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Time Warner Cable to Rochester: No Faster Speeds for You! — TWC Upgrading FiOS Cities to Ultra-Wideband Service

Phillip Dampier October 12, 2009 Broadband Speed, Competition, Editorial & Site News, Frontier 29 Comments
Rochester, NY - New York's second largest economy on the shores of a broadband backwater

Rochester, NY - New York's second largest economy on the shores of a broadband backwater

Broadband Reports this morning received word from an “insider” that Time Warner Cable is laying the groundwork to introduce “wideband” broadband service up to 50Mbps throughout New York State’s Verizon FiOS-wired communities.  According to the report, Time Warner Cable plans to launch faster DOCSIS 3.0 service in Buffalo in mid-November, Syracuse in December, and Albany in January.  The company introduced “wideband” service in metropolitan New York City a few weeks ago.

Omitted from the upgrade list is New York’s second largest economy and high tech capital of upstate New York — Rochester.  The city was in the news in April when Time Warner designated Rochester as one of the “test cities” for an Internet Overcharging experiment.  The plan was shelved when customers organized a mass revolt against the plan and two federal legislators intervened.

From a logical standpoint, it wouldn’t seem to make sense for a broadband provider to omit a region with more than one million residents, many who have been highly educated and work for the community’s largest employers – the University of Rochester/Strong Health, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, ViaHealth/Rochester General Hospital, Rochester Institute of Technology, Paychex, and ITT.

But from the all-important business standpoint, Time Warner Cable enjoys extraordinarily limited competition in the area, and the gap only widens in the coming future.  The area’s telephone provider, Frontier Communications, is known mostly for providing service in rural communities, and has so far offered lackluster plans for a 21st century broadband platform, preferring to rely on now-aging DSL technology while Verizon wires most comparably-sized cities in the rest of the state for advanced fiber-to-the-home FiOS service.

While Frontier can live comfortably in rural communities where cable television is not an option, customers who live and work in their largest service area continue to find disadvantages from a company business plan that these days seems more focused on mergers and acquisitions, and is content with language that defines an appropriate amount of monthly broadband usage at a ridiculously small 5 gigabytes per month.

Against a competitor like that, why would Time Warner Cable bother?

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PreventCAPS
PreventCAPS
11 years ago

Okay, so it seems pretty well established that TWC won’t bring DIOSIS 3 to Rochester any time soon on their own, and there is definitely no competition to help influence them. Is there any way the local government can put a carrot in front of TWC? I also have concerns that part of TCW’s re-education program might consist of: “We upgraded our infrastructure in your division and now we need to pay for it so we are going to utilize a consumption based billing system that will split the cost equally and fairly amongst subscribers. Oh, yeah, if you leave… Read more »

Ron Dafoe
Ron Dafoe
11 years ago

It truly is a disservice to the area that Verizon continues to ignore the region. I don’t care about any gentlemen’s agreement or whatever agreement they had 10+ years ago. There is absolutely no reason in my mind that Verizon avoids our area, and places like Batavia have access to FIOS. They would get their startup costs back faster in Rochester, then Batavia.

David
David
11 years ago

You used an image of mine for this article and need to attribute it appropriately.

jr
jr
11 years ago

TWC has money to advertise but not to upgrade

PreventCAPS
PreventCAPS
11 years ago
Reply to  jr

I hate getting fliers weekly from them for their services. If all that money could be redirected towards bettering the service… I think they would get much better bang for their our buck that way.

Ian L
11 years ago

It’s the competition, stupid. Could anyone list the speeds and prices for TWC in the Rochester area? Might be attractive for a new provider to come in and build if they can be the fastest in town with 12/2 service. I just tried the business side and service appears to max out at 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. So even a wireless provider could beat that. Not sure on the residential tiers though. I hear they’re 10/??? and 15/1, which isn’t horrible (though not great either). Business tiers are as follows (Mbps down, Kbps up): 4/384 – $80… Read more »

TM
TM
11 years ago

If any competitor came into this market with a faster service, TWC would see an epic exodus of customers. I’d be amongst the first to leave them.

Ian L
11 years ago
Reply to  TM

What speeds can Rochester customers get now through TWC?

PreventCAPS
PreventCAPS
11 years ago
Reply to  Ian L

Standard: 10Mbps down, 384Kbps up
Turbo: 15Mbps down, 1 Mbps up

Ian L
11 years ago
Reply to  PreventCAPS

What’s the pricing? $50 for standard + $10 for Turbo or something else?

Download speeds actually look decent on both tiers, all things considered. Uploads suck though.

PreventCAPS
PreventCAPS
11 years ago
Reply to  Ian L

I think the normal (non-promotional) prices are $45 and $10 or thereabouts. However, the upload speeds have never been upgraded since original service and vary be division. Some divisions have 1Mbps upload standard.

