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Time Warner Cable Bumping Base Speeds to 15 Mbps
For Most Markets Over the Next 60 Days
by Karl Bode 05:37PM Monday Nov 05 2012
Speaking during the company's earnings conference call earlier today, Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus stated that the cable operator will be bumping the speed of their standard broadband Internet tier by about 50 percent over the next 60 days. For most users that means the base tier in their market will be nudged toward 15 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. The announcement comes after a few months of very bad press for the company due to their introduction of a new $4 per month modem rental fee that's estimated to generate an additional $300-$400 million in additional income each quarter.

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motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:3

Extreme and ultimate to get some speed bumps as well?

what about extreme and ultimate? I heard there might be increases in Dallas and NYC where bonding has been activated on the upstream also Dallas and NYC are the only markets so far to have 6 downstreams per node dedicated H.S.I.
misfits138

join:2012-11-05

Just curious

What goes into increasing standard speed by 5mbs? Is it very complicated or pretty much a few strokes on a keyboard?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Just curious

They have to have the capacity to do it before just hitting the button. Theoretically, they could uncap the connection, and D2 modems would run at 38mbps, D3 at 38mbps per channel they can bond, but in reality, if they did that, you'd get the full speed at like 3 in the morning, but during prime usage times the whole network would slow down to a crawl.

They could add capacity by splitting nodes and/or adding more D3 channels. The fiber to the node usually has much more than the coax is set up for.
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8

Re: Just curious

Actually, that check too is a simple click of a mouse. (or in every NOC I've ever worked... just look up at the traffic graph on the big screen.)

To answer the OP... Yes. It's a number in a config file. It's an "upgrade" they've performed many times over the last decade plus... 3 to 5 to 6 to 7 to 8, then then D3 upgrades lead to 10, and now 15.

(PS: all ISPs over subscribe their network. TWC is no different, and this will not deter them from upping the advertised speeds. Look around the internet and you'll find plenty of accounts of people not getting the advertised speed.)
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
Regarding FTTN -- do we still think cable's current limits are the last mile coax? Obviously this depends on how well the cable plant has been managed but I suspect unleashing DOCSIS limits would obliterate their backbone to the Internet well before straining the last-mile coax.

The reason I suspect this is that most cable companies continue to increase speed on a steady pace. Are they really continuing to push fiber deeper and deeper into their networks or within the past few years have they reached "far enough" to where nodes are small enough to have plenty of bandwidth? (Perhaps not to deliver 1Gpbs but certainly 15Mbps and probably 38Mbps wouldn't create a crisis.)

In my area, Charter still provides 60 or 70 analog channels. Considering each uses 6mhz + guard bands, that's close to 500mhz of capacity just ready to be reclaimed! They also stream those same channels in SD digital along with lots of HD, VOD and 100Mbps HSI. Recent ratings show them having no problem delivering all of this during peak periods.

What still makes no sense to me is the CAPs. Surely it's no longer about concurrent user experience. Cable speeds are such that even extreme users would have difficulty maxing out their connections doing anything related to a typical consumer -- even if they watched constant NetFlix streams.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Just curious

The technological limits are 100% the last-mile. Fiber, when set up correctly, has massive capacity way beyond that of DOCSIS. Of course that's not to say that there aren't systems out there with shiny new D3 gear running on older fiber backhaul that are backhaul limited. AT&T's shiny new 3G network was backhaul limited for years before they saturated the air interfaces with gig IP-RAN for fake 4G.

They have had to push fiber father out not just for internet, but also for VOD, which uses QAM channels. Comcast here has gotten rid of analog, and shortly thereafter, they added more HD VOD content, more HD channels, and more internet speed.

The caps aren't effective at what they need to do, which is manage peak traffic on the last-mile. However, they don't really know how to do better, and the investors of course push for monetization. I think the best solution would be to go back to "don't abuse it but we don't have a set cap" but don't kick the abusers off, just shape and throttle them during peak usage, and then let them hit it hard at 3 in the morning.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Just curious

Please read what I said again. I questioned "backbone to the Internet". I understand that relative to wires, fiber bandwidth is unlimited. From that perspective, yes, all the "technological" limitations are in the wire plant, not the fiber plant. However, my question doesn't have anything to do with comparing fiber with wires. I'm asking whether or not major cable players have at least reached a temporary equilibrium where a last-mile coax node is sufficiently small as to no longer represent a major limiting factor. Furthermore, if they eliminated DOCIS speeds, the aggregate bandwidth would combine and be limited by their Internet drains rather than their coax plant.

