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Time Warner Cable: You Don't Want 1 Gbps Broadband
You Want What We Give You at the Price We Give It
by Karl Bode 10:36AM Thursday Feb 28 2013
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.

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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.

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Hamilton, OH

3 recommendations


Look at all the naive and short sighted people standing up for cable companies. How pathetic.

The history of technology shows us time and time again, that short sighted people stand around surmising that the technology they have today is all anyone will ever need.

You all say that today, there is no need for 1gbps. And that shows how ignorant you are. Of course there is no need, because nearly NO ONE has that kind of speed available.

You don't develop some technology for something that doesn't even exist.

You can rest assured that once 1gbps IS available to the masses, there will be services that will take advantage following right along.

Most of you come off as cable company shills, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit, frankly.


Binghamton, NY

2 recommendations

reply to mob

Dearest Mob

Most consumers will not pay $70/mo for broadband service, regardless of how fast or slow it is. $70/mo in my neck of the woods buys you a 30mbit/s connection, which is not bad at all IMHO, yet the overwhelming majority of people still opt for the 5mbit/s tier. Hell, the 10mbit/s tier is only $5/mo more than the 5mbit/s tier, yet it sees significantly reduced uptake. Uptake of the 30mbit/s and 50mbit/s tiers is exceedingly uncommon, and the handful of people I know who have them got them through special promotions or bundles. Nobody called up and bought it out of the blue at full sticker price.

Make a case for why $70/mo provides enough value to John Q. Public to justify an extra $30/mo over a standard connection. That's $360/yr, which is real money to most people. Hell, I'm a geek with 13 years in Information Technology, and I'm too budget conscious to pay for such speeds.

On the next level..

2 recommendations

Dearest Time Warner

I again ask you to offer the same deal as Google Fiber. See how fast your take up rate is, then get back to us.