Posts from Time Warner Cable

The ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge

Possibly the biggest local policy issue in NYC for tech companies is the lack of good broadband infrastructure in the city. We could get into a debate about broadband policy at the local and national level, but this post isn't going to be about that. This post is about something City Hall is doing about the broadband issue.

In the spirit of "race to the top" and other contest based efforts to attack stubborn problems, NYC has launched the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge in partnership with Time Warner Cable and Optimum Online (Cablevision) to provide fiber build out to businesses.

Here's how it works. You sign up at ConnectNYC, you get and sumbit a letter from your landlord saying they will allow fiber installation in your building, and then you describe how high speed broadband will positively impact your business.

The judges will select the winners and NYC EDC, Time Warner, and Optimum will invest $12mm over two years, with $7mm being invested in year one, into fiber buildouts for the winners. It is estimated that each installation will have a value of $50,000 of investment by Time Warner and Optimum.

In addition to getting a lot of local businesses high speed broadband, this contest will also give an indication to the city and local ISPs of where the most important neighborhoods are for broadband buildout.

We spend a lot of time with our portfolio companies dealing with infrastructure issues around real estate and broadband and I can tell you that this is big problem in NYC. Companies that want to move to low cost neighborhoods with interesting buildings like Red Hook, Gowanus, Vinegar Hill, the Greenpoint waterfront, Long Island City, and other similar places simply cannot do that due to the lack of good broadband. If the city wants to see these neighborhoods emerge commercially, they will need to deal wtih the broadband problem. ConnectNYC is a nice way to get going on the problem. If you are struggling to get a fiber installation in your building, give ConnectNYC a try.



Our family spends hundreds of dollars a month with Time Warner Cable. And plenty more with the NBA league pass. And plenty more with tickets to Knicks games. It's not that we don't want to pay for our sports entertainment. And it's not that we are unwilling to pay more.

But last night we were turned into "pirates" as the entertainment industry likes to call us. As 2011 turned into 2012, the executives at Time Warner Cable and MSG Network were unable to make a deal to keep MSG on Time Warner Cable. My son was fuming and so was I.

So I did what many did last night. I opened Twitter on the family room iPad and tweeted out a question.



Within seconds the suggestions came pouring in.'s League Pass for broadband was widely suggested but they were blacking out the Knicks Raptors game in the NYC area. Note to – take all Time Warner Broadband IP addresses out of your blackout code table. If you do, you'll sign up a bunch of new subsribers during this TWC/MSG spat.

So we went on to the pirate sites. That worked great. No blackout problems there. Here's the tweet I sent out when we got the game on the big screen in the family room (via our family room mac mini).



I added the #screwcable hashtag to that one. I hope others start using it. The industry sure deserves it for turning really good paying customers into pirates.

I've long believed that piracy is largely a business model problem not a human behavior problem. If you give people a legal way to consume the content they want, they will pay for it. But when you make it impossible to legally consume the content they want, they will pirate it. That's what happened last night and that is what will happen every night there is a Knicks game on TV for as long as MSG and Time Warner Cable continue to figure out how to screw their customers.