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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet 573

Freshly Exhumed writes "Chris Welch at The Verge tells us: 'Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference moments ago, Time Warner Cable's Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves seemed dismissive of the impact Google Fiber is having on consumers. "We're in the business of delivering what consumers want, and to stay a little ahead of what we think they will want," she said when asked about the breakneck internet speeds delivered by Google's young Kansas City network. "We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers."' The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"
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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Thursday February 28, 2013 @09:55AM (#43033507)

    Just a play from the classic Apple playbook: Any feature that our competitor has that we don't is something customers don't want or need--until we do have it, and then it's awesome.

    Actually, in all fairness, it's a play from pretty much everyone's playbook. I mean what do you expect him to say, "Well, the truth is we're jealous"?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @09:59AM (#43033557)

      If it was capped at 10GB per month, I wouldn't see a need either tbh. Thank Christ I live in a country where capping is unheard of. That's what actual free markets do for you.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033697)

        Right - if your gigabit connection is capped at something like 30GB, then you could only back up a quarter of your TB HD every month, and provided your remote backup site has the bandwidth so that TWC's connection is the limiter, it should take you far less than an hour to do it. Why would you pay $100+ a month when you could get greater capacity AND higher average throughput from mailing TB HDDs through the USPS?

        Hah, captcha was "clipped"!

      • by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:08AM (#43034409)

        I don't think it's the capping that is the only issue, but rather the pricing. It's hard to justify 100+ bucks for top tier service. We used to pay 20-30 bucks for 5, 7, or 10 Mb. In my area, bumping the 'stock' 10Mbps to 18 is $60. Going higher than that gets exorbitant.

        If there was competition, this would no doubt change, but they have a virtual monopoly around here.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:02AM (#43033591) Homepage Journal

      yeah.. I could think of lots of people who would like a gigabit internet connection.

      however if it comes with rules I'd think TWC to put on it then whats the point. you get like 5 minutes of service per month so what's the point?

    • How about the price? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:03AM (#43033599)

      How about the price?

      in rotterdam you can get 200 mbit for 30 euro's, 600 mbit for 37 euro's and 1Gbit for a few hundred euro's more...

      I love to have 1Gbit, but I guess 600mbit is okay for now, well hell I would be happy if I could get 200 mbit at all...

      It's just how much people are willing to pay for it. I think it still costs far too much....

      • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:53AM (#43034223)

        I'd settle for 600mbit that's about what I'm paying for 5mbps right now. Depending upon the specific taxes involved.

        I do sort of agree with TWC that there isn't much demand. But, that's right now, the thing about increased bandwidth is that new uses come into being as people figure out how to use it. But, the real problem is the lack of upstream bandwidth. I've got 5mbps down, but only 896kbps upstream.

    • Just a play from the classic Apple playbook: Any feature that our competitor has that we don't is something customers don't want or need--until we do have it, and then it's awesome.

      Yep. It's called "timing".

      A year or two from now the equipment will be cheaper and there might be enough potential customers to make a business case for installing it. Hell, you might even get 10Gbit hardware for the same price as this year's 1Gbit.

      Buying before then, just to keep up with a potential competitor's experiment, would be a silly move.

      • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:56AM (#43034251)

        Yes, but that's likely to always be true and meanwhile it's 10 years and you haven't done any meaningful upgrades. I'm not sure if it's still true, but as of when Qwest was bought by CenturyLink, there were parts of Seattle with 1.5mbps as the maximum connection speed and no plans to do anything about it. Even in my neighborhood the speeds had increased from 4mbps to a whopping 7mbps as the fastest option in a decade.

        If you keep putting these things off, it just stifles innovation.

      • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:17AM (#43034541)

        You're wrong in all directions you go.

        The demand for fast service is huge, and the US is a third world country because the telco model is to depreciate their asset investment as long as is possible, so as to maximize profits.

        The US used to be a leader, and now, it's fallen mightily because it's all about shareholder return and buying off government regulation whilst monopolizing as much as possible.

        Your "timing" BS is crack. 10G hardware is not the problem. Capital investment in a bought-off monopolistic era is the problem. The cure is to harrass the monopolists into acting like real capitalists.

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      which competitor sells gigabit ethernet in the USA?
      Google? they only have it in a few neighborhoods in one of the smallest cities in america

      google is just trying to create some hype hoping someone else ponies up the cash to build out a new network for them to make money on

      • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:12AM (#43034465) Homepage Journal

        Google? they only have it in a few neighborhoods in one of the smallest cities in america

        I wasn't aware that Kansas City was considered "one of the smallest cities in america"?

