Cox, CableCos Show Their Wireless Hand

The all-out war between telephone companies and cable companies is now going to be fought on a whole new front: wireless. Last week, Cox confirmed that it was getting into the wireless business, joining cable industry peers. Patrick Esser, president at Cox, revealed wireless at the Progress and Freedom Foundation conference in Aspen, Colo.:

“I won’t divulge too many secrets here, but we’ll focus on providing simple calling plans, integrating all our services into one device with a consistent cross-platform interface; and making our content and applications mobile.” (via PC Mag)

Here is a quick rundown of cable’s wireless plans so far:

  • Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks backing the Clearwire-Sprint’s WiMAX venture.
  • Cox Wireless doing it alone.
  • Comcast recently hired Dave Williams, former CTO of O2, to head up Comcast Wireless.
  • Cablevision: no plans.
  • Charter Communications’ owner Paul Allen’s Vulcan Spectrum acquired 700 Mhz spectrum.
  • Bend Broadband of Oregon also snagged a 700 MHz Block B license.

Earlier this year we reported that Cox had started working on a wireless network using some of its newly acquired 700 MHz frequencies. Cox spent around $304 million to acquire 14 Block A and eight Block B licenses as part of the recently concluded 700 spectrum auctions. Chinese equipment maker Huawei is going to supply CDMA gear for a wireless network. Huawei is making gear that works on CDMA and LTE networks.

Phone companies have to be fretting: They are competing in the traditional land-line and broadband business and losing to the cable guys. Now cable companies want to go after their cash-cow wireless operations.

AT&T Considering Metered Broadband

Bend Broadband, Comcast, Time Warner Cable — they’re all considering or going the route of the tiered (aka metered) broadband. Now add AT&T to that list, according to a report in CED magazine.

“A form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable,” according to an AT&T spokesman, though the company does not yet have a specific plan or policy. AT&T said the Top 5 percent of its DSL customers use 46 percent of the total bandwidth, which is consistent with cable industry experience.

It isn’t surprising — the tiered model for AT&T would help prop up its IPTV effort, U-verse. What is surprising is that company officials, many of them at the senior levels, have made it a point to tell me that unlike cable they had no plans to do any such thing. This news report makes me highly suspect about their past assurances, and the comment to Stacey from AT&T’s spokesperson makes me think it’s just a matter of time before the phone company gets that meter ticking.

We’re always evaluating our broadband plans and services, but have nothing new to announce today regarding our pricing structure. That said, given the usage trends we’re seeing, a form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is one of the many options we’ll explore. Usage-based pricing is one way to deal fairly with Internet usage, which is very uneven among broadband users.

Poll: Will Metered Broadband Make You Switch Your ISP?

While not so uncommon overseas, bandwidth caps and metered broadband are coming to the US market place. Time Warner is the first major cable company to announce its metered broadband strategy & prices for a small Texas market, in what can be described as draconian.

We have written about Bend Broadband of Oregon resorting to such tricks. Comcast, recently proposed bandwidth caps as well. What it means: get ready to pay more and get less for broadband. Will this spur into action, and switch ISPs or look for alternatives. Take our poll and share your opinion.

Poll: Will Metered Broadband Make You Switch Your ISP?

While not so uncommon overseas, bandwidth caps and metered broadband are coming to the US market place. Time Warner is the first major cable company to announce its metered broadband strategy & prices for a small Texas market, in what can be described as draconian.

We have written about Bend Broadband of Oregon resorting to such tricks. Comcast, recently proposed bandwidth caps as well. What it means: get ready to pay more and get less for broadband. Will this spur into action, and switch ISPs or look for alternatives. Take our poll and share your opinion.