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Cable industry: at a Cross-Roads

Cable providers are looking at a cross-roads with the current climate brought on by a new political landscape, a Democratic Congress, with an FCC mandated to change the future of broadband, and a public viewed skepticism of the Cable Industry. This adds up to significant changes which might threaten the status-quo of annual rate […]

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Cable providers are looking at a cross-roads with the current climate brought on by a new political landscape, a Democratic Congress, with an FCC mandated to change the future of broadband, and a public viewed skepticism of the Cable Industry.

This adds up to significant changes which might threaten the status-quo of annual rate increases, tiered program blocks, and set-top-box rentals that have plagued the industry with criticism in the past. So, how does the industry change those perceptions and move forward in a new competitive landscape?

With innovations and growth spurred by deregulation of the 1980’s Reagan era, the Cable Industry began a journey starting with wire-line build-outs spurred by terrestrial satellite programming. A phenomenal market emerged for content delivered over the pipelines, which leaped forward with the advent of fiber for better quality, bandwidth, and extended reach to new customers.

This model became so successful it began to come under scrutiny from a public, and then regulators, which perceived an industry with little competition, blocks of programming tied to rate increases, poor service from a lack of forethought, and high profits.

Fast-forward to today with broadband streaming video, alternatives to traditional linear TV, increased competition from DBS and a few wire-line providers; the industry is at a cross-roads. Where do we go from here to ensure the profit model which made us successful in the past?

But the industry has its up-side, with a commercial business market largely untapped and held by incumbent phone companies for decades; a new venue of Internet Broadband viewing by an increasingly impatient consumer for change in the status-quo, therefore TV Everywhere; a Set-Top-Box market that begs for universal service across many mediums; and a mandate by regulators to increase broadband penetrations.

The industry can, if strategically focused, take advantage of these changes in the market by embracing change, letting go of the past, and moving forward to the future. Its message should be one of new innovations, a willingness to compete under a new market structure, and a helping hand in achieving broadband proliferation. These are the cross-roads the industry must face. Their message should be communicated positively, succinctly, and often.

Len Grace is a technology industry veteran with over 18 years experience with Comcast Corporation. His insights into pertinent and relevant issues within the Broadband/Telecom/Cable/Wireless and Mobile sectors both inform and enlighten readers on current industry trends, analysis, business strategy, competitive landscape and legislative agendas. Len is the founder & editor of The Cable Pipeline, a technology blog who contributes to various technology websites including Light Reading, BroadbandBreakfast.com (Expert Opinion), SiliconAngle, Cisco Community: Service Provider Mobility, Amdocs: InTouch Community Portal, Bloomberg's bx Business Exchange, CircleID, and Sys-Con Media/Utilizer. Also see his reporting.

Expert Opinion

Carri Bennet: Biden’s Broadband Plan is Key to Spurring Rural Economic Development, Jobs and Manufacturing

The American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, includes $100 billion to ensure broadband availability to every single American at affordable rates. This means building more broadband in rural areas.

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Carri Bennet of the law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson
Diagram of Streaming Multicast
Image via Wikipedia

Cable providers are looking at a cross-roads with the current climate brought on by a new political landscape, a Democratic Congress, with an FCC mandated to change the future of broadband, and a public viewed skepticism of the Cable Industry.

This adds up to significant changes which might threaten the status-quo of annual rate increases, tiered program blocks, and set-top-box rentals that have plagued the industry with criticism in the past. So, how does the industry change those perceptions and move forward in a new competitive landscape?

With innovations and growth spurred by deregulation of the 1980’s Reagan era, the Cable Industry began a journey starting with wire-line build-outs spurred by terrestrial satellite programming. A phenomenal market emerged for content delivered over the pipelines, which leaped forward with the advent of fiber for better quality, bandwidth, and extended reach to new customers.

This model became so successful it began to come under scrutiny from a public, and then regulators, which perceived an industry with little competition, blocks of programming tied to rate increases, poor service from a lack of forethought, and high profits.

Fast-forward to today with broadband streaming video, alternatives to traditional linear TV, increased competition from DBS and a few wire-line providers; the industry is at a cross-roads. Where do we go from here to ensure the profit model which made us successful in the past?

But the industry has its up-side, with a commercial business market largely untapped and held by incumbent phone companies for decades; a new venue of Internet Broadband viewing by an increasingly impatient consumer for change in the status-quo, therefore TV Everywhere; a Set-Top-Box market that begs for universal service across many mediums; and a mandate by regulators to increase broadband penetrations.

