Time Warner Cable Doesn't Think There's Demand For Google Fiber

from the in-denial dept

It's sometimes cute to see the big broadband providers in denial about what consumers want (and how little they do to provide it). With Google Fiber getting so much attention in Kansas City, Time Warner Cable has been looking rather dated lately. In trying to compete, it's offering cheaper service to families with kids and increasing WiFi hotspots, but that hardly seems compelling compared to the massive speeds at low prices that Google is offering.

However, Time Warner Cable's latest strategy is complete denial: arguing that there isn't really demand for Google Fiber. The evidence? If there was demand, then Time Warner Cable would be offering a service like that already. Logic!
"If there is demand for [1 Gbps] service we will provide it," Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Rob Marcus told attendees of a conference this week while discussing Google Fiber. Speaking at the Broadcast and Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Summit yesterday, Marcus stated that while the company may eventually have to raise speeds to compete with Google Fiber, so far the company hasn't had to.

Granted at the moment Google Fiber's footprint is minuscule. Marcus claims that Google Fiber's deployment currently only impacts about 100,000 broadband customers, and around 100,000 cable TV customers. The COO also spent plenty of time downplaying the need for 1 Gbps services, and questioning consumer demand for such speeds.

"It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of a 1 Gbps service," Marcus said. "If there is, we will provide it. Our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today. We're prepared to compete head to head with Google."
The thing is, you don't look to provide the faster speeds after the applications are there to take advantage of it. That's getting the equation backwards. And, of course, there are significant questions as to whether or not TWC could even offer such speeds. But showing up well after there are applications and services that use it, means being way late to the party.


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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    They are also in denial about the real appeal of Google fiber by focusing on the speed. Sure, there are some techies that really want that speed. But for most people it is about the lower cost. From Time Warner's perspective, providing more speed is relatively cheap, especially if the FCC keeps letting them advertise "up to" speeds. Reasonable prices are what really scares the big cable companies.

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Sure, there are some techies that really want that speed. But for most people it is about the lower cost.

      The only thing keeping me on cable internet right now is the lack of competition for high speed. I was hoping AT&T or Verizon would compete on FIOS, but both have failed to wire my area, and instead are offering DSL (@1mbps) or LTE/WIMAX with a greatly limited bandwidth cap (I use those when camping, and max them out over one weekend.)

      If Google wired up my area with a 10mbps connection, I'd jump ship. The only difference between 5mbps cable and a 1mbps DSL line is speed (they both cost the same,) and 10mbps would come with no limits on how to use the connection (which I currently have) and twice the speed for what (if the prices remain the same as what they have in KC,) I currently pay. I don't care about speed as much as I care about unfettered access to the network, though I do care about speed. Cable companies keep complaining about Netflix and HULU eating into their profits and my biggest concern is that they will do something to block or limit access to those services.

      From Time Warner's perspective, providing more speed is relatively cheap, especially if the FCC keeps letting them advertise "up to" speeds. Reasonable prices are what really scares the big cable companies.

      Nail hit squarely on the head.

       

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        Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re:

        ...and instead are offering DSL (@1mbps) or LTE/WIMAX with a greatly limited bandwidth cap (I use those when camping, and max them out over one weekend.)

        I think you're doing it wrong...

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you're doing it wrong...

          I agree. Roughing it for me is Holiday Inn without reservations...when I go "camping" it is in an RV so I am cheating already. Gone are the days when I am sleeping in a -20* bag in a tent on the ground, so it is all wrong but I don't think I'll ever be able to fix it at my age.

           

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      TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      Perhaps I fit in the "techie" crowd, but I would happily pay more for additional speed.

      I do of course expect the prices to be reasonable, but I said reasonable, not cheap or the same as I am paying now.

       

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    Jeff (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    The first sentence says it all...

    "If [we think] there is demand for [1 Gbps] service we will provide it," Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Rob Marcus


    meaning there will never be a "demand" for 1 Gbps service unless the taxpayers subsidize it, and then pay through the nose for it, and be screwed repeatedly with no recourse, with no competition from pipsqueak upstarts...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      Welcome to Denmark. Replace the name Time Warner Cable with TDC and you have an almost word for word exact quote from their press servicee. I have a suspicion that it is a coordinated attempt at avoiding their contractual obligations to roll out fiber.

