Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently abandoned its plans to test metered Internet billing in four cities this year after consumers and politicians made a huge stink about it. But the company seems to still hope it could happen someday.
Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt on his company’s earnings call yesterday, via Seeking Alpha:
On the meter billing or consumption based billing, whatever you want to call that, I think the contents of that is that we are in a dynamic business sector. We are always trying, thinking about and talking about new products and services and new ways to create business models. In fact, if you go back to about the mid-90’s we were basically a television company in a television industry and doing broadband, which didn’t really exist at that point, was an innovative and pretty radical thing and hard to believe in hindsight but a lot of people thought it was a really stupid idea and it wouldn’t work.
I raise that because I think in our business we are always going to keep trying things. In this case, we got a lot of push back so we backed off that trial plan but again this was just going to be a market trial. So I think you would expect us to keep trying things in the future in the spirit of this.
Good luck. While metered billing could potentially bring in more revenue for Time Warner Cable — and discourage people from watching Internet video, which competes with Time Warner’s cable product — it’s going to be very hard to get people to willingly switch pricing models for a service like Internet access.