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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet 573

Freshly Exhumed writes "Chris Welch at The Verge tells us: 'Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference moments ago, Time Warner Cable's Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves seemed dismissive of the impact Google Fiber is having on consumers. "We're in the business of delivering what consumers want, and to stay a little ahead of what we think they will want," she said when asked about the breakneck internet speeds delivered by Google's young Kansas City network. "We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers."' The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"
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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Thursday February 28, 2013 @09:55AM (#43033507)

    Just a play from the classic Apple playbook: Any feature that our competitor has that we don't is something customers don't want or need--until we do have it, and then it's awesome.

    Actually, in all fairness, it's a play from pretty much everyone's playbook. I mean what do you expect him to say, "Well, the truth is we're jealous"?

  • Well maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:02AM (#43033585)

    This is because you price it out of reach for your average customers and only those willing to pay your ridiculous fees for it purchase it....
    I would absolutely pay for a Gig connection to my home if it had a sane price tag!

  • by Marcus Erroneous ( 11660 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033685) Homepage

    That's my take on it as well. You can kill the demand for any product by pricing it high enough.

    Most of these providers are run by folks with the old time telephone company mind set: if it's more than tip and ring, charge for it. The less it's like tip and ring, the more you charge for it. To them, that much bandwidth must be for business use, so charge'em business rates.

    In the 90s, GTE was thinking about offering the ability to check your account and pay your bill online. They had the ability but were stumped about how much to charge the customer to do so. They were thinking about charging the customer $8.95 a month for the privilege of checking and paying for their account online. They finally dropped the idea as their studies showed no interest in accessing accounts online for that price. It never occurred to them to offer it as a benefit of being a GTE customer.

    Most of those folks are still running the industry in that manner: everything not basic should be offered as a premier option.

  • As a Kansas Citian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033695) Journal

    As a Kansas Citian, I will say that that she is dead wrong. I already told AT&T that if they can't compete, they won't have me as a customer when Google comes to my area next year. What there isn't a market for is paying $400/month for less than gigabit speeds.

  • She's right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andrio ( 2580551 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:12AM (#43033725)
    Who would want gigabit speeds when it just means you'll hit your bandwidth cap sooner; you'll get a six strikes warning; there's a lack of 1080p content to stream because the media companies that own the ISPs (or vice versa) will fight tooth and nail to hold onto old distribution means, etc etc.?

    Yup, no point in amazing, fast internet.
  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:26AM (#43033891) Journal

    I recently (last year) filed a complaint (ref#12-C000422224-1) with the FCC about Google Fiber's "no server hosting allowed of any kind" terms of service. With those kinds of EVIL ToS, you just won't see the kind of innovation and utilization of gigabit fiber service that is possible and that would cause a great increase in demand. Somehow, even though I got the local vocal U.S. Navy Information Warefare Officer who posts here (Dave Shroeder) to publicly call my 53 page anti-google manifesto 'good' and agree with it's core network neutrality argument, I have been pretty much completely ignored by both Google and the FCC. Hell, there was even an AC leak from a google all hands meeting that said Google's CEO was "really annoyed with the no server hosting clause" and "repeatedly needled" the CFO about it, who said there was "no intent to enforce, except against crazy datacenter style abuse". Personally I think that's all bullshit part of a conspiracy to deny residental citizen's the ability to compete with google and other established player's servers and services... Finally a couple weeks ago on valentine's day, 2 days after pinging the FCC again, and 1 day after being pinged by another asshole google recruiter (williamwest@google.com), the FCC finally escalated my complaint. Time will tell...

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3106555&cid=41288357 [slashdot.org]
    http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3156485&cid=41530745 [slashdot.org]
    http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3156485&cid=41516877 [slashdot.org]
    http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121007.pdf [cloudsession.com]

  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:01AM (#43034321) Journal

    So, you're the asshole keeping google from expanding to other cities. Do the cable companies and phone companies allow server hosting on their residential lines? No, you need a higher cost business line.
    Would you just let google expand before you go about this BS.