      • by ndege ( 12658 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:43AM (#43034867)

        Well, I have 1,000Mbps in my area; the fastest internet service in the US. See this news article published in 2010 about EPBfi [].

        All 100,000 customers have EPB power (this is the local electric power company in Chattanooga, TN, USA). Because of EPB's electric smartgrid, they also provide fiber to 100% of their coverage area. This means that every home/business/apartment has access to Gbit Internet and TV/phone.

        The slowest speed they currently offer is 50Mbps (for $57.99 per month), the fastest is 1000Mbps($299.99). I am on 100Mbps because it is only $12 more per month than 50Mbps.

        Oh, and there are no max bandwidth/transfer caps. You can do 1000Mbps all day long...EPBfi has the upstream bandwidth.

        I was on Comcast for 8 years. I telecommute most days; Comcast would go down for hours at a time for no apparent reason. When I would phone Comcast to report the outages, the customer service rep would say that they are upgrading the services in my area. The service person would say it as if that was the script on their screen as why the internet went down for 2 hours at 11am and again at 4pm. It got so bad over the course of a year, that I had to purchase a Sprint broadband card/account to continue to get work done as I came to just expect outages. I could not tell a client that I was having internet connectivity issues when I am doing remote-based network consulting.) ;)

        After switching to EPBfi 2 years ago, I haven't had a SINGLE service-affecting outage. They appear to have built their Internet infrastructure as solidly as they build their power distribution network.

        Feel free to read more here: []

        Oh, BTW, I don't own stock in EPB or work for them....I am a customer that likes to pay for internet that works reliably.

        Here is a news article published in 2012 about Chattanooga's upgrade of all customers from 30Mbps to 50Mbps. []

        It is interesting how none of the big media giants want to provide the additional speed/reliability; I guess if you can feed your customers sewage and tell them it's honey...and the customers believe it, more money goes in your pocket.

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:13AM (#43033751) Journal

      Time Warner is doing a variation on it though. What the guy really said was:

      "We offer high-bandwidth service in some markets, but people don't subscribe to it"

      What he's not expanding on, is the reason why they don't subscribe. Is it because people don't want it, or is it because they've made is so damn expensive that people don't see value in it compared to the lower-bandwidth service?

      • by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:21AM (#43033823)

        In my case, it is because although down speed is higher, up speed and latency are no better.

      • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:58AM (#43034269) Homepage

        Alternate translation: "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Cable Company."

      • Not real throughput and certainly not *guaranteed* throughput.

        I've had business class customers subscribe to the top tier of Comcast's service (100 down, some double-digit amount up) and throughput never met that even running Comcast's own (likely biased) speed test.

        My understanding of this is that when you buy a higher speed tier, you get that tier provisioned on your modem but after that, you're competing with any number of people on your broadcast domain and ultimately on your node for upstream capacity.

    • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:28AM (#43033915)

      It's not that.

      It's that if they offered gigabit Internet, then they'd have to upgrade all that other stuff to handle the bandwidth. That's why they put caps on, that's why they overcharge. It's because they can make tons of money now for the shareholders.

      They're a US utility. They don't upgrade. They wait until it falls apart and then they replace as little as possible.

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        Actually, my Time Warner speed has continued to go up at the same price for quite some time now. Having the top tier, at around $65/month, it has gone from 5Mbps to 10 to 20 without a lot of fanfare or me paying more. They've actually been pretty cool about quietly giving me more, unlike the Comcasts and AT&T's of the world.
    • by methano ( 519830 )
      Why you get modded up to "Interesting" for side tracking a post on Time Warner to whine about Apple is beyond me.

      But there you go.
    • In the article Trusting Telcos With Internet Is Like Trusting Fox With Henhouse [], Rick writes

      To people in Sweden, this seemed mind-bogglingly odd: in the small Scandinavian country, private entrepreneurs had been fibering apartment blocks wholesale for years. I had fiber in my own apartment in 1999, and keep enjoying a 100 megabit-connection with several static, public IPs – from where you’re reading this article, as I run my server from home.

      The take-home from this is that telcos have a confl

  • by radiumsoup ( 741987 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @09:58AM (#43033541)

    The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"

    Um, yeah - that's because it's waaaaaaaay overpriced.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pinfall ( 2430412 )

      The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"

      Um, yeah - that's because it's waaaaaaaay overpriced.

