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Cable industry making bold investments in Wi-Fi hotspots

Monday, June 17, 2013

One of the most pervasive myths about private telecommunications or other service providers is that they don’t care about consumers wants or needs and that they are slow to respond to them; they only care about bottom lines. But a new report shows the desire to fulfill consumers’ service demands is tied to success.

According to a new report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, the cable industry has made significant investments into providing Wi-Fi service. As a result, the cable industry believes it will have 250,000 cable Wi-Fi spots in place by the middle of next year (2014). (It’s estimated 150,000 are already in place.)

To date, the cable industry has invested about $175 million in their Wi-Fi hotspots. Cable’s share of hotspots is small – according to the Insider there are about 1.3 million worldwide and will be 5.8 million by 2015, but it is clear that cable would like a larger share.

Why the interest from cable in Wi-Fi? The report says the cable industry realizes it’s what its consumers want. Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider writes, “Overall, cable’s interest in Wi-Fi stems from its desire to be the dominant service provider inside the home and extend its customer relationship outside of the home. To ignore the uplift in mobile broadband usage puts cable at risk from more established mobile service providers.”

The Insider says cable’s new offerings have had “a positive impact on subscriber retention.”

The full report – which can be purchased on the website linked to above – examines case studies of cable companies that provide Wi-Fi. But the bottom line is that this example shows that private companies have responded – and will continue to respond – to consumer demand.

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