Sunday, September 4, 2016

Cable TV Companies Now Drive Gigabit Internet Access in U.S. Market

source: NCTA
Some argue cable TV is bad for the Internet, in the sense that the industry prefers walled garden content, higher prices and data caps.

Others would argue that one reason the U.S. Internet access market has moved so quickly towards gigabit access is because cable TV operators are able to upgrade their services so affordably, compared to other platforms.

It requires a nuanced discussion.

As a content distribution provider, Comcast’ legacy business model is threatened by over the top distribution alternatives.

But Comcast also knows very well that the new Internet access business is what drives its future growth, not linear video services or voice. Between 2016 and 2026, cable TV operator video revenue will fall but Internet access revenue will climb, according to SNL Kagan.

In the second quarter of 2016, the biggest U.S. cable TV companies had more than 57 million high speed accounts and 48.9 million linear video customers, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Internet access will be important for U.S. telcos as well.
source: Business Insider

The point is that U.S. cable TV companies have a vested and big interest in growing their Internet access businesses, irrespective of other issues.

Also, cable TV companies--even if Google Fiber kicked off the gigabit upgrade movement--are the primary suppliers of gigabit connections in the U.S. market. In that sense, it must be said, U.S. cable TV companies have done much to rapidly upgrade U.S customer Internet access speeds and availability.

Comcast, the largest U.S. Internet access provider, is upgrading all its consumer locations to gigabit speeds, using software and device changes on the ends of the network, without access media changes.

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