TWC Spreads 300-Meg Speed Upgrade Aross Austin

Time Warner Cable has completed an upgrade in the speed-crazy town of Austin, Texas, that is highlighted by a new 300 Mbps (downstream) DOCSIS 3.0 service that replaces its former 50 Mbps offering, Ryan Kelly, TWC’s integrated communications manager, noted Tuesday in this blog post.

TWC announced in May that more than 100,000 subscribers in Austin, or about 40% of its customers in the area, had access a new batch of broadband speed increases, including the top-end 300-Meg tier that is paired with an upstream that maxes out at 20 Mbps.

Among the “TWC Maxx” upgrades, which include an all-digital migration, an expanded VOD library, and the introduction of a new six-tuner HD-DVR, the operator’s Standard plan jumps from 15 Mbps down to 50 Mbps for no extra charge. Some customers will need a DOCSIS 3.0 modem to get the speed upgrades. Customers who lease modems from the MSO and need a new one to get the faster speeds can get one for no additional charge. TWC has set up a Web page dedicated to its modem swap program.

TWC is upgrading its plant in Austin as AT&T continues a limited rollout of its 1-Gig-capable, fiber-fed “U-verse With GigaPower” service, and Grande Communications expands the reach of a 1-Gig service that sells for $64.99 per month. Google Fiber is also in the process of building out a network in parts of Austin that will support 1-Gig speeds and a pay-TV service.

The FCC has been pressuring ISPs to deliver faster speeds and then deliver on the speeds it promises. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has signaled that speed is a factor in determining whether broadband is being deployed in a timely manner.

TWC, which is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, has TWC Maxx upgrades underway in New York City and Los Angeles. TWC announced recently that  seven more markets are in line to get the TWC Maxx treatment in 2015: Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Hawaii; Kansas City, Mo.;  Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego.

Kelly added in the blog post that upgrades in New York and L.A. are more than halfway done, and the MSO is on track to reach a goal of completing network upgrades that reach more than 3 million customers by the end of 2014.

Notably, a video embedded with Kelly’s blog post that explores upgrade activity at a hub in Queens, N.Y., shows a cable modem termination system from Casa Systems, a vendor that has been gaining ground on CMTS market leaders Arris and Cisco Systems.