The good news is for consumers that the cable giants are competing for their business by offering the transmissions speeds only dreamt of a few years back. The bad news may be for Comcast’s competitors. Comcast is about to blow the doors off.
The Race Goes to the Swiftest
Google Fiber set the cable market on end when it began to deploy its fiber optic solution for the last mile connection to consumers. This introduced an era of one-gigabit speeds that were nearly 100 times faster than the previous average. The response from AT&T was to expand its U-verse to add one gigabit. Setting aggressive price points, AT&T matched Google Fiber in head to head competition in several markets. With planned roll outs that might involve about twenty markets, these leaders in speed and programming have raised the bar for attracting the US consumer.
Comcast Takes the Lead
Against the backdrop of the speed race between Google and AT&T, Comcast announced its plans to buy Time Warner. Soon after that, it appeared the planned acquisition would not pass federal approval. Comcast announced a plan to improve service by adding an FTTH solution with higher speeds. Comcast announced it would connect to homes with fiber optic cable to provide two-gigabit speeds. The speed of this planned service would be double that of the best competitor.
Growth the Hard Way
With the end of its bid to purchase the additional market share, Comcast’s failure to buy Time-Warner comes home to roost. Competition is now the best way to grow market share. The aggressive build-out of its fiber optic system will pay a big dividend if its high-speed dominance translates into more subscribers. Comcast has the wherewithal to offer extensive entertainment menus which when combined with significantly higher speeds will provide a seamless and satisfying customer experience.
What Else Can Comcast Do?
Customer Relations Management might be the most repeated word in the corporates offices for the foreseeable future. The company has ranked low in customer satisfaction surveys, and its policies have caused a lot of social media chatter that does not help the brand. It has recently upgraded system speeds at no additional costs. The other approach is to tailor service packages to be more like the online competition. Many users prefer to spend less for more of what they enjoy. The success of online services like Netflix reflects a sense of value when spending a little for a service one uses a lot. This is opposed to spending a lot for services one does not use as in a standard cable package menu.
Finding New Customers in Old Places
Across the US, there are communities with little or no cable and internet service. Many are rural, small and, up to now, markets considered unprofitable. In some communities, local governments have attempted to organize and deliver Internet access. The under served populations are the constant sources of growth. However, reaching them and making a profit is sometimes like a jigsaw with a missing part, for the picture never quite comes together. Motivation can add new energy and effort, and a company determined to grow its markets may find ways to reach into some under served markets.