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Cincinnati Bell Guns For 1-Gig

Cincinnati Bell will apply more pressure on incumbent MSO Time Warner Cable on September 8 when the telco launches a 1 Gbps consumer broadband service under its “Fioptics” brand.

The telco noted that it began to offer gigabit service to small businesses earlier this summer and that Tuesday’s consumer-facing announcement ties into a broader program it calls “Light Up Cincinnati.”

As part of that initiative, the company said it will continue to rollout free WiFi hotspots at “key” Cincinnati locations and in conjunction with community events.

Cincinnati  Bell will offer its 1-Gig tier as a standalone, but will also look to bundle it with its Fioptics TV service.  It hasn’t announced pricing for the 1-Gig service, nor said where it will be available first. For now, customers are being asked to call 513-565-5100 to see if their neighborhood is eligible.

Cincinnati Bell didn’t provide any additional information on pricing and roll out locations for the 1-Gig offering.

“The company has a unique opportunity to give Cincinnati consumers the capability to upgrade speeds to meet their ever-changing technology needs and do so at competitive prices,” Cincinnati Bell president and CEO Ted Torbeck.

TWC, which is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, has been deploying “TWCMaxx,” an all-digital upgrade that is being paired with a faster speeds, including a new high-end tier that offers 300 Mbps in the downstream.

Following initial upgrades in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, TWC announced recently that plans to give seven more markets the TWC Maxx treatment in 2015: Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Hawaii; Kansas City, Mo.;  Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego. TWC has not announced when it expects to go all-digital in Cincinnati.

Update: A TWC spokesman reiterated that the operating plan is to bring TWC  Maxx to all of the MSO's markets within three years, noting that markets have been prioritized for the upgrades for a variety of reasons, including the competitive landscape in each as well as the expected consumer demand for the resulting upgraded and enhanced services. "We are still making significant enhancements in Cincinnati, such as swapping out older set-top boxes for newer ones, introducing our advanced cloud-based guide, offering one-hour appointment windows and making other consumer-focused changes," he added, in a statement.