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Cablevision Pioneers Self Provisioning

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/13/2000

The key to rolling out broadband services to the masses is self-provisioning – making things easy enough for consumers to install their own connection and get up and running on the Internet all by themselves.

Cablevision Systems Corp. seems to have found a particularly successful formula for achieving this feat in the New York area, where it operates cable networks capable of reaching 3 million customers. It ’s bought a chain of consumer electronics shops, called “The Wiz” and sells self-install cable-modems from them.

Right now, customers have to go to one of the stores and enter their details into a computer which then checks to see whether their building is connected to Cablevision’s network, sets up an account and configures a cable-modem for them to take home and install. Cablevision is planning to offer the same thing on a web site, and then deliver the cable-modem by various means.

The scheme has been an outstanding success. Cablevision launched the scheme last October and had sold more than 70,000 cable modems by March. 95 percent of customers elected to install them themselves, rather than pay $120 to have a Cablevision technician come and do it. More impressively, 85 percent of customers got up and running on the Internet without having to call Cablevision's support line.

By Peter Heywood, international editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com .

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