      I think $20 more per month is a fair price for any extra 1mb, and with the top tier at 35mb its faster than any consumer will ever need! I love my triple lock-in play!

      • by Farmer Pete ( 1350093 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:06AM (#43033641)

        35mb its faster than any consumer will ever need!

        Can I quote you on that in 10 years? I remember when 756 kbps was faster than any consumer would ever need. It didn't last long.

        • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:11AM (#43033719)

          I can remember telling a friend about ISDN and having him respond with "My god, what would you even *DO* with 128 kbit/s?"

        • Broadband speeds actually declined a good part of the 90s-00s here. In 1997 I started out with a 10Mbit/1Mbit connection from Comcast@Home. In 2001 when @Home went bankrupt and Comcast took over internet operations, the speed was 1.5Mbit/384Kbit... all for the same price. I won't get into how lousy latency and up time became with them. There were some speed increases, but Comcast didn't match their initial 1997 speed and prices until Verizon Fios came to town in these parts.
      • by NettiWelho ( 1147351 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:10AM (#43033707)

        The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"

        Um, yeah - that's because it's waaaaaaaay overpriced.

        I think $20 more per month is a fair price for any extra 1mb, and with the top tier at 35mb its faster than any consumer will ever need! I love my triple lock-in play!

        Meh, here in Finland I pay 29e/month for this [] (uncapped) and I live in a town of 10k people. If they tried to raise their prices they'd lose my business to any of the 4 competing ISP's.

    • by Farmer Pete ( 1350093 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:05AM (#43033619)
      You think that $100 a month for 50mbps is overpriced? Well sir, you must not be part of their target audience, and thus are irrelevant. Your criticism has been disregarded. Thank you, and have a nice day.
      • by radiumsoup ( 741987 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:13AM (#43033739)

        my sarcasometer is out for repair, so I'm unsure if serious... but I *am* a TWC customer, and I pay for their top residential tier, because I require it for my home business (IT consulting). It's stupid expensive for the upload speeds that I'm offered, which is really what I need the top tier for. I most certainly *am* their target audience, I get no less than two pieces of physical mail per month asking me to go for their TV and phone bundle. They LOVE the fact that they can charge me as much as they do, because I have no viable alternative right now, at least not until I can move to the next town over (Verizon FiOS) or into an office with a fiber provider. The woes of living in the 'burbs.

    • They should lose money just because a few geeks are ranting in a forum?

    • by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033683) Homepage

      Precisely; her comments have absolutely nothing to do with the demand of higher speeds and quality service, but rather the supply. Her argument is circular -- we don't offer good options, so customers don't choose good options, therefore customers don't want good options, thus there's no need for us to offer good options. That's an awesome flow chart you got there, TWC.

    • by Marcus Erroneous ( 11660 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033685) Homepage

      That's my take on it as well. You can kill the demand for any product by pricing it high enough.

      Most of these providers are run by folks with the old time telephone company mind set: if it's more than tip and ring, charge for it. The less it's like tip and ring, the more you charge for it. To them, that much bandwidth must be for business use, so charge'em business rates.

      In the 90s, GTE was thinking about offering the ability to check your account and pay your bill online. They had the ability but were stumped about how much to charge the customer to do so. They were thinking about charging the customer $8.95 a month for the privilege of checking and paying for their account online. They finally dropped the idea as their studies showed no interest in accessing accounts online for that price. It never occurred to them to offer it as a benefit of being a GTE customer.

      Most of those folks are still running the industry in that manner: everything not basic should be offered as a premier option.

    • As I am currently checking out the available options from the 2 providers in my area price does pay a big part in it as well as caps. As I do consume a lot of bandwidth I know in advance to ask about caps and because of this I have been getting a business class connection. I would make use of a faster connection if I could get one but the top speed in my area is 100 mbit/s and is available as a business class connection for the low low price of $250 per month plus what ever dodgy fees, taxes, and service ch
  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:00AM (#43033577)

    "We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers."

    That is the core problem. Thanks to TWC for stating it so well.

  • Well maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:02AM (#43033585)

    This is because you price it out of reach for your average customers and only those willing to pay your ridiculous fees for it purchase it....
    I would absolutely pay for a Gig connection to my home if it had a sane price tag!

