Just last week, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) announced it's increasing speeds for its residential Internet customers -- by up to six times their current speeds -- at no additional cost.

It's really amazing when you see a company that just flat-out cares about its customers so much. Or, maybe it has to do with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) ultra-fast fiber Internet moving into Charlotte over the next few months, and Time Warner Cable being absolutely terrified that Google offers a far superior product for around $5 more per month. Yeah, that's probably more accurate. 

Here's what Time Warner Cable's plans look like under the new upgrade, compared to Google Fiber:


Download Speeds


TWC Standard

50 Mbps
(15 before upgrade)


TWC Extreme

200 Mbps
(30 before upgrade)


TWC Ultimate

300 Mbps
(50 before upgrade)


Google Fiber

1,000 Mbps


Source: Time Warner Cable and Google. 

It's worth noting that Time Warner Cable hasn't said whether or not it's upload speeds will be bumped up as well. The company's top-tier Ultimate plan currently has a modest 5 Mbps upload speed, compared to Google's 1,000 Mbps.

That Fiber rabbit is pretty darn fast. Source: Google.

Google continues to outpace the competition
This isn't the first time Google Fiber's competition has had to step up its game. TWC and Comcast both bumped up their speeds last year in Austin, just after Google announced it was coming to the city.

Just recently, AT&T (NYSE:T) dropped prices on its 1,000 Mbps U-Verse with Gigapower fiber network prices to match Google's prices in some cities. Again, this is because AT&T feels competitive pressure from Google Fiber. In cities where Google Fiber has yet to come, AT&T keeps its prices higher.

On top of that, AT&T says users pay the reduced price of $70 because they allow AT&T to extensively track user's online usage (even more than Google does). AT&T Gigapower subscribers who don't want to be tracked have to shell out an additional $29 per month to keep their online browsing private.

So, while the competition has tried to match Google's pricing and speeds, both AT&T and Time Warner Cable's offerings fall short in either Internet speeds or browsing privacy. 

The real impact is yet to be felt
While Google is taking an aggressive approach to its Fiber service, it's not a big revenue driver for the company right now. But Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and Comcast have a lot of incentive to make sure their services are keeping up with Google's. A few years down the road, Google Fiber will have expanded to many more cities, and these cable providers know they need to take Fiber's growth seriously now, so they aren't caught off-guard later.

Aside from Google's advantage in speed and pricing, the company also has the upper hand in customer satisfaction. Internet service providers consistently disappoint their customers in satisfaction surveys. As Google Fiber expands, it's offering new customers a better product, at a cheaper price, to people who are typically dissatisfied with their current Internet provider. That's sounds like a win-win for American Internet users, Google, and Google's investors. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.