TWC Fights FiOS in NYC

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has debuted Docsis 3.0 services in New York City today, giving the MSO a competitive weapon to wield against the forces of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS.

The MSO is kicking off its wideband efforts with a residential tier that offers 50 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream for $99.95. That speed, about twice as fast as TWC's next-fastest tier, and the pricing line up precisely with the hint TWC COO Landel Hobbs dropped back in April, when the MSO was facing a firestorm over a plan to introduce broadband metering policies in more markets. (The MSO has since mothballed those plans, but left the door open to a future reintroduction.) (See TWC Dons Larger Consumption Caps, TWC Mothballs New Metering Trials , and TWC Still Has a Mind for Metering .)

TWC chief Glenn Britt has identified NYC as the first site that would get wideband services on multiple occasions. (See Britt: Docsis 3.0 Coming to NYC and TWC in '09: Job Cuts, WiMax & Wideband .)

TWC is steering clear of the Road Runner brand for the Docsis 3.0 offering, opting to call it "Time Warner Cable Wideband Internet."

Time Warner is offering a commercial-class version of the 50-meg tier (with support for up to five static IP addresses), alongside another new Internet service for small and mid-sized businesses that offers shared speeds of 20 Mbit/s down by 2 Mbit/s up. But these wideband tiers for SMBs are a tad pricier than their residential counterparts. The 50-Meg biz service runs $289.95 per month, while the 20-Meg offering is $199.95. (See TWC Brings D3 to NYC.)

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), another MSO that's facing FiOS in New York, has already launched a 101-Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 service, dubbed "Optimum Online Ultra," for the same price as TWC's 50-meg tier. (See Cablevision Debuts 101-Mbit/s Wideband Service.)

Initially, TWC is offering the new wideband services in Manhattan (below 79th Street), Staten Island, and Queens. It expects to offer Docsis 3.0 throughout its entire NYC service area by next spring. The MSO's NYC region, which also includes the New Jersey counties of Bergen and Hudson, serves more than 1.4 million subscribers.

Time Warner Cable, the second-largest U.S. cable MSO with 8.7 million residential high-speed Internet subs, has yet to identify where it will deploy Docsis 3.0 next (we've asked) or provide any specific guidance on how much of its plant will be wideband-enabled by a specific time.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation's largest, has been much more aggressive, accelerating a rollout plan that will see 80 percent of its plant plumbed for Docsis 3.0 by the end of this year, and across the board by the end of 2010. (See Comcast Speeds Up '09 Wideband Goal .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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