Time Warner Cable Internet

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Road Runner High Speed Online redirects here, for other uses, see Roadrunner (disambiguation)

Time Warner Cable Internet is a US Internet service provider (ISP) which provides cable Internet service over DOCSIS-compatible modems. A division of Time Warner Cable, it also contracts its service to other cable providers, often in competition with ISPs owned by local telephone companies. Time Warner Cable Internet was previously known as Road Runner High Speed Online.


Road Runner's official logo and mascot

Time Warner Cable first launched what would become Road Runner with a 1995 market test in Elmira, NY, under the banner Southern Tier On-Line Community.[1][2] Later it became known as LineRunner[3] (a moniker subsequently employed by VoIP service), before Time Warner Cable adopted the Road Runner brand name.

Road Runner High Speed Online employed the Road Runner character from the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons as its mascot and brand name. However, in 2012, it was rebranded as simply Time Warner Cable Internet, dropping the Road Runner branding which Time Warner Cable had to license from the now-unaffiliated Warner Bros.[4]

Tier service[edit]

With the completion of DOCSIS 3.0 rollout in 2012,[5] Time Warner Cable Internet has standardized the Internet tiered service data rates across most of its franchises, although some minor regional variations might still exist. The maximum advertised speeds[6] for these services are:

  • Everyday Low Price: 2 Mbit/s / 1 Mbit/s
  • Basic: 6 Mbit/s / 1 Mbit/s
  • Standard: 15 Mbit/s / 1 Mbit/s
  • Turbo: 20 Mbit/s / 2 Mbit/s
  • Extreme: 30 Mbit/s / 5 Mbit/s
  • Ultimate 50: 50 Mbit/s / 5 Mbit/s
  • Ultimate 75: 75 Mbit/s / 5 Mbit/s
  • Ultimate 100: 100 Mbit/s / 5 Mbit/s

The Lite tier was intended as a low-cost, low-speed (1 Mbit/s or less) cable internet alternative to dial-up internet service. The Lite tier was retired from Time Warner's internet lineup for a time, but in the summer of 2013 it returned to Time Warner's internet offerings. In late 2013, it was upgraded from 1.0 Mbit/s download to 2.0 Mbit/s and rebranded as Everyday Low Price.[7]

The Standard service tier is Time Warner Cable's base package. At 3.0 Mbit/s download, it was the only speed offered when the Road Runner service was created. It was upgraded to 5.0 Mbit/s in 2004,[8] 7.0 Mbit/s in 2009, 10.0 Mbit/s in 2011,[9] and 15.0 Mbit/s in 2012.[10] The pricing for the Standard service started at $39.99/month, and gradually increased to $57.99/month as of 2014, although promotional and bundle pricing are available.

Premium was Road Runner's first foray into faster tiered service levels, introduced in 2005.[11] It offered 8.0 Mbit/s download speeds, compared to the Standard speed of 5.0 Mbit/s. The Premium tier was later renamed to Turbo, and the speeds it offered increased, as the Standard speeds increased. Turbo was also the first service tier to receive the PowerBoost technology. Turbo Plus was a previously offered tier that was at a faster speed tier than Turbo, but slower than the future DOCSIS 3.0-based tiers. As Extreme and Ultimate tiers became available, Turbo Plus was dropped.

The Extreme and Ultimate service tier offerings were created in 2009 at 30 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s download, respectively, and gradually became available in all markets over several years as Time Warner Cable rolled out DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades nationwide.[12] In late 2013, the Ultimate tier was extended to include Ultimate 75 and Ultimate 100.[7]

Time Warner Cable Maxx[edit]

On February 20, 2014, new speeds were announced as part of its Maxx initiative in Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, and may eventually roll-out nationwide. [13][14]

Legacy Internet Plans "Maxx" Internet Plans
Everyday Low Price
2/1 Mbps
Everyday Low Price
3/1 Mbps
6/1 Mbps
10/1 Mbps
15/1 Mbps
50/5 Mbps
20/2 Mbps
Ultimate 100
100/10 Mbps
30/5 Mbps
Ultimate 200
200/20 Mbps
50/5, 75/5, or 100/5 Mbps
Ultimate 300
300/20 Mbps