       

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      jd2112 (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 8:18pm

      Re:

      What they mean is "There is no demand for 1Gbps service at the price we would charge for it."

       

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    RD, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Correction

    However, Time Warner Cable's latest strategy is complete denial: arguing that there isn't really demand for Google Fiber. The evidence? If there was *competition*, then Time Warner Cable would be offering a service like that already. Logic!

    FTFY.

    The problem is a lack of *competition* and monopoly-controlled markets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    This is modern spin speak. translation, We do not intend to supply 1Gbps service therefoore there is no demand for it.

     

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    Mike Shore, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    "Our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today." Wha..? I thought there was a broadband crunch, hence the need to impose caps?

     

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      MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      "broadband crunch" translates to less profits because we have to provide more capacity.

       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

      Re:

      "It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of a 1 Gbps service," Marcus said. "If there is, we will provide it.
      That would be interesting Rob Marcus. You know what would also be interesting? If we slightly change that quote:
      "It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of an unlimited broadband service," Marcus said. "If there is, we will provide it.
      Interesting indeed, and yet, TWC is doing all they can to introduce broadband caps.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    If they think there's no demand, they must have their eyes closed and their ears plugged. Just about everyone I know wants it and those that don't, don't know about it.

     

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    sheenyglass (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    I think what they mean is that there is no demand for 1 Gbps service at the rate they want to charge. Since they charge around $30-$40/month for speeds that top out at 20 Mbps, this would be $1500-$2000/month.

    So no, there is probably very little demand for a $2000 a month internet plan. A 1 Gbps plan in a market with actual competition however...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    I really hope google obliterates the ISPs in the US.

    And comes to Canada too :D

     

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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    TWC in denial about a lot of stuff

    This isn't shocking to me at all. TWC doesn't believe in cord cutters either, writing us off as impoverished or ignorant. Their hubris will catch up with them eventually.

    Do I need 1Gbps? Probably not, but I'd probably be a lot happier in the summer and afternoons when all the kids get on my local cable Internet node and slow things to a crawl.

     

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      Celtic, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

      Re: TWC in denial about a lot of stuff

      I agree, I dropped my cable internet and use a HD/Digital antenna connected to a DVR and have never been happier.

       

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    Travis, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Are you kidding?

    If I could get 1Gbps service AND fully use it, I'd be on that ship in a heartbeat. Hell, if Google was in my town, I'd jump on that in a split second. Google's treat me far better than any telecom.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    So first the competition complains to the government that it's not fair. Next they try to claim no one wants it. What's next? Saying that the only people who use it are pirates?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    I would massacre infants for an affordable 1Gbps line.

    Also:

    "or LTE/WIMAX with a greatly limited bandwidth cap (I use those when camping, and max them out over one weekend.)"

    ....Uh, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I think you're camping wrong.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      If you are 'camping' and there is cell service available, you are definitely doing it wrong, at least from a Pacific Northwest perspective.

      The point of camping is to get AWAY from the tethers and interruptions of daily city life, at least from my perspective.

      A campfire, a good book, and someone to snuggle up to at night are all that are necessary for good camping, everything else is just gravy...

       

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    JWW (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Prediction

    As Google continues to expand its service in KC, we'll start to see a trend of Tech companies moving/starting up there because of the draw it will have for their workers.

    This might also draw telecommuters to KC as well.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Prediction

      As Google continues to expand its service in KC, we'll start to see a trend of Tech companies moving/starting up there because of the draw it will have for their workers.

      This might also draw telecommuters to KC as well.


      Do you think that will actually happen? Silicon Valley/the Bay area is an expensive place to set up a business and yet companies continue to do so.

       

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      Mr. Applegate, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

      Re: Prediction

      There are MANY areas that offer fiber service, though most of them are business areas and not residential. I consult for several businesses located in those areas. What Google is doing is running it to the home. That is a little different and FAR less common. Verizon toyed with it, but I think they gave up.

