Despite saying they're not worried about Google Fiber in Kansas City, local incumbent Time Warner Cable is worried about Google Fiber in Kansas City. Two analysts from BTIG Research
(free registration required, breakdown via Business Insider
) took a trip to Kansas City to look at Google Fiber up close and personal. Most of the analysis is information we already knew, like the $70 for 1 Gbps price tag, and the fact that the company is giving TV customers a 7" Nexus tablet to control television service.
But the analysts also found a few other things of note, like not only is the TV component fairly stellar (unlike Google TV efforts), but installation techs are actually showing up at specific times -- as opposed to the traditional nebulous "window" install that has plagued cable satisfaction ratings for years. The analysts also note that Time Warner Cable is sweating bullets in the market:
Consumer indicated that Time Warner Cable had come out to his house twice in recent weeks, unprovoked to check on the quality of their Internet speeds and simply to make sure they were happy. Said Time Warner was literally going door to door knocking on consumers doors to help their subscribers. Yet, their particular community was not even in a place where Google Fiber was available – illustrating how Time Warner Cable is proactively preparing for the inevitable expansion of Google’s service.
BTIG doesn't note that the primary reason for that visit is to upsell bundles and try and lock customers down into new long term contracts -- so they aren't able to switch to Google Fiber without paying a huge penalty. BTIG (and rather out of step with most analysts) actually believes that Google Fiber will eventually be built out in additional markets once Google works out the kinks. That's something Time Warner Cable is on record saying they don't think will happen
Google has long flirted with connectivity from fiber to Wi-Fi, but the efforts have focused more on stirring the pot, testing advertising and nudging a stagnant broadband market -- as opposed to any real national ISP ambition. Should Google Fiber expand, companies like Time Warner Cable who have had the luxury of pathetic market competition for more than a decade -- should very much be worried.