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Time Warner Cable expansion won’t lead to rate increase

Time Warner Cable is not expecting to raise its customers’ rates to cover a $101 million expansion that was announced Monday, a company official told The Mecklenburg Times today.

In the expansion, TWC plans to build two buildings at its Charlotte facility and hire an additional 225 people over the next three years.

But there are no plans to raise rates to cover the project, spokeswoman Melissa Buscher said. Instead the company will use money from a state job development investment grant to cover the project’s costs.

Under the terms of the deal with the state, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 60 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the nine years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If TWC meets the targets, the grant could yield up to $2.9 million in benefits for the company.

According to the company’s press release, one of the buildings will be a two-story data center, which will be one of just two national data centers for TWC nationwide. The 178,000-square-foot facility will include 1,600 racks of technical equipment and a 12,000-foot floating floor to offer maximum cooling efficiency.

The building will offer a virtual cloud environment for video, high speed data, voice and commercial services by having storage and network elements in a shared environment. The building is expected to be finished by the end of 2012.

“The technology that will be located in the data center will allow us to deliver our products and services to multiple devices,” Buscher said. “You think of our services going to your TV or your computer. What this does is allow us to deliver our products and services to different devices like our iPad application.”

In order to use that app, a customer must still be a cable TV subscriber; the company doesn’t offer mobile device-only subscriptions yet.

The second new building will be a four-story, 103,500-square-foot facility with an estimated completion date of 2013.

Both buildings are expected to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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