      I have to admit, I would jump on it for my home. I would dump Comcast so fast they would wonder what happened.

       

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        Lokovious (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: Prediction

        I just moved to a place with Fios from Comcast, love the speed. We need it with all the devices that connect to the internet. And I'm a geek (IT Tech) that needs to be able to VNC "in". We also have I think 9-10 devices online. Its not about how fast the lines are its about the width of the lines.

         

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    TWC can't keep their story straight

    "If there is demand for [1 Gbps] service we will provide it,"


    and

    Marcus stated that while the company may eventually have to raise speeds to compete with Google Fiber, so far the company hasn't had to.


    The second quote says there is demand, but there's no competition so they don't care.

    These can't both be true. Which is it?

     

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

      Re: TWC can't keep their story straight

      Both 'can' be true.

      Just because Google provides the capability doesn't mean that there *is* demand for it. Just that now in advertising Google would be faster and people would want that.

      They completely buried the lead though:

      "Our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today."

      So point blank they could do more today and are choosing not too. Hence it's in the ground and wouldn't cost them a damned penny to turn it on.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Everyone needs 1Gb internet they just don't know it yet.

    If they saw what can be done they would be sold.

    - Almost instant mail retrieval.
    - Websites load faster.
    - Cloud actually starts to make sense, and one has to wonder why media companies don't want it because it is their only chance to create walled gardens.
    - Telepresence becomes attractive with all that it entails how about consulting your doctor over the internet? if he only needs to hear the sound of your heart and ask you some questions why do you have to go to a clinic/hospital do it in your home and send all the data to him. Also one can work from home now.

    And so much more.

    If they don't want to do it they should let others at least try, communities would be more than glad to start building up physical networks.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

      Re:

      I disagree. A lot of people need it, but certainly not everybody.

      Almost instant mail retrieval: I have that right now.

      Websites load faster: I don't have any problem with websites loading slowly except when the site server is having a problem.

      Cloud actually starts to make sense: Only if you're at home, and only if by "makes sense" you are discounting all of the myriad risks and problems with the cloud.

      Telepresence becomes attractive with all that it entails how about consulting your doctor over the internet: The average broadband connection right now provides more than enough bandwidth to do this effectively.

       

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        harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re:

        so, i have to agree with all the points you said here... but...

        the inclusion of "at an artificially inflated price combined with at times shockingly horrific customer service and no real compitition" would tend make all those points (which, as i said, i do agree with) a rather moot point really.

         

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Google can have the market and spend the money

    Rewiring the country is an expensive proposition. Not that many companies want to do it.

    If Google wants to, I don't think many companies are going to fight them for that business. And this can be viewed as very sensible. The ROI may not be good enough for most companies to get into that business.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Google can have the market and spend the money

      If Google wants to, I don't think many companies are going to fight them for that business.


      Companies already have been fighting Google, various municipalities, and any other outsider group who has tried to do this before. They absolutely want to prevent this service from existing outside of their control.

      They don't want to provide the service themselves. If someone else does, they'll either lose customers to the new service or have to provide a comparable service. It's easier just to prevent that problem from ever happening in the first place.

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

        Re: Re: Google can have the market and spend the money

        They don't want to provide the service themselves. If someone else does, they'll either lose customers to the new service or have to provide a comparable service. It's easier just to prevent that problem from ever happening in the first place.

        If the capacity is already there and it's just a matter of turning it on, then yes having Google come in might encourage the current cable provider to do more.

        But if it is a matter of the current cable provider having to spend more, then opening up the market to Google won't necessary attract other companies to spend the investment to rewire cities. Who other than Google is currently clamoring to rewire entire cities?

         

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

      Re: Google can have the market and spend the money

      From the article:
      "Our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today."

      Comcast already did the wiring. They just aren't turning it on. BIG difference.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Google can have the market and spend the money

      Last I read to rewire the cities in the US, just the cities, is 70 billion. So for 1/10th the cost of the Bank Bailout, every city in America could have fiber.

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re: Google can have the market and spend the money

        Last I read to rewire the cities in the US, just the cities, is 70 billion. So for 1/10th the cost of the Bank Bailout, every city in America could have fiber.

