& cplSiteName &

What's Next for TWC

Alan Breznick
2/14/2014
50%
50%

Having snatched Time Warner Cable from Charter's clutches, Comcast plans to do the same things with TWC that Charter did, only more so. (See Charter Goes Over TWC's Head.)

Speaking on conference calls with the press and financial analysts Thursday, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) executives spelled out their ambitious plans for reviving TWC's cable systems and reputation. These plans include upgrading TWC's under-capitalized networks, boosting its broadband speeds and in-home WiFi networks, accelerating its conversion of cable systems to all-digital service, and rolling out IP video and cloud-based video services, just as Comcast has already done in its own territories.

"That playbook has given us real momentum at Comcast Cable," said Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian Roberts. "That's what I hope we can do for Time Warner."

Similar to what Charter Communications Inc. outlined for TWC last month, Comcast said it "will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to improve Time Warner Cable's networks," upgrading them for "higher Internet speeds and greater reliability," among other things. Currently, TW Cable offers relatively low broadband speeds, topping out at 50 Mbit/s in most markets and 100 Mbit/s in a select few markets such as New York City and Kansas City. In contrast, Comcast offers top speeds of 105 Mbit/s across the country and up to 505 Mbit/s in its key Northeastern areas.

Likewise, on the video side of the business, Comcast said it will "accelerate the deployment of advanced technology and the development of new and innovative products and services for millions of [TWC] customers." Those products and services include Comcast's flagship X1 IP video platform, which offers a cloud-based user interface, programming guide, and VoD service. The lineup also includes Comcast's new cloud-based X1 DVR, which recently launched in Boston.

Like Charter, Comcast also intends to speed up Time Warner Cable's adoption of all-digital service, which has lagged well behind the industry pace. With TWC's all-digital rollout less than 20% completed across the US, according to SNL Kagan , Comcast aims to accelerate that pace so that TWC can roll out more HD channels, more VoD offerings, and higher broadband speeds.

In addition, similar to Charter again, Comcast said it will revamp TW Cable's customer service operation, whose reputation has declined over the past few years. Boasting that it has been "laser-focused on improving customer service and the customer experience" recently, Comcast promised to bring that same focus to TWC.

Finally, unlike Charter, Comcast plans to enhance TW Cable's business services offerings. Comcast, the cable leader in the commercial market, said it will add such offerings as hosted voice to TWC's existing business portfolio.

With regulatory review of the $45.2 billion deal expected to take nine to 12 months, TWC executives said they will focus on carrying out their own revival plan laid out late last month. Under that three-year plan, TWC intends to transform the company's operations by hiking capital spending, accelerating all-digital upgrades, rolling out new cloud-based video products, boosting broadband speeds, improving customer service, and spurring new business services growth. (See TWC: Charter's Got Nothing on Us.)

"We're very focused on the operating plan laid out two weeks ago," said TWC CEO Rob Marcus.

Roberts said Comcast officials would welcome whatever progress TW Cable can make on its own. "They put out a very specific plan for the year," he said. "We hope they can meet and exceed it."

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/24/2014 | 2:45:32 PM
Re: Landscape
I agree with the asessment on TWC's motives. I'm sure that they had been hearing the siren call about their lack of investments in order to boost profits, but that was only a short term solution. 

The Comcast deal will benefit TWC customers who were clamoring for better service. 
Mashka
50%
50%
Mashka,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/16/2014 | 11:58:06 PM
Re: Yes, but
Is there some kind of  "report after promises": six months ago our company declared this and that and look, what we have done?
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/16/2014 | 8:06:50 PM
Re: Landscape
I do wonder (and I'm for the merger, I think) what the incentive will be for content providers to negotiate with TWC.  We've seen many of the content/cable fights go public and the content providers always seem to win.

I understand that the markets don't overlap, but there has to be some competition on at least a national scale.  One obvious miss people always make when pointing out the households that ware walking away from cable--they generally are using Internet from the same company.  It just feels like this is an industry that needs some change, althought that is very complex ball to try to unwind.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/15/2014 | 2:36:32 PM
Yes, but
Encouraging, but talk is cheap.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/15/2014 | 12:18:14 PM
Re: Laser focused on customer service?
Talk is cheap of course, and company spokespersons will always brag on what they "plan" to do and the speed at which they say it will happen. I suspect, too that customer service may be "improved" but not in a way that customers will agree is useful. Most likely, service reps will be trained to upsell as their primary goal. Customers will probably continue to have complaints.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/14/2014 | 6:16:42 PM
Re: Laser focused on customer service?
Good point. Comcast boasts about its customer service but its customers don't necessarily do so. Still, I have to believe that Comcast's customer service operator is better now than TWC's, which has been slipping in consumer surveys for years. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/14/2014 | 6:13:37 PM
Re: Landscape
Good question, Carol. I think the answer is that TWC has been skimping on all these things to save money and boost its short-term profits. So it's basically been coasting on its reputation for some time. But that's all finally caught up with them. And, for some reason, the MSO has never been all that aggressive on the broadband side. Things are really going to get shaken up there now.  
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/14/2014 | 4:48:22 PM
Laser focused on customer service?
From those I know who are Comcast customers -- I am not one -- their customer service is a joke. Perhaps it's better than Time Warner's, but now that Comcast will be even larger (assuming the deal goes through), customer service won't get any better, it will get worse. That's the biggest reason I stay with a Comcast competitior in my area.

OTT not really a good option considering the sports that I watch. I don't watch enough to get products like NFL Sunday Ticket, but watch enough that I woudn't want to be without it.

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/14/2014 | 4:46:19 PM
Re: Landscape
The thing that keeps puzzling me in reading all the coverage of the Comcast acquisition of TWC is that all the things that Comcast is planning to do are things TWC could have and should have been doing and it's not clear to me why they weren't making the investments needed in their infrastructure, customer service and business services. 
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/14/2014 | 3:28:12 PM
Landscape
Given the changing landscape for cable operators, it seems that this acquistion by Comcast is a way to bring TWC up to the modern standard of service providers. 

The way that people consume content is changing. And customers demand service offerind that speak to their needs. It seems as if Comcast has been better capabale of competing in this new on-demand environment.

Adding TWC just means a chance for continued growth in these areas for Comcast. 
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Twitter Buys Magic Pony... Not That Kind
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/20/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.