Home » North Carolina » Recent Articles:

Some Time Warner Cable Customers Getting The Design Network; Interior Design 24/7

Phillip Dampier April 2, 2014 Consumer News, Online Video, Time Warner Cable No Comments

design networkAn online-only television channel dedicated to interior design will become a traditional linear television channel available to some Time Warner Cable customers beginning today.

The Design Network, created by executives at the world’s largest furniture store — Furnitureland South — had managed to get 10,000 online subscribers since its launch in April 2013. But now the network will get a larger viewership on the lineup of some Time Warner Cable systems, starting in North Carolina.

“The Design Network was created for everyone who shares a passion for the home,” said Jason Harris, founder of The Design Network and executive vice president of Furnitureland South. “What I’m seeing on television has no correlation to the amazing home decor industry that I’ve grown up in and have been exposed to all my life.”

“We always look for opportunities to work with networks to enhance our diverse channel lineup,” said Mike Smith, area vice president of operations, Time Warner Cable. “The Design Network created a television network to engage consumers in decor and the world of interior design – we are excited to provide our customers with access to this unique source of programming.”

Furnitureland South

Furnitureland South – High Point, N.C.

In addition to The Design Network’s new television channel, the online version expands to further engage interior design professionals and home enthusiasts by allowing them to create their own channels, similar to YouTube. Viewers can upload and annotate their own videos and photos and grow their own audience. Through these channels, designers and home enthusiasts may earn commissioned, promoted series on TDN TV.

The network also exists as a self-promotion of Furnitureland South, which may limit the network’s reach. The Design Network’s programming is heavily influenced by its parent company’s furniture business.

The Design Network was created to help people become more inspired and knowledgeable about designing, decorating and living in their homes. “We are uniquely qualified to create a network featuring entertainment, inspiration and instruction for the home,” Harris commented. “With our retail business, Furnitureland South, being located in the epicenter of the home furnishings industry, we furnish more than 25,000 homes a year with clients from all over the world and work closely with the finest furniture brands and design influencers.”

It isn’t known if Furnitureland South is paying Time Warner Cable to launch the network or if cable customers will be underwriting the channel through their monthly cable bill.

Share

Charter’s Rebranded “Spectrum” Service Arrives in Fort Worth; New Name, New Reputation?

Phillip Dampier March 25, 2014 Broadband Speed, Charter, Competition, Consumer News, Video 1 Comment

charter spectrum logoCharter Communications’ latest attempt to rehabilitate its reputation with customers in Fort Worth, Tex. arrived this week in area mailboxes, as Charter reintroduced itself as “Charter Spectrum.”

Fort Worth is the first major city to get Charter’s broad-based service upgrade that began more than a year ago with a switch to all digital television service.

The newly available bandwidth no longer needed to support analog television has allowed Charter to expand its video service to more than 200 HD channels, up from fewer than 100.

Customers also start their Spectrum experience with a free broadband speed bump — from 30Mbps to 60/4Mbps (with a barely enforced monthly usage cap of 250GB), and an improved cable telephone service with nationwide calling.

Charter Spectrum's mailer is now arriving in Ft. Worth mailboxes. (Courtesy: TheTechGuru)

Charter Spectrum’s mailer is now arriving in Ft. Worth mailboxes. (Courtesy: TheTechGuru)

Charter CEO Thomas Rutledge openly admitted last year Charter had an inferior product compared against the competition. Upgrading Charter’s cable systems was designed to correct that and the company hopes its rebranding will deliver a marketplace reset, but some Charter customers remain skeptical.

“Same pig, fresh lipstick,” wrote one Charter customer in Missouri.

Others complain Charter’s upload speeds remain anemic at just 4Mbps.

