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Time Warner Cable promises one-gigabit Internet for L.A. in 2016

Time Warner Cable says it will increase Los Angeles Internet speeds in response to city's request
Time Warner promises one gigabit-per-second Internet speeds for Los Angeles in 2016

Time Warner Cable says it can greatly increase its Internet speeds in Los Angeles, in response to the city's effort to match major metropolitan areas where the technology has already raced ahead.

The company on Friday said it told the city of Los Angeles that it plans to enhance its service to deliver Internet speeds of one gigabit-per-second for residents, businesses and government offices in 2016. That would be many times faster than the top speeds the company currently offers.

People in places such as Chattanooga, Tenn., already have access to gigabit-speed Internet via fiber-optic cables.

Google has launched its super-fast service Google Fiber, which is currently available in Kansas City, Mo., and Kan., and Provo, Utah, and is set to expand to additional areas. Google's high-speed Internet package costs households $70 a month.

AT&T Inc. has made its U-verse with GigaPower available in Austin, Texas, and said in April that it has begun eyeing more markets, including Los Angeles.

In April, Los Angeles released a document seeking information from companies on how to create a citywide broadband offering that can compete with what's available in those areas.

Time Warner Cable's promise to up its service comes in response to that request by the city.

Peter Stern, an executive vice president at Time Warner Cable, said the company is primed to deliver faster speeds because of its recent investment in improving its network. He said the company has spent $1.5 billion over the last four years to improve its services and network infrastructure in the area.

"A gigabit per second is unbelievably fast," Stern said. "The network that we have is future-proofed so that we can deliver those types of speeds without having to dig up streets and dig up people's yards. What we're committing to do is make those speeds available to the entire city."

The company said it plans to begin initial tests of the one-gigabit-a-second service next year.

Time Warner Cable's top-tier Internet option costs $65 a month for the first year and gets customers Internet speeds of 100 megabits a second. That's going up to 300 megabits a second by the end of this year. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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