TWC COO Marcus questions whether there's a need for 1 Gbps service

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Fiber's 1 Gbps service in Kansas City has left open a number of questions, not the least of which is whether there's a need for that kind of speed, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) COO Rob Marcus said at the Broadcast and Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Summit.

"It will be interesting to find out whether there are applications that will take advantage of a 1 Gbps service," Marcus said, according to a story in DSL Reports. "If there is, we will provide it; our infrastructure has the ability to provide much faster speeds today. We're prepared to compete head to head with Google."

TWC has a better chance to participate in the high-speed battle than other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) because Google has set up shop in Time Warner Cable territory--Kansas City--and has begun rolling out the triple play service with ultra-high-speed.

Probably more important than the ability to provide the bandwidth--and there is still some question about how much work would be needed to boost a traditional cable hybrid fiber/coax architecture to meet those needs even with a complete roll-out of DOCSIS 3.0--is the question of whether Time Warner Cable is willing to match price and features with Google.

So far, the earliest reports from Kansas City have been that the MSO is watching what Google is doing, seeking the same considerations from the cities (in Missouri and Kansas) that the search engine is getting and touting its triple play offering.

"This is a company that has consistently insisted that the demand just isn't there for even 50 Mbps speeds, though with little to no competition pressuring them in the vast majority of their markets, they've had the luxury of keeping the price high for their fastest tier, while deploying DOCSIS 3.0 more sluggishly than companies like Comcast," DSL Reports editor Karl Bode wrote.

For more:
- DSL Reports had this story

Related articles:
Google starts installing fiber customers
Kansas City, Mo., conceding to AT&T, Time Warner Cable

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