Last December Time Warner Cable Rob Marcus insisted
that there was no demand for 1 Gbps service, though if there was the company would surely provide it. His evidence? Not many users are signing up for the company's fastest tiers, intentionally ignoring that it's likely the very steep price tag that keeps those users away. The comments generally weren't received well by users, and now the company's back for round two.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference this week, Time Warner Cable's Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves was the latest company executive to inform consumers what they do or don't actually want
. When asked about Google Fiber offering symmetrical 1 Gbps connections for $70 a month, Esteves repeated the company's line that consumers really just don't want those kinds of speeds:
"We're in the business of delivering what consumers want, and to stay a little ahead of what we think they will want. We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers. We're already delivering 1 gigabit, 10 gigabit-per-second to our business customers, so we certainly have the capability of doing it."..."A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options, she said. "If Google finds the magic pill and finds applications that require that and develops a need for it, well terrific" she said. "We would build our product base in order to deliver that."
Time Warner Cable wants the conversation to be about whether you need
a 1 Gbps line, not about why Time Warner Cable doesn't offer the more reasonable rates many users want. Update
: Judging from comments below, the distraction is working pretty well on some people.
Time Warner Cable has been significantly slower than Comcast to deploy faster DOCSIS 3.0 technology because they see limited competition in most markets. That lack of competition has also resulted in higher prices, and those higher prices are why the company doesn't see users rushing toward those faster offerings. Like many phone and cable companies Time Warner Cable's upstream speeds in particular leave much to be desired, and aren't meeting consumer demand.
The argument over whether or not you need
1 Gbps is irrelevant. Offering symmetrical gigabit speeds at $70 a month shows vision for the applications and content to come. Using regulatory capture and a lack of competition to drive up rates while failing to keep your network upgraded (or in some occasions and locations even adequately maintained) is the American status quo. Time Warner Cable, like most larger ISPs, would like you to applaud the latter.