Time Warner has announced that it will be upgrading Internet speeds for customers on residential Internet plans here in Lexington, Kentucky. Many of their subscribers will be getting up to a six-fold increase in their speeds. Customers currently subscribing to the “Extreme Internet Plan” will have their speeds upgraded from 50 Mbps to 300 Mbps. This upgrade will come at no extra cost, and customers can experience higher Internet speeds under their current monthly plans. Great news indeed.
Even though the internet speeds will be upgraded to all customers, some customers will have to upgrade their modem in order to enjoy the high speeds. Many older cable modems are not compatible with the new high speeds. Specifically, your modem now needs to be DOCSIS 3.0 compliant. Time Warner, in its press release, has announced that new modems will be provided to customers at no extra costs and, as we’ve previously mentioned, customers may want to consider buying their own new modem now as the payback period (versus renting it from TWC) is less than a year.
Another important element that customers need to consider in order to take advantage of the high Internet speeds is the WiFi routers they use. To take full advantage of the new highest speeds, customers must make sure that their routers are capable of 1GB (Gigabit) Ethernet. Many older, even by just a few years, routers max-out at 100Gbs, sometimes called “Fast Ethernet”. With the relatively slow, by world standards, internet we are accustomed to here in Lexington, the internet connection speed has always been the bottleneck in our internet speed. Now, it may be the equipment you have in your house that is slowing you down.
So Gigabit Ethernet will keep your wired devices connecting at their fastest possible rate, what about the wireless? Old WiFi routers are normally called Wireless B/G compatible, practically speaking, you probably won’t get more than 20Mbs speed from a wireless G connections, well below your new TWC connection rate. The somewhat newer, but flaky, Wireless N routers will probably top out at around 40-50Mbs. With the newest AC standard WiFi routers, you can practically expect maybe up to around 100Mbs on a good day – but very few devices uses this standard yet.
There are many real world factors that negatively influence internet speeds such as signal-blocking, physical obstructions and distance from access points. Therefore, the actual speed one gets from a router is not always the speed that router claims to support. Practically 802.11ac is the only router that supports such high speeds. Typically, customers can get speeds of around 100 Mbps and can go more than 200 Mbps over short distances with no physical obstructions.
Hence, customers should take a look at their router’s capabilities in order to ensure they get the most out of the speed upgrade. Also, they must not expect to get full speeds of 300 Mbps but expect significant increase when connecting through multiple devices requiring high speeds.