PowerBoost was a technology that allowed Road Runner customers to temporarily experience download speeds significantly faster than their current speed at no extra cost. PowerBoost was launched in New York City in 2008,[15] and eventually was rolled out nationwide. PowerBoost was first included only with Turbo service, but eventually was extended to Standard service also in 2009.[16] As of 2012, Time Warner Cable Internet's service offerings no longer make any mention of PowerBoost,[6] though it may still be available with some service tiers on a regional basis. Time Warner Cable does not support PowerBoost on DOCSIS 3.0.[17]

As of August 7, 2013, Time Warner appears to have discontinued the PowerBoost feature as it upgrades more customers to DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. To compensate for the reduction in average Internet speeds caused by the abandonment of PowerBoost, Time Warner has increased Internet speeds across the Standard or higher tiers of service by 10%, though it has yet to advertise these speed increases officially.[18]

Modem Rental[edit]

Time Warner Cable Internet previously provided the cable modem and modem maintenance for free to its subscribers as part of their service. Beginning in late 2012, they began charging a modem rental fee of $3.95/month for this service. Alternatively, subscribers can buy their own approved modem, but Time Warner Cable will no longer troubleshoot or replace those modems.[19]

In August 2013, Time Warner raised the modem rental fee over 50% to $5.99/month.[20]

In January 2015, Time Warner once again raised their modem rental fee another 33% to $8.00/month. That's a 100% increase in just over two year,from late 2012 when they began charging for internet modems. [21]

Bandwidth caps[edit]

Despite raising prices of its Internet service within the previous year, Time Warner Cable announced in February 2009 that it would expand its bandwidth caps and overage fees into four additional markets by the end of the year.

On April 1, 2009, the cities to have metered billing were announced. In addition to Beaumont, Texas, the cities would be Rochester, NY, Austin and San Antonio, TX and Greensboro, NC.

These metered based billing plans were canceled according to Time Warner "due to customer misunderstanding"

Caps would range from 5 GB to 100GB with no unlimited option. The bandwidth will include downloads and uploads. If a user goes over, they will be charged $1 per additional gigabyte. Time Warner Cable announced they would provide a meter for users to monitor their usage. The new plan was set to begin in the summer of 2009, however due to protests they had decided against the bandwidth caps. Currently, users have unlimited bandwidth usage given that it does not exceed the predetermined data service maximum as given in the "master agreement".[22] Time Warner would have offered unlimited data for $150/month had the plan continued.[23]

Glenn Britt (1949-2014),[24][25] CEO from 2001 until December 2013, justified the new billing plans by claiming that the infrastructures had to be continuously upgraded and users would pay for how much they use. In February of 2015, a Huffington Post article outlines the 97% profit margins on Time Warner's internet services. [26]

Facebook groups have been created in protest in addition to an online petition and a Web site dedicated to stop the movement.[27] Other Web sites have been recently following the Time Warner cap plans that were already following broadband Internet providers metering and capping plans,[28][29]

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Eric Massa, both of whom represent portions of the Rochester, New York market that would be affected by the changes, announced their opposition to the plan and even went as far as to threaten legislation to ban such a scheme. On April 16, 2009, Time Warner abandoned the plan.[30]

Road Runner Mobile[edit]

In late 2009, Time Warner Cable began reselling Clearwire Mobile WiMax service as Road Runner Mobile, including in bundles with the company's existing broadband, TV and VoIP services. In October 2009, the company indicated that they'd be launching their incarnation of the service starting December 1 in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and Greensboro, and later, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Honolulu, and Maui.[31] Pricing for the "up to 6 Mbit/s" service ranged from $39.95 a month to $79.95 a month depending on the chosen bundling options, and came in three flavors:

Road Runner Mobile 4G National Elite: gave customers unlimited access to both Time Warner Cable's 4G Mobile Network and Sprint's 3G EVDO network for $79.95 if the customer was a Roadrunner Standard or Turbo customer.

