Time Warner Cable customers in Charlotte, N.C., are getting an unexpected boost in Internet speeds this summer, the Internet Service Provider announced last week.
At first, TWC’s move looks like an unprompted upgrade. But a closer inspection reveals it’s likely a response to competition from Google, which confirmed earlier this year its ultra-fast Google Fiber Internet service is coming to Charlotte in the near future.
Google Fiber has already hit three U.S. cities (Kansas City, Mo.; Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas) and is scheduled to launch in a handful more, sending existing ISPs scrambling to match Google’s high-speed offerings and affordable prices. In early April, Comcast Atlanta unveiled plans for fiber Internet service reportedly twice as fast as Google’s after the search giant announced its plans to enter to the Georgia capital. Months before, AT&T slashed its existing fiber package prices to match Google Fiber’s prices in Kansas City, Mo., where Google Fiber first launched in 2012.
All this newfound competition in high-speed broadband is surely appreciated by Internet customers, who often aren’t very happy with their ISPs. Above, have a look at where Google Fiber is headed next — and whether you might be getting some faster, cheaper Internet just because Google is coming to town.