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Google's 1Gbps fiber 'not driving' Time Warner Cable's sudden Austin speed increase

Telco was planning to do it ALL ALONG, honest

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Time Warner Cable (TWC) is to upgrade its network in Austin, Texas over the summer to allow internet speeds of up to 300Mbps, but says this has nothing to do with Google's decision to make the city its third installation of 1Gbps fiber.

"It's not driving it, it's more about customer demand," a company spokeswoman told The Register today.

"What we've seeing from customers in the Austin area, it's a fast growing market and a lot of interest in faster internet there. We're bringing it now because our network there allows us to do that."

She explained that the decision was part of an initiative the company is calling TWC Maxx, announced on January 30, that will triple internet connection speeds in four districts: two in New York and two in Los Angeles. More locations are under consideration. The service is set to launch under a new brand later in the year.

“With ‘TWC Maxx,’ we’re going to essentially reinvent the TWC experience market-by-market,” said TWC chairman Robert Marcus.

“We’ll triple Internet speeds for customers with our most popular tiers of service, add more community WiFi, dramatically improve the TV product and, perhaps most importantly, we’ll set a high bar in our industry for differentiated exceptional customer service. We’re focused on providing the features and benefits that matter most to our customers.”

The Austin upgrade will cover all districts of the Texan capital, which is good news for consumers, business, and the annual South by South West digital egostroking hobnobbing festival held there each year. By contrast Google hasn't committed to cover all areas of Austin in 1Gbps (and eventually 10Gbps) fiber connections, just those where enough residents sign up for the service.

The upgrade program by TWC is however a quick change of heart. Last year the company's chief financial officer Irene Esteves told the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference that Google's fiber plans were an extravagance and her company would not be pursuing such high speeds.

"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. "We just don't see the need of delivering that [ultra high-speed broadband] to consumers."

TWC isn’t the only one upping its game in the Lone Star State. Just hours after Google announced its fiber plans for Austin another network provider, AT&T, announced plans to install a 1Gbps network in the city, although it has yet to fully commit to the area.

Google set up its Fiber network with the explicit plan to shake up the US broadband market, which is lamentably slow and expensive in comparison to the rest of the developed world. Based on what's going on down in Austin, the program is working so far. ®

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