4K content benefits when Google and Time Warner compete for Fiber customers
Stephan Jukic – April 15, 2015
Just as Google Fiber is making preparations for an expansion into Charlotte, North Carolina, the established cable operator in the area, Time Warner, suddenly decides to give all of its regional customers a dramatic increase in internet speed at no extra charge.
The effort is an obvious attempt to hold on to these clients in the face of eventual Google competition and also begs the obvious question: If it was so easy to just boost the connectivity speeds of its customers, why didn’t Time Warner do so earlier?
Either way, many clients of TWC will now be getting as much as 6 times the bandwidth they could previously receive and many who formerly got 15Mbps now will receive up to 50Mbps while “Extreme” customers who were previously subscribing to 30 Mbps will now get as many as 200 Mbps.
Of course, all of these increases have one fundamental thing in common; they place TWC’s Charlotte area internet service speeds fully into the territory of connectivity with enough bandwidth to transmit 4K video streams without any problems at all.
However, even with these accelerated connectivity speeds, Time Warner Cable can’t really compete with the power of Google’s own Fiber connection, which offers several hundred Mbps at least and has been known to offer web connection speeds of as much as a Gigabit.
Google had already announced plans to enter Charlotte along with several other metropolitan areas since January as part of its plan to eventually give Ultra-high speed Gigabit or close to gigabit connectivity to people all over the U.S.
The same sort of competition occurred in Austin, Texas last year in 2014. With Google Fiber’s arrival in the city, Time Warner Cable quickly moved to boost the connectivity speeds of its customers by several-fold, offering those who had previously received 50 to 100 Mbps a boost to 300 Mbps.
Again the same trend repeats itself, one new player starts completely surpassing the incumbent in terms of internet connectivity and the incumbent reacts where they may otherwise not have done so for years on their own volition.
The overall benefit of all this ultra-high speed internet connectivity competition is that it paves the way for wider adoption of 4K ultra HD media streaming. Given that only a minority percentage of U.S households receive more than the minimum of 20Mbps needed to stream 4K content over the web from Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video, a new spread of ultra-high speed connectivity is a crucial ingredient in the wider proliferation of 4K entertainment content.
Google’s Fiber subscription costs $70 per month in the places to which it’s available. Expensive but also unique enough to cost a bit more, at least for now.
Story by 4k.com