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Knology changes its name to WOW!; lifts usage caps on Internet service

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The changes keep on coming in the Lawrence Internet market.

The largest Internet service provider in Lawrence has just announced that it is removing all of its usage caps from its Internet service packages, as the company changes its name from Knology to WOW! That means customers no longer will be charged for going over their usage limits, according to a press release by the company.

Englewood, Colo.-based WOW purchased Knology back in July, but it had not converted Knology over to the WOW brand until today. Signs for the company around town are being changed today, according to WOW.

But the changes related to Internet usage caps are likely to garner more attention from hard-core Internet users. The caps had generated concern among many users because customers’ standard monthly rates could rise depending on how much Internet usage they had in a particular month.

The change in the cap policy comes at a time when both private and public officials have been talking about shaking up the city’s Internet service provider market.

A city-hired consultant recently completed a report that found that current broadband offerings in Lawrence generally are “costlier, slower and more limited than in other comparable communities.” City officials had the report commissioned because they have been interested in possibly allowing private companies to have access to a growing ring of fiber optic cable owned by the city.

On the private front, Lawrence-based Wicked Broadband — formerly known as Lawrence Freenet — has made a proposal to the city to further tap into that ring of fiber. (Ring of Fiber: Johnny Cash used to sing that song in his old age.)

At their meeting tonight, city commissioners will receive a request from Wicked for low-cost fiber leases with the city, and a one-time $500,000 grant to help the company build new broadband infrastructure in the city. The request is part of a pilot project Wicked is launching to bring to one Lawrence neighborhood the same type of superfast Internet service that Google Fiber is bringing to Kansas City. If successful, Wicked Broadband wants to extend the high-speed broadband project to all of the city.

So, we’ll see what cards the folks at WOW start playing in what appears to be an increasingly competitive game in Lawrence. Consumers, I suspect, will be keeping an eye on whether the competition starts having an impact on rates.

Comments

wtfusa 11 months, 1 week ago

I used to have sunflower silver, and it was great because it didn't get clogged up like the palladium(wtf kinda name is that) tier. Overall though, the speeds being offered in Lawrence are pretty pathetic for the price.

Also, I've heard that many student apartment communities have lost internet service from wow/knology like Hawks Pointe and the Connection during Finals week of all weeks. Does anyone know if this was related to the switch over to wow?

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Kelly Johnson 11 months, 1 week ago

I switched from Silver to Palladium in December or January. It's about $10 more per month but I didn't notice any quality difference. I guess it's time to switch back to Silver and save myself $10. I really hope they get the HBO Go thing going right away, it's stupid for them not to have that up and running by this point!

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Ira Rott 11 months, 1 week ago

According to the google cached Kansas Knology page, previously under Knology:

Bronze = 3 MB downstream, 1 MB upstream, data allotment 5 GB

Silver = 18 MB downstream, 2 MB upstream, data allotment 50 GB

Palladium = variable downstream and upstream, data allotment unlimited

So with the usage caps removed if you don't mind the slower speeds, you could downgrade to bronze.

One would imagine eventually it will be switched over to WOWs 4 tier internet pricing http://www.wowway.com/wow/our-products/internet/speeds

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Richard Heckler 11 months, 1 week ago

What is of greater concern is who and how is the financing being completed??? It seems each time a product is bought and sold the price increases.

How in the world can some products actually be worth more an more and more no matter the circumstances?

Is this leveraged buyout mania? Supported with risky financing? After two major home loan scams over the past 30 years? A Dot.com Scam? Another Wall Street scam? Too many bailouts forced on the taxpayers?

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mikekt 11 months, 1 week ago

The real story to me is how much debt (?) that WOW owes ( if any ), for buying KNOLOGY ?

If there is debt created to purchase KNOLOGY ( along with any existing debts, from the last purchase, of it's own self ), then it all just gets built up & passed on to the customer, one way or the other in the rate or service available for the rates asked !

I think that cable customers are sitting ducks, unable to dodge the next resell of our providers and the debt that a new buyer takes on or the cost to themselves of buying it on their own dime which become the dime of others .

It would be nice if cable providers had to hold onto these things for a while instead of playing the flip it game with them for the next fast buck !

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Jean Robart 11 months, 1 week ago

Hey Chad--I miss your humor. Glad to see i can still get my fix on line.

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matahari 11 months, 1 week ago

Yea, and thanks to WOW for the net cable and telephone interruptions this morning! Wonderful!

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Keith Richards 11 months, 1 week ago

If I was WOW/Knology or ATT, I would be at the meeting tonight asking for the exact same subsidy Wicked is requesting and for access to the city's fiber.

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peartree 11 months, 1 week ago

Wicked ownership is asking for half a million dollars from the city. Doesn't the owner already owe the city six figures? Sounds like exactly who I want to get my tax dollars.

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grammaddy 11 months, 1 week ago

Freenet sucks. I doubt changing their name to WICKED will change that.

