TWC Kicks Up Broadband Download Speeds

Time Warner Cable is increasing the top download speed of its most popular broadband tier by 50% nationwide -- boosting the Standard Internet service from 10 to 15 Megabits per second -- while the MSO is cranking up the speeds for across the board in Kansas City, where it faces new competition from Google Fiber.

There is no change in pricing of the services. However, the upgrades comes after TWC this fall implemented a $3.95 per month modem lease fee for customers who previously were not paying it. The speed increases are not related to the modem lease fee, according to Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech.

In Kansas City, where Google has begun hooking up customers to its 1 Gigabit per second broadband service, Time Warner Cable is upping download speeds for all broadband tiers: Lite Internet jumps from 1 to 5 Mbps; Basic Internet increases from 3 to 10 Mbps; Turbo Pass Internet goes from 15 to 20 Mbps; Extreme Internet goes from 30 to 50 Mbps; and Ultimate Internet will double, from 50 to 100 Mbps.

TWC did not officially say it was raising speeds on all tiers only for Kansas City customers specifically because of Google Fiber rollout. "We'll probably have more of these to announce in the future in other markets," Venech said.

As for whether the MSO is contemplating a 1 Gbps tier in Kansas City or elsewhere, Venech said the operator is "comfortable" with its current offerings. At the Multichannel News/B&C OnScreen Summit earlier this month, TWC president and COO Rob Marcus said the operator was capable of delivering 1 Gbps broadband but that it did not see market demand for such speeds.

The nationwide increase on Standard Internet speeds "is yet another example of our commitment to continually improve the services we offer," Marcus said in a statement. “Boosting download speed by 50% provides our Standard Internet subscribers with even greater value and the ability to enjoy what they love most about the Internet even better.”

Marcus previously announced plans for the Standard Internet speed upgrade on Time Warner Cable’s third-quarter earnings call on Nov. 5.

According to the MSO, customers will receive the faster speeds automatically this month, but they can upgrade immediately by pushing the “Reset” button on their modems. If their modem doesn’t have a reset button, users may unplug the power cord from the modem for 10 seconds, plug it back in and then reboot their computer.

Time Warner Cable’s Internet services include free Internet security, parental controls software, 10 email accounts and access to Wi-Fi hotspots in several U.S. cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Kansas City.