        I've long been in favor of improving infrastructure as a way to put people to work and lift us out of recession. Congress doesn't like government spending, however, unless the money goes to the "right" industries.

         

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    If I had any shares of Time Warner, I'd be selling them if this is the way they think in the board room. This is like a record company exec saying, "If there was any demand for digital music, we'd be providing it" right before mp3s took off. By the time you decide to get on that train, it's already left the station.

     

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      Casey, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      I think that would be pretty foolish actually. It is the telcos who are losing customers. Time Warner is raking them in at the moment and there is no reason to believe that will change. Google Fiber or not.

      It took years for Google Fiber to go from planning to being implemented in Kansas City. They are not going to pop up in more cities over night. If Time Warner begins to feel threatened, they will upgrade infrastructure.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        and still sux ass at doing it... so there is still kinda a difference between Google and Big Cable...

         

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        Bengie, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re:

        I think he's talking about the long run and may have over exaggerated the "right now" portion.

        Fiber infrastructure has gotten cheap enough that a start-up with enough funds and connections could easily pull the rug from under the incumbents.

         

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    WDS (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    The proof of demand is in those areas where TWC & Google are both available, what percentage is on what service.

     

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    dennis deems (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    TWC provides exceptionally poor service in this city. I will enjoy seeing their business evaporate as Google Fiber gains ground.

     

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    crcb (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Former Time Warner Customer here

    We had (past tense) internet, phone and cable through Time Warner. Had problems with all, but I understand that glitches happen.

    We would have stuck with them from sheer inertia, but everything their customer service dept could do to aggravate us further, they did. Promise refunds that never came through? Check. Offer reduced rates, then refuse to honor them? Check. Call us after 11:00 p.m., which is bad enough, but *after* we had chosen the "do no call us for follow-up" option on the Customer Service phone menu? Check.

    We're eager to get our Google Fiber connection, but it's Time Warner who turned us into Google customers.

     

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    Casey, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Actually...

    You know actually, Time Warner is more right than they are wrong. The demand for 1 gbps speeds is simply not there. Fact of the matter is, the slower packages offered by ISPs are the best selling, even if the cost between them is minimal. Sure there are some who want or need faster speeds, but they really are relatively rare. For the majority of the US, price matters. Not speed. You can stream HD Netflix on 3mbps DSL and faster speeds have minimal impact on Facebook, gaming, or online shopping.

    That's not to say ISPs shouldn't upgrade infrastructure or offer faster speeds. But truly, the demand for Google fiber is not yet there.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

      Re: Actually...

      the demand for Google fiber is not yet there.


      By your own rationale, the demand depends on the price point. If the price structure and usage caps scale with the service speed, I can't see there ever being much demand for it. It'd be far, far too expensive. If, however, the price were reasonable -- reasonable meaning no more than is currently paid for mid-level service, as that service is already dramatically overpriced -- there would be great demand.

       

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        Casey, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re: Actually...

        True. But what speeds at what price is considered reasonable? Time Warner could change what people demand if they offered faster speeds at similar prices. But currently, there is not a lot of people complaining about speeds.

        In reality, $70 for 1gbps is very reasonable. But at the same time, it's $70. Most people don't pay that much for internet and for that reason many wouldn't take the service even if it were offered to them. There is just not a lot of demand for any speed when it costs $70 per month. If Google offered 100mbps for $40 per month, I think they would possibly even double the amount of subscribers they will get. But Google is not competing on price and that will limit the demand. Granted there is a free Google Fiber service, but the jury is still out on that one.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Actually...

          How do you figure that Google isn't competing on price?

          Their prices:
          $120 for 1g/1g internet and TV
          $70 for 1g/1g internet
          Free for 5m/1m internet

          I pay TWC $55 for 20m/2m (Turbo). Discounted because I have TV (no phone).

          For $60 and $80, I could upgrade to 30m/2m (Extreme) or 50m/5m (Ultimate). Now, compare those speeds and prices to what Google is offering. TWC simply isn't even on the same planet in terms of price and value.

          Verizon this year started offering 300m for....$210. 1/3rd the speed of Google fiber for 3 times the cost.

