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Time Warner Cable Tests Data-Usage Rate Structure
FoxNews.com ^ | January 17, 2008 | AP

Posted on 01/17/2008 3:58:27 PM PST by ShadowDancer

Time Warner Cable Tests Data-Usage Rate Structure

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NEW YORK — Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.

Company spokesman Alex Dudley said the trial was aimed at improving the network performance by making it more costly for heavy users of large downloads.

Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alacarte; cable; timewarner

1 posted on 01/17/2008 3:58:29 PM PST by ShadowDancer
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To: ShadowDancer

With FIOS coming to a lot of places around the country? Good luck with that, TW.


2 posted on 01/17/2008 4:00:47 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (Yeah, I'm a bigot. I'm bigoted against MA liberals pretending to be conservative.)
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To: perfect_rovian_storm

What’s FIOS?


3 posted on 01/17/2008 4:02:31 PM PST by ShadowDancer ("To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.")
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To: ShadowDancer
Sounds like a tax on porn.

It's un-American.

4 posted on 01/17/2008 4:03:22 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: ShadowDancer
This guy is gonna hate it.


5 posted on 01/17/2008 4:07:03 PM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (Global warming is the new Marxism.)
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To: ShadowDancer

It’s a new product from Verizon. Fiber coming directly to your house.

http://www22.verizon.com/content/ConsumerFios

TW has enough to worry about with this service taking over it’s television business. It would be stupid (but just like them) to try and muscle out their own internet subscribers.


6 posted on 01/17/2008 4:07:03 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (Yeah, I'm a bigot. I'm bigoted against MA liberals pretending to be conservative.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

Hey, who pasted that guy’s head onto Teddy Kennedy’s body?


7 posted on 01/17/2008 4:08:05 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (Yeah, I'm a bigot. I'm bigoted against MA liberals pretending to be conservative.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

You’re gross.


8 posted on 01/17/2008 4:14:37 PM PST by ShadowDancer ("To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.")
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To: ShadowDancer
Time Warner needs to hire a competent marketing person.

If I choose to purchase more cars, or more lumber, or more of a zillion other things, the company selling to me rolls out the red carpet, thanks me extra for my business, and goes a little out of their way to make me feel special. They also charge me more in total, of course, than the customer who buys just one car, or just one sheet of plywood or just one of whatever. One hundred cars costs more than one car ... how else could it be. But the per car cost goes down a bit, for bulk purchases.

The high volume customer is valued, more highly.

So here comes Time Warner, trying to make it sound like they are going to penalize the high volume customer with punitive penalty fees, "for the sake of the little guy." The damn liberals must have run the common sense capitalist businessmen out of Time Warner. They got the message all backwards.

Even the electric power company, though liberal around the edges with their green environmentalist propaganda, is at heart capitalist -- the more electricity I use, the more I pay -- fair deal. True, the per-kilowatt cost tends to rise with usage, not shrink, but at least they don't go out of their way to punish you (unlike the Cell Phone company did, when my teen age son discovered text messaging, for example.)

9 posted on 01/17/2008 4:15:26 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer
FIOS is Verizon's fiber optic service -- fiber all the way to the residence, providing phone (no more twisted pair coming into the house), tv (no more coax coming into the house) and internet.

They are pushing expansion of it hard, investing $500 to $1000 per installation, even though they only charge perhaps $60 to $120 per month, depending on what you buy. The service is rock solid, and the data rates excellent.

I have the cheapest internet service available via FIOS, providing a solid 5 mbits down, 2 mbits up, with none of the -dramatic- throttling of upstream bandwidth that I got with Comcast back in Kalifornia if I started sharing files with BitTorrent.

If I wanted, I could get up to 20 or 40 mbits, both up and down, for a very reasonable price.

Verizon likes it because it gives them total lockin on all phone, video and data services. Once they have the upper hand in enough markets with it, I would not be surprised to see my rates to up. But meanwhile, it's a great deal.

