updated 12:13 pm EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Austin TWC Maxx upgrade includes connection speed increases, improved TV service
Time Warner Cable is expanding the TWC Maxx initiative it launched earlier this year in Los Angeles and New York City, by upgrading its network in Austin, Texas, along with seven other markets at a later time. Subscriber speed increases for its Internet service are touted, for both consumer and business customers, alongside an expansion of the TWC Wi-Fi network into the greater Austin area, and a new "all-digital" TV line-up.
Speed increases have been implemented in some areas since June,, the company writes in a press release, with more than 52 percent of TWC Internet customers in the area expected to see the new speeds by the end of this week. If the Austin expansion is similar to the original TWC Maxx launch, customers will in theory see increases of between 50 percent and 500 percent, depending on package, with existing Ultimate customers on a 50Mbit down, 5Mbit up connection being upgraded to 300Mbit down, 20Mbit up. TWC Business Service customers will also see new connection speed options, and can also get a symmetrical fiber service offering speeds of up to 10Gbps.
The third round of upgrades will take place next week, including San Marcos, Bastrop, the greater Lakeway area, and a number of Central and North Austin neighborhoods. The remaining areas unaffected by the update will receive the speed upgrades in September and October. While the speed increases will be free, some customers will be required to change their modems in order to improve their connection, and while TWC will be contacting customers about replacement modems, customers included in the August speed upgrades have already been contacted and have received modems.
Speed increases for Time Warner Cable subscribers in original TWC Maxx announcement
The switch over to the "all-digital" TV service offers a number of benefits to customers, including improvements to picture quality and audio, while TWC will be able to use the extra capacity freed up in the switch to provide more channels and on-demand options. Simplified navigation for set-top boxes is set to arrive in late 2014 as part of TWC's next-generation video services, along with a new on-demand portal offering improved search and an increase in its library from 30,000 hours to nearly 75,000 hours of programming. An "Enhanced DVR" is also promised, providing 1TB of storage to save up to 150 hours of HD content, and to simultaneously record up to six different channels.
The network upgrades in Austin could be considered as an attempt to retain customers while AT&T and Google Fiber roll out their own fiber services in the area. AT&T has been enabling the service in some areas, after opening for registrations in December, while Google Fiber has hit delays in its rollout, though Google still hopes to make the service go live "later this year."
TWC Maxx upgrades will also apply to Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio, and San Diego, though these will not take place until next year.