The NewsDemon Blog

NYC Road Runner Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Access To USENET

March 25th, 2010


Time Warner Cable this morning confirmed that it’s launching Wi-Fi hotspots for customers of its NYC RoadRunner broadband service, allowing USENET access on the go. The free Wi-Fi is now available at several Wi-Fi zones in Manhattan and Queens, including several parks and some Long Island Railroad platforms and their respective parking lots in the company’s service area.

The access to Wi-Fi allows those into USENET to login and subscribe to newsgroups at more places than ever. The free Wi-Fi allows anyone with a Road Runner account and a Wi-Fi capable device to access the service in several spots across the city.

Road Runner customers using laptops and WiFi-enabled phones can access the WiFi by entering their Road Runner ID and password when prompted. After that, any newsreader they use can then be used to access and browse USENET newsgroups.

“Road Runner customers can experience a fast, simple and easy connection from their laptops or portable Wi-Fi-enabled devices in Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi zones, meeting their growing need for mobility,” said Howard Szarfarc, executive vice president of Time Warner Cable’s New York City region, in a press release.

Time Warner Cable customers will also have access to thousands of hotspots operated by Cablevision around the area. Customers that are already signed up for Roadrunner with Time Warner Cable in one of the areas will be able to sign into the Wi-Fi hotspot using their RoadRunner screen name and password.


Time Warner Backs Out Of Download Limits

April 17th, 2009

Time Warner’s new CEO, Glenn Britt, issued a statement yesterday saying the company had shelved the pricing trials in Rochester, N.Y.; Austin and San Antonio, Texas; and Greensboro, N.C. Those trials, which started only two weeks earlier, charged subscribers for the amount of bandwidth they used. Time Warner called it a “consumption-based” model.

The cable giant’s plan was to price its home broadband service by tiers according to how much data customers use. Critics of the plan said it would raise rates dramatically for those who use Internet video, phone and other bandwidth-heavy applications.

Time Warner Cable recently backed off from its attempt to impose “usage-based pricing” of its Road Runner service in several regions of New York, after Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer strenuously opposed such a plan. But cable companies will continue to push its heavy usage penalties, until regulation is in place to stop them, say consumer rights critics.

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing a study of cable companies for Congress, due next year. The commission will evaluate pricing, speed, affordability and availability, and the cable companies are terrified federal regulations are on the way.

Late last year, Time Warner Cable had dropped access to Usenet Newsgroups to its customers as well.

The cost of equipment to upgrade Internet capacity is falling rapidly and is about to fall more with new high-speed technology, called Docsis 3, which will increase capacity and offer speedier downloads.

To keep up with this growing demand, carriers have said that they have to enlarge their networks quickly and deploy more efficient technologies that increase capacity. It seems inevitable to all parties that Internet access will cost more, but making the transition to a new pricing scheme based on consumption can’t be done overnight.

Time Warner Cable said it was going to focus for now on making measurement tools available so consumers can learn how much bandwidth they consume.

Under the trial that was shelved, customers were asked to choose Internet usage plans that capped monthly uploads and downloads at 10GB, 20GB, 40GB or 60GB. Customers would pay $1 per gigabyte if they went over those caps, with overage fees limited to $75.

Time Warner will be charging $99 a month and Comcast $139 a month, for its new 50-megabit service. Comcast currently charges approximately $45 a month for 8-megabits-per-second downloads. Countries like Japan that have competition between its Internet providers, charge $60 a month for 160-megabits-per-second. All services and plans offered by these ISPs is supported by all Newsgroups membership.


TimeWarner Cable New Bandwith Limits and Usage Plans

April 10th, 2009

Time Warner Cable unveiled a new pricing structure for broadband Internet access to quell customer criticism questioning the service provider’s plans to cap bandwidth usage.

In a statement released to the media on Thursday, Time Warner COO Landel Hobbs says, “Some recent press reports about our four consumption based billing trials planned for later this year were premature and did not tell the full story. With that said, we realize our communication to customers about these trials has been inadequate and we apologize for any frustration we caused. We’ve heard the passionate feedback and we’ve taken action to address our customers’ concerns.”