10 posted on 01/17/2008 4:22:42 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

Its fiber running to your house. BUT, unless you have fiber running THROUGH your house its the same old bandwidth over plain old copper.


11 posted on 01/17/2008 4:23:50 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: ThePythonicCow

$120 for all three services with that?


12 posted on 01/17/2008 4:25:56 PM PST by ShadowDancer (Alcoholism is a disease, but itís the only disease that you can get yelled at for having.)
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To: BreezyDog
No ... don't really need fiber running through the house.

The highest available data rate from FIOS is 40 mbits, which is easily handled by either traditional 100 mbit Ethernet twisted pair, or by any of the draft-802.11n wireless routers (I recommend SMC's SMCWEB-N.)

13 posted on 01/17/2008 4:28:45 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer
Something like that -- you should go to the Verizon FIOS site for the facts (be prepared for a blast of Flash'y marketing ;).
14 posted on 01/17/2008 4:31:45 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

Time Warner? Their cable Tv is OK BUT my AT&T hi speed connection (yes, the same AT&T that wants to “peak” at your “illegal” downloads) is great, so I can bet $$$$ that subscribers will be leaving TW ISP for the competition.

Reminds me of my family members in Canada who are being monitored (and sometimes “capped”) by Bell due to “excessive” donwloads.


15 posted on 01/17/2008 4:32:17 PM PST by max americana
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To: ShadowDancer

>>>>Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.<<<<<

5% of the subscribers are ACCOUNTABLE FOR 50% OF TRAFFIC?!?

What BS! So TW’s argument is that because of the evil’ 5% that everyone has to pay the price! Anybody smell the liberal stink from this argument?


16 posted on 01/17/2008 4:34:59 PM PST by max americana
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To: ShadowDancer

I download about 200 Gigs a month on my FIOS, and I am not even trying.

I can download an entire 5 gig DVD in less than 40 minutes.

Metered rates. Fat chance. Cry me a river Time Warner.


17 posted on 01/17/2008 4:35:14 PM PST by Smogger (It's the WOT Stupid)
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To: ThePythonicCow
Yes with the 100 baseT but what about crappy low gage coax? Hardly anybody has cat 5 running through their house either.

I priced FIOS with what I have with Comcast now and it was like $90/mo higher than what I'm paying now. I have 3 dual tuner HD DVR's in my house along with phone and internet.

18 posted on 01/17/2008 4:36:50 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: Rb ver. 2.0
Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users

Truly a super-heavy user!

19 posted on 01/17/2008 4:37:28 PM PST by DUMBGRUNT (Life is Good!)
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To: BreezyDog
Its fiber running to your house. BUT, unless you have fiber running THROUGH your house its the same old bandwidth over plain old copper.

Not true it's a fiber dump staight into your house. They break it out to CAT6. Good for 100 Mbps.

I have the 15 Mbps. down btw. I take every opportunity to tell others about it cause it makes them jealous ;-)

20 posted on 01/17/2008 4:38:12 PM PST by Smogger (It's the WOT Stupid)
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To: ShadowDancer
I pay about $59 total myself for FIOS, but I only get:
21 posted on 01/17/2008 4:42:20 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

Time Warner is trying to make up revenue, lost when people get a chance to rid themselves of the TW monopoly.

Verizon laid fiber optic lines, and almost everybody in my neighborhood is switching from TW cable, to FIOS.

And it is NOT mainly about technology. It IS mainly because Time Warner (remember AOL Time Warner) is such a lousy company to deal with.

It is a classic example of what goes around, comes around.

My internet is more reliable than TW, but the same speed. My phone is unchanged, but the TV is way better.


22 posted on 01/17/2008 4:45:08 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: BreezyDog
I don't have cat 5 (100 mbit Ethernet cable) running through my modest apartment either. I have:
23 posted on 01/17/2008 4:48:59 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: Smogger
I wouldn't mind metered rates if they were priced fairly.