Charter’s new pricing promotions were designed to simplify the shopping experience. There are now just three heavily promoted Spectrum triple play packages:

spectrum packages

A customer taking advantage of the Triple Play Gold promotion will pay a one-year promotional price of $129.97 a month. (Customers can also select individual services or build their own double-play bundle). The fine print mentions the price rises to $149.97 the second year and then reverts to an undisclosed “standard rate” after that. TV set-top boxes are required on every cable-connected television ($7 a month each – not included in the price). The Internet modem carries no additional charge. Phone taxes, fees and surcharges are also covered, but other taxes, fees, and surcharges are not.

Offers are valid for new customers only, and those who have not subscribed within the last 30 days and have no outstanding debt obligation to Charter.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WLOS Asheville Charter Going Digital 11-11-13.flv

Charter Spectrum arrives only after your local Charter system moves to all-digital television service. That happened last fall in Asheville, N.C., where customers were told they needed a digital set-top box on every television in the home. WLOS-TV covered the story back on Nov. 11, 2013. (1:44)

Share

Frustration Central: Charter Communications’ Digital Conversion Irritates Cities, Customers

Phillip Dampier March 11, 2014 Broadband Speed, Charter, Consumer News, HissyFitWatch No Comments

all digitalCharter Communications’ march to all-digital service is one big Excedrin headache for many of the communities enduring the cable company’s conversion.

Charter is embarked on a campaign to end analog cable television service, freeing up bandwidth to offer more HD channels and increase broadband speeds. But the switch to digital has been accompanied by frequent service disruptions and outages.

In Texas, customers complain their digital channels are often frozen or pixelated. In Casper, Wyo., where Charter acquired an older cable system from Cablevision that was originally built by Bresnan Communications, customers’ complaints range from inconsistent service and slow response times to loss of sound and frozen video during airing of City Council meetings.

But some of the loudest concerns about Charter originate from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where customers are finding the switch to digital can be very costly.

Tourism is a major part of the local economy and the Outer Banks are filled with seasonal homes, rental condos and hotels. Many property owners maintain seasonal accounts with Charter Cable, only active during the tourist season. Some hotel owners notified about Charter’s plans to transition towards digital service worked with the cable company to buy televisions that would not need additional equipment to work after the switch. With the cable company’s recommendations, some hotel chains purchased dozens or even hundreds of digital-ready television sets installed in rooms that were ready for the switch.

Charter_logoOnly recently, Charter notified customers they also planned to encrypt the basic lineup, rendering the digital televisions useless without the additional cost and inconvenience of installing Charter’s digital set-top boxes. Although Charter will temporarily offer customers free rental of the boxes, after the offer expires, customers will pay Charter $6.99 a month for each box. For some upper end condos, the cost of renting multiple boxes will exceed the cost of the cable TV package.

The Outer Banks Voice details several other customer complaints:

With the older analog systems, many owners flat mounted their televisions to walls and had the cable wired directly into the television, out of sight. With boxes now required, rental homeowners will need to figure out where to place the box and how to run the cables to the set.

In addition, rental companies and homeowners will need to keep track of numerous remotes and keeping those remotes supplied with working batteries.

[...] Thus far, Charter is not offering boxes for sale, so owners cannot absorb the cost over the long-run use of the box, and there appears to be some confusion on whether homes with five or more televisions will require a “Pro Installation” at extra cost to ensure signal strength is sufficient.

If such an installation is required, owners and rental management companies will also be required to arrange access for Charter installers.

Rental condos are also faced with yet another logistic hurdle.

Many condos include cable television fees in their monthly association dues, and the cable contracts for all units are in the name of the condo association.

To obtain boxes, condo owners are now going to be required to set up their own individual accounts, often from an out-of-state location, and then determine how to get the boxes installed.

Signal strength is also a concern in condo projects. Even with analog signals, the multiple connections in one area make reception fuzzy and of low quality.

A small sample of complaints found all over Charter's social media pages.

A small sample of complaints found all over Charter’s social media pages.

Charter Communications shared their side of the story about the digital conversion:

Outer Banks, N.C.

Outer Banks, N.C.

