Faster Internet? “We just don’t see the need,” says TWC

If you’re the kind of person who likes to be told what you do and don’t want, then Time Warner Cable (TWC) has got you covered. Why, just last week they revealed the shocking news that you don’t really want faster Internet — you sure had the rest of us fooled! Hopefully your new self-knowledge will make you feel better while you’re waiting for websites to load.

“We’re in the business of delivering what consumers want, and to stay a little ahead of what we think they will want,” said CFO Irene Esteves. “We just don’t see the need of delivering [Gigabit speeds] to consumers.” She even implied that it would take a “magic pill” to get people interested in such speedy Internet access.

The funny thing is, those same consumers who don’t want faster Internet seem to love Google Fiber, the experimental fiber network capable of Gigabit speeds (that’s about 1,000 Mb/second, compared to the American average of 6.7 Mb/s). To say that there is no demand for such a network is laughable when you consider the great lengths that American cities went to in the competition to get Google Fiber first. From renaming state capitals to flash mobs and mayoral stunts, the demand was very clear.

Faster Internet or a Quick Buck?

Of course, the real reason that TWC and Comcast are in no hurry to match Google Fiber’s speeds is simply this: it would lower their profit margin. Wall Street analyst Craig Moffet calls their Internet services “almost comically profitable,” and estimates their profit margin to be about 97%. Thanks to regional monopolies, most consumers don’t have much choice but to go with one of the two cable giants, which is perhaps why they feel entitled to tell you that you don’t want something better.

So far, Google Fiber has only been deployed in the Kansas City area (in both Kansas and Missouri), but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers who switched from TWC to Google Fiber have seen their Internet access speed increase exponentially and enjoyed the perks of a free Nexus 7 tablet, a 2 TB storage box, no data caps, and more, for just a few dollars more than they were paying to TWC. There’s no contest.

Still, TWC is content to let Google test the waters of high-speed Internet, just so long as the bulk of their insane profits are safe. If (or perhaps “when”) Google Fiber finds success on a scale that threatens their earnings, that’s when you can expect TWC and Comcast to (begrudgingly) build out a network that can compete.

In the meantime, they’ll probably work on writing your Christmas list for you and filling your Netflix queue with the movies that you should want to see.

A Triple Play package for your stuffed animals?
Are you sure?


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Brent Urmey is an avid reader and writer on a variety of subjects, including social media, SEO, the Wireless industry, and life in Lancaster County, PA. He is a graduate of Drexel University and a survivor of the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. You can connect with Brent on Google +.