Time Warner Cable Weakly Swipes at Google Fiber Rollout in Austin

The rollout of Google Fiber in a given location must feel like an impending tidal wave to the competition, which generally offers slower Internet speeds at higher prices (and often with frustrating customer service) than the search giant-come-ISP, and we’ve discussed before how this development has put the industry on notice.

Time Warner Cable doesn’t plan to take Google Fiber’s disruption lying down, and its Director of Digital Communications, Jeff Simmermon, has taken to the corporate blog to let everyone know just what the company is doing to stay competitive.

In Austin, the big news is: TWC is deploying free WiFi hotspots in the city. That’s it.

Time Warner Cable truck
Too little, too late TWC

A few years ago, free municipal WiFi was a big deal, but most people have 3G-equipped smartphones these days and can often tether to create a personal WiFi hotspot for their non-3G tablets and notebooks. Further, part of Google Fiber is free 5Mbps WiFi for all, so “free WiFi” doesn’t sound all that impressive, anyway.

In Kansas City, the first area to get Google Fiber service, we’ve heard that TWC was fighting for its customers one by one, by offering customers faster Internet speeds and reductions on their bills. (The specific example we heard about was a fellow who saw his speed jump from 10Mbps to 15 Mbps and his bill drop from $44.94 to $29.99.)

If TWC thinks that the above would in any way dissuade someone from rolling with Google Fiber, they’re either completely full of it or are suffering from a bad case of cognitive dissonance. The fact of the matter is that Google is blowing up the ISP market, and current ISPs are going to have to adapt quickly and radically to survive.