Blog Post

Who’s afraid of Google fiber? Time Warner for starters.

Apparently, Time Warner Cable (s twc) and I have something in common — we both want to figure out the details on Google’s (s goog) fiber-to-the-home deployment in Kansas City. Time Warner Cable, one of the ISPs providing broadband access in Kansas City, is fishing for details on the Google deployment, and is willing to pay for tips.

Unlike me, TWC has cash at its disposal and is offering $50 for information on Google’s fiber deployment, according to the poster a tipster sent me after a visit to the Time Warner offices in Kansas City. Which implies that Time Warner is concerned enough about the potential competitive threat that Google’s deployment represents to suss out all the details it can.

I can’t blame it. I’m pretty eager for tips on Google’s fiber deployment myself.

29 Responses to “Who’s afraid of Google fiber? Time Warner for starters.”

  1. with the technology in most homes it will be like breaking the world record in the Olympics by 10/1,000’s of a second – something you can talk about but wouldn’t notice watching – and fees – really? really? you think that will last ? Already lose if you move fees etc. – human nature is to complain about what you have until you have something different and then complain about that –

  2. All time warner needs to do is go to the google store on westport rd and the reps will explane everthing. Time warner is HISTORY in KC, as well as other carriers. FINALLY!!

  3. I would love to see Google come in and destroy the old ISP’s. Case in fact, what the ISP’s did in North Carolina was to make it illegal for towns and cities to form Co-Op’s to have their own ISP’s for it’s citizens.
    The old ISP’s paid off the key members in North Carolina’s state government so they want have the competition from the municipalities and keep the high cost, inefficienct service the norm and walk away with all the money without fear the serfs wanting to revolt….

  4. The tiny north-land municipality of North Kansas City, MO has had fibre now for over a decade. But not without a fight.

    Before anyone touched a shovel, Time Warner was taking every measure it could to put a stop to the city’s plans of providing internet utility to its citizens. Time Warner could easily have competed with liNKCity in a market as dense as NKC. But they didn’t. TWC preferred to try and interfere with liNKCity’s rollout any way they could — principally, litigation. Their lawsuits caused delay, and cost taxpayers and TWC customers and shareholders dearly, but in the end their claim that it was “unfair” for a government owned utility to compete with them, was dismissed.

    Remarkably, the government run replacement for TWC, provides substantially better service.

    While Time Warner can’t pull the Government card on Google, make no mistake. They play dirty. They will do anything to stop Google, as long as it doesn’t require Improving TWC’s own infrastructure or customer service.

    Personally, I cannot wait for the day I cancel my TWC service. It is only because of their monopoly that most of their customers remain.

    I think any utility infrastructure/system that uses public right-of-way should be heavily regulated and owned by the government, leased out to and financed by the providers. telephone, cable, internet, power, mobilephone. There would be much more competition if any interested company could share the infrastructure. Google could already be here today, and simply take advantage of higher speed interconnects as they are installed.

  5. weslo1

    I live in KCMO and I’m going to cal TWC everytime I see google setting stuff up and let them know how much better Google will be.

    I don’t want their $50 for tips, if they are this worried about Google Fiber lines maybe they should concentrate on making their customers happier instead of trying to get early info about Google.

  6. All this proves is that someone at TWC isn’t that smart.
    Soliciting espionage can’t be legal?

    But TWC really has nothing to fear. Google doesn’t want to be an ISP – they don’t want to talk to customers, their product won’t be cheap, and it won’t have cable content.

    We’ve had Fios in our neighborhood for six years; Time Warner has never blinked.

    • It isn’t corporate espionage, as TWC isn’t soliciting Google employees for information. What they’re most likely hoping for is information from the web of third-parties that Google engages (construction workers, contractors, laborers, etc.) to build out their fiber plant. This approach can be successful without running afoul of laws.

      But I cannot agree more with you that many someones at TWC aren’t smart. They cannot compete, so they are trying to co-opt or corrupt a vastly superior competitors offering.

      I hope TWC fails, and does so miserably.

      Kansans, be very careful of what shady deals TWC cooks up in the late night hours in Topeka and slips into the signature pile for Gov. Brownback to sign.

  7. That is great stuff. Time Warner is pouring money into lawyers and anything else, in a paltry attempt to stop progress. Google, you are awesome.

      • Simon Templar

        I think it would be a hoot if Google gave it’s employees false data to leak to TWC, all on legitimate Google letterhead. Everyone can use an extra $50, even if just to blow on a dinner out…

  8. I love this post. This is hilarious that TWC is just catching on that they are about to be obsolete. Google Fiber is a game changer for the whole world. Google’s most secret projects are being created in the Google Project X lab and much of the focus is on the home. Time to wake up cable, phone and broadband providers there is a player in town and they are willing to provide free fiber in exchange for better insight on how to market to you.

    • Time and cable and attt are not obsolete, were Americans were stupid, we vote for local power, well local governments are the reason no cpetition is there! Google will be hit with nogotiating with thousands of local tax autorities and thats expensive!

      If you want google fiber, vote in politicians that will give google tax free and fee free ability to instal the fiber!

  9. Dusty Wilson

    Really? They’re offering a max of $150 per week. I think you could do the same thing. Just word it the way they did and you’ll get plenty of tips/rumors/rumblings.

  10. kwjayhawk

    Knology is just as bad. Before we had Uverse in the neighborhood they balked at my request for a lower rate. But as soon as Uverse was in, they bumped $15 without so much as a ‘what can you do for me’…. When GoogleFiber is here I will so happily leave their terrible customer service and overpriced product.

  11. Phillip Dampier

    Here is my tip:

    Since Google Fiber will kick TWC’s butt in KCK and KCMO, maybe we should upgrade our own cable system to compete and offer lower prices.

    Now, where is my $50?