Time Warner Cable said it has kicked off “TWC Maxx” upgrades in Charlotte, N.C., an all-digital project that will clear the way for faster broadband speeds and more advanced video services that includes a new “enhanced” HD-DVR.
TWC is getting the initiative off the ground in a market that is also being targeted by AT&T, which plans to roll out its 1-Gig-capable “GigaPower” platform there, and Google Fiber, which recently tagged Charlotte as an area for expansion.
Update: TWC originally committed to the upgrade in Charlotte and several other markets in July 2014.
TWC said the analog-reclamation process will start this summer in Charlotte, including surrounding areas such as Albemarle, Badin, Boiling Springs, Cherryville, Matthews, Monroe, Statesville, Wadesboro, Waxhaw and Weddington.
To fuel the all-digital upgrade, TWC said it will offer existing TV customers digital adapters at no charge for outlets that currently do not connect to digital equipment, through August 11. Those customers, which must place those orders by December 10, will receive a Digital Transport Adapter (pictured above), a simple one-way set-top box that converts incoming digital video signals to analog. TWC is also leasing those DTAs for $2.75 per month.
On the broadband side, TWC will use the reclaimed spectrum to speed up several broadband tiers at no additional cost:
-Standard, formerly up to 15 Mbps (downstream), will rise to 50 Mbps;
-Extreme, formerly up to 30 Mbps, will get 200 Mbps;
-Ultimate, formerly up to 50 Mbps, will receive up to 300 Mbps.
For video, TWC will offer an all-digital lineup, access to a new DVR with six-tuners and 1-terabyte of storage, and a VOD library that will expand from 19,000 titles today to more than 30,000 by the end of the year.
TWC said it will also expand its WiFi network in Charlotte, which today includes more than 5,000 hotspots.
TWC also has similar upgrades underway or completed in Raleigh, NC.; Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas; Kansas City; Los Angeles, and New York. Hawaii and San Diego are also slated for TWC Maxx upgrades sometime this year.