Despite several failed attempts by Time Warner Cable and AT&T to get laws passed
that would have blocked the several North Carolina towns from deploying their own fiber networks, North Carolina is now the newest hotbead for community fiber deployments. At the forefront of this charge is Wilson, North Carolina -- where locals now see symmetrical speeds up to 100 Mbps
courtesy of the local city-run operation named Greenlight
The town of Salisbury, North Carolina followed in Wilson's footsteps and began providing residential fiber on November 1. Their initial pricing list
(pdf) noted their standard service is a symmetrical 15 Mbps tier for $45 a month, and a symmetrical 25 Mbps tier for $65 a month. According to local news outlets
, the company plans to offer 100 and 200 Mbps symmetrical tiers, and their entry has already forced a response by Time Warner Cable:
Fibrant has the capacity to go up to 1 gigabit per second upload and download, Assistant City Manager Doug Paris said. The utility plans to offer 100x100 Mbps and 200x200 Mbps but has not set prices, he said. Fibrant customers can request the 50x50 Mbps option, Paris said. The city has yet to determine when that option will appear on the advertised rate schedule, he said.
Time Warner Cable boosted Internet speed overnight this week for all Turbo and Standard Internet service customers, said Mike Smith, area vice president for Time Warner Cable’s Charlotte operation. Turbo download speed went from 10 Mbps to 15 Mbps, matching Fibrant’s basic Internet speed. Turbo upload speed went from .5 Mbps to 1 Mbps. "We don’t feel that’s much to brag about," Paris said.
As with the other major muni-fiber build in Wilson, North Carolina, the upstream speeds here are particularly more than either Time Warner Cable or AT&T are willing to offer. Despite being the second largest U.S. cable company, Time Warner Cable has lagged on next-generation DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, thanks largely to the fact that limited competition in many of their markets allows them to. The company did however have plenty of money to spend on campaign contributions
and constant lawsuits
aimed at preventing North Carolina communities from upgrading themselves -- when Time Warner Cable wouldn't.