          These incumbent players aren't interested in competing on price. Why? Because they don't have to. They have monopoly or duopoly control in many of their areas and are under no pressure, from well, anyone, to actually compete.

          TWC will of course say there's no demand for this service. They can't offer it anyway. And even if they could, they wouldn't want to because they'd have to offer it for a lot less per month than they care to admit.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually...

            How do you figure that Google isn't competing on price?

            If Google is in the market, a cable operator that doesn't have to make additional investments can drop the price without losing money.

            These incumbent players aren't interested in competing on price. Why? Because they don't have to. They have monopoly or duopoly control in many of their areas and are under no pressure, from well, anyone, to actually compete.

            That's kind of the point. If Google isn't in a market, it doesn't present a threat. If it does go into a market and the current cable operator wants to stay there, it will need to offer a better price for what it offers.

            Cable operators can wait it out market by market.

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Actually...

          Most people don't pay that much for internet and for that reason many wouldn't take the service even if it were offered to them. There is just not a lot of demand for any speed when it costs $70 per month.


          Almost everyone in my area who has broadband is paying right around $70/mo for it right now. That's the cheapest price you can get for it over cable modem (and cable modem is the only realistic choice. DSL etc are too flaky and/or slow).

           

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            Casey, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 6:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually...

            You must live in an expensive area. I don't know anyone that pays over $55 for internet. Especially when you start bundling.

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually...

              An expensive state, apparently. I've lived in several different part of the state, and that's the going rate everywhere.

              That rate is for a lower service tier, with bundling. I subscribe to (but don't actually watch) cable television because the total is lower that way than if I got internet alone (which would cost closer to $90/mo).

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 6:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Actually...

          Hi. $70/mth is less than the average price of the lowest band of internet up here. In fact, it's $12 less than I'm currently paying.

          I'm in a major city in Canada. If I was still in my hometown, the same non-dial-up connection would cost me $175/mth. (The alternative is $40/mth, but as implied, that's dial-up)

           

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      Squirrel, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 7:17am

      Re: Actually...

      The demand for such speeds might not be there, but I'd buy google fiber just to get a consistant speed all day every day. My TWC connection is plenty fast at 7Mbps... but from 5pm to midgnight every day the reality is I get 1-2Mbps, with high latency. If I can't even stream youtube videos cleanly, my speeds are an issue. TWC would tell me to buy their Turbo package... but the reality is congestion at the nodes, not my "max speed". The reason no one buys anything but the cheapest package is because 'faster' cable packages are a lie.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

      Re: Actually...

      If the current speeds offered by TWC (20mbps, 30mbps) were consistent and didn't get knocked down to 1mbps in the evenings, and yes I am speaking from experience, then yes, the speeds would be satisfactory, at least to me. I get a pretty sour taste in my mouth when I'm paying $60 for 30mbps and I only get 1mbps down. That's why there is a huge demand for Google Fiber. It's a shame that there is so many hurdles for Google to jump, but if anyone can do it it's them.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Just more of Mike's pro-Google puffery.

    Local cable company upped speed several times to now 50Mbits for basically same $50/month with no limits, but I don't use that capacity. (Don't even have the right modem.) A gig is not necessary for even pretty good quality streaming, let alone for (yuck) Facebook, and such.

    Hardly anyone wants that speed except pirates! Here at Techdirt, the pirato-geeks* assume their greed to download free content is universal, but it ain't.

    * a new term: steal it





    Take a moment for Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick and click:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
    Actual unsolicited testimonial: "Until I read Techdirt.com, I didn't know what shameless self-promotion was!"

     

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      Jeff (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

      Re: Just more of Mike's pro-Google puffery.

      orly?


      with all the b.s. you spew, I'd assume that'd be using up most of the available bandwidth. But then again, in order to use bandwidth - you actually have to say something (transmit information).

       

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      Live from the Black Hole, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

      Re: Just more of Mike's pro-Google puffery.

