Time Warner exec says you don't want gigabit internet

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Time Warner Cable chief technology officer Irene Esteves has claimed that ordinary consumers don't want super-fast internet speeds.

Discussing Google's Kansas City high speed network at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, she said it was of interest to business customers only.

"We're in the business of delivering what consumers want, and to stay a little ahead of what we think they will want," she said, as reported by The Verge. "We just don't see the need of delivering that to consumers."

Time Warner is already offering speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second to its business customers, but says that ordinary consumers have shown little interest.

It's certainly not an attitude that's shared by Google's Eric Schmidt - who recently described Google Fiber as 'a real business - or by Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski.

"The US needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness," Genachowski said recently, calling on all 50 states to introduce at least one 'gigabit community' by 2015.

Right now, there are only about 42 communities in 14 states served by ultra-high-speed fiber internet, according to the Fiber to the Home Council. It's an expensive technology, and not all operators are convinced they can justify the cost.

There's also the question of applications - and Esteves  says she's happy to let Google be the trail-blazer here.

"If Google finds the magic pill and finds applications that require that and develops a need for it, well terrific," she said. "We would build our product base in order to deliver that."