Google Fiber forces Time Warner’s hand yet again

Time Warner Free Wi-Fi Austin

There’s little doubt that Google Fiber is forcing rivals to be more competitive, and another instance of Google’s Internet service forcing rival ISP’s hand has emerged. Now that Time Warner Cable is realizing that criticizing Google’s revolutionary Internet service won’t make it go away, the New York-based ISP admitted in a recent blog post that it is being forced — sorry, “encouraged” — to change its plans in Austin, Texas as a result of the coming competition from Google Fiber.

Google announced earlier this month that it will soon launch its Google Fiber gigabit Internet service in Austin. The news was obviously welcomed by Austin residents, who will soon have access to Google’s free 5Mbps Internet service and optional 1Gbps service for just $70 per month. Rival ISPs in the Austin region surely weren’t as excited, and one in particular is already changing its plans in the region as a result.

“We’ve been rolling out our free WiFi network across our footprint for some time now, as part of our larger strategy to offer significantly more value to our Internet subscribers,” Time Warner Cable’s Jeff Simmermon wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “Austin was in the game plan for 2013. But Google’s recent announcement encouraged us to deploy our network more aggressively now.”

The blog post says Time Warner began rolling out its free Wi-Fi service in Austin last week.

Free Wi-Fi will be a nice perk for Time Warner Cable subscribers in the area, and those who aren’t Time Warner customers will also have access to the service for $2.95 per hour. Whether or not the feature will help prevent people from switching to Google Fiber once it becomes available, however, remains to be seen.

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