      And the troll Judges are in:
      France 9.75
      Time-Warner 9.75
      RIAA 9.20

      Next time for a better score, do not let it be known that you have no clue what your are talking about and stick to your core "MIKE AND GOOGLE ARE BAD" / "EVERYONES A PIRATE" combo instead of trying to branch off

      Those combo made you the Troll Superstar you are..

       

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      martyburns (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 5:11am

      Re: Just more of Mike's pro-Google puffery.

      Local cable company upped speed several times to now 50Mbits for basically same $50/month with no limits, but I don't use that capacity. (Don't even have the right modem.) A gig is not necessary for even pretty good quality streaming, let alone for (yuck) Facebook, and such.

      I guess you're right.. Just like we don't need more than 640KB of RAM either.


      Hardly anyone wants that speed except pirates! Here at Techdirt, the pirato-geeks* assume their greed to download free content is universal, but it ain't.

      * a new term: steal it


      It's shit, I don't want it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    typical of all the entertainment industries! they dont think something should happen or they dont think there is a need for something, so they do whatever they can think of to stop it. they dont think about anything else or anyone else other than their own narrow minded outlook!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    If I had 1Gbps with a static IP I'd love to drop my hosting provider and fully host my own sites.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    I read another article recently where two reporters were sent to test Google fiber and how satisfied customers were with it. Turned up some interesting stuff.

    Google does indeed provide 1 gig symmetric connection. Doesn't do as much good as it should. Lots of in between hardware isn't setup for the speed and there is a noticeable lack of that 1 gig per second out on the net. Connect in the same city between two Google internet users and there it is. Another issue they hit was wifi. Seems most of the wifi won't support that speed either.

    What really got my attention was they addressed customer service. Once install is agreed on and paid for, a team shows up and does the outside work to the house. The next day an inside team comes in to wire the house, install the router, and other stuff if ordered, like a small wifi type connection for tv service.

    At a time of the customer's choosing, Google techs will show up to explain all the stuff or trouble shoot if necessary. The customer isn't expected to wait a day for whenever the tech decides to show up. According to the article, people were raving just over the customer service after experiencing TWC's excuse for customer service.

    TWC was so concerned for it's reputation they were actually sending out representatives to talk to their customers about satisfaction. You wouldn't have to be a fly on the wall to know how that went.

    While I would love the speed were it to come to my neighborhood, cost is indeed a factor or I would already have a business account with the better speed provided. Present cost of internet connection is a rip off with the prices jacked way up beyond any reason beyond gouging.

    As TWC admits, the cost isn't that much a factor, it's getting people to pay outrageous amounts for the service. Once again you see why the monopoly on utility service has not been in the benefit of the US. It's been purposely held back to rake in the money with slower, older, and restricted services.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      Since Wifi does 600Mbps MAX, on a MIMO router, of course "most of the wifi won't support that speed either". Wifi is about 400Mbps short of 1Gbps.

      Where do people get the idea that just because their internet connection is 1Gbps that everything else that was ever made in their network would automatically be that fast?

      it isn't about the transfer speeds. Its that its a faster link than any other *major* ISP has ever offered to its residential customers.

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Where do people get the idea that just because their internet connection is 1Gbps that everything else that was ever made in their network would automatically be that fast?

        If they are doing all of the Internet browsing on devices using wifi there's no need for them to get the extra speed right now. They don't see the benefit. However, cheaper prices for the same service is a different matter. And a company that isn't laying new fiber can win the price war for lower speeds because all it has to do is drop its prices rather than increase investment.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          TWC could lower its prices, but it can in no way compete with Google for speed without drastically changing their own infrastructure as well. I wouldn't care if TWC charged a dime for their service if I could pay $70 for Google fiber.

           

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        Bengie, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Who cares about getting 1Gb for any one device, I care about many devices running at the same time.

        Google is using 1:1 fiber with few choke points and Ethernet switches. I'm imagining city wide LAN parties.

        You could do Red v Blue style competition between two houses across the city and have it like they're playing locally.

         

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Right now Google is a limited threat

    Until and if Google actually expands across most of the country, cable operators really don't need to respond.

    And the big question is whether Google really plans to do this on a grand scale. A lot of people think not, both because of the expense and because it isn't its core business.