The reason I ask is because over the last several years I've witnessed a relentless march by cable providers to ever faster base speeds. I can remember when my package was 3Mbps, then 8Mbps, then 12Mbps and then 15Mbps. Although I'm currently stuck with a multi-year fixed-price deal, the base is now 30Mbps! All of these increases seem to have had no impact on peak performance and it makes me wonder how they do this and keep ~70 analog channels. It seems impossible unless their coax nodes are so small that the coax segment, at least for the moment, isn't limiting their capabilities.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Just curious

Very little of the relative bandwidth on a plant is for DOCSIS. 3-5% would be typical.

It's really hard to know if they have enough backbone capacity. But we do know it's easy to add. Just add more fiber.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Just curious

Yes, easier than replacing coax with fiber but how cost prohibitive is it? Does removing DOCSIS speed limits mean they have to double or triple their capacity to the Internet (i.e. add capacity from their upstream providers -- Verizon, Qwest, AT&T, Level3, C&W etc.) or in other cases, their own existing fiber WANs that feed traffic to a major Internet access cities (NYC, WDC, CHI, SF, etc.)

For instance, Charter in St. Louis appears to have built its own private WAN between STL and KC so it can serve other plants they own in the state and connect with Qwest in KC. It also appears that they have built their own WAN between STL and Chicago to trade traffic in that major hub. Although St. Louis is well connected and Charter used ATT several years ago, it appears they have bypassed local interconnects in favor of trading a lot of traffic in Chicago. I can only guess they invested considerable capital in building these links and I wonder if the constraint is now managing the capacity of these links if they were to remove DOCSIS governors.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Just curious

I don't think there is any way to reliably run an uncapped system. One user could use up all the bandwidth on it.

Fiber is expensive, and while telcos have to do it, or else fail (U-Verse), because copper pair wire has so little bandwidth left in it, cable operators don't, as they would be much wiser to push 8-channel bonding, new versions of DOCSIS, 1ghz plants, SDV, and all-digital before they need a new medium to deliver their service.

The constraints on DOCSIS are all in the RF plant. Backhaul is easy to add. They can, and will, add DOCSIS speed and capacity as competition makes it necessary (as it has with FIOS).

The takeaway is that Comcast is much more comfortable pushing more bandwidth, more channels of DOCSIS, and more fiber farther out into the last mile than they are competing with price, and they want to keep it that way.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Just curious

".. no reliable way to run an uncapped system. One user could use up all the bandwidth..."

That statement doesn't make sense to me. What do you mean by this? DOCSIS 2 is only capable of around ~40Mbps. The current crop of D3 modems are only capable of about 300Mbps but only if current chipsets maximum channels are exploited. Surely FTTN that serves 300 houses with a 50% penetration rate (150 customers) isn't going to be exhausted by one user even if everyone is configured with 100Mbps capability. 1) It's doubtful even a heavy user will be able to max out such a connection on one site because the other end is governed. They would have to use a multi-site download or some other kind of other file transfer mechanism that specializes in using multiple sockets to maximize throughput. 2) If the 150 customers are served by bonding different sets of some 20 channels, it's statistically unlikely that multiple exceptional customers such as this will collide.
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8

Re: Just curious

... isn't going to be exhausted by one user even if everyone is configured with 100Mbps capability.

By definition, that's A CAP. Uncapped means zero obstruction to using the full bandwidth of the system. If it's capable of 40, you can use all 40. If it's capable of 300, you can use all 300.

If you don't think this is bad, or even possible, please stop by my office and I'll show you just how bad it can get thanks to ONE user! The *ONLY* thing that will put a limit in such a system is the speed of the remote side of the connection. (or connections) ISPs limit per user connection speeds and deploy queing methods to more evenly/fairly divide their finite bandwidth.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Just curious

You misunderstood what I meant by removing the throttle. We're also both probably using the wrong term for CAP since that's usually associated with a quantity of bytes over a period of time and not the speed at which they are transferred.

