Cable company WOW! rolls out 1-gigabit service in Augusta

Broadband provider WOW! announced Tuesday it has rolled out 1-gigabit service to virtually all residential and business consumers in the Augusta market.

 

WOW!, previously known as Knology, said the high-speed service will be available to roughly 95 percent of its local service area. Local operations director James Phillips said the increased capacity is needed to serve customers who are increasingly relying on multiple devices to stream online content.

The service is free of data caps. If used with the appropriate equipment and 1-gigabit-compatible devices, the service can allow users to download a full-length high-definition movie in 36 seconds, or 25 songs in 1 second, the company said.

Phillips said the service is available everywhere WOW! covers except the Fort Gordon-Grovetown area, which is undergoing a digital migration to create the bandwidth needed for 1-gigabit service.

WOW’s previous packages offered speeds of 100-megabit and 500-megabit. The 1-gigabit service requires customers to get a new WOW! modem.

“We’ve had three people already come in to pick them up,” Phillips said.

The modem is free if customers pick them up at WOW!’s Wheeler Road office in Augusta; a delivery charge applies on all others.

For consumers who use a wireless router, the device must be 1-gigabit capable, Phillips said. Pricing depends on the customer’s length of contract and other variables, such as whether they have bundled phone and TV service.

WOW! also is marketing the service to businesses, schools and industrial facilities that send and receive large amounts of data. The Englewood, Colo.-based cable provider commercial bandwidth requirements are expected to increase by 30 percent annually.

Competing broadband company AT&T launched 1-gigabit service in Augusta in 2015. WCFIBER, a unit of an Abbeville, S.C.-based cooperative West Carolina Telephone, began offering 1-gigabit service in certain areas of Columbia County in 2016 using the county-owned fiber network.

Alex Horwitz, a spokesman for Comcast, which serves residential and commercial customers in the metro area counties of Aiken, Columbia, Edgefield and Richmond under the Xfinity brand, said it plans to offer 1-gigabit service in the future, but has no definite timeline.

“It is on our radar,” he said.

WOW! predecessor Knology entered the Augusta market in 1998.

Augusta-area customers interested in learning more about the service are asked to visit wowway.com/gigtopia.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3352 or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.

 

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