Ron Culler April 13, 2009 8:59 am

I think that any of the caps are going to be bad for the companies that implement them over the long run. As Bandwidth increasingly becomes more and more a commodity product and thus just a means to get you there, providers should be more focused on what it is that consumers are going after. As services like "hulu, Netflix’s, etc.." are gaining ground and traditional Telco’s like AT&T and Verizon are moving into the media space traditionally held by cable companies they are opening themselves to a pricing war as these providers look to gain consumers. I think the cable companies should be looking to provide the services that their customers are going else where for. Start looking at providing access to the “On Demand” media that consumers want via their own networks. Consumers no longer want to be tied to the “Set Top Box and TV” they are looking for mobility. If they keep the traffic “on-Net” versus having to cross over to more expensive interconnect circuits to other providers they can keep the costs down for the customers that want alternative viewing platforms at home. For those consumers that are away from their home “Cable Based Internet Connections” they could offer a premium service (for a fee) that would allow their customers to access this content remotely, thus defraying the interconnect costs. This could also open a new range of services that could enable customers to remotely gain access to their “Set Top DVR’s, etc..”. They could even provide web based access to live media broadcasts so a customer doesn’t have to miss the shows they want to watch just because they aren’t in front of a TV. This could open a whole new revenue market. How about per view access/subscription access to premium content (HBO, Showtime, Pay per View) but do it in a fashion that gives the consumers flexibility. If you are only interested in say a new series running on HBO, let them subscribe to just that content. Give consumers what they want and they stay, Nickel and Dime them and they will look elsewhere. You only have to look at the wireless phone market to see what happens when you start giving customers what they want and stop charging them every time they turn it on. As the wireless companies started bundling Free long distance, Free On-Net calling, Free Nights and Weekends, and unlimited messaging the consumer market has moved to that as their primary access dropping the traditional land-line phone and a phone for every family member. For those wireless providers that were slow to make the move they lost customers for those that saw the light they gained customers. If the cable companies don’t start offering the services their customers want and available alternatives become more available they will suffer the same fate as the telephone companies that didn’t listen. A shrinking customer base and lower profits.