If one user can jeopardize the system, there are deep, deep issues that go beyond what we can discuss here.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Exactly. People used to uncap modems, and the cable companies cracked down on it, as if it became more widespread, it could have really screwed cable systems up... And yeah, one user could screw with a system if they were sucking the full bandwidth of all the channels.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Just curious

But that's in the past, isn't it? Isn't all that stuff now controlled by the CMTS? (i.e. PowerBoost?) If so, that means there's no excuse, other than poor management, for one user to lay waste to the "system" (whatever that means). At worst they can impact a node but if properly managed, the CMTS should be able to use pretty basic algorithms to balance what's available across all the node's active users. I say let them have it all...unless, as I've been postulating, the last mile is, for the moment, capable enough that if they did this, the problem would reveal itself upstream.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Just curious

Yes, Comcast does it farther upstream, but it's still a form of capping. It's necessary for a stable system.

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Isn't that how @home worked before they tried to merge with excite and went the way of the dodo bird?

AMDUSER
Premium
join:2003-05-28
Earth,
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Time Warner Cable

Not bad...

Well, this should help the earnings a little bit.. [it says on Stopthecap - that At&t was using agressive promotions].. I find that very believable. [I saved about $30 per month dumping TWC phone and internet..]
This could prove intersting locally, as that is faster then most of the At&t IPDSL services available locally.
dragonman300

join:2011-03-02
Anaheim, CA

1 recommendation

..

AWWWW ((( Just increase the upload speed! I will take 2mbps upload!
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06

Re: ..

Yeah, upload is weak. If you maxed both you probably won't even get above 10mb/s
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: ..

How do you figure that?
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06

Re: ..

Downloading requires some upload overhead. On something like 100/1 it would be impossible to reach full download speed. Effect on 15/1 isn't that bad, but it's not good either
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: ..

Relatively common misconception.

Yes, TCP has to have a stream of responses.

No, they don't take even 1% of your bandwidth.

More like 0.1%.

I dislike highly asymmetric connections as much as anyone else, but you'll have no problem hitting 15 Mbps down and 0.9 Mbps up simultaneously.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

2012

in 2012, even with dsl.. it's embarassing to have broadband below 15 megabits.. and for a cableco in the top 4...
Splork

join:2001-02-20
Austin, TX

Increase!

This is just a precursor to a rate increase in 2013. "Oh hey, remember when we doubled your internet speed? Now I need $5 more per month."
bugabuga

join:2004-06-10
Austin, TX

Re: Increase!

But they've already increased the rates by $4
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06
Let's hope there isn't metered billing...

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

my basic is already 15 - what now

i pay standard and test at 15/1 non prime time and 10/1 prime times.



so am i already getting 15 or will i get 20/1 and 15/1 during 2013
FYI: i got my own SB5101U so no new $4 fees on my monthly bill.
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

I have grandfathered turbo at 15/1 -do I get a price break?

I signed up for Turbo right before Oceanic TWC discontinued the 15/1 tier. I am not happy with it because I don't get anywhere near 15 down and I am paying $10 a month more for a small increase or no increase in speed.

So, what happens when Standard gets 15/1? Does that mean $10 is knocked of my bill each month? Or do I get current Turbo for 20/2 for the extra $10?
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3

Re: I have grandfathered turbo at 15/1 -do I get a price break?

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.

A friend of mine currently is paying $36.95 for "Standard Internet" and an extra $10.00 for "Turbo Internet Upgrade 15mbps" (that is what it says on her bill).

Now, TWC can do whatever they want, but I don't see them doing nothing. If they did, I know a LOT of people would drop the Turbo and save themselves the extra $10 each month for the same speed. This in turn would cause TWC to loose $10 a month on a lot of customers.

I would think that something would change for those on turbo. Hopefully, they bump up that tier (to 20mbps or 25mbps?) and keep collecting the extra $10 a month. I feel that would be fair.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Re: I have grandfathered turbo at 15/1 -do I get a price break?

I just sent an email to someone at Oceanic TWC who should know and, if he doesn't, he'll find out quickly. He's out of the office a lot though and I got a "out of office" auto reply back which isn't helpful as it says he will be back on "August 2, 2012".

15/1 no longer exists though....at least not here. I got it just before Oceanic stopped selling it so I am on a grandfathered plan. Turbo currently is 20/2 and TWC announcement said nothing about that tier also being upgraded. In Hawaii, the only folks who have Turbo at 15/1 are those grandfathered in who did not move to the 20/2 tier when that was introduced at $20 a month more than Standard tier and $10 a month more than what had been Turbo (15/1).