The industry can, if strategically focused, take advantage of these changes in the market by embracing change, letting go of the past, and moving forward to the future. Its message should be one of new innovations, a willingness to compete under a new market structure, and a helping hand in achieving broadband proliferation. These are the cross-roads the industry must face. Their message should be communicated positively, succinctly, and often.

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Expert Opinion

Shabbir Bagasrawala: A Clarion Call for Supply Chain Diversity in Our Telecom Networks

Limited competition is provided by the existing trio of vendors. This worsens the supply chain problem for operators.

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Shabbir Bagasrawala, Head of Go-to-Market Team at Altiostar
Diagram of Streaming Multicast
Image via Wikipedia

Cable providers are looking at a cross-roads with the current climate brought on by a new political landscape, a Democratic Congress, with an FCC mandated to change the future of broadband, and a public viewed skepticism of the Cable Industry.

This adds up to significant changes which might threaten the status-quo of annual rate increases, tiered program blocks, and set-top-box rentals that have plagued the industry with criticism in the past. So, how does the industry change those perceptions and move forward in a new competitive landscape?

With innovations and growth spurred by deregulation of the 1980’s Reagan era, the Cable Industry began a journey starting with wire-line build-outs spurred by terrestrial satellite programming. A phenomenal market emerged for content delivered over the pipelines, which leaped forward with the advent of fiber for better quality, bandwidth, and extended reach to new customers.

This model became so successful it began to come under scrutiny from a public, and then regulators, which perceived an industry with little competition, blocks of programming tied to rate increases, poor service from a lack of forethought, and high profits.

Fast-forward to today with broadband streaming video, alternatives to traditional linear TV, increased competition from DBS and a few wire-line providers; the industry is at a cross-roads. Where do we go from here to ensure the profit model which made us successful in the past?

But the industry has its up-side, with a commercial business market largely untapped and held by incumbent phone companies for decades; a new venue of Internet Broadband viewing by an increasingly impatient consumer for change in the status-quo, therefore TV Everywhere; a Set-Top-Box market that begs for universal service across many mediums; and a mandate by regulators to increase broadband penetrations.

The industry can, if strategically focused, take advantage of these changes in the market by embracing change, letting go of the past, and moving forward to the future. Its message should be one of new innovations, a willingness to compete under a new market structure, and a helping hand in achieving broadband proliferation. These are the cross-roads the industry must face. Their message should be communicated positively, succinctly, and often.

Continue Reading

Expert Opinion

Gary Bolton: Satellite’s Polite Conceit of Unserved/Underserved

Broadband Breakfast Staff

Published

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Gary Bolton, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association and author of this Expert Opinion piece
Diagram of Streaming Multicast
Image via Wikipedia

Cable providers are looking at a cross-roads with the current climate brought on by a new political landscape, a Democratic Congress, with an FCC mandated to change the future of broadband, and a public viewed skepticism of the Cable Industry.

This adds up to significant changes which might threaten the status-quo of annual rate increases, tiered program blocks, and set-top-box rentals that have plagued the industry with criticism in the past. So, how does the industry change those perceptions and move forward in a new competitive landscape?

With innovations and growth spurred by deregulation of the 1980’s Reagan era, the Cable Industry began a journey starting with wire-line build-outs spurred by terrestrial satellite programming. A phenomenal market emerged for content delivered over the pipelines, which leaped forward with the advent of fiber for better quality, bandwidth, and extended reach to new customers.

This model became so successful it began to come under scrutiny from a public, and then regulators, which perceived an industry with little competition, blocks of programming tied to rate increases, poor service from a lack of forethought, and high profits.

Fast-forward to today with broadband streaming video, alternatives to traditional linear TV, increased competition from DBS and a few wire-line providers; the industry is at a cross-roads. Where do we go from here to ensure the profit model which made us successful in the past?

But the industry has its up-side, with a commercial business market largely untapped and held by incumbent phone companies for decades; a new venue of Internet Broadband viewing by an increasingly impatient consumer for change in the status-quo, therefore TV Everywhere; a Set-Top-Box market that begs for universal service across many mediums; and a mandate by regulators to increase broadband penetrations.

The industry can, if strategically focused, take advantage of these changes in the market by embracing change, letting go of the past, and moving forward to the future. Its message should be one of new innovations, a willingness to compete under a new market structure, and a helping hand in achieving broadband proliferation. These are the cross-roads the industry must face. Their message should be communicated positively, succinctly, and often.

Continue Reading

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