Competition is working in the broadband market.
On July 31, telecom provider Time Warner Cable announced that it plans to deploy faster Internet connectivity and enhanced TV offerings in six major markets around the nation. The upgrades, scheduled for next year, will be in the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.; Dallas; Kansas City, Mo.; San Antonio; San Diego; and the state of Hawaii. Time Warner is calling the new service “TWC Maxx.”
Current Time Warner Internet customers will receive faster speeds and upgraded DVR service for no additional cost, the Charlotte Observer reported. Upgrades already underway in Los Angeles, New York City and Austin are scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.
Time Warner’s announcement comes after similar announcements made by AT&T and Google. Google announced in February that it was considering deploying Fiber in 34 new cities, which include Charlotte, Raleigh and San Antonio, and Kansas City is already a Google Fiber city. AT&T announced in April that it was looking at 100 cities where it would deploy gigabit Internet service. The company launched service in Austin, and is now deploying the service in Dallas, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem. Kansas City, Charlotte, San Diego and San Jose are also on AT&T’s list of proposed expansion cities.
One of Google’s goals with its fiber offering was to “scare the pants off” the incumbent broadband providers, Gartner Research Vice President Ian Keene told Government Technology in mid-June. Whether the new network upgrade announcements by AT&T and Time Warner qualify as meeting Google’s goal is unclear, but the search giant is driving market competition where previously there was little. -- Colin Wood