    Yup, I'm that asshole. And no, I don't want Google to be the new national ISP, or their wet dream that they have already more or less achieved, the national telco. Google is not our friend. Google is the new Microsoft, same as the old boss. If Google had the kind of righteousness still that it started with, the same fire that drove it's successful rise against Microsoft, I'd be very happy with them being my ISP. This whole excercise, starting with my initial proxied direct discussions with Milo Medin last year where he requested I rewrite their ToS to allow server hosting, but somehow "protect google's potential cloud profits", has proved to me that Google is as f***ing evil as they come these days. I'll even admit here that I've been enough of an asshole to intentionally avoid bringing up how I blame Milo for starting this evil bulls#it when we was running things in the cable modem arena at his prior job with @Home.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:17AM (#43034537)

    I'm in Canada. My monthly cap is 30GB.

  • by ndege ( 12658 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:43AM (#43034867)

    Well, I have 1,000Mbps in my area; the fastest internet service in the US. See this news article published in 2010 about EPBfi [pcmag.com].

    All 100,000 customers have EPB power (this is the local electric power company in Chattanooga, TN, USA). Because of EPB's electric smartgrid, they also provide fiber to 100% of their coverage area. This means that every home/business/apartment has access to Gbit Internet and TV/phone.

    The slowest speed they currently offer is 50Mbps (for $57.99 per month), the fastest is 1000Mbps($299.99). I am on 100Mbps because it is only $12 more per month than 50Mbps.

    Oh, and there are no max bandwidth/transfer caps. You can do 1000Mbps all day long...EPBfi has the upstream bandwidth.

    I was on Comcast for 8 years. I telecommute most days; Comcast would go down for hours at a time for no apparent reason. When I would phone Comcast to report the outages, the customer service rep would say that they are upgrading the services in my area. The service person would say it as if that was the script on their screen as why the internet went down for 2 hours at 11am and again at 4pm. It got so bad over the course of a year, that I had to purchase a Sprint broadband card/account to continue to get work done as I came to just expect outages. I could not tell a client that I was having internet connectivity issues when I am doing remote-based network consulting.) ;)

    After switching to EPBfi 2 years ago, I haven't had a SINGLE service-affecting outage. They appear to have built their Internet infrastructure as solidly as they build their power distribution network.

    Feel free to read more here: https://epbfi.com/internet/ [epbfi.com]

    Oh, BTW, I don't own stock in EPB or work for them....I am a customer that likes to pay for internet that works reliably.

    Here is a news article published in 2012 about Chattanooga's upgrade of all customers from 30Mbps to 50Mbps. [timesfreepress.com]

    It is interesting how none of the big media giants want to provide the additional speed/reliability; I guess if you can feed your customers sewage and tell them it's honey...and the customers believe it, more money goes in your pocket.

  • by game kid ( 805301 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:26PM (#43035527) Homepage

    As someone who closed down their YouTube account a few days ago when the once-weekly then -daily Real Name harassments became once-per-refresh (with cookies enabled!), I can only support your fight.

    I wouldn't get Google-net (or join any Google service in the future, even free) even if you won against them, but other ISPs also need to be pestered about this "consumer-tier" no-server crap until they cry, starting with the treatment of any class of people as "consumers". Good luck.

  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:43PM (#43036585) Journal

    Looks like APK has a contender for local /. loon.

    I don't care. Some guy hammering the upstream or hosting god knows what just isn't a good deal for residential providers.

    Not sure what TLA APK is, but I if you were calling me a loon, I'll one up you and address your point. You are right, allowing server hosting isn't a good deal for residential providers. You know what else isn't a good deal? Google not having to pay bit for bit for the data they send across other people's networks. But they get to flood the entire internet with their tracking and advertising without paying legitimate rates for the traffic because of this thing called "network neutrality". Pretty good deal for them huh? But as soon as I want to provide my friends and family with a free webmail service (aka SquirrelMail, like I was running for my family years before GMail existed), then Google isn't so happy about actually following the letter and the spirit of the "network neutrality" rules. That sir, is the definition of hypocrisy. If my david versus goliath fight against such hypocrisy has made me a bit 'loony', I do apologize. But I also have a legitimate point.

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:46PM (#43036617)

    Except that, even inside the US, these views stand out as "odd" or even "insane", it just depends where you go within the US. In Texas, such views are probably considered "normal" (except maybe in Austin). In New York, you might get committed. This country is just so polarized between extremely different views that we'd be much better off if we broke up into separate smaller countries. We're never going to get any kind of agreement when you have one group of people that thinks all taxation is "evil" and that we shouldn't have any government unless it's run by some fundamentalist Christian church.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller