Also today, all US classrooms are connected, the FCC pats itself on its broadband back, Eutelsat looks into satellite issue, UK ISP hires ex-Virgin Media build guru, public broadcaster aims at Netflix and Russians devour streaming video.
The steady acquisition and retention of broadband customers helped Comcast post revenue of $26.83 billion for the quarter ended September 2019, up 5.33% compared with $22.14 billion in the year-ago period. Comcast has added more than 1 million new subs annually for 14 years in a row; in Q3, it hit a record high of 379,000 new broadband subscribers in the last three months. However, like its competitors, Comcast was hurt by cord-cutting, and lost 238,000 pay-TV customers (residential and business). (See Comcast's Video Business Hit as Broadband Soars in Q3 .)
Connected in the Classroom
Just about every classroom in every school across the US has broadband today, due to E-rate, state funding and the hard work of service providers, according to EducationSuperHighway. While many K-12 students use this tool for homework, some find it's handy for games and social media (especially during a dull class or detention).
"The classroom connectivity gap is closed," declared Evan Marwell, EducationSuperHighway founder and CEO, in the company's 2019 annual report on broadband deployment in US K-12. The combination of E-rate, matching funds from state governors and "the incredible efforts of service providers" led to tens of thousands of miles of new fiber that connected schools to modern broadband infrastructure -- and a world of educational (and career) opportunity for students across the US, regardless of location. In August 2020, EducationSuperHighway will sunset itself, having achieved its mission, Marwell wrote.
In its mandated annual report, the FCC again claimed it's doing a stellar job of closing the digital divide: In the last year, Americans without access to fixed broadband at the FCC's minimal speed (25 Mbit/s downstream, 3 Mbit/s upstream) dropped 18%, to 21.3 million from 26.1 million, the agency said.
Eutelsat is looking into an "incident" on one of the new Eutelsat 5 West B Satellite's two solar arrays, designed to deliver video broadcast services and Internet to the French, Italian and Algerian markets. The operator wants to determine any possible effect this incident could have on the satellite's performance and its customers.
Full-fiber provider TrueSpeed named former Virgin Media Head of Build on Project Lightning Simon Wall (bad-joke warning: Wall was GM at a fence company for a few months) its new director of operations. While at Virgin, Wall held other positions, many of which no doubt have prepared him to help rural UK operator TrueSpeed deploy its new gigabit-capable FTTP broadband network across parts of south-west England and meet its goal of covering 75,000 premises by 2021.
South African Broadcasting Co. (SABC) set itself a big goal: To take on Netflix. The public broadcaster's online news show is the second most popular source via web, and CEO Madoda Mxakwe hopes to translate that reputation into the OTT world. SABC plans to migrate to digital broadcasting and will launch a streaming service to compete with Netflix and others, reported mybroadband.co.
Russian audiences are devouring streaming media. In the first half of 2019, video services revenue grew 44.3% to 10.6 billion rubles ($160.6 million) versus the first half of 2018, according to research firm Telecom Daily. By year-end, all online video content (including media from services such as YouTube, iTunes and Google Play) will generate about 21.5 billion rubles ($340 million) -- seven years ago, it was less than 1 billion rubles ($16 million), the research firm noted.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.