Cable Companies Stick By The "Speed Matters" Mantra As Customers Head Elsewhere

from the yeah,-keep-trying dept

You have to wonder if the cable companies are actually starting to believe their own marketing material. They certainly repeat it often enough. In 2003, as DSL providers started dropping their prices, the cable guys held on, claiming that they would compete on higher speeds and higher prices. That hasn’t seemed like a very good idea. It quickly became clear that lower prices worked as DSL began to close the gap by signing up more new users. Then, of course, DSL providers started to catch up in speed while still dropping prices even further. The cable response has been to keep their prices high (though, some will apparently quietly drop the prices if confronted about the DSL competition by individual customers) and claim that mysterious, unknown “services” were more important than either price or speed. Now, with the latest studies showing that (once again!) DSL subs are beating out cable thanks to low, low prices, the cable providers are still in denial claiming that their “research” shows people look at speed first, and price second. Who cares what their “research” shows when compared to what the actual subscriber numbers show? That research is meaningless. At best, it’s misleading. “Speed” may be important when you’re comparing DSL or cable to dialup, but for many home users, reaching a certain speed is considered “good enough” for now, and then price is all that matters. In that game, the DSL providers are beating cable guys easily.

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Comments on “Cable Companies Stick By The "Speed Matters" Mantra As Customers Head Elsewhere”

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Ivan Sick says:

Re: Speakeasy

Cavalier offers DSL 10Mbps up, I forget the down speed. The rep I talked to said it was more like 8Mbps off-peak. Might not be a real world number, but I agree with Tawgley.
I didn’t get Cavalier because they couldn’t do it in my area, but there’s the provider you “have yet to see.” And it’s $25/month if you have their phone service.

Kristie Cassady says:

Re: Re: Speakeasy

I agree Cavalier DSL is fast and affordable, but several times a day it just becomes unavailable to me, and always at the worst times. It may be our old phone lines that are affected by the weather (sometimes I get static on the phone line when it’s rainy.) Do you ever have this problem? I’d keep Cavalier DSL forever if the service was more reliable.

Spam says:

It's still true..

My Comcast cable modem gets 4mbit down consistantly. I have only had 1 outage. On the other hand, my boss has a Comcast cable modem (4mbit too) and he got a Speakeasy DSL line as a test. They advertise 6mbit down/768 up. He said that he has barely been able to break 1.5mbit with the line. Pretty much the same deal with other DSL users I know. Most of them stick to DSL because they have static IP addresses and run small web servers at home.
Oh, and I’m not in the boonies, either. I’m in the Silicon Valley, only a mile from a sizable NASA installation.

My cable modem is $45/mo, and the speeds are great. I don’t use any of the other advertised Comcast services.

Tawgley says:

RE: Cable Companies Stick By The "Speed Matters" M

While I agree with the points in the subject piece, I wonder if there isn’t also a missing piece. If most are like me, I’ll do ANYTHING that is price competitive (ie LOWER to make up for the hassle of the switch) just to get away from the absolutely abysmal service of the Broadband Cable industry .. sure speed matters but you seldom if ever get the speed promised, there are have DAILY service interruptions and it ain’t getting any better as cable consolidation continues aided and abetted by the very ‘watchdogs’ who are supposed to assure competition.

gregr (user link) says:

Price vs Speed

I personally look at speed before price. I had DSL for a bit (and cable at the same time – had some problems with RR and was thinking of moving to DSL). The DSL was MUCH slower than the cable, even though 1/2 the price.

I gladly pay for the higher priced, higher speed cable. There’s a couple of stories out today about getting 100 megabits out of cable. I’d pay a lot more than I’m paying now for that.

I mean, I can rip 40 stations at once and get 2k songs a day, with my current cable mode… with that kind of speed I could do download 10k a day!!! 😛

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