But when they use them to shed load off their overloaded network and punish high volume users, that doesn't sell so well, especially to high volume users ;).

Even worse, though, is what Comcast was doing to me in California. If I started uploading over my so called 2 mbit down, 256 kbit up line at any rate faster than about 60 kbits, within ** twenty (20) ** seconds they would cut my upload rate available from the so called 256 kbit down to about 30 kbits (worse than an old modem;). A few minutes after the upload ceased, I would get my nominal upload rate back.

When Comcast started doing that to me, I was in the delightful position of using two, simultaneous, internet providers, with Comcast over the cable coax, and Speakeasy DSL over my twisted pair phone line. So I had the great pleasure of calling up Comcast and telling them to shove it, forthwith. I canceled my Comcast internet on the spot, running off just the DSL line until a bit later, when I moved to Texas and FIOS.

24 posted on 01/17/2008 4:58:05 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

You don’t like Santa?


25 posted on 01/17/2008 4:59:44 PM PST by null and void (Conservatives are tired of being sucked up to every 4 years and stabbed in the back for the next 3.)
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To: null and void

Santa has the good sense to dress properly.


26 posted on 01/17/2008 5:02:03 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

Metered rates? Ha.

Using their logic, I should be paying according the the percentage of my [purchased] rated bandwidth I am receiving.

I’m paying my cable net provider (not TW) for 6 megs down. I should be able to get 85% of that. For two months my throughput has dropped to .75-1.5 megs EVERY night from approximately 7: to 10:45. Right at quarter to 11 it jumps right back up to 5.3 megs. And they just can’t figure it out (major sarcasm).

Thus TW should charge a customer based on their real throughput, not on their “rated” throughput, if one were to make a logical extension of their reasoning.

In reality, logic has nothing to do with it. They will get what the market will bear, if there is competition, or what their monopoly permits if they have greased the right palms.


27 posted on 01/17/2008 5:17:23 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: ThePythonicCow
Thats cool. Plenty of bandwidth for you. I don't have bandwidth issues either with Comcast. 6 or 7 Mbps down 2 up. 5 computers (4 on Linksys/Cisco wireless N network) I max out at 270 Mbps on the wireless LAN. 1000 Mbps at the hardwired hub. In addition on the wireless network I have PS3, XBOX 360 and a Wii.

I could have that all fired up at once still download enough porn in 60 seconds to make you go blind...Ain't technology fun?

Coax copper does have bandwidth limitations especially if distance is involved.

28 posted on 01/17/2008 5:23:54 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: ChildOfThe60s

The reason your bandwidth drops in the evening is because thats when EVERYONE gets home from work or school and fires up the computers. Your neighborhood cable network is shared bandwidth. When everyone jumps on you have less. If you had a dedicated T1 it would be all yours all the time. But thats only 1.54 Mbps up and down.


29 posted on 01/17/2008 5:28:16 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: BreezyDog
Would that be one of the Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Routers, such as WRT310N, WRT320N or WRT600N? They do look nice.
30 posted on 01/17/2008 5:33:46 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: BreezyDog; ChildOfThe60s
When bandwidth drops like clockwork, in a big staircase like drop, and goes back up similarly, then that doesn't seem like simple contention for a shared network. I'd expect simple contention to be more erratic.

What ChildOfThe60s reports sounds more like an intentional throttling, presumably done in an effort to avoid the more painful affects of excess contention for limited resources, such as crashing switches and extreme delays for even low bandwidth traffic.

31 posted on 01/17/2008 5:37:50 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ThePythonicCow; BreezyDog

It’s not a simple case of higher use on a shared node. For one thing I never had this until 2 months ago. The first thing I accused them of was overselling bandwidth, thus being unable to provide what I was paying them for. I was assured that there was no reason for that to happen, that there was more than enough to go around at peak hours.

Besides, it’s way too precise every single evening.

