As Google Fiber approaches in Austin, Time Warner ups broadband speeds

Time Warner Cable home subscribers will get big jumps in broadband speed at no extra cost

With Google Fiber about to begin a fiber Internet service in Austin, Texas, Time Warner Cable said Thursday it is increasing home broadband speeds in the city by up to six times while keeping the price flat.

The move is a powerful demonstration of the effects of competition in the telecom market. It comes a day after Google announced plans to significantly expand the reach of its broadband data service and as regulators are weighing the effects on competition of a proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast.

Time Warner said all Austin customers will see download speeds increase. At the low end, the US$15-per-month 2Mbps (megabit-per-second) service will be increased to 3Mbps downstream. The $65-per-month "Ultimate" 50Mbps service will see download speeds rise to as fast as 300Mbps. Upload speeds will jump at all tariffs except for the $15 service. "Ultimate" uploads will jump from 5Mbps to 20Mbps.

Time Warner said the speeds will be offered by the fall of 2014. Google has promised it will begin connecting homes to its Fiber service from the middle of the year.

Time Warner didn't explicitly mention Google's looming Austin launch in a news release, but the company did take a dig at the search engine and advertising giant.

"In stark contrast to our competitors, upon completion of this short rollout phase, these faster speeds and choices will be available to every Time Warner Cable customer in every area we serve in the Austin market, not just select neighborhoods," Kathy Brabson, the area vice president of operations for Time Warner Cable in Central Texas, said in the release.

Google has yet to announce which neighborhoods will get access to its Fiber service and hasn't announced its prices, but in Provo, Utah, and Kansas City -- the only two places where the service is currently available -- it costs $70 per month for Internet service and $120 per month with the addition of cable TV.

Time Warner's move is exactly the kind of thing Google is hoping to prompt with its entry into the consumer Internet business, said Jeff Kagan, a technology industry analyst.

"Broadband has been growing and speeding up year after year in the U.S., so there's nothing new with that," he said. "But Google wanted more speed faster than the network schedule. They are speeding up the transformation of high-speed Internet."

At present, most consumers don't need such fast connections. A gigabit connection might mean a Netflix or Amazon movie downloads in a few seconds rather than a few minutes, but there aren't many other applications -- for now.

"Consumers didn't need all the speed they were getting from their cable company five years ago. Now they do," he said.

Kagan speculated that future connections may need to go faster as more devices share the same broadband pipe and new applications, such as telemedicine, become more commonplace.

On Wednesday, Google announced a list of 34 candidate cities where its Fiber service could expand next. The company said it will talk with municipalities throughout 2014 before announcing firm expansion plans.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags broadbandGoogletelecommunicationCarriersTime Warner Cable

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?