Time Warner Tries To Compete With Google Fiber -- But Doesn't Measure Up
Google's new high speed network in Kansas City seems to have lit a fire under Time Warner Cable.
This week, the cable giant rolled out 14 new WiFi hot spots throughout Kansas City. Time Warner also announced it will offer Internet access to households with students for under $10 a month, provided the homes didn't previously have broadband connections.
That's not all. The company reportedly is going door-to-door -- even in neighborhoods where
Google Fiber isn't yet available -- to ask residents if they're happy with their existing Time Warner service, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield.
Why should Google Fiber have this kind of impact? The answer is simple: speed and price. Or, as Business Insider puts it, "Google Fiber puts the Time Warner Cable offering to shame."
Specifically, Google is offering residents of Kansas City (in Kansas and Missouri) download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps -- which is more than 100 times faster than average U.S. connections. For another, the price structure is surprisingly reasonable. Google's most expensive package, which includes TV service, is $120 a month. Subscribers to that plan will also receive a free Nexus 7 tablet.
Internet-only service costs $70 a month, and Google is offering free 5 Mbps connections for seven years to residents who pay a one-time fee of $300.
While these developments are good news for Kansas City residents, they also make clear just how much room for improvement exists for the major incumbents. In New York City, many people pay Time Warner more than $110 for triple play service with speeds that don't approach Google's 1Gbps.