Light Reading
Also: Cox to expand its tablet TV lineup; Cisco notches a Videoscape win; Comcast app adds download option; Suddenlink deal is a wrap

DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/21/2012
50%
50%

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup.

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) has introduced a satellite broadband bundle that supports maximum speeds of 12 Mbit/s downstream and 3 Mbit/s upstream, but the service's strict usage caps make it less than a video streamer's delight. Targeted primarily at rural areas with limited access to wired broadband services, the service, powered by ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT)'s new Exede platform, includes a high-end US$129.99-per-month tier with a data cap of 25GB. The service's data policy does offer some relief for customers who surf and stream during off-peak hours -- data usage is not counted from midnight to 5 a.m. in the customer's local time zone. Customers who exceed their monthly caps are subject to speed throttling, but they also have the option to purchase more data in 1GB increments.

    In a promo good through Feb. 6, DirecTV is offering a $10 discount on all tiers and waiving the $49.99 set-up fee for the first 12 months, if customers sign a two-year contract. DirecTV also has broadband and voice bundles available with several telco partners, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL). Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) launched a similar package with ViaSat in January.

  • Cox Communications Inc. confirmed a Multichannel News report that the cable operator will offer more than 90 linear TV channels on via its IP-based Cox TV Connect app before the end of the year. Cox TV Connect debuted about a year ago, starting with 35 channels on the iPhone. The report says that Cox will soon add support for the iPad, with Android devices on tap for the first half of 2013. Until out-of-home rights are obtained, access to live TV via the Cox TV Connect app is limited to the reach of the customer's home Wi-Fi signal. (See Cox to Stream Live TV to Tablets .)

  • Eastlink of Canada is using Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Videoscape, the vendor's managed multi-screen video platform, to power Eastlink to Go, an over-the-top TV Everywhere service for PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The service will support both on-demand and live TV programming.

  • An update to the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Xfinity TV Player app for iOS and Android devices has added an option that lets users download selected titles from Showtime Networks Inc. and Starz Entertainment LLC and watch them on the go, reports Engadget.

  • BC Partners and CPP Investment Board have completed their $6.6 billion purchase of Suddenlink Communications , a deal that includes a $1.985 billion investment by the firms. Suddenlink's management team, led by Chairman and CEO Jerry Kent, was also in on the deal, which was announced in July. (See CEO Joins $6.6B Bid for Suddenlink .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



    (8)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:21 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    The capabilities of satellite broadband have come a long way, but the caps would make it a tough sell for me unless I lived in the sticks and had no other option. It won't take much to eat through these caps.  The other options are 15GB for $69.99/month and 10GB for $39.99 per month (with the promotional discount from DirecTV).  JB

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:21 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    Jeff -- What's the rationale for the exorbitant price? Is it a capacity issue?

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:20 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    I'd have to check with them to be sure since they don't offer a line in the FAQ that addresses: Why are we so damn expensive?  :)


    but I suppose capacity and those sunk infrastructure costs for this new, higher-speed system do come into play as well as the required home equipment. However, customers already get hit with a one-time set-up fee of $149.99 (though it's "on special" for $49.99 these days), and they also include a $9.99/month lease fee... so they appear to be covering their bases there. JB


     

    shygye75
    50%
    50%
    shygye75,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:18 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    It would be interesting (love that word) to know the why behind the massive price. Maybe it's "all of the above" (bird cost, hardware on the ground, limited capacity, etc.) but it sure smells like a take-it-or-stick-to-your-two-tin-cans-and-a-string approach, which can't sit well with customers no matter how many head of cattle they own.

    paolo.franzoi
    50%
    50%
    paolo.franzoi,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:17 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    Jeff,


    Why do you believe that LTE is a lower cost for this than DSL for the Telcos or DOCSIS for MSOs?


    seven


     

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:17 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    I wasn't trying to make a direct cost analysis here; just noting that LTE seems to be getting a closer look in markets where a service like sat. broadband makes more sense. JB


     


     

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:17 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    Yes, they do have some people in rural areas over a barrel on this one. But it does make me wonder if this could make LTE a viable competitive option in these broadband-deprived markets for the wireless guys, especially Verizon and its HomeFusion product. JB

    paolo.franzoi
    50%
    50%
    paolo.franzoi,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:16 PM
    re: DirecTV's 12-Meg Bundle Comes With Caps


    There is definitely an investment bias towards wireless in Telcos.  My take is that both Verizon and AT&T see it as a long term replacement for POTS.  


    Now my parents happen to have satellite broadband and I will ask them who their provider is.  They chose it over cable which is available (DSL is not although they are very close to an old 80D cabinet - within DSL reach of it).  The reason is that in their area the cable guys want to charge them for construction costs from the road to their house.  They just wanted something better than dial-up and so it was a lot cheaper than paying for the construction costs.


    seven


     

    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


    At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


    David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

    10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


    Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

    10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


    Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

    10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


    At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Broadband Battles

    10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


    This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
    Jonestown
    Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

    10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


    Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

    10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


    SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

    10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


    Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

    10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


    Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

    10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


    Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

    10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


    In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
    Hot Topics
    Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
    FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
    Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
    China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
    Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
    Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
    Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed