You’re used to paying extra if you use up your cell phone minutes, but will you be willing to pay extra if your home computer goes over its internet allowance? Time Warner Cable customers–and later, others–might have to, if the company’s test of metered internet access is successful, the Associated Press reports. Beginning June 4, new Time Warner Cable internet subscribers in Beaumont, Texas, will have monthly allowances for the amount of data they upload and download. Those who go over will be charged $1 per gigabyte, a Time Warner Cable executive told AP. Metered billing is an attempt to deal fairly with internet usage, which is very uneven among Time Warner Cable’s subscribers, said Kevin Leddy, the company’s executive vice president of advanced technology. Just 5 percent of the company’s subscribers take up half of the capacity on local cable lines, Leddy said. Other cable internet service providers report a similar distribution. "We think it’s the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure," Leddy said. Metered usage is common overseas, and other U.S. cable providers are looking at ways to rein in heavy users. Most have download caps, but some keep the caps secret so as not to alarm the majority of users, who come nowhere close to the limits. Time Warner Cable appears to be the first major ISP to charge for going over the limit: Other companies warn, then suspend, those who go over…

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