Ian L
11 years ago
Reply to  PreventCAPS

Hmk. In my area upload for standard and Turbo are 512 and 2M, respectively.

Seems like a fiber provider could come in with relatively low speeds and blow the market wide open.

Example:
6/1 – $40 residential, $80 business
12/2 – $50 residential, $150 business
20/3 – $60 residential, $220 business
30/5 – $80 residential, $350 business

Of course I’m looking at this from a business perspective. As a customer of course I’d love faster speeds (especially on uploads) and lower prices, but the above speeds would be plenty profitable if a fiber provider went in and had them.

Ian L
11 years ago

Playing Devil’s Advocate here, $45 unbundled for 10 Mbps down isn’t bad, and neither is $55 for 15 Mbps, though in central Texas 7/512 is $40 and 15/2 is $50. In comparison, Comcast is 12/2 for $55 and 16/2 for $65 per month in DOCSIS 3 areas, plus $3 + tax for modem rental. In non-D3 areas you’re looking at 6/1 for $55 and 8/2 for $65. So the Rochester TWC prices are quite palatable IMO, on the residential side anyway. So pricing on internet in your area seems to be perfectly fine, and speeds are okay on the download,… Read more »

Ron Dafoe
Ron Dafoe
11 years ago
Reply to  Ian L

The only arguement I think you get from anyone here on price is that of the overcharging scheme. The prices have pretty much stayed the same. What was raised was the need for GB limites per month, when the pricing they are charging now makes them alot of money. It was their words that they needed the new structure to be able to maintain their networks and then suggested that is how Rochester would get DOCSIS 3. It looks like that becuase consumers fought back on the limits, we will be punished by remaining stagnant while others, smaller communities get… Read more »

Ian L
11 years ago

That’s a rather prejudiced thing to say. Just because Texas tends to be rather rural doesn’t mean that folks are Luddites. Again, I’m pretty sure that central Texas (San Antonio and Austin) have the most competitive non-D3 packages out there price-wise for TWC, outside of maybe NYC. Verizon wouldn’t have deployed FiOS in Dallas if they ddn’t have a market for it 🙂 Again, services offered in a given area tend to be based first on the company in question and second on the competition that company is facing. Here in the Denver metro you’ve got Comcast and Qwest. Qwest… Read more »

Bill
Bill
11 years ago

We’re being punished. Call it like it is.

kestrelmas
11 years ago

Yes… how dare we refuse to be used as a test market for caps. By the way, went down to the Henrietta office recently to help a roommate of mine. He wanted his own box, bringing the total number of boxes up to 2 for the house. The blonde woman behind the counter was the nastiest piece of work, in terms of attitude. I think I’ll stick to service over the phone if that’s how they treat people down there. Everything with her was an issue. If I wanted treatment of that sort, I’d just as soon go to the… Read more »

Smith6612
Smith6612
11 years ago

Well, I’m sorry to hear that Rochester isn’t getting upgraded regardless of what Frontier or whoever else is/will be providing. In Buffalo, it’s mostly Verizon and some pockets where there is Frontier servicing the area (I can name a few. Sanborn, East Amherst, Pembroke) but Time Warner already has 10Mbps/1Mbps service and 15Mbps/2Mbps. I wonder if out where I am if I’m going to be upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0, as even though I do use DSL here, I’m hoping that what Time Warner does will push FiOS to me faster or even convince Verizon to give me more speed for… Read more »

Smith6612
Smith6612
11 years ago

All true. I see that happen all the time where people don’t know what a gigabyte is, and those tend to be the same people wondering why the videos I send them are taking nearly two hours to download. For Time Warner, they did perform a node split a little while back which took them a month to complete if I’m not mistaken, so I’m sure they can bump the place up to DOCSIS 3.0 in no time as well as swap out the modem. I’m sure my neighbors would appreciate the upgrades as my neighborhood is a Time Warner… Read more »

waiting and watching
waiting and watching
11 years ago

Oh goody, those other cities of the experimental overcharging will probably NEVER see any better speeds then if Rochester won’t get them. Greensboro, has no competition at all, so NC will remain a technological backwater until after WWIII.

Ian L
11 years ago

Actually, Embarq is decent. They overprovision download and upload speeds so you get the speed advertised, and their upload speeds are relatively decent across the board. Even 768 kbps service has 384 kbps uploads, 3M gets 640K and 10M ADSL2+ is 896K. It’s not quite 1 Mbps, but still decent considering we’re talking about DSL.

Embarq is also experimenting with line bonding, which should net customers 1.5 Mbps uploads and 20 Mbps downloads eventually. They also have fiber in new developments, though the don’t offer tiers above 10 Mbps.

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