It’s a tale of two trials. Time Warner Cable and Comcast last week each kicked off tests aimed at dealing with the small percentage of broadband subscribers who chew up the vast majority of capacity on their networks. Time Warner Cable is experimenting with a financial stick in what would represent a fundamental departure from the industry’s standard unlimited-usage pricing. Comcast is looking to new, user-based bandwidth controls that put the heaviest consumers at the back of the line. “These are two ways of saying, 'If you go to the all-you-can-eat buffet and really do eat all you can eat, here’s what the ramifications will be,’ ” said Leichtman Research Group president Bruce Leichtman.
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