I agree TWC will lose money if they do nothing except raise Standard to 15/1. I too will revert to Standard if that is the case. But here, there are not many on 15/1 since it is grandfathered as of last August 1 and no new customers could sign up for it . So, TWC may do nothing. I don't think the money lost if they do nothing would be significant ...at least not in my division.

I think they should make current Turbo at 20/2 only $10 a month more than Standard...not the current $20 a month more. I don't think it is worth that. Or keep the $20 a month more than Standard and up the speed to 25/2.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

banditws6
Shrinking Time and Distance
Premium
join:2001-08-18
Frisco, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

Not too shabby, but would like more upload

I was just saying to my friend yesterday (who is also on TWC) how I hoped competitive forces would push TWC to increase base speeds. Glad to see it happen. Since I am not a TV subscriber I feel like I am paying a lot for not too much (I'm on the 10/1), and this will help some.

Still, can we please get some more upload in here? 1 Mbps in the age of cloud storage is seriously painful. Even if you subscribed to the top speed tier package TWC offers in this area, you still only get 5 Mbps up. Ugh.
--
"The counsel of fools is all the more dangerous the more of them there are." -Ólafr Höskuldsson

waldoooo

join:2001-12-15
Fountain Valley, CA

always tests 15mb download anyway

I wish they would up the base upload speed a little bit, its really sad when my cell phone will upload at 2x-3x the speed of my home connection. When I have sent a couple large files I tethered to my cell to do it faster
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay

Cap

Usually in these threads, someone mentions this is just a way to hit the monthly download cap sooner.

I'm kinda proud of ya'll for not doing it this time.

•••
slyphoxj

join:2002-06-23
Brook Park, OH
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·WOW Internet and..
·magicjack.com
·Callcentric

1 edit

Yet another reason to consider leaving WOW

Hmmmmm......

My household currently pays $110+change a month to WOW for 15/2 internet (own my modem, so no modem rental charge ), Digital TV Basic (fewer HD channels than we had with with TWC), 3 HD boxes ($21/month just for the privilege of being able to see the HD versions of all the SD channels WOW sends in clearQAM on all our TV's).

We're getting fed up with the pixelation and freezing on the HD channels. A firmware upgrade they did to my modem caused a "watchdog timer" issue (but it appears to have finally been fixed now). And not only that, WOW upgraded (more like downgraded) their billing/admin system... people in the WOW forum here are complaining about 75 minute wait times!

My sister got a nice promo for $31.98/month from TWC for 12 months for basic 70 channel analog cable... too difficult to get all of the 19 Cleveland area OTA broadcast channels reliably in her "dugout" apartment (term I coined for a bottom floor apartment that's partially below grade). The simple rabbit ears, even the amplified ones, weren't getting the job done.

I could get analog basic cable from TWC for ~$32/month for 1 year and AT&T 3/0.5 DSL for $14.95 for a year... less than half of what we're paying to WOW now! Having HD and the faster speeds is nice, but $110 for cable + internet is a bit hard for me to stomach.

We're going to call TWC again and see if they can get close to the ~$88/month we were paying for 10/1 RoadRunner, digital cable, 1 HD box and 1 HD DVR box (this promo ran out right before we switched to WOW about a year ago).

EDIT: Added "from TWC" to the paragraph beginning with "My sister..."

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4

Which markets, caps, faster uploads, etc.?

It said most... Which ones are and are not getting the speed upgrades?

What about caps, faster uploads, etc.? I guess the new monthly cable modem rental fees pay for this speed upgrade.
ExoticFish

join:2008-08-31
Stuarts Draft, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Which markets, caps, faster uploads, etc.?

Don't think it is costing TWC 300 million to increase speeds that small amount. LoL
--
»www.VAJeeps.com
Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
The Stop the Cap article says ALL get it.

Oceanic TWC still has no idea about it and this is some persons in management. So, I think Corporate hasn't said much, if anything, to the divisions yet.

I was offered 20/2 today for the same price I pay now for grandfathered Turbo at 15/1. It's a year's promotion but if Standard does go to 15/1 this year then I don't think Oceanic can continue to charge $20 a month more for 20/2. So, the year's promotion will likely become permanent.

I could not get it turned on today because I have a DOCSIS 2 rental modem and Oceanic will not provision 20/2 on any modem except two DOCSIS 3 Motorola Surfboards you can rent or buy. So, I may be waiting as long as a month for Oceanic to get out here with the 6141 modem and check things to get me a better upstream power level. (I won't know the appointment time until next Monday or Tuesday).
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson