If you’ve been following our updates about the rollout of high-speed internet “gigaspeed” fiber networks, you’ll recognize a pattern in which a city’s incumbent phone or cable company will have no plans to upgrade their existing network until Google Fiber announces it is coming to town.
Then the incumbent suddenly announces its own plans for higher speed internet access. As they say: “Competition is good.” Especially when it comes to competition over internet access at faster internet speeds for the same price as the speeds it will be replacing.
That’s the most recent update from the faster ‘net battle in Charlotte, N.C., where, as we reported in January, Google is set to begin installing a fiber network. Time Warner Cable, the incumbent cable provider, is trying to pre-empt Google Fiber by upgrading its existing network to a completely digital one that will boost internet speeds to about six times their current speeds—for no additional costs.
While nowhere near as fast as the fiber network Google will be installing, Time Warner can get their upgrade installed faster. And there’s nothing to complain about with the price of the improved speeds: the same as today.
As Kate Cox of The Consumerist writes, “when Google announces plans to expand into a new market, competitors either strive to dive in first or drop prices to match. In short, even customers who don’t sign up with Google benefit from Google’s entrance into their local markets.”
It’s “almost as if competition is a real and valuable thing that spurs businesses to offer better service, at better prices, to consumers,” she writes with tongue solidly in cheek.