Road Runner Mobile 4G Elite: gave customers unlimited access to the Time Warner Cable 4G Mobile Network for $49.95 if already a Roadrunner Standard or Turbo customer.

Road Runner Mobile 4G Choice: gave customers access to the Time Warner Cable 4G Mobile Network for $39.95 if the customer was already bundling at least two Time Warner Cable services. The tier also capped usage at 250 MB per month.

Users received additional discounts if they were triple play customers.

As of late 2011, Time Warner Cable stopped signing up new Road Runner Mobile customers under resold Clearwire WiMax service. Existing WiMax customers could continue to use the service, but TWC began signing up new Road Runner Mobile customers under resold Verizon Wireless 4G LTE services.

As of late 2012, however, all mention of Time Warner Cable-branded mobile broadband services have been removed from Time Warner Cable's website and most regional franchises. TWC appears to have exited the mobile broadband market.

Companies offering Road Runner[edit]

MediaOne was formerly the largest of Time Warner's Road Runner partners, leaving the agreement when taken over by AT&T Broadband (subsequently absorbed by Comcast).


  1. ^ "Cable World, March 10, 2003". Findarticles.com. 2003-03-10. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  2. ^ Woroch, Glenn (February 1996). Turning the Cables: Economic and Strategic Analysis of Cable Entry into Telecommunications. Consortium for Research on Telecommunications Policy. p. 27. 
  3. ^ "Time-Warner Announces High Speed Data Services". Listserv.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  4. ^ "Time Warner Cable Kills the Roadrunner". DSLReports.com. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  5. ^ "Digging Deeper Into Time Warner Cable’s 2011 Results and What Is Coming in 2012". Stop the Cap!. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Internet Plans & Packages". TimeWarnerCable.com. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  7. ^ a b "Get The Download On TWC’s Internet Speed Upgrade". Time Warner Cable. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  8. ^ "RoadRunner to Get Faster in January". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  9. ^ "Time Warner boosts standard Internet speed for free". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  10. ^ "Time Warner Cable boosts Internet speeds by 50% for ‘standard’ service". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  11. ^ "Followup: Road Runner now has tiered services". Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  13. ^ "Time Warner Cable Bringing Incredibly Faster Internet Plans across Its Entire Austin Service Area". 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  14. ^ "Network Improvements for Time Warner Cable". Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  15. ^ "POWERBOOST™ LAUNCHES IN NYC". Time Warner Cable. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  16. ^ "Powerboost Being Deployed At No Charge to All Standard Service Road Runner Customers". Stop the Cap!. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  17. ^ "[TWC] No more powerboost?". DSLReport. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  18. ^ http://stopthecap.com/2013/08/07/time-warner-cable-quietly-delivers-nationwide-incremental-internet-speed-upgrade/
  19. ^ "Time Warner Cable to Charge Modem Rental Fee". New York Times. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  20. ^ http://www.buffalonews.com/business-time-warner-cable-raising-cable-modem-fees-more-than-50-percent-20130802
  21. ^ http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/02/technology/comcast-time-warner-cable-modem/
  22. ^ http://www.timewarnercable.com/corporate/service_agreement.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ Eddy, Nathan. "Time Warner to Offer Unlimited Bandwidth for $150 a Month." eWeek. April 10, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  24. ^ "Glenn Britt timeline". 
  25. ^ Henry, David; Sherman, Alex (June 11, 2014). "Glenn Britt, Who Raised Time Warner Cable Shares, Dies at 65". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  26. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/time-warner-cables-97-pro_b_6591916.html
  27. ^ "Stoptwc.info". Stoptwc.info. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  28. ^ "Stopthecap.com". Stopthecap.com. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  29. ^ "Meterthis.net". Meterthis.net. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  30. ^ Stiehl, Renata. Time Warner Cable to Shelve Consumption Billing. WENY-TV. April 16, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  31. ^ "DSLreports.com". DSLreports.com. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 

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