Time Warner has begun tiered pricing for cable Internet access in a few areas. The idea is that a cable subscriber chooses a monthly download limit – 40Gb, for example. If you go over that amount, you’re charged a fee for “excessive downloading.” Higher-priced plans are available with more generous download caps or for unmetered service.

Comcast and the other cable players are looking at the same concept. Right now there are reports of inconsistent plans, uneven charges, and erratic enforcement in only a few cities, but speculation is that download caps will become a reality for all cable subscribers this summer.

It’s no coincidence that this is happening at the same time that the cable companies and their megacorporation owners are rolling out new services designed to entice you into using extra bandwidth – digital video recorders, movies on demand, and the like. It’s important to have you distracted while your pocket is picked.

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