& cplSiteName &

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
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.