Time Warner Cable plans to test a new pricing structure for its high-speed Internet service later this year, the Associated Press reported.

The new pricing plan would charge TWC subscribers based on how much data they download per month, as opposed to charging them for the usual fixed-price packages that include unlimited downloads.

TWC will commence a trial – most likely in the second quarter – in Beaumont, Texas, and the second-largest U.S. cable operator will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on their data downloads.

According to the MSO, the approximately 5 percent of its customer base that can be considered super-heavy downloaders can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity. These bandwidth eaters are most likely downloading video, especially high-definition (HD) video.

XO Communications has also unveiled a new pricing concept for its IPfolio service offering that eliminates pricing based on the number of voice lines.

XO’s bandwidth-based pricing acknowledges that voice is simply another application on the IP port and offers rates based on the size of the port, the company said.

“XO Communications’ bandwidth-based pricing for converged IP services is a truly unique concept in the industry,” said William Stofega, a research manager with IDC. “By removing the complexity of buying IP services with simplified pricing and offering a broad portfolio of services, XO is helping businesses make the transition to a converged IP environment much easier.”

XO Communications provides VoIP, Internet and broadband wireless access services to businesses, enterprises, and carrier and wholesale customers nationwide.

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