     

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      Greg G (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Right now Google is a limited threat

      it isn't its core business.

      Selling jewelry or appliances wasn't Amazon's core business, either.

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re: Right now Google is a limited threat

        Selling jewelry or appliances wasn't Amazon's core business, either.

        If Google decides to pump a lot of money into rewiring the country, so be it, but some people are skeptical that this will happen. I'm not sure Google yet knows whether it will happen.

        For some companies this might be ideal because it might remove Google's attention/resources from some industries to focus on this. If you want Google out of your playing field, then having Google go into a different playing field in a big way can reduce its threat to you.

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Right now Google is a limited threat

          In many respects this entire post confuses me because if Google wants to get into this in a big way, isn't it GOOD for Google that Time Warner doesn't think there is demand for Google fiber? Sneak up on them, right? Why bother to point it out to them?

           

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            Casey, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Right now Google is a limited threat

            If there is one thing Google will do for sure, sneaking up on Time Warner isn't it. Google moves far too slowly. We first heard of Google Fiber years ago. They are just now making it a reality, and remain uncertain if they are going to even expand it further than Kansas City.

             

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Right now Google is a limited threat

              If there is one thing Google will do for sure, sneaking up on Time Warner isn't it. Google moves far too slowly. We first heard of Google Fiber years ago. They are just now making it a reality, and remain uncertain if they are going to even expand it further than Kansas City.

              Yes, that is the point. Time Warner does what it wants for now because it is in markets where Google is not, and may never go.

               

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    Rob, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    They better hope Google Fiber stays in Kansas City and doesn't expand. The very minute Google Fiber becomes available in my area is when I cancel Road Runner service.

    I'm still pissed at them for trying to roll out usage caps in my area. They claimed that "bandwidth hogs" were clogging their network. Yet their own usage reports that they have to file with the SEC reports bandwidth usage minimal and a network with room to grow.

    In the end usage caps are just an excuse to raise prices.

     

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    cosmicrat (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    "If you are 'camping' and there is cell service available, you are definitely doing it wrong, at least from a Pacific Northwest perspective.

    The point of camping is to get AWAY from the tethers and interruptions of daily city life, at least from my perspective.

    A campfire, a good book, and someone to snuggle up to at night are all that are necessary for good camping, everything else is just gravy..."

    Actually I think he means "Camping" is a new game on Facebook.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Slime Warner if there was Competition here in Portland, Maine I would drop you in a heartbeat.I would do the same to any of the Six Strikes ISP's but instead I have to use you still.
    I am on a Non-Logging VPN so take that Slimebags.

    And yes I would love to try out Google Fiber.To bad they did not choose Portland, Maine !!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Maybe Time Warner Cable should quit making dumb statements and in return Google will show them what their customers really want.

     

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    Keroberos (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Time Warner is right. There is no demand for gigabit fiber...at least at the ridiculous price they would want to charge you for it.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    If Google Fiber showed up in my neighborhood I'd sign up so fast I'd be in violation of at least 17 laws of physics.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    My question is...

    Would Google engage in the same kind of spying they do with their other services?

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re: My question is...

      Would Google engage in the same kind of spying they do with their other services?

      I am assuming that would be part of the deal. If everything you do is run through Google, Google collects a lot of data on you.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Municipal broadband

    Remember the previous attempts at breaking the telco monopolies with municipal broadband? The ISPs shut them down via arbitrary lawsuit. Of course, they can't do that with Google.

    Well, what if Google teamed up with the municipal broadband groups? Let them use the "Google Fiber" name, helped them get set up, and prevented the monopolists from killing them off with legal fees.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 5:51pm

      Re: Municipal broadband

      Well, what if Google teamed up with the municipal broadband groups? Let them use the "Google Fiber" name, helped them get set up, and prevented the monopolists from killing them off with legal fees.

