Insists That if People Want 1 Gbps, They'll Provide it.
"If there is demand for [1 Gbps] service we will provide it," Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Rob Marcus told attendees of a conference this week while discussing Google Fiber. Speaking at the Broadcast and Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Summit
yesterday, Marcus stated that while the company may eventually have to raise speeds to compete with Google Fiber, so far the company hasn't had to.
Granted at the moment Google Fiber's footprint is minuscule. Marcus claims that Google Fiber's deployment currently only impacts about 100,000 broadband customers, and around 100,000 cable TV customers. The COO also spent plenty of time downplaying the need for 1 Gbps services, and questioning consumer demand for such speeds.
"It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of a 1 Gbps service," Marcus said. "If there is, we will provide it. Our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today. We're prepared to compete head to head with Google."
If you've followed Time Warner Cable comments in the past, you'll know it's probably untrue the company is willing or even capable of offering symmetrical 1 Gbps connections, much less at $70 a month.
This is a company that has consistently insisted that the demand just isn't there for even 50 Mbps speeds, though with little to no competition pressuring them in the vast majority of their markets, they've had the luxury of keeping the price high for their fastest tier, while deploying DOCSIS 3.0 more sluggishly than companies like Comcast. Were Time Warner Cable to lower the prices for their high end product, they'd seen the demand the company claims doesn't exist miraculously skyrocket.
As noted previously serious competition is unfamiliar territory for Time Warner Cable, who also sees pressure from Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse in a minority portion of their network. The company's attempt to compete with Google Fiber so far has consisted of trying to lock down locals into long term contracts. One local says Time Warner Cable is even offering locals free tickets to the new Twilight movie
if they stayed with the cable operator.
That's more "competition theater" that seriously competing, and Time Warner Cable will inevitably have to boost speeds and lower prices in Kansas City, even if they continue to pretend that nobody wants a symmetrical 1 Gbps line for $70 a month.