Capt. Video and I had a discussion a few weeks ago about how service providers handle over-the-top providers such as Vonage. Service providers are in a sticky situation as many of these services may compete with their existing products. Vonage and Skype take away phone customers. Hulu and iTunes take away video customers. So what should a service provider do about it? I see only three options open to them.
The fact that we will be doing a regular feature on broadband news shows that there is a lot of interest in this space. At a recent Qwest webinar, lots of business attendees mentioned slow network speeds are a major concern. Many people are supportive of UTOPIA for different reasons and come from different political persuasions, but the one cause that unites us is a desire to bring our communities into the future by supporting advancements in broadband deployments. We feel it can’t be stressed enough that networks are the railroads of the 21st century. Those cities that have it will prosper, those that don’t will be left by the wayside.
Major telecom incumbents have been slow to invest in our communities and bring us faster network speeds that will be crucial for our economy and our quality of life. In addition, these incumbents have fought and continue to fight efforts by others (like us) to improve broadband even when they themselves refuse to improve broadband speed, quality, and availability. Our goal is to share news developments and insights pertaining to broadband in the hope that with a more informed community we can make better decisions to improve the availability of fast, consumer-friendly, choice-driven, high-quality broadband. This kind of broadband is severely lacking in many parts of Utah, though fortunately, UTOPIA is changing that in more ways than one.
Without further ado, here is our first edition of Broadband Bytes:
Charter Communications says out with the old and in with the new. DOCSIS 3.0, SDV, and all digital in the works. (Goodbye analog spectrum)
Most companies would normally be excited to be a semi-finalist for an award, but not this time. Comcast has managed to bump off Menu Foods, The American Arbitration Association, Ticketmaster and even Exxon in its quest to become Worst Company in America 2008. It now faces off against Diebold, stealer of elections and maker of faulty voting systems, for the, er, "privilege" of going head-to-head with the "winner" of the Walmart vs. Countrywide faceoff.
Overall, telecom was heavily represented in Comsumerist's annual choosing of a winner/loser. Charter, Time Warner, Sprint, Dish Network, AT&T, Cox, DirecTV and Verizon each grabbed one of the initial 32 spots, giving cable, television and phone companies more than a quarter of the roster. Is it any wonder that these companies also consistently place near the bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index?