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Time Warner Boosts Broadband Customer Speed — But Only Near Google Fiber 203

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-coincidence dept.
An anonymous reader writes " Rob is a Time Warner Cable customer, and he's received two really interesting things from them lately. First, a 50% speed boost: they claim to have upgraded the speed of his home Internet connection. That's neat. Oh, and they've also cut his bill, from $45 to $30. Wow! What has prompted this amazing treatment? Years of loyalty and on-time payments? No, not exactly. Rob lives in Kansas City, pilot site for Google Fiber. Even though they have shut off people in other states for using too much bandwidth. Is Google making them show that it's not that hard to provide good service and bandwidth?"
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Time Warner Boosts Broadband Customer Speed — But Only Near Google Fiber

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  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:46AM (#42751033)

    And that is why infrastructure is a government task (either direct or by government appointed company - which is how the POTS got rolled out and why it's available pretty much anywhere there is a public road), and everyone should be allowed to use that infrastructure at a fixed cost.

    You want to run your car on a public road? You can do that, after you pay your vehicle taxes and get a driving license. You want to run a bus service? Sure, go ahead, just make sure you pay the vehicle taxes and have the proper licenses. Where those taxes are the same for everyone, and licenses are available for anyone who qualifies and passes certain exams. It's a level playing field.

    I come from areas where data infrastructure is treated like that. Result? Excellent service at rock bottom price.

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:47AM (#42751049)

    http://gigaom.com/2012/07/26/the-economics-of-google-fiber-and-what-it-means-for-u-s-broadband/

    Analysts say $670 / customer to provide fiber-to-home. On a $40 plan, the break-even point is 1.6 years and on a $70, 9 months.

    Add in a few extra additional expenses, and double it for kicks... 2-4 years to profitability, depending on the service amount.

    Considering the copper / cable they used has been laid over 30 years ago, I think their* copper/cable lines have been well paid for and that some of that profit could have easily been used to create a fiber network that will be in use for the next 20+ years?

    Race to the bottom. Yes, please.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by firex726 (1188453) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {627xerif}> on Thursday January 31, 2013 @11:10AM (#42751341)

    Exactly, we already paid for these upgrades, but instead of doing them, the companies just pocketed it and claimed people were using too much and capped us.

    They either need to do the upgrades or give back the tax money.

  • Re:Good (Score:2, Informative)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @01:24PM (#42753161) Homepage

    Oh that is pretty funny. You seem to think that once the physical plant is in that is the end of the matter.

    Well, there is this little thing called maintenance. If you don't maintain the physical plant, it goes to crap in a short period of time. Copper rusts. Coax deteriorates in other ways. Every connection point is a risk factor, and every box with some electronics in it is vulnerable to failure. Pretty much that means line crews are out at least five days a week and they need some coverage 24x7. The maintenance costs are high.

    Cable companies generally farm out the installs to other companies but keep the hardline and node maintenance to themselves. Fiber has its own set of problems with physical damage but every connection point has a bunch of electronics that is subject to failure, so while the problems are different there is still a heavy maintenance requirement.

    No, these folks aren't just sitting there and letting the system rot around them. Well, not if it is working. There is nowhere near as much profit as you seem to think in running the system.

    If only it could be outsourced to someplace with cheap labor. Sadly, in Arizona they can't use cheap illegals because of the training and turnover requirements. Obviously, the cheaper illegals are used anywhere they can be.

  • Same Here (Score:4, Informative)

    by dnahelicase (1594971) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @01:51PM (#42753411)
    I live in a rural community that limited DSL through Verizon and cable through TWC. A company called Cinergy Metronet, now just Metronet, came in and started offering fiber-to-the-home. The day they went live, TWC doubled their advertised speeds and dropped their prices to match Metronet.

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