Another reason I say that is the provider has a speed test on their own server. I live in a town with 15,000 people and a 2.5 mile radius. Regardless of with the internet in general is doing at a given time, I should be able to pull most of my throughput anytime when I am a couple of miles from the server.

My ISP shares some lines with the city government, which is the major cable TV provider and much of the cable internet here. Yeah, the gummmerment.

Interestingly, my ISP says they have higher speed lines and capacity than the city, so logically the problem is somewhere on city hardware. They also are telling me that they can’t get the city to return their calls. Think government run health care folks.

My next step is to tell my ISP that I am going to pay for 1.5 meg service since that is what I am getting.

Unfortunately, my only other option is ATT DSL.


32 posted on 01/17/2008 5:50:17 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: ThePythonicCow

Actually the WRT350N. It has a storage link.


33 posted on 01/17/2008 6:58:05 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: ThePythonicCow
I just did a bandwidth speed test HERE and got 3 megs to a DC server, 15 to an Atlanta server and 6 to an LA server...Another test can be taken HERE... I got 9 Mbps on this one.
34 posted on 01/17/2008 7:17:45 PM PST by BreezyDog
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To: ThePythonicCow

I understand your logic, but Time Warner isn’t talking about lowering the price for people who download less, just raising it for people who download more. It’s just another scam. BTW, I switched off of Roadrunner to AT&T (will change again if they follow through with the data inspection deal, cut my bill in half and speeded up my internet.


35 posted on 01/17/2008 9:24:15 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Richard Kimball
Yeah - we're pretty much agreeing - they are over charging, and using this as an excuse to charge yet more.

The quasi-monopoly that ISP's have in this country, as opposed to other industrialized nations, allows for more such abuse, higher charges and lower service.

36 posted on 01/17/2008 9:28:00 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: BreezyDog

Last Result:
Download Speed: 15595 kbps (1949.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1245 kbps (155.6 KB/sec transfer rate)


37 posted on 01/18/2008 7:42:57 AM PST by Smogger (It's the WOT Stupid)
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To: ShadowDancer; AT7Saluki
...charging customers based on how much data they download...

What's next? Charging per show watched? Hey, those rabbit ears will soon come in handy! (And they don't effect global warming!)

38 posted on 01/18/2008 4:12:18 PM PST by Libloather (Do animals pollute the planet by exhaling, too?)
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To: perfect_rovian_storm
With FIOS coming to a lot of places around the country? Good luck with that, TW.

Yeah, sure, whatever - the majority of the country will not see FIOS anytime soon, and so TW is going to maximize their profits while they can (the joys of a government-sanctioned monopoly).

I love how they blame the top 5% of users, and yet the pricing structure is geared to hurt everybody.

Make no mistake folks, this isn't about the top 5% of users, this is about having little to no competition in many areas, and this is about going after maximum profits just as bandwidth heavy applications are coming into their own (iTunes HD, etc.).

I also believe that if TW makes enough money off this, that AT&T will follow suit.
39 posted on 01/18/2008 4:35:08 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: ThePythonicCow
The quasi-monopoly that ISP's have in this country, as opposed to other industrialized nations, allows for more such abuse, higher charges and lower service.

Exactly. I've been to several other countries where they had a much better setup than we have, for a lot cheaper overall (even when you factor in taxes that pay for the government's part).

The fact is, the cable companies and telecoms have a huge lobbying group with a lot of cash, and so they keep their stranglehold going.
40 posted on 01/18/2008 4:37:36 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: ThePythonicCow
So here comes Time Warner, trying to make it sound like they are going to penalize the high volume customer with punitive penalty fees, "for the sake of the little guy." The damn liberals must have run the common sense capitalist businessmen out of Time Warner. They got the message all backwards.

That depends on how the price structure works. If they cut the base price, and don't start metering below a certain threshold, then it does hep the little guy; and if they don't artificially cap the throughput rates, the big users pay more but get better service. And maybe, if time isn't critical, they think about Fed-Exing DVDs of family videos instead of posting them somewhere or sending them as e-mail attachments.