    • TWC has a *near* monopoly on my area (Cincinnati), so it is what I use. The moment Cincinnati Bell Fioptics or Verizon FIOS is available on my street, I'm outs.
  • by DigitalSorceress ( 156609 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:04AM (#43033611)

    If I had an option for GigaBit, I'd take it - but only if it was priced correctly and was free of onerous TOS. There is most certainly a demand for fast, free (as in speech) Internet connections - and a willingness to pay for them, but not $$stupid$$ amounts and not with a zillion strings attached.

    I love how the cable cos were advertising things like "your speed is X which means you could download Y whole movies in Z time" but if you actually USE the bandwidth, they cap you... and maybe even send you sharing violation notices or whatever... and they tell you you can't "run any kind of server"

    I pay several hundred dollars a month for a dedicated physical server at a commercial datacenter hosting a number of VPS instances for my web hosting needs... the right "business level" connectivity for my home might tempt me, but not with all the strings that local ISPs seem to have. (also, I don't have N+1 Power redundancy at home, so maybe it's not really such a good idea) /meh //but I want GigabitInternet ///just not enough to be willing to move for it

  • too expensive (Score:4, Informative)

    by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:05AM (#43033623)

    " The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers"

    Ya. Cause you charge too damn much for it. You priced it out of reach of most people. It's not that there isn't demand for it.

  • by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:05AM (#43033627) Homepage Journal

    There are two factors involved in a customer's decision. That which they get, and the price at which they get it. What's going on here is that most customers are not willing to shell out $50-$70 for Time Warner's top tiers, as the extra speed doesn't justify the cost over the lower tiers. On the surface, this would seem to back up Time Warner's assertion that customers don't want faster speeds for the most part. The analysis is missing one important factor, however: Time Warner has no real competition in most markets. As a result, they get to set the prices to dictate customer demand, not the other way around. To maximize their profit, Time Warner has chosen a price point at which most people will want to purchase the tier they're willing to provide minimizing the amount of investment in their infrastructure they would have to provide to support more people at higher tiers.

    In a more competitive environment, other ISPs would compete by offering lower prices and faster tiers. Then we would see whether customers chose to pay less for the same speeds or get a faster internet for the same price.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:05AM (#43033631)

    "We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers."' The article goes on to quote her: '...residential customers have thus far shown little interest in TWC's top internet tiers. "A very small fraction of our customer base" ultimately choose those options.'"

    Translation: "We have a near monopoly and don't want to spend the money to do the upgrade because we don't have to"

    I pay for 50Mb/s access and my ISP offers 100Mb/s. Why don't I pick 100Mb/s? Because it costs $200/month versus the $80/month I'm already paying. Huge diminishing returns. The expensive bit is running the cable to my house. After any arguments against offering the fastest possible speed for a reasonable price are pretty weak.

  • i don't see google committing the $100 or $140 BILLION its estimated to cost to roll out fiber nationwide

    when google announces a plan to sell bonds at 7% or whatever the prevailing rate is to build out a nationwide gigabit or higher to the home network call me

    because TWC is right. most people don't care to pay more $$$ for the higher speeds. i have time warner 20/1 service for $50 a month. i would like a faster upload but don't want to pay for it. FIOS is coming in a few months to where i like for $70 for 1

    • Apple could foot that bill in cash. Their sitting on more dough than Pillsbury. Maybe we should all write a petition to Apple asking them to create a free fiber network for everyone.
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:07AM (#43033653) Homepage

    When they price a service out of reach of the average consumer, of course few will take it. The same will be done if they ever offer ala carte TV. You will be given a "cable connection" for a base fee and then each channel will be a certain amount more. Of course, the way it will be priced, you will quickly top the bill for regular, bundled cable TV if you add even a handful of channels. Then, when few people take them up on this "deal", they will declare that there is no demand for it and kill the project.

  • Pfft. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:07AM (#43033655) Homepage Journal

    Of COURSE they're going to say this.

    Invest millions or billions into infrastructure? Why would they want to do something like that when they can just sit back and milk profits on what they have now?

    The thing is, there IS a call for this kind of connection. But not when:

    A: They want to charge $200 for a 50 megabit connections as-is.
    B: They're capping data either way.
    C: They're forcing you to pay even MORE by bundling their TV and phone service in. Look at the prices for their bundles. Now try to find the prices for the stand-alone internet.
    D: Their customer and technical service is, even at it's most kindly-description, shit-tastic.

    With the kind of pricing scheme they have now, they'd want $500-600/month MINIMUM for gig service.

