TWC boots up free Wi-Fi in Austin
Time Warner Cable has started to deploy its Wi-Fi service, which is called TWC WiFi, to its subscribers in Austin, Texas.
With the Wi-Fi build out, the cable operator is taking a page out of its Kansas City playbook where it started offering more Wi-Fi access after Google came to town with its services. Earlier this month, Google announced it’s Google Fiber service was touching down in Austin , and followed that up with another announcement in Provo, Utah .
“We’ve been rolling out our free Wi-Fi network across our footprint for some time now, as part of our larger strategy to offer significantly more value to our Internet subscribers,” Jeff Simmermon, director, digital communications, wrote on Time Warner Cable’s blog page. “Austin was in the game plan for 2013. But Google’s recent announcement encouraged us to deploy our network more aggressively now. As I mentioned  a few weeks ago, we’re ready to compete.”
According to a Time Warner Cable spokesman, there are currently several dozen access points deployed in Austin to date, but the cable operator plans on having up to 1,000 go live this year. The access point vendor is Ruckus Wireless , which Time Warner Cable has previously used for indoor and outdoor hotspots.
The Wi-Fi service is available to Standard Internet, or above, Time Warner Cable subscribers for free, as well as to business class subscribers. Time Warner Cable is also offering a free trial and prepaid access starting at $2.95/hour to non-subscribers.
“Increasingly, our Austin customers want to take their high-speed Internet with them out of the home and on-the-go,” said area vice president Kathy Brabson. “The TWC WiFi network we’re building for Austin will allow our customers to greatly maximize their TWC Internet subscription – at no additional charge.”
Time Warner Cable subscribers in Austin can use the company’s TWC Wi-Fi Finder app , which works with both Android and Apple iOS devices, to find nearby hotspots.
At last year’s Cable Show, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks announced a roaming agreement  that allowed their subscribers to use each other’s Wi-Fi hotspots. The agreement gives cable subscribers from those companies access to more than 100,000 access points nationwide.
Two years ago Time Warner Cable announced it was spending $15 million to build a Wi-Fi network in its Los Angeles footprint .