Time Warner says the new pricing model is a direct result of increased content on the internet and they say “bandwidth consumption is growing exponentially.”

Among the changes:

  • Bandwidth tier sizes in trial markets, including Rochester, will be increased to 10, 20, 40 and 60GB for Road Runner Lite, Basic, Standard and Turbo packages, respectively. Package prices will remain the same, ranging from $29.95 to $54.90 per month. Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month. Previously, the tier sizes were 5, 10, 20 and 40GB.
  • A new 100 GB Road Runner Turbo package for $75 a month will offer speeds of 10 MB/1 MB. Overage charges will be $1 per GB per month.
  • A new 1 gigabyte-per-month tier, offering speeds of 768 kilobytes download/128 kilobytes upload, will cost $15 a month, with overage charges of $2 per GB per month. Hobbs said the company’s usage date shows that about 30 percent of Time Warner customers use less than 1GB a month.
  • Overage charges will be capped at $75 per month. “That means that for $150 per month customers could have virtually unlimited usage at Turbo speeds,” Hobbs said.

If Internet users don’t moderate their bandwith consumption, and providers don’t put in caps on their usage, the Internet could start seeing “brownouts” by 2012, said Time Warner Cable’s chief operating officer Landel Hobbs today.

Preventing outages for users was the rationale behind Hobbs’ latest statement on Time Warner Cable’s plans to expand its metered broadband trials to more areas of the U.S. The cable company is testing a “pay-by-the-byte” approach to billing and consumption of Internet services, rather than the flat-price “all you can eat” model of most competitors.

Time Warner representative stressed that the tiered pricing models are just trials at this point and customers won’t be immediately billed or impacted. Instead, Time Warner will provide two months of data usage and then a one-month grace period in which overages will be noted on customers’ bills, but they won’t be charged. They state that this gives customers a chance to access their usage and pick the right service package before charges are applied.

The company also said the plan’s trial will begin in Rochester and Greensboro, N.C., in August, and said it plans to launch the super-fast DOCSIS 3.0 service in the trial markets.

Comcast is another provider that is capping usage, but with a larger 250 GB limit. Even so, it seems odd that while the rest of the world is offering faster, unlimited broadband access for approximately $20 a month, the United States is looking to adopt a more restrictive policy that threatens to stifle innovation for the sake of salvaging yet another dying business.

How this affects downloads of headers and the bandwidth consumption of many newsgroups is something that these plans fail to address as well as the other limits this plan will cause:.Time Warner’s cap level is tier-based with the maximum set at 40 gigabytes per month with a $1 charge for every gigabyte of overage. An average HD quality movie downloaded from iTunes is around 4 GB with an HD TV show hovering around 2 GB. For NetFlix, this can easily double in size for BluRay downloads. If you were to watch one TV show a night, you’d be over the cap by 20 GB, or an extra $20 on your bill. Not including viewing YouTube videos, digital photos, or Web browsing.


Newsdemon Discounts Usenet for Time Warner, Verizon, Sprint

June 22nd, 2008

Newsdemon welcomes the Time Warner, Spring, and Verizon Usenet refugees with open arms!  We will give a lifetime 15% discount to all incoming Time Warner, Sprint, and Verizon customers.  Simply input the couponcode twarner15 in the ‘coupon code’ box on our join page and you will receive a lifetime 15% discount off all our regularly priced monthly accounts.


Time Warner Cable drops Usenet

June 6th, 2008

According to, Time Warner cable has decided to discontinue providing usenet access as part of their included services for customers.

 Newsdemon welcomes the Time Warner refugees with open arms!  We will give a 15% discount to all incoming Time Warner customers.  Simply input the couponcode twarner15 in the ‘coupon code’ box on our join page and you will receive a 15% discount off all our regularly priced monthly accounts.