    At that kind of price point, yeah. There's no demand. Nobody's stupid enough to pay that.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )

      A. Except it's currently $65 for 35Mbps. They'll probably upgrade it to 50Mpbs without telling me soon, since I started at 5Mbps at this price years ago.
      B. I've never hit a cap, ever, and I am a pretty high-volume user. C. Stand alone internet for me: $65 for 35Mbps. D. I've never had a problem with Time Warner's service. The 2 times I had to call them, I got someone right away and they solved the issue quickly.

      It sounds like you are railing against AT&T or Comcast here instead of TimeWarner. Becaus

  • by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:08AM (#43033667)

    This is coming from a cable company. Their primary product is television. If ever there was an industry stuck in the dark ages it's television.

    "We're in the business of delivering what consumers want..." - That is laughable to say the least. What they are really in the business of is extracting every last dime from consumers that they can get away with. Cable companies are in a semi-monopoly position and the service shows it. As better entertainment options continue to surface, cable cutting continues.

    Google is the Steam Engine, Time Warner is the horse and buggy. TW is stubbornly clinging to yesterday's cash cow while Google continues to explore the future.

    If I had the option of gigabit internet in my neighborhood I would jump on it in an instant. So would many other people I suspect.

  • Cable Replacement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pellik ( 193063 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:08AM (#43033669)
    Of course TWC customers don't need that much bandwidth. Right now the amount of bandwidth they'll give you is generally not enough to stream HD video reliably. This would be a problem for many people, but since their customers all subscribe to cable it clearly doesn't affect them. Streaming 1080p video to multiple devices simultaneously over the internet would kill their core business. Bias is expected.
  • I had the option of upgrading to Time Warner's new top tier of 50Gbit download speed and passed. Of course, they wanted an additional $50/month for the upgrade, so roughly a total of $100/month for the service.

    At that price it wasn't worth it. If the upgrade were more reasonably priced, I would consider it.

  • What does Google's 1 gbps service in KC cost? $70 / month? I'd pay that $70 and throw all cable executives' and their offspring to the wolves in about ... well, there I did it while you were reading.
  • I'm a residential and business customer of theirs. I have 10x1Mbps at my apartment for around $30/mo. At my business I have 7x0.75Mbps for $69/mo. A business 10x2Mbps is $270. That's why there's no demand for gigabit. It would be like $10,000/mo at their ridiculous prices and I really don't need it at my house.
  • As a Kansas Citian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:09AM (#43033695) Journal

    As a Kansas Citian, I will say that that she is dead wrong. I already told AT&T that if they can't compete, they won't have me as a customer when Google comes to my area next year. What there isn't a market for is paying $400/month for less than gigabit speeds.

  • Given their current pricing model, they'd be happy to offer gigabit internet, but not at prices that consumers want to pay. They might offer it for $500 a month, for example, which would fit nicely in with their habit of charging suburban mom and dad $200 a month for internet, cable, two email addresses and a DVR.

    All it takes however is one competitor to offer it for under $200 in a city that people recognize the name of, and they'll start changing their tune. Then it's both a proven business model and a th

    • by radiumsoup ( 741987 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:24AM (#43033863)

      well, capitalism without competition isn't actually capitalism, it's more like feudalism, so don't feel bad for knocking the idea of a monopoly around... the concept of cable monopolies is going to have to be reexamined eventually. They did it with the phone companies where you have "last mile" providers and backbone providers - I think eventually cable operators will be relegated to "last mile" status, and you'll be able to push other providers' services down the same pipe over time, just like you can get DSL from multiple providers over the same copper pair. Probably take 5-10 years, though.

      (this is admittedly an oversimplification of the situation, but the basic idea is that the monopolies either need to be broken, or coax cable needs to be replaced with something more carrier neutral like utility fiber to the neighborhood.)

  • She's right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andrio ( 2580551 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:12AM (#43033725)
    Who would want gigabit speeds when it just means you'll hit your bandwidth cap sooner; you'll get a six strikes warning; there's a lack of 1080p content to stream because the media companies that own the ISPs (or vice versa) will fight tooth and nail to hold onto old distribution means, etc etc.?

    Yup, no point in amazing, fast internet.
  • by macwhiz ( 134202 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:15AM (#43033767)

    Yes, Time Warner's top-tier 50Mbps is priced beyond the reach of most customers. At $100/month, it's a luxury.