Various pricing tiers, with different numbers amounts of unmetered transfers and varying prices per unit thereafter. Incentives to queue up big transfers during non-peak hours. Kind of like cell phone pricing, which seems to work pretty well to balance the needs of light and heavy users and keep the network from getting jammed, but metering MBs instead of minutes.

Basically, when you choose a call phone plan, you're choosing how much to buy up front a a lower per-unit cost, and how much you're willing to pay, and comparing options on price and performance. No reason ISPs couldn't run on the same model.

True, the per-kilowatt cost tends to rise with usage, not shrink, but at least they don't go out of their way to punish you (unlike the Cell Phone company did, when my teen age son discovered text messaging, for example.)

Every cell phone company I know of offers tiered options for text messages -- no up-front money and a lot per message, a little more up-front money for a certain number of messages and a little less after that, or a little more money for unlimited (i.e. unmetered) messages.

If you got stung with unexpected charges, it was because you didn't know your needs up front (you didn't know your son was gonna get into text messaging and didn't pick a plan accordingly or tell your son to lay of SMS); or the cell phone company did not give you the option to simply not have SMS on your phones.

I'm not slinging blame. I have a good friend who lives in Thailand (THAILAND? Yes, Thailand). We communicate mostly by IM and e-mail, but one month we spent a lot of time on the phone. I got socked with $300 in long distance charges. The phone company noted the company and alerted me; I had not signed on for a long distance plan, so I got hit with the max. The phone company offered me the option to pick a plan retroactively, because they wanted to keep me as a customer.

Most forms of communication worked on a tiered model. If you send bulk mail, you spend less per letter.

If you subscribe to a magazine or newspaper, you spend less per copy, but at the risk of paying for a paper or magazine you won't get around to reading; if you buy at the newsstand,, you pay more per, but only when you know you're going to read it.

If you join the Book-of-the-Month Club, you pay less per book, but if you don't keep on top of things, you get books you don't want and won't read.

If you subscribe to premium cable channels, you pay less per movie than if you went to Netflix, iTunes or Blockbuster, but you're paying for more movies than you could possibly watch.

If you use long distance or cellular service, you weigh the amount you're going to use, and weigh the risk of paying for service you won't use vs. paying more the service that you do.

I think a tiered approach would address your concerns about keeping big-time customers happy while saving occasional users money. It's not a novelty.

41 posted on 01/18/2008 5:41:57 PM PST by ReignOfError
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To: ReignOfError
Yup - you're not slinging blame.

Some behaviours are blame worthy, however.

The American cell phone, cable, movie, and recording industries have been worthy of some blame of late, in my view.

Your analysis is nice and analytical. Too nice.

42 posted on 01/18/2008 6:07:08 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
Yup - you're not slinging blame.

Some behaviours are blame worthy, however.

The American cell phone, cable, movie, and recording industries have been worthy of some blame of late, in my view.

Your analysis is nice and analytical. Too nice.

Which part of that was supposed to make sense?

Take more, pay more. Take less, pay less. Last I heard, that was capitalism.

43 posted on 01/18/2008 6:22:29 PM PST by ReignOfError
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To: ReignOfError
What we have here is drifting away from capitalism, toward fascism -- nationalized and socialized businesses.

There is still a correlation between what you pay and what you get, but the correlation weakens. There comes to be a stronger correlation between the pay of the major investors and executives of such industries, and their prowess in the halls of Congress.

44 posted on 01/18/2008 6:37:10 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ShadowDancer

I talked to a cousin who lives in Beaumont, he said RR is pretty much the only game in town, that in large parts of the area, RR is the only broadband option. He thinks that was probably why Beaumont was chosen, since in other markets, people would flee for another carrier as soon as they got wind of it.


45 posted on 01/20/2008 6:52:18 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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