Charter customers are notified by newspaper, direct mail, bill messages, phone calls from Charter representatives, and Charter commercial spots beginning at least 30 days prior to their cutover. Charter is making it easy for customers to receive one or more digital boxes at no cost for one, two or five years, depending on the customer’s programming package and other qualifying factors.

Customers that need less than four boxes can have them shipped directly to their home by calling 1-888-GET-CHARTER or pick them up at a Charter Store.

Customers that live out of town, that own vacation homes, can authorize personnel with their property management company or other specified individuals to pick up their boxes. Customers must first authorize those individuals and add them to their account by calling 1-888-GET-CHARTER. The customer account owner can rescind authorization of individuals at any time.

Property Management companies or authorized individuals can then obtain up to five set-top boxes at a Charter Store.

Customers needing more than five boxes should contact Charter 1-888-GET-CHARTER. A professional technician will be scheduled to assist customers with the installation.

Charter Stores are currently operating with expanded hours to accommodate customers during this all-digital project. Charter Store hours will also be expanded in April where peak volume is expected.

Commercial properties have several options available and can work with their Charter Business account representative on the best solution for their business.

Due to advances in technology, solutions available may involve the need for additional equipment in order to provide the best possible cable, Internet and voice products for our customers.

Share

Most Cutting Edge Gigabit Broadband Networks are Community-Owned

Greenlight announces gigabit service for Wilson, N.C.

Greenlight announces gigabit service for Wilson, N.C.

Claims from critics that government-owned Internet Service Providers would bring ineptly managed, behind-the-times broadband are belied by the reality on the ground.

Network World highlighted several cities offering consumers and/or businesses gigabit broadband service from publicly owned Internet providers. All of them stand alone with no commercial competitor willing or able to compete on speed. In fact, most of the communities offering their own Internet service do so because incumbent cable and phone companies showed no interest in upgrading or expanding their services or offer them at prohibitive prices. For many of the towns involved, the only way to get 21st century broadband was to build it themselves.

Cable companies like Time Warner Cable scoff at the need for superfast broadband speeds, claiming customers are not interested in gigabit Internet. After the Federal Communications Commission issued a challenge for every state in the U.S. to reach 1Gbps Internet speeds in at least one community by 2015, then chief financial officer Irene Esteves said 1,000Mbps service was unnecessary and the cable company wouldn’t offer it because there was little demand for it.

While Esteves was telling reporters gigabit speeds were irrelevant, Time Warner Cable’s lobbyists were working behind the scenes to make sure none of their community-owned competitors offered it either, cajoling state officials to pass legislation that would effectively ban publicly owned broadband competition. Time Warner, along with other cable and phone companies evidently feel so threatened, they have successfully helped enact such bans into law in 20 states.

The record is clear. The best chance your community has of getting gigabit speeds is to rally your local government or municipal utility to offer the service you are not getting from the local cable/phone duopoly anytime soon.

Chanute, Kansas

The city of Chanute, Kan. is fighting back against incumbent phone and cable companies trying to ban municipal-owned ISPs in the state.

The city of Chanute, Kan. is fighting back against incumbent phone and cable companies trying to ban municipal-owned ISPs in the state.

With just 9,000 residents barely served by AT&T and the routinely awful Cable ONE, Chanute knew if it wanted 21st century broadband, it was unlikely to get it from the local phone and cable company. Chanute has owned a municipal fiber network since 1984 and has been in the Internet provider business since 2005. Now the city is working towards a fiber to the home network for residents while AT&T is lobbying Washington regulators to let the company scrap rural landline and DSL service across Kansas and other states.

The city is taking a stand against the latest effort to ban community broadband networks in Kansas. It’s a rough fight because Kansas lobbyists get to write and introduce corporate-written telecom bills in the legislature without even the pretext of the proposed legislation originating from someone actually elected to office. SB 304, temporarily withdrawn for “tweaking,” shreds the concept of home rule — allowing local communities to decide what works best for them. Instead, AT&T, Cable ONE, Comcast, Cox, and other telecom companies will get to make that decision on your behalf if the bill re-emerges in the legislature and passes later this year.

