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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Time Warner's Net-Metering Precedent

from BusinessWeek

The decision by Time Warner Cable (TWC) to charge some Internet customers based on how much information they download was greeted with disdain by consumer groups and bloggers. Critics said the new pricing plan, to be tested in Beaumont, Tex., would discourage data usage and even stifle innovation.

But Time Warner's trial wasn't universally reviled. Other providers of Internet access said they would watch it closely and didn't rule out the prospect that they, too, might experiment with charges based on bandwith consumption.

Comcast (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, said it's evaluating "a variety of models, including consumption-based billing." Verizon Communications (VZ) said it also sees the potential value of billing customers based on the volume of their Web use.

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