    But there's another issue. Right now, the biggest reason to get big bandwidth at home is to support multiple users with diverse interests. There are a lot of potential uses where the upstream bandwidth just isn't there to justify a fatter pipe. Netflix may have a content-delivery network to support higher speeds... but TWC hasn't signed on for it. For most people who work from home, their employer doesn't have enough bandwidth to make a bigger pipe useful. If your employer has only a 45Mbps connection shared by all business needs, you're going to saturate any remaining bandwidth with a 50Mbps connection at home; why would you need gigabit to work from home? In that scenario, 50Mbps is only useful so the kids can Netflix without crimping your VPN speeds... And to get the higher return-path speeds that come with it.

    Netflix and its rivals don't come close to using 50Mbps bandwidth per stream. They usually stream closer to 3Mbps. If they offered hire quality streams, or if there was a lot of 4K-resolution content out there, there'd be more demand.

    The uses for ultra wideband bandwidth will come, but they're not here yet for most people... And especially not at those prices.

  • by jdogalt ( 961241 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:26AM (#43033891) Journal

    I recently (last year) filed a complaint (ref#12-C000422224-1) with the FCC about Google Fiber's "no server hosting allowed of any kind" terms of service. With those kinds of EVIL ToS, you just won't see the kind of innovation and utilization of gigabit fiber service that is possible and that would cause a great increase in demand. Somehow, even though I got the local vocal U.S. Navy Information Warefare Officer who posts here (Dave Shroeder) to publicly call my 53 page anti-google manifesto 'good' and agree with it's core network neutrality argument, I have been pretty much completely ignored by both Google and the FCC. Hell, there was even an AC leak from a google all hands meeting that said Google's CEO was "really annoyed with the no server hosting clause" and "repeatedly needled" the CFO about it, who said there was "no intent to enforce, except against crazy datacenter style abuse". Personally I think that's all bullshit part of a conspiracy to deny residental citizen's the ability to compete with google and other established player's servers and services... Finally a couple weeks ago on valentine's day, 2 days after pinging the FCC again, and 1 day after being pinged by another asshole google recruiter (, the FCC finally escalated my complaint. Time will tell... [] [] [] []

  • by fa2k ( 881632 ) <.pmbjornstad. .at.> on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:29AM (#43033929)

    From what I've seen, most people use wireless connections for their computers (even some desktops..ugh), tablets, etc. Best case scenario is that the games console is wired, if they are gamers. The max speed of wireless "n" gear is easily below gigabit, and the bandwidth is shared between all users. The fact that people don't *quite* need gigabit yet shouldn't put these ISPs off upgrading their services. Gigabit is maybe overkill for now, but in a couple of years it will be the standard at the high end. They should be working their asses off upgrading the hardware in residential areas to anticipate this. Speccing the home routers for at least 300Mbit of WAN I/O. Instead they are hoping that things will not improve. If all ISPs don't do anything, then it will indeed not improve. It's good that we have Google, which will do something, and will show the ISPs what happens if they don't all play retarded. I.e. all other ISPs will look like retards (sorry about the choice of words, but I can't think of a better way to say it)

  • Filed next to... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MasterOfGoingFaster ( 922862 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:39AM (#43034043) Homepage

    I've filed this next to -

    "I think there is a world market for about five computers. ... No one else, he said, would ever need machines of their own, or would be able to afford to buy them" - Thomas Watson - IBM

    "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." - Ken Olsen - Digital Equipment Corp

    "640K ought to be enough for anybody" - Some guy...

  • by who_stole_my_kidneys ( 1956012 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:00AM (#43034309)
    by Irene Esteves logic, no one wants a Bugatti either, if they did they would just go out and buy one.
  • Stockholm, Sweden (Score:4, Informative)

    by Meneth ( 872868 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:47AM (#43034939)
    For the last 5 years, I've had 100 Mbps up & down for 275 SEK/mon. (current eq. 43 USD)
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:46PM (#43037427) Homepage

    Google probably puts more effort into publicizing their tiny Kansas City gigabit Internet project than actually doing it., on the other hand, is quietly deploying gigabit fiber to the home in Northern California. [] Sonic says it costs them about $500 per house they pass to install fiber; if they sell to 1 in 3 houses, which is what they're getting, it's $1500 per house. Sonic charges $70 per month for a gigabit connection. It's only available in a few places, though - Sebastapol, CA and parts of the Sunset District in San Francisco. Elsewhere, they offer 20Mb/s down for $40/month, over lines leased from AT&T.

    Sonic has no data caps. Their CEO says that their upstream bandwidth is not a significant cost, and they don't need to throttle their users.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson