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Time Warner Cable Officially Unveils DOCSIS 3 Upgrades in San Antonio; Hill Country Residents Yawn

Phillip Dampier June 30, 2011 Broadband Speed, Competition, Data Caps, GVTC Communications, Rural Broadband No Comments

Despite a soft launch weeks earlier, Time Warner Cable officially began selling faster broadband packages in San Antonio Tuesday.

Made possible by DOCSIS 3 upgrades (and not by “Time Warner’s fiber optic network” to quote one San Antonio news outlet), the cable company will now sell 30/5Mbps service for $20 above the current price of Standard Service.  Customers looking for more speed can spend a lot more to get it — $99.95 a month buys you 50/5Mbps service, although the sting seems less if you bundle all of your Time Warner services through their $199 Signature Home package, which includes digital cable, broadband, and phone service.  Signature Home includes 50/5Mbps as part of the package.

About 70 percent of the San Antonio market can get the new speeds immediately.  The rest will be upgraded by September.

The upgrades are seen with some amusement by customers of GVTC, a former telephone cooperative that today provides fiber to the home service in parts of the Texas Hill Country and other rural areas to the north of San Antonio.  They recently received speed upgrades from 40Mbps to 80Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream as part of a comparably-priced triple play package.  GVTC’s truly fiber optic system was built to accommodate broadband usage growth.

“Consumers obviously enjoy streaming video and downloading HD movies, but these applications use a lot of bandwidth and can slow down other Internet devices in your household,” CEO Ritchie Sorrells said. “The reality is bandwidth consumption will continue to increase. We’re once again ahead of the curve with our 80 Mbps connection, and this tier will be popular with the growing number of households that realize they have a need for speed.”

One thing GVTC customers don’t need and won’t get is the kind of consumption billing Time Warner Cable is reconsidering for their customers in San Antonio and the rest of the country.

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  • Fred Pilot: "Rural Americans may face the consequences of any transition. They are least likely to have suitable broadband service capable of supporting DirecTV’s...
  • Matt M: Those of us in the rural areas just keep getting screwed....
  • JOHN S PINNOW: This is well and great. We went from U-verse to direct-tv and now in the next 10 years another shake up. Well I am hoping AT&T will improve its ow...
  • lakawak: First off...NOTHING is free. Spectrum's policy is just forced upgrades. Everything is built into the price already. So where Time Warner used to allow...
  • LG: Now, we need numbers aggregated with and without streaming services, since they're internet based as opposed to CATV / SAT. This difference is more i...
  • L.Nova: Nothing pleases me more than seeing Ajit Pai sorely lose....
  • JFParnell: When the Chips are Down the Buffalo moves ON....
  • Justin Trella: I guess as long as the service is stable you’ll most likely not deflect. I quick call every year or so usually gets your rates back down. If you are l...
  • Justin Trella: I imagine the reason being is it’s a technically no credit check. It’s based solely on the fact you were approved for regular services which are no cr...
  • Ian L: I live in what has to be one of the last MDUs in Austin wired for copper by AT&T rather than fiber. Until June, 50/10 was the highest available sp...
  • Ian L: I wouldn't go so far as to say "no need". FTTH has lower latency and effectively zero jitter, and cable systems today are just now catching up to the ...
  • Lee: One of two possibilities exist. The person you talked to was not correct that would happen, or they are correct and that would happen. It appears they...

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