MSO Technology AWARD
The TWC Maxx Rollout
Time Warner Cable
When Peter Stern discusses TWC Maxx, he talks about a customer experience, not a product.
Time Warner Cable’s multipronged, all-digital initiative already provides best-in-class network reliability, ultra-fast Internet speeds, increased WiFi availability and enhanced television services in three key Time Warner Cable markets, New York, Los Angeles and Austin and Central Texas. It is being rolled out into many other areas this year.
“It’s not a product. It’s really a transformation of the customer experience from end to end,” says Stern, Time Warner Cable EVP & Chief Product, People and Strategy Officer, who likened the effort to Apple. “It’s not just about the device, but the software and customer support. All of those things make for enjoying a great consumer experience.”
The project’s roots date back to mid-2013 when Rob Marcus was designated to succeed Glen Britt and then unveiled revamped end-to-end customer experience when Marcus became CEO early in 2014. New York and Los Angeles finished upgrades by November of last year, with Austin finishing in April.
San Antonio, Hawaii, Kansas City, Dallas, Charlotte and Raleigh are also undergoing the TWC Maxx transformation and are at various stages of completion (see box). Work in San Diego, which is not yet all-digital, will begin before the end of 2015, according to TWC officials.
TWC Maxx centers on reclamation of bandwidth, which Time Warner Cable already had gained to a large degree via its use of switched digital, and digital adapters that are facilitating the MSO’s vast expansion of its high-definition channel lineup and other video services. TWC is more than tripling Standard Tier to 15 Mbps downstream speeds to 50 Mbps and offering a six-fold jump with its Ultimate top tier offering.
In fact, July could be dubbed speed month for the initiative as the MSO works toward increasing speed this month in every market where TWC Maxx is currently underway: Kansas City, Dallas, San Antonio, Charlotte, Raleigh and Hawaii.
Another key TWC Maxx play extends to an expansion of its outdoor WiFi services. With recent additions and amelioration in Dallas and San Antonio, as well as Raleigh, the operator is augmenting mobility by offering more than 100,000 hotspots across its national WiFi Network.
“It’s not just inside our customers’ homes, but where they work, play and congregate at no extra cost,” says Stern, noting it helps reduce reliance on high-priced cellular service. And among customers who have opted for self-installation of cable modems, “there has been significant reduction in churn rates. It’s the value of speed. They get it, install it, and churn less.”
Additionally, TWC’s step-up in class with its infrastructure ecosystem is leaving some devices in a catch-up mode. Stern says customers who have upgraded to the Ultimate tier “haven’t seen speeds like this before.” He conveyed that customers are telling the MSO that they are not using the full 300 Mbps because their iPads are only at half that level. “We’re surprised that speed is outpacing consumer equipment,” he said.
As TWC Maxx continues its advance, Stern avers the MSO will reap even more benefits from its investment in state of the art infrastructure, particularly on the high-speed side, as the industry moves toward Gigasphere/DOCSIS 3.1 configuration. Time Warner Cable is “already positioned to supply even faster speeds,” he said.
– Mike Reynolds
– TWC Maxx Scorecard:
– New York City, Los Angeles, Austin/Central TX: completed
– San Antonio: faster speeds complete early in Q3; all-digital complete by year-end 2015
– Hawaii: faster speeds underway; all-digital in the future
– Kansas City: all-digital completed; faster speeds underway
– Dallas: all-digital completed: faster speeds underway
– Charlotte: all-digital underway, faster speeds begin in Q3
– Raleigh: all-digital underway; faster speeds starting in June.