SBC Promises Fiber Too, Triple Play Fight Is On

from the watch-out dept

It looks like the "triple play fight" is officially on. Yesterday, Cablevision announced their plans to give away VoIP, basically free for a year to attract new customers to their voice, video and data broadband bundle. BellSouth quickly followed with their TV-over-DSL plans in order to offer a true triple play (rather than the hedge plan of teaming up with a satellite TV provider). Today, SBC announced that they're going to invest heavily in installing fiber to the premise in order to offer higher speeds and IP-based TV. This follows about a month after Verizon made their fiber plans clear. As Broadband Reports warns, however, the telcos have a history of promising fiber and never delivering, so it may pay to be skeptical until the lights on the modem are blinking. Either way, it does look like both sides (cable and telcos) are finally coming to terms with the new state of competition in the marketplace. In this instance, the cable companies definitely have the early lead. Adding VoIP to their bundle is much easier than either building up a FTTP network or figuring out how to do TV-over-DSL. There's a lot longer history with VoIP and many of the bugs have been worked out. That's not true with TV-over-broadband, which is more difficult to build in the first place. However, looking out a few years, if the telcos can work through the issues, they may eventually have a much stronger package, offering higher speeds and more services. In the short-term, they've been able to win more customers by focusing on offering much cheaper DSL, a strategy that ignores bundling for now to try to sign up customers at cable's expense. With most customers just focused on the broadband, this strategy makes sense (and makes BellSouth's plan to stop offering unbundled DSL particularly short-sighted). What isn't discussed very much however, is the wireless element. The telcos are in a much better position to also bundle in both mobile phone service and wireless broadband services that make it so you can connect anywhere. The cable companies, for the most part, have stayed out of that area, and such bundles could keep the telcos in the game if they start pushing a different triple play of voice and data "anywhere", until they can get the "quadruple play" together of voice, video and data anywhere. No matter what, it appears the battle is definitely on, which should mean more competitive offerings for customers.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread



Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.