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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationCarriersGoogleTime Warner Cablebroadband

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?