood of calls from non-techies wondering how checking their email twice a day and looking at the latest LOLCats is topping out their 40Gb/month allocation.
maybe someone’s using your open wifi AP to seed the latest Cloverfield torrents, or you’re part of a massive botnet spewing out spam and malware across the globe 24 hours a day. either way, you owe us.
now, i have no idea whether the caps and fees would count upstream bandwidth (though, i bet they would) and there’s no way TWC would intentionally plot to profit from the millions of infected PCs on their network. that’s not the plan.
it’s just, you know, a bonus.