“We’re taking a leadership position to do something about it. I’d hate to sit here and keep bashing AT&T and Cable One. They don’t care. All they care about is paying dividends back to their stockholders,” Chanute’s utility director Larry Gates told Network World. “My feeling – this is mine, it’s probably not the city’s, but it’s mine – is I wouldn’t care if we ever made a dime on this network, as long as it would pay for itself. If it could increase and do the things with education, health, safety, and economic development – man, that’s a win. That’s a huge win.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The "headquarters" of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance is in the basement of this building in suburban Washington. It's a pretty small alliance funded by mysterious "private" donors.

The “headquarters” of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance is in the basement of this building in suburban Washington.

EPB Broadband is the best argument community broadband advocates have to counter Big Telecom propaganda that community-owned broadband is a failure waiting to happen. EPB has received national acclaim by delivering gigabit broadband to consumers and businesses that Chattanoogans can’t get from AT&T and Comcast. EPB is Chattanooga’s municipally owned electric utility and originally laid fiber to power its Smart Meter project to better manage its electric system. With near infinite capacity, why not share that network with the community?

EPB routinely embarrasses its competition by offering highly rated local customer service and support instead of forcing customers to deal with offshore call centers rife with language barriers. Customer ratings of AT&T and Comcast are dismal — rock bottom in fact — but that isn’t the case for EPB, embraced by the local community and now helping to foster the region’s high-tech economic development.

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica City Net does not serve residential customers, but a lot of locals probably wish it did. Greater Los Angeles has been carved up between bottom-rated Charter Communications and never-loved Time Warner Cable. Time Warner customers in LA will soon get access to 100Mbps broadband. Businesses in downtown Santa Monica can already get broadband from City Net at speeds up to 10Gbps.

Lafayette, Louisiana

LUS Fiber has had a very tough battle just getting service off the ground. Its two competitors are AT&T and Cox, and the fiber to the home provider had to work its way through legal disputes and a special election to launch service. Even to this day, corporate front groups like the Taxpayers Protection Alliance are still taking potshots at LUS and other municipal providers. TPA president David Williams refuses to identify where the money comes from to fund TPA’s operations. It’s a safe bet some of it comes from telecom companies based on the TPA’s preoccupation with broadband issues. The group always aligns itself with the interests of phone and cable companies.

Cable and phone companies that fund sock puppet groups like TPA could have spent that money to upgrade broadband service in communities like Lafayette. Instead, they cut checks to groups like the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, headquartered in a basement rental unit in suburban Washington, D.C.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington Telecom’s troubled past is a poster child for anti-municipal broadband groups. The provider’s financial problems are often mentioned by groups fighting public broadband. To be sure, there are successes and failures in any industry and inept marketing by BT several years ago hurt its chances for success. Its competition is Comcast and FairPoint Communications, which means usage-capped cable broadband or slow speed DSL. BT sells a gigabit broadband alternative for $149.99 a month for those signing a 12-month contract. Comcast charges $115 a month for 105Mbps service — about ten times slower than BT’s offering.

Tullahoma, Tennessee

The Tennessee Telecommunications Association is appealing to the state government to keep publicly-owned broadband competitors out of their territories.

The Tennessee Telecommunications Association is appealing to the state government to keep publicly owned broadband competitors out of their territories.

LighTUBe, the telecommunications branch of the Tullahoma Utilities Board (TUB), announced its gigabit Internet offering in May 2013, says Network World. The magazine suspects the provider is interested in commercial, not residential customers.

That no doubt comes as a relief to the Tennessee Telecommunications Association, which represents the state’s independent phone companies. Last month, more than a dozen executives from those companies invaded the state capital to complain that municipal providers were threatening to invade their territories and offer unwanted competition.

