Friday, 2 December 2011
Web Usage-Based Billing On Its Way
The days of watching movies on the cheap via the Web may soon be over.
Time Warner Cable and U.S. pay-TV companies, weighing how to profit from surging Internet demand spurred by Netflix and Hulu, are on the verge of instituting new fees on Web-access customers who use the most data.
At least one major cable operator will institute usage-based billing next year, predicts Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York.
He said Cox Communications, Charter Communications or Time Warner Cable may be first to charge Web-access customers for the amount of data they consume, not just transmission speed.
"As more video shifts to the Web, the cable operators will inevitably align their pricing models," Moffett said. "With the right usage-based pricing plan, they can embrace the transition instead of resisting it."
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