Time Warner Cable bids to build 1-gig broadband service in North Carolina

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said Wednesday that it submitted a bid to build a regional high-speed Internet service in North Carolina that would offer download speeds of 1 gigabit per second.

The nation's second largest cable MSO said it wants to play an "integral role" in the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) project, which includes the cities of Cary, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem. NCNGN said it is focused on delivering "affordable" broadband access to consumers, businesses and universities in North Carolina, including Duke University, NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.

Time Warner Cable, which is the largest incumbent cable operator in North Carolina, didn't detail how much money it would invest in the project. But the MSO said it has already spent $1.5 billion and built 28,000 miles of fiber and coax plant in areas covered by the NCNGN.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is one of the first providers to market 1-Gbps Internet speeds to subscribers through its Google Fiber service in the Kansas City metropolitan area, where it competes with Time Warner Cable. Time Warner hasn't announced plans to upgrade its network to deliver 1-Gbps speeds in Kansas City.

Time Warner Cable's high-speed project in North Carolina could help it meet the Gigabit City Challenge that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced in January. The outgoing FCC leader said he would like to see at least one community in all 50 states offer residents 1-Gbps speeds by 2015.

"We have a long history of providing innovative technology to the state and believe our highly reliable, advanced network can exceed the future requirements of the NCNGN to deliver speeds of 1 Gigabit per second," Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus said in a prepared statement.

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