Time Warner Cable has pledged to contribute $1.6 million to the 2-year-old NYC Media Lab. Initially, TWC is specifically funding research at the organization into bandwidth usage trends.

TWC has demonstrated a long-standing interest in usage-based billing, an issue likely to gain in importance as more video gets delivered through IP network infrastructure.

The NYC Media Lab was launched in 2010 by New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC), NYU Polytechnic Institute (NYU-Poly) and Columbia University. The organization said it already has received more than half of the total donation from Time Warner Cable and will continue to receive the remaining funds through 2020.

In addition, Time Warner Cable’s Research Program on Digital Communications will fund NYU-Poly’s broadband Internet research through NYC Media Lab.

NYU-Poly Professor Justin Cappos is studying the potential impact that certain emerging trends may have on consumer bandwidth usage, according to TWC, specifically including activity in peer-to-peer systems, the growth of wireless device usage, and advances like femtocells, and the increasing Internet connectivity of consumer devices like power meters, washing machines, thermostats and toasters. He will assess which trends may be potentially disruptive to Internet bandwidth and how specific technologies affect peak network bandwidth.

The research project, funded by Time Warner Cable for one year, will be presented at NYC Media Lab’s Annual Research Summit in September 2013. Time Warner Cable’s chairman and CEO Glenn Britt will deliver the keynote address in its inaugural The Glenn A. Britt Lecture keynote series.

“The Internet continues to evolve and change every day. Our goal is to provide consumers with fast, reliable Internet services both now and in the future, so it’s important that we further study and understand the complexities of broadband technology, efficiently increase capacity and explore future bandwidth trends,” added Britt.

Through the partnership with the Media Lab, Time Warner Cable will leverage the research, development, knowledge and talent at NYU-Poly to analyze and discover more innovative ways to use and provide Internet services.

“NYCEDC created the NYC Media Lab to serve as a gateway for collaboration between the media industry and the City’s strong research institutions and academic talent,” said NYCEDC executive vice president Eric Gertler. “Time Warner Cable’s support for the NYC Media Lab demonstrates its commitment to pursuing innovative solutions to major issues facing the media sector.”

“Time Warner Cable’s partnership with the NYC Media Lab is a great example of what our Research Program on Digital Communications is all about. Time Warner Cable is dedicated to supporting the best and brightest thought leaders in telecommunications and media policy, and the mission of the NYC Media lab fits perfectly with our efforts to educate policy makers, industry stakeholders and the communities we serve,” said Fernando Laguarda, Time Warner Cable’s vice president of external affairs and policy counselor. “We are proud supporters of partnerships in our home communities and look forward to working with NYC Media Lab on a project designed to analyze bandwidth planning and speed tiers. This important work will have an impact on the next generation of technology in our industry.”