Light Reading

Cablevision Begins Wideband Assault

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/31/2008
50%
50%

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) is starting rollouts of the speedy Docsis 3.0 platform to help it fend off competition from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and its fiber-fed FiOS service.

"We haven't announced a marketing strategy... but [Docsis 3.0] will be operational this year," said Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge Thursday morning during the MSO's second quarter earnings call.

Docsis 3.0, also known as "Wideband," bonds together multiple 6 MHz channels to produce shared speeds in excess of 100 Mbit/s. So far, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is the only U.S. MSO to make a significant commitment to the technology this year, planning to wire up to 20 percent of its platform for Docsis 3.0 by year's end, and across the board by mid-2010. (See Comcast Enters the Wideband Era .) Like Cablevision, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is grappling with FiOS, and has announced plans to begin tests of Docsis 3.0 in New York later this year. (See Britt: Docsis 3.0 Coming to NYC.)

Today, Cablevision's fastest Docsis-based Internet service tier caps the upstream at 30 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream.

Rutledge said the capital spend for the Wideband project is connected with the MSO's plans to throw a WiFi canopy over its New York and Connecticut footprint.

Announced in May, Cablevision's WiFi plan, which will take more than two years to complete, will provide "free" access to the MSO's high-speed Internet subscribers. Cablevision may also offer access to the wireless network to non-subs for a fee. (See Cablevision High on WiFi.) The MSO has not announced any vendor partners, but there's been visual evidence suggesting that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and BelAir Networks Inc. are in the mix, or at least involved in the MSO's technology bake-off.

"WiFi construction is progressing and you will be hearing from us soon about our launch plans," Rutledge said. "We think that will cement our relationship with our customers for the long haul."

He said Cablevision spent roughly $20 million in the second quarter on the WiFi and Docsis 3.0 buildout. "It's really two projects in one," Rutledge explained. "The total capital for that [combined project] over a three-year budget cycle is about $100 per customer or in the range of $315 million."

Fighting FiOS
Cablevision's second quarter financials once again showed that the MSO is still growing amid the specter of FiOS.

Revenues for the MSO's cable unit jumped 9 percent, to $1.24 billion. Cablevision also managed to add 7,000 basic video subscribers on a sequential quarter basis, but lost 7,000 basics when compared to year-ago totals. It ended the period with 3.13 million basic subs. (See Cablevision Posts Q2.)

In terms of more advanced services, Cablevision added 120,000 digital video subs, extending that total to 2.78 million, and a penetration of almost 90 percent. The MSO also gained 52,000 high-speed Internet customers (2.39 million total) and 81,000 digital voice subs (1.76 million total). Overall, Cablevision added 260,000 revenue generating units (RGUs), up 2.6 percent from the previous quarter. Revenue per subscriber also rose 2.1 percent, to $132.29, versus the first quarter.

"Cablevision continues to write the playbook for the rest of the cable industry on how to compete with Verizon," said Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett in a note issued this morning. "In the two years since Verizon launched its FiOS TV service, Cablevision has actually gained net subscribers." Cablevision competes with Verizon FiOS in about one third of the cable MSO's footprint.

Rutledge said FiOS has been typical of other "overbuilds" Cablevision has dealt with in past years -- competitors are able to steal away customers in the "high single-digit" range in the first year, then reaches a "static point" after about two years. In markets where Cablevision has faced FiOS for two years, Cablevision's "losses have slowed to a trickle," Rutledge said.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Comcast Reportedly Dropping $45B TWC Bid
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/23/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Amazon Earnings: What to Watch For
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment