Time Warner, Embarq Hopes to Kill Little ISP

Greenlight is North Carolina’s only all fiber optic network. Aside from providing faster internet access to the city of Wilson, N.C. the company offers cable and phone packages at competitive pricing. Ranging from a hundred bucks per month for 80 TV channels, unlimited phone service and 10 Mbps (down/up) to $170 for all channels, unlimited calls and 20 Mbps up and down, Greenlight’s plans are much better than what Wilson residents were getting from either Embarq or Time Warner Cable. Greenlight's highest tier offers 100 Mbps for $300, TWC's Turbo plan offers 10 Mbps for $57.

Today reports from around the web say the two bigger ISPs are trying to persuade the state of North Carolina to put forward bills that would outlaw community services such as the one offered by Greenlight. TWC and Embarq’s argument is that it’s impossible for big companies to turn a profit and compete against a community-owned company that offers customers the service at a price that's much closer to the cost. Brian Bowman, the city's public affairs manager wrote in a blog post that the companies weren’t trying to level the playing field, so much as make sure they were the only team on the field.

"Bottom line, these companies are using your state lawmakers to protect monopolies. It was wrong in 2007 when a similar bill died in the house and it’s wrong today."

Over the last few weeks the media has been filled with debates and complaints about TWC’s decision to introduce tiered pricing on its broadband packages. The company shelved the plan following public outcry. TWC struck out again when word began to get around that the company could also be shelving plans for new system that would improve broadband speeds. Time Warner Cable's consumption-based billing trials brought along with it testing of the new DOCSIS 3.0 system. Alex Dudly, VP of PR at TWC, posted a response on his Twitter to a question from GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham saying that the DOCSIS 3.0 was scheduled as part of consumption-based billing trial, but that the consumer backlash has changed the company’s plans. GigaOM got clarification from TWC, who said it is now “reevaluating whether or not the trial cities are among those places” scheduled for DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts.

Now that TWC and Embarq are determined to take down a project that cost the City of Wilson $28 million to set up, people are going to come down even harder on them. Way to go guys. 

Check out Brian Bowman's blog dedicated to saving Wilson's broadband here.

  • salsoolo
    f** monopoly... every city should do what those ppl did.
    and the entire country will have ftth. actually thats the best idea.
  • hotroderx
    Wow ummm ok..... I am lost isn't that just competitive business? Greenlight offers cheaper service to its customers then TWC. So there for in TWC eyes they should be shut down. Will hell with that way of thinking we need to shut down McDonolds cause they offer cheaper prices then the competition and we need to shut down Walmart cause will there cheaper then Target hmmm who else should we shut down o I know Linux even thought there not a company we should make it so they cant continue to develop there OS cause its cheaper then windows and will Microsoft should also be shut down cause will there cheaper then Mac and will thats just not fair. Seriously thought someone needs to do something about TWC this is getting crazy I am being to think there executive are short bus candidates.
  • kingnoobe
    I'm pretty surprised at Embarq on this one. I have used their services and found them quite exceptional specially since they never capped me, and i got what I paid for all the way around, but after hearing this... There goes their good rep at least in my eyes. Of course TW doing this is no surprise specially after the crap they tried to pull. Maybe this is just a new marketing tool, everybody loves a good comeback story, and TW is about to need one hell of a comeback to recover from all the crap their trying to pull.
  • Something is terribly wrong when the government (terrible economic efficiency) can compete with you.
  • The article seems to be missing the end of this sentence, "Greenlight's highest tier offers 100 Mbps for $300, TWC's Turbo plan offers 10 Mbps for ---------".
  • eqdarkleaf
    I can't believe all this bad press about TW. Its too bad I have no other viable ISP to switch to here in Greensboro. If Wilson was closer I'd jump ship.... but guess that wouldnt help since corporate giants squash competition. They must have gotten their hands on the MS playbook.
  • magnus962

    The money grubbing monopoly tyrants and setting their sites on a local service that is in the rare position to be able to compete with these corporate monsters. Heaven forbid they off the service that people want without gouging the prices so high that it seems unobtainable. TWC is trying to drive their own business forward and every time they do, they end up looking even more like a bunch of asses.

    This is shameful and disgusting, I hope this company burns to the ground.
  • marsax73
    This TWC story keeps getting funnier and funnier. I mean Christ....they of all people are worried about competition?????
  • The Schnoz
    Hold the phone here. Even though I agree that what Time Warner and Embarq are doing is ridiculous there is another story here. Greenlight is owned by the city itself. Doesn't that give them an unfair advantage?! This is basically a government run corporation that is weeding out the competition. How did this company form? Who were the founding investors? Was Greenlight funded by tax dollars? There was a time where they had no customers at all and fiber optic networks aren't free. I think Time Warner and Embarq may have a point to all this the article is overlooking. I realize we all want faster internet and lower prices, but having the government do it with tax payer dollars is unfair to the businesses that pay taxes. the real monopoly will always be the government. Obviously Time Warner and Embarq our not monopolies since they coexist.
  • JeBuSBrian
    Hey Jane, proof-read.