“We are particularly concerned about four bills that have been introduced this session,” says Levoy Knowles, TTA’s executive director. “These bills would allow municipalities to expand beyond their current footprint and offer broadband in our service areas. If this were to happen, municipalities could cherry-pick our more populated areas, leaving the more remote, rural consumers to bear the high cost of delivering broadband to these less populated regions.”

Among the companies that want to keep uncomfortable public broadband competition out of their territories: North Central Telephone Cooperative, Loretto Telecom, Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative, Highland Telephone Cooperative, TDS Telecom, United Communications, Ben Lomand Connect, WK&T Telecommunications, Ritter Communications, Ardmore Telephone Company, and RepCom.

Bristol, Tennessee

Bristol is unique because its city limits are effectively in Tennessee and Virginia. Neither state has gotten much respect from incumbent telephone and cable companies, so BTES — the electric and telecom utility in Bristol — decided to deliver broadband service itself. The network is now being upgraded to expand 1Gbps service, and it represents an island in the broadband backwater of far eastern Tennessee and western Virginia and North Carolina.

closedCedar Falls, Iowa

Iowa has never been a hotbed for fast broadband and is the home to the largest number of independent telephone companies in the country. Cedar Falls Utilities is one of them and is trying to change the “behind the rest” image Iowa telecommunications has been stuck with for years. The municipal telecom provider has boosted broadband speeds and announced gigabit broadband last year.

Wilson, N.C.

Greenlight has been providing fiber to the home service for several years, and its presence in the middle of Time Warner Cable territory was apparently the last straw for the cable company, which began fiercely lobbying for a municipal broadband ban in North Carolina. Thanks to a massive cash dump by Koch Brothers’ ally Art Pope, the Republicans took control of the state government between 2010-2012. Many of the new legislators have an ongoing love affair with ALEC — the corporate front group — and treat its database of business-ghostwritten bills like the Library of Congress. What AT&T, CenturyLink, and Time Warner Cable want, they now get.

With a broadband ban in place, Greenlight can’t expand its territory, but it can increase its broadband speeds. Time Warner Cable tops out at 50Mbps for almost $100 a month. For $49.95 more you can get 1,000Mbps from Greenlight. Instead if competing, TWC prefers Greenlight to simply go away, and the North Carolina legislature has shown it is always ready to help.

Share

Google Fiber Proposes Major Expansion, But Continues to Ignore the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic

Google has proposed expanding its gigabit fiber network to nine metropolitan areas around the United States, but none of them include cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast dominated by Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Verizon FiOS.

google fiber

Altogether, the expansion project could bring fiber to the home Internet service to 34 new cities:

  • Arizona: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe
  • California: San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto
  • Georgia: Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, Smyrna
  • North Carolina: Charlotte, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh
  • Oregon: Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard
  • Tennessee: Nashville-Davidson
  • Texas: San Antonio
  • Utah: Salt Lake City

Google’s Fiber Blog:

google fiberNow that we’ve learned a lot from our Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, we want to help build more ultra-fast networks. So we’ve invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.

We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber. Between now and then, we’ll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face. These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents.

We’re going to work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed. For example, they’ll provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They’ll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure—like utility poles—so we don’t unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one.

While we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone. But cities who go through this process with us will be more prepared for us or any provider who wants to build a fiber network. In fact, we want to give everyone a boost in their thinking about how to bring fiber to their communities; we plan to share what we learn in these 34 cities, and in the meantime you can check out some tips in a recent guest post on the Google Fiber blog by industry expert Joanne Hovis. Stay tuned for updates, and we hope this news inspires more communities across America to take steps to get to a gig.

Google does not guarantee every community will actually get the service, and a read between the lines makes it clear that a close working relationship between Google and city officials and utilities will be essential for projects to move forward. Bureaucratic red tape could be a fiber-killer in some of these communities, as could an intransigent utility fighting to keep Google fiber off utility-owned poles.