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vsanders 11 months, 1 week ago

I am the Customer Service Supervisor for WOW! here in Lawrence. Thank you for your comments. We are excited to share the WOW culture with the community and are committed to provide cable, Internet and phone services to meet the needs of our customers. There are several things I would like to clarify. There are no plans to change email addresses for customers who have sunflower.com or knology.net addresses. In addition, customers with our phone service will not need to change phone numbers. Several commenters mentioned HBO Go. Although I'm not able to make any announcements regarding additional services at this time, I do know that as new services become available WOW! will communicate directly with customers. WOW! has taken a serious look at Internet service and has acknowledged customer complaints. That is why we are removing data usage caps and upgrading equipment. Should you still be experiencing Internet issues, please call our customer service department at 785-841-2100 or feel free to stop by our local customer care office in Lawrence or Basehor.

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Betty Bartholomew 11 months, 1 week ago

That's nice to hear. We switched to AT&T U-Verse when it became available in our neighborhood because of data caps on Knology. We're pretty happy with the AT&T service, except that we only get KC information - no Topeka stations, Weather Channel info is all KC, and no 6 News (I miss 6 News in the early morning) - and we no longer have the Hallmark channel (tradeoff is that we now have BBCA and Doctor Who). But currently, we get more channels for less money than we did with Knology, so unless package prices and channels within the packages become roughly equivalent, we probably won't switch back.

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Stephanie Weaver Kempersquash 11 months, 1 week ago

Just spoke w/ customer service, and they told me HBO Go! and other similar apps will be available in Fall. That seems like a pretty long time.

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Matthew Herbert 11 months, 1 week ago

with "WOW!" there will also be a lift on limits of the usage of capital letters.

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patkindle 11 months, 1 week ago

a lot of folks think the internet is free ha ha

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Andini 11 months, 1 week ago

My fingers are crossed for the potential return of Broadband Man.

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4chewnut 11 months, 1 week ago

Anyone know if Wicked has data use caps?

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J_Brown 11 months, 1 week ago

but as soon as wicked fiber comes along my neighborhood I am leaving

You should be a life long customer then.

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Orwell 11 months, 1 week ago

The so-called "optimized for video" and "unlimited" service allocates a limited amount of capacity collectively to all users on this plan. The result is that the capacity is often insufficient to stream purchased video. Funny how the company never tells you about that when it hypes the service.

And if they change the "sunflower" part of my email address they will have negated my last reason to continue as a customer. Just saying.

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Currahee 11 months, 1 week ago

Welp time to hop back onto the gold plan... I use way too much data (200-400GB/mo) thanjs to streaming video... but as soon as wicked fiber comes along my neighborhood I am leaving...

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valgrlku 11 months, 1 week ago

I'm a little confused. Since we currently pay for internet service based on the usage limits (I have Silver now, since I always went over with Bronze), does this mean there is going to be some type of rate adjustment? Wouldn't everyone just switch back to Bronze (less expensive), if WOW will be keeping the same rate tiers without usage caps?

Seems like the system is clogged enough, without removing the caps (even the technician who came for a service call here admitted that service was bad during "heavy usage times" and due to old infrastructure). Did I miss rate information somewhere in the article? I haven't received any emails or snail mail related to any change (although customer service has been WOW for some time), so I'm curious as to whether I should switch to AT&T now, or if staying with WOW will be less expensive (and better!) than it is currently.

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midwestmom 11 months, 1 week ago

I was happier to hear this a.m. on TV the CEO actually ACKNOWLEDGE the speed issues associated with their service and his promise that its being fixed. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I'll probably always miss the old 'Sunflower' - I didn't know how good we had it (even as imperfect as that was). Keep your promise, keep your customers - still rooting for Google Fiber to come to Douglas County, though!!!

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parrothead8 11 months, 1 week ago

Chad, do you know if the usage cap removal is in effect immediately?

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robdew 11 months, 1 week ago

No data provider truly offers unlimited data plans, so what's the catch? And I am guessing we'll get hit with a rate increase?

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Bunny_Hotcakes 11 months, 1 week ago

WOW needs to add another hamster to their webserver. It's so slow its basically unusable.

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Catalano 11 months, 1 week ago

BURNING Ring of Fiber(optics)

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jane_doe 11 months, 1 week ago

I'm shocked. This is the first positive step from "the cable company" whatever name it has this year....EVER.

And I adore Johnny Cash. Thanks for the smile!

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kuhusker 11 months, 1 week ago

Lifting the bandwidth caps is nice, a good start. Hopefully WOW will continue to bring their service into the 21st century - for one, yeah, they need HBO Go and TV Everywhere (like you know, almost every other cable system in America) and maybe improving the reliability of the internet (the cynic in me says they got rid of the caps because the internet is down so much that nobody would end up using too much bandwidth anyway :-)

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madcow 11 months, 1 week ago

So does this mean I finally have access to HBO Go?

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jackpot 11 months, 1 week ago

Johnny Cash? I thought it was Earth, Wind and Fiber.

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