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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

jackpot 1 year, 2 months ago

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

6

ljwhirled 1 year, 2 months ago

Gee, I wonder if Wicked Broadband's plan had something to do with this. Competition breeds excellence. We should encourage Wicked to build their fiber network.

Imagine what Knology/WOW will have to offer to keep up with a one gigabit fiber system?

2

ridikkulus 1 year, 2 months ago

Wind... AND Fiber?. Ahhhh! I see what you did, there!

0

madcow 1 year, 2 months ago

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

2

chootspa 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd tell you, but the website just tells you to call them. I don't want to call them. I want them to list their damn prices upfront!

2

kuhusker 1 year, 2 months 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 :-)

1

Catalano 1 year, 2 months ago

BURNING Ring of Fiber(optics)

1

Bunny_Hotcakes 1 year, 2 months ago

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

4

parrothead8 1 year, 2 months ago

Seriously. I clicked on the WOW link from the story about 2 minutes ago and it's still loading.

1

Jean Robart 1 year, 2 months ago

Do you mean if it was going any slower, it would be going backwards?

1

Robert Dewhirst 1 year, 2 months 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?

0

parrothead8 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Ryan Shumaker 1 year, 2 months ago

When I logged into my account it said "We are excited to let you know that effective May 16, 2013 usage caps are being removed from WOW! Internet service. As of May 16, customers will no long be charged for going over usage limits. Usage detail on MyKnology will continue to be updated through June 30, 2013"

1

Jstanobservation 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow,catching up to what att has done for years.

1

Seth Amott 1 year, 2 months ago

ATT has usage caps, they were one of the first to have them. Although they are hardly as restrictive.

0

Shane Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

Unless you're on the IPTV version of ATT UVerse....then they can't seem to figure out how to separate the web traffic from the TV traffic, so they don't track your usage.

0

midwestmom 1 year, 2 months 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!!!

4

ridikkulus 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree! Sunflower, for all of its imperfections, was excellent compared to what we ended up with.

0

valgrlku 1 year, 2 months 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.

1

thefisherman 1 year, 2 months ago

Service level also dictates connection speed - at least it used to. Haven't looked in awhile.

0

valgrlku 1 year, 2 months ago

I fully understand that. However, it should not affect how often the signal is dropped or errors-out, and at the Silver speed test levels, it certainly should not be buffering, all which it currently does - despite WOW's technicians having no answer for the service issues (other than a clogged network and old infrastructure). Perhaps, that's their party line, but rather than fixing it, they seem perfectly happy to just shrug and provide excuses. It's not like any of the levels are inexpensive, especially when purchased without cable service (for which I'm charged an extra $20 or so/month extra for having internet alone).

0

madcow 1 year, 2 months ago

I still have gold internet, and I don't have any problems with buffering. Other than a few random outages a few months ago I haven't really had any issues lately.

It is still really overpriced, but now that WOW is taking over maybe they will have better plans available.

0

kernal 1 year, 2 months ago

valgriku, WOW put it on their website yesterday. Their call center employees didn't even know about it until sometime Monday afternoon when they got their email.

0

Currahee 1 year, 2 months 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...

0

Orwell 1 year, 2 months 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.

2

Currahee 1 year, 2 months ago

In my home I get a constant 25Mbit stream, except during winter break where it will fall to 10-14Mbit and have a tendency to stutter. Still, at $39 a mo I'm not complaining. Very cheap and fast for the price. I just want faster internet... now since cable internet is shared bandwidth I could see this not going well for those student apartments near downtown... but for individual home units it works out nicely. When I was on gold I got a constant 50Mbit stream... you don't see that with isps. They usually market up to 50Mbit. My experience has been very good so far..

0

4chewnut 1 year, 2 months ago

Anyone know if Wicked has data use caps?

0

patkindle 1 year, 2 months ago

a lot of folks think the internet is free ha ha

0

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 2 months ago

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

4

1 year, 2 months 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.

0

Betty Bartholomew 1 year, 2 months 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.

0

Ryan Shumaker 1 year, 2 months ago

U-verse now has data caps on their internet service at 250 gig. AT&T also has a cap on DSL customers of 150 gig.

0

Seth Amott 1 year, 2 months ago

You get two free months before they start charging you. I promise that it applies to everybody, and customer service will 180 on that statement when you get your first overage charge. However, if you make any fuss they don't seem to have a problem crediting your account, I did it three times over the time I had ATT.

0

Shane Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

They haven't figured out how to separate the video and tv streams, so if you're on the IPTV version of UVerse then you don't have to worry about the caps. They haven't been able to track mine for the whole time I've had Uverse, which is nearly a year.

0

vsanders 1 year, 2 months 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.

2

vsanders 1 year, 2 months ago

We are in the process of integrating the functionality of the two main websites for WOW! and Knology. Until this is completed, we like to help answer all your questions over the phone. I apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to serving you.

0

Jean Robart 1 year, 2 months ago

Sounds like trying to find out cost of Tie Warner Cable where I live in Kentucky. The apartment building I am moving into tomorrow has TWC, and when I checked online, they told e I had to call, that I could not order online. Then the CSR I talked did not know anything about a feature I read to her directly from their website.

0

ljwhirled 1 year, 2 months ago

You've owned the network since last July and are only now upgrading services? Hmmmmm. Sounds like you are more interested in preserving your brand than in helping your customers.

0

Currahee 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm sure it takes time to plan what is going to happen. It's not like Lawrence was the only place where Knology was...

0

ridikkulus 1 year, 2 months ago

The people who have helped me on the telephone with WOW have FAR exceeded the customer service capabilities of the Knology folks, also. Very refreshing!

0

Stedman 1 year, 2 months ago

Really? I'd imagine it's the same people. It's not like they fired everyone from Knology and brought in all new staff.

0

ridikkulus 1 year, 2 months ago

Different call center. I used to get people in one of the Dakotas, and recently dealt with Georgia.

0

Shane Rogers 1 year, 2 months ago

So what about the Gold 50Mb plan not being available in other packages?! I used to have both Gold Internet and every single channel you offered with no problems at all...

I don't get it. It seems like a step backwards if you ask me.

0

grammaddy 1 year, 2 months ago

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

1

peartree 1 year, 2 months 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.

0

kuhusker 1 year, 2 months ago

If AT&T or WOW would commit to wiring Lawrence for Fiber, I would say they should ask for and receive the subsidy too, and more power to them.

2

kernal 1 year, 2 months ago

If AT&T can afford to pay their CEO a year's salary of $22million, I suspect they can afford to put in fiber without a subsidy from us.

0

matahari 1 year, 2 months ago

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

0

Jean Robart 1 year, 2 months ago

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

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months 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?

0

Ira Rott 1 year, 2 months 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

0

Kelly Johnson 1 year, 2 months 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!

0

wtfusa 1 year, 2 months 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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