Google continues to completely ignore the northeastern United States for fiber expansion. Analysts suggest Google will not enter areas where fiber broadband service already exists, and this region of the country is home to the largest deployment of Verizon’s FiOS. Despite the fact Verizon has canceled further expansion, and large sections of the region have little chance of seeing a fiber upgrade anytime soon, Google seems more interested in serving the middle of the country and fast growing areas including North Carolina, Georgia, Phoenix and Texas. Its choice of San Jose obviously reflects the presence of Silicon Valley.

Share

Cable’s Newest Triple Play: Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Comcast

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Bloomberg New Triple Play TWC Comcast Charter 1-28-14.flv

Bloomberg News reports Time Warner Cable may face a proxy fight to force a sale of the company to Charter Communications. In turn, Comcast will pay Charter billions to take control of Time Warner Cable subscribers in the northeast and North Carolina. Industry analyst Craig Moffett predicts Comcast’s deep pockets may infuse billions in cash to sweeten Charter’s offer. It also means Comcast is not interested in buying all of Time Warner Cable itself. (3:11)

Share

Comcast Seeking Buyout of Time Warner Cable Customers in N.Y., New England, and N.C.

Comcast-LogoComcast Corporation and Charter Communications are actively working on a deal to let Comcast acquire Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York, New England, and North Carolina, according to sources reporting to CNBC.

The split-up of Time Warner Cable is contingent on a successful takeover bid by Charter Communications, which would quickly sell the systems in the three regions to Comcast for an undisclosed sum.

CNBC reports Comcast and Charter are close to agreeing on terms, but Time Warner Cable and Charter remain far apart on the terms of Charter’s takeover bid.

Charter_logoComcast’s involvement in the deal could inject much-needed cash into a takeover bid financed largely by debt. It might also prompt Charter to sweeten its offer for TWC.

Comcast’s interest in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region is not surprising. The cable company already has a large presence in eastern Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. Time Warner Cable is the dominant cable company in New York, western and northern New England, and North Carolina.

Charter would likely keep Time Warner Cable’s operations in Texas, California, the midwest and south for itself if it succeeds in a takeover.

Charter has reportedly has hired Innisfree M&A, a proxy solicitor, to prepare for a possible proxy fight with Time Warner. Innisfree specializes in convincing shareholders to agree to proposed mergers and acquisitions.

Liberty Media, which has a substantial ownership interest in Charter Communications, is also appealing directly to Time Warner Cable stockholders and is planning to run its own slate of candidates for Time Warner Cable’s board of directors. Should Liberty-nominated candidates attract a majority of votes at the annual shareholder meeting in May, the new board members are expected to quickly approve a sale of the cable company.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Bloomberg Comcast Charter Near Pact on Time Warner Assets 1-27-14.flv

Comcast Corp. is near a deal to buy New York, North Carolina and New England cable assets from Charter Communications, Inc. if shareholders approve Charter’s takeover bid for Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said. Alex Sherman reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.” (3:28)

Share

Getting Your Time Warner Cable Reward Card is Like Pulling Teeth, Say Annoyed Customers

Phillip Dampier January 7, 2014 Consumer News, Time Warner Cable, Video No Comments

Elderly woman pulling girl's (6-8) tooth with pliers (B&W)Getting Time Warner Cable’s heavily promoted reward card rebate, worth up to hundreds of dollars to customers switching providers or upgrading service, has proved a major hassle for some customers.

WFMY-TV’s consumer reporter began getting calls from people who cannot pry their legitimately requested reward card out of Time Warner Cable’s fingers no matter how hard they try.

“I have talked to 15 different people and all I get is a run-around,” Elizabeth Albright told the Greensboro, N.C. television station.

In some cases customers have waited months for the promised reward to no avail. Others believe they were cheated out of the rebate by a needlessly complicated rebate process they believe was designed to trip them up and out of luck.

