Cable broadband business grows while telco subs fade

20 August 2016 by Steve Blum

Cat videos included.

Overall growth in broadband subscriptions is slowing but is still in positive numbers in the U.S. That’s the conclusion of a tabulation by Leichtman Research Group. Looking at the fourteen largest cable and telco broadband providers, which account for “about 95% of the market”, the aggregate count grew by only 190,000 high speed subscribers in the second quarter of this year. According to Leichtman, that’s the lowest quarterly figure since they starting keeping track of Internet service providers fifteen years ago.… More

Online consumer cancellation law threatens broadband monopolies

7 April 2016 by Steve Blum
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That’s not the AT&T logo about to explode, is it?

Sometimes the simplest laws bring the biggest changes. That might be the case for a proposal from California assemblyman Mike Gatto (D – Los Angeles) to make it as easy to cancel broadband or video service as it is to sign up for it. Assembly bill 2867 adds one sentence to California consumer protection law

If a cable or Internet service provider enables an individual to subscribe to its services through an Internet Web site, it shall also enable all of its customers to cancel their subscriptions through the Internet Web site.


If you want people to buy your stuff, make stuff they want to buy

15 January 2016 by Steve Blum


The road to broadband nirvana has its ups and down. Adoption figures – the number of people who pay for regular broadband access – are on a general upward trend, despite a tremor in the latest Pew Research Center report. But the market is messy, and sometimes people who subscribe to in-home broadband service decide to drop it. Churn out, in industry jargon.

The Benton Foundation has crunched some existing survey numbers and concluded that the reasons people drop broadband subscriptions – become unadopters, as they put it – are mostly related to cost, with usefulness a distant second.… More

Qualcomm's consumer services business going to the dogs

Tagg is a mobile pet tracker and promising veterinary diagnostic tool, offered by Snaptracs, a Qualcomm subsidiary. The hardware costs $100, with ongoing service at $8 per month for the first pet and and $1 for each additional one.

Tagg on a not-so-lively dog

That eight bucks gets you a text message whenever your dog strays from home, with GPS feeds to help you find him. Or your cat, if it’s one of the few big enough to handle the weight and tolerant enough to wear it.… More

A brief postmortem on the wireless Internet utility

Nearly all of the city-scale, mainly WiFi-based wireless ISPs of the past three years are dead. Some, like Philadelphia, lumber on as zombie ventures. A few small town systems will continue to operate as long as the social and political consensus supports the subsidy required. And there are a couple of big city projects that haven’t burned through their initial operating capital yet.

But the rest are dead. The disease that killed them was cash flow hemorrhage, brought on by virulent churn.… More