      Would this require communities to fund their own rewiring? If so, I don't think most of them have to the money right now to do that. I think it is a great idea to have a community to own the system, but trying to raise the money to do this might be hard in the current economic environment.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

    "We're prepared to compete head to head with Google." - Rob Markus, CEO of Time Warner Cable, December 2012

    "We're often asked specifically about Best Buy, but we have to remind folks that we can beat it" - Alan McCollough, CEO of Circuit City, September 21, 2005

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    Camping, WiFi

    Forty-five years ago, when I was a boy, and in the Boy Scouts, we had one of these fairly activist scoutmasters, straight out of the Army, and straight out of Combat Arms, so to speak. He did things like taking us camping in a Midwestern winter (which is considerably colder than a Pacific Northwest winter, as I know from having lived in both places), and we got sent up a bare ridge -spine a couple of hundred feet high. But, objectively, we were never more than a couple of miles from a subdivision. If you lay out a park, or a Boy Scout camp, cleverly, you can probably fit a five-mile trail within five hundred or a thousand acres or so. It's mostly a question of using ridges and belts of trees cleverly to block views. By now, of course, all that space is easily within cellphone coverage. The world has changed somehow.

    There are two kinds of Wi-Fi. The old variety is at 2.4 Ghz, which is only about 80 Mhz wide at best, and its capacity is as high as 54 Mbits under optimal conditions. The new "ad" protocol, operating at 60 Ghz, has a capacity of 7 Gbits, but its range is only across the room. New devices such laptops and smart-phones are increasingly being fitted to use both systems if available. It was not originally anticipated that people would want to use Wi-Fi merely to avoid plugging their computers into the wall with cables, but once the need was realized, a suitable radio band was selected.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IEEE_802.11#Protocols

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    I think this is what the execs are saying

    "Well if Google doesn't keep making promises in a national scale it can't keep...it's reasonable to believe that there is currently no demand for GoogleFiber in areas it doesn't exist."

    I think this is only partly correct though. Google could have gone to almost any place the wanted to tap into. But then again it's mostly Strawman from Time Warner Cable...

     

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    tac not logged in, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 3:25am

    Customers do not want it... because it would come with a 5gb dl cap and cost $20 for every mb over the cap.

    TAC

     

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    bsod, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 5:49am

    data caps

    weren't they just complaining that they needed to cap their users because they couldn't handle the traffic. They specifically said that the data caps were not to squash their competitors and price gouge.

     

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    Lobo, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Wrong approach to their smack talk

    If they really wanted to turn people off of Google fiber they should talk about advertising, user metrics, demographics and all the tracking that Google does. Specifically mention the gmail parsing.

    Then they should imply that they might resort to deep packet inspection and maybe even mention what a man in the middle attack is. Also imply that since Google could watch everything you do online the government may eventually require them to store that data for future access.

    I mean if you're gonna FUD, do it right.

     

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    Paul, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Looking forward to Google Fiber

    I live in an area that will eventually get Google Fiber. Of the 9 co-workers all 9 are planning to drop Time Warner Cable, Cox, and SureWest (the KC metro has three cable providers). The attitude of our current cable companies infuriates us all. We cannot wait to cut our current cable connections. What's really interesting is Google's publishing all the numbers by Fiberhood. The numbers are amazing and Time Warner Cable is going to dissappear in KC metro area without a similar package with same value.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Good timing...

    Rob Marcus made this speech last week. It got posted to Techdirt yesterday.

    Today, the Seattle mayor's office announced that they'd made a deal to roll out a gigabit fiber network. The initial demonstration will cover around 50,000 homes and businesses, with plans to then expand the coverage to the entire city.

    This would seem to demonstrate that there is significant demand for gigabit fiber, at least in Seattle -- and that TWC won't be providing it, because the city made their deal with a company called Gigabit Squared.

    I didn't think that Rob Marcus was correct at any point, but I do find myself somewhat amused by his horrible timing.

     

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    mark, Feb 20th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    TWC died 15 years ago...

    As an ex TWC executive its sad to see the "suits" that currently manage the business... There may not be a case for GF type of speeds, but the TWC team has milked their duopoly status to the point of extinction...
    As both an ex Comcast & TWC subscriber (two homes), I switched to DirectTV (far better value and service) and ATT/Verizon DSL services...
    I would welcome any broadband competition that provides 20m at a $40 price.
    You need GF to keep these companies "honest".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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