The rebate process itself is complicated:

  1. Time Warner Cable customers qualified for a rebate must first wait for a “rebate redemption code” to arrive, typically two weeks after installing or upgrading service.
  2. With code in hand, customers are qualified to register for the reward on the company’s rebate website. But since Time Warner requires the rebate to be submitted within 30 days of installation, that two-week wait for a “redemption code” may leave customers with as little as 14 days to register.
  3. Customers are then required to maintain and pay on time for cable service for at least three months.
  4. After 90 days of service and on time payments, the company will start processing the rebate application, which takes an extra 1-2 months.
  5. The rebate card should arrive in your mailbox within 14 days after mailing.

Failing to follow any of the steps automatically disqualifies you for the rebate reward. Once the card arrives, use it within six months to avoid “maintenance fees.” If the card gets lost or stolen, it can be replaced, but not for free. An extra fee applies.

Keeping all rebate documentation is critical if questions arise, you are rejected, or the rebate submission is lost. If Time Warner Cable refuses to honor your rebate request, offer them an alternative – credit your cable bill for an amount equal to the value of the missing rebate. In many cases, a supervisor will approve the request in the spirit of good customer relations, especially if you threaten to cancel service over the matter.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WFMY Greensboro The Process of Getting Your Time Warner Reward Card 1-6-14.flv

Triad region residents in North Carolina are having a tough time getting their rebate reward cards from Time Warner Cable, reports WFMY-TV. (2:42)

Share

Time Warner Cable Announces TWC Max: Feast for Some, Famine for Everyone Else

Next generation cable or a spray-on solution to a really bad quarter.

Next generation cable or a spray-on solution to a really bad quarter?

Time Warner Cable has a plan for multi-gigabit broadband speeds over a state of the art network that, for the first time, might include fiber to the home service.

TWC Max is Time Warner Cable’s code name for selected markets where customers will be given first class treatment and provided what incoming CEO Rob Marcus calls “best-in-class reliability and service.”

Marcus made it clear in a conference call to investors this morning that TWC Max will only be available in specially chosen markets, most likely those facing intense competition from Google Fiber (Austin, Kansas City), Verizon FiOS (New York, parts of Dallas, etc.) or upgraded AT&T U-verse.

TWC Max might also be offered in cities where community-owned fiber-to-the-home providers best TWC’s broadband speeds and prices. North Carolina, in particular, would be a logical choice as Time Warner Cable recently acquired DukeNet, a major commercial fiber broadband provider headquarted in Charlotte, also a major hub for Time Warner Cable’s data services. Wilson, Salisbury, Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius are all served by publicly-owned broadband providers.

Beginning next year and over the next several years, those chosen will get major broadband speed upgrades — up to several gigabits, totally new customer equipment, and an all-digital experience.

“We will replace modems with state-of-the-art DOCSIS 3 modems and advanced wireless gateways, so we can meaningfully increase broadband speeds,” said Marcus. “And by the way, we’re not talking about tweaks here but rather quantum changes to our speed tiers. We’ll also replace standard definition and older HD set-top boxes and roll out new DVRs, better user interfaces and more advanced versions of our TWC TV apps to fundamentally improve the video experience.”

If the competition is DSL, you may have a really long wait to be considered a TWC Max city.

If the competition is DSL, you may have a really long wait to be considered a TWC Max city.

Marcus added that in some mixed business/residential areas, fiber to the home service is increasingly possible because of declining costs and pre-existing fiber infrastructure already serving commercial customers and cell towers.

But Marcus was quick to stress that his philosophy about upgrades is to provide them in focused markets, not share them with every city where Time Warner Cable provides service.

“The goal here is, really, to fundamentally change the customer experience in a given market, said Marcus. “So rather than spread our efforts like peanut butter throughout the footprint, I’m very anxious to deliver a complete experience.”

