And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

Not even letting the fury of ire from their bandwidth cap plans cool, Time Warner hit back announcing that the planned DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade to the much faster 50Mbps broadband service will not happen in the four markets that voiced their disapproval of the bandwidth caps.

While no official press release from the company seems to exist either way on the subject, Time Warner’s VP of Public Relations, Alex Dudley seemed to tell one blog reported exactly why there’s no DOCSIS upgrade in sight for Texas, North Carolina and Rochester, NY:

Time Warner PR: No Caps, No DOCSIS
Time Warner PR: No Caps, No DOCSIS

The image at right depects a Twitter search result from the conversation between Stacey Higginbotham from Gigaom and Time Warner’s PR Rep, Alex Dudley.

Stacy appears to ask is/was DOCSIS 3 planned and if so, was it tied into the bandwidth tiered pricing trials.

Mr. Dudley’s answer was a resounding yes, it was a part of their consumption based billing (cbb) trial, but “we all know how you feel about that.”

Now, speculating a moment here, does that mean that Time Warner isn’t unrolling DOCSIS 3.0 because the consumers voiced concern against unfair tiered billing?  Seriously?

In markets where there really is no choice: Time Warner is telling their customers: You’re stuck with us.  Go pay for substandard service, or pay additional, still unsubstantiated fees and we won’t upgrade your speed or technology.  All because their costs are purportedly going up. Something they swear to the press, but not to the SEC.  But keep telling the media how “Internet brownouts” could happen and how Sunday’s 3-hour outage was a part of that.  Your Q1 financials yielded “healthy numbers,” growing 5% to almost $4.5 Billion according to today’s financial press release. Oh, and look. TWC is up over 11% on today’s news.  There’s more revenue.

Every network engineer knows that high data traffic usage doesn’t explain your broken routers any more than how far you drive affects your car’s glove compartment capacity.  Being greedy, however, might.

Everybody Else Is Doing It: Cablevision unrolls 101Mpbs Speeds for Under $100

In the meantime, the 5th largest cable company, Cablevision announced their DOCSIS plan to start May 11th. They will unroll DOCSIS 3.0 at a whopping 101Mbps download speed to everyone in their coverage area starting May 11th.  That’s right, 101Mbps, twice as fast plus one (just for a kicker, I presume)  than Time Warner’s original plans and Verizon FiOS’s current offering.

What’s the price tag?  Only $99.95/month, compared to Comcast and Verizon who offer $140 for half the speed.  While I’m on the subject, let’s note here that Cablevision’s standard service is 15Mbps at only $30/month compared to Time Warner’s 10Mbps for $45/month.  To get 15Mbps from Time Warner, you need to pay for “Turbo” which was listed at one point at $15 additional per month.  Cablevision’s equivalent of Time Warner’s “Turbo” brings you up to 30Mbps is only $10 more per month.

Again, Time Warner:  If your incredibly smaller competitor can do this without imposing caps or additional fees and isn’t realizing problems, why can’t you?  You’re huge.  You have an “advanced fiber network,” right?

Again, I challenge you to take the higher road and not use sarcasm with your customers.  Offer the service.  You bought the equipment.  If you want to triple people’s bills to $150/month, then do it with an uncapped DOCSIS 3 service.  Leave the tiered stuff to the people who truly would use the lower-cost, slower network, as your information proclaims.