“That means not only going all-digital but also ensuring that we have state-of-the-art modems in every customer’s home, ensuring that they have the best video and that the overall experience is really optimal,” Marcus added.

“So we’re going to concentrate market by market rather than take individual components and run them through the entire footprint.”

So what are the chances your city will be designated a TWC Max target area?

After reviewing the transcript for this morning’s conference call,  Stop the Cap! has created this handy-dandy, simple to use guide:

  • If your community has or was chosen for Google Fiber: A VIRTUAL CERTAINTY!
  • If your community is served by Verizon FiOS or AT&T’s Next Generation U-verse: EXCELLENT
  • If your community has a fiber to the home provider competing with Time Warner Cable: VERY GOOD
  • If your community is served by copper-based DSL from the phone company with no prospect of getting U-verse or FiOS: WHEN PIGS FLY!
Share

Time Warner Cable Buys DukeNet Communications’ Fiber Network Serving the Carolinas, Southeast

Phillip Dampier October 7, 2013 Broadband Speed, Competition, Time Warner Cable 3 Comments

DukeNetCommunications-logoTime Warner Cable will spend $600 million in cash for Duke Energy Corporation’s 8,700 mile fiber network currently serving wireless carriers, government, business, and data center customers.

DukeNet, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a partnership between the electric utility and an investment fund owned by Alina Capital Partners. Duke Energy shed the network as part of its new business strategy refocusing on the energy sector. Time Warner Cable intends to use the fiber network to bolster its regional fiber backbone and offer enhanced fiber connectivity to its business customers.

twcGreen“Business services is a key growth area for Time Warner Cable and this acquisition will greatly enhance our already growing fiber network to better serve customers, particularly those in key markets in the Carolinas,” said Phil Meeks, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Business Services for Time Warner Cable. “This acquisition will help us expand our fiber footprint at a price that is consistent with our disciplined approach to mergers and acquisitions.”

Last month, DukeNet announced it provided fiber backhaul service to more than 3,500 cell towers across North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Time Warner Cable has focused much of its investment activity in expanding and enhancing services sold to commercial clients.

The acquisition follows Time Warner Cable’s $230 million purchase of NaviSite, Inc., a 2011 deal that also brought it more business customers.

Share

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • JayS: With the change to digital Tv and the advent of 'sub-channels', the rule about not owning more than two stations in a given Tv market has me confused....
  • James Cieloha: I know about the history of David Smith, Barry Faber, David Amy, and Sinclair: David Smith, Barry Faber, and David Amy with all of their colleagues...
  • The Kin: That's all fine and dandy, Paul except for the fact that cable companies have enough in profits to easily coat the US in fiber and then some. The cabl...
  • Dave Hancock: Fat chance. Perhaps the government will force "a-la carte", but the providers (ESPN, etc) will continue to insist that they be carried by the most po...
  • Terry Hall: I was told I would get a $200 rebate and was sent $100. I've been given 5 different numbers to call, all with long wait times. The last number I was g...
  • JoeinIllinois: At some point, won't the cable companies press ESPN , the Regional Sports Networks, NHL network, NBA network, MLB network, NBC Sports Net, regional NC...
  • Paul Houle: The big issue with Fiber is that it has high costs to set up, not so much because the hardware is expensive, but because you have to either dig up t...
  • Scott: Perfectly example of why I still don't subscribe to cable or satellite. The only channel I *might* watch out of that entire lineup is Comedy Central....
  • James Cieloha: CableOne, Service Electric, GCI, Buckeye and other NCTC members are being forced by Viacom to add the Epix movie channels in order to carry the cable ...
  • Dave Hancock: I don't know where AP lives, but in MOST areas of the country MOST people do not have any choice for High Speed Internet (15mbps or above) - it is the...
  • tacitus: That doesn't sound right. Are you in some sort of contract? Where in the country is this?...
  • AP: Good luck cutting cable if you live in an area that has one cable, internet, and phone company like I do. If you want internet or phone with the cable...

Your Account: