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MikeP688 10/3/2014 | 10:52:32 PM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... I would argue that we're already there with ComCast-NBC.    We can be creative by say having a "FreedomPop", install a ROKU app, get Amazon Prime, NetFlix and other "stuff" to take care of the video and rely on the news thru the interent.  The problem is spped and Bandwith--something we have also deliberated--because the need for bandwith for delivery of content is ever so as well.

Interesting times we live in..that's for sure :-) 
MikeP688 10/3/2014 | 10:49:27 PM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... Having lived thru a Revolution, I would not want that frankly on anyone--The question though is how this evolution is going to work itself out.    I was thinking about this as I installed a new App on Chrome to help with my email--and was updating a few Apps earlier on my increasingly clunky iphone 4. :-) 
mhhf1ve 10/3/2014 | 9:45:04 PM
Re: Changing gears I'm not so sure that customer service is the /best/ place to start for an ISP to differentiate. It would actually be incredibly difficult to do (for the residential market), too, unless an ISP were able to build out and control its own entire network. There are some CLECs that try to build on top of ILEC networks and provide better customer service to enterprise customers, but they can do that because the end customer is able to spend quite a bit to get someone else to create a business critical service that an ILEC can't (or doesn't want to) provide.

For example, large nation-wide retailers like Walmart and CVS pay a CLEC to aggregate all the broken up ILEC telecom services into a single service. ILECs in different states don't really want to work together to build such a product, but a CLEC can do it and charge a premium for it and provide a better customer service than Walmart having to deal with various branches of AT&T and Verizon in different states that Walmart operates in.

So it might be nice for someone to try to differentiate on customer service, but it would probably have to be the service providers who actually own/control the physical network. Amazingly, Comcast consistently has the worst customer service ratings... but it has only made marginal improvements on that front. So until there is actual competition that gets customers to vote with their wallets, there is not much motivation for ISPs to improve customer service all that much.
mhhf1ve 10/3/2014 | 9:26:17 PM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... Mike, This is a nascent trend, I think. AT&T has started to offer free Amazon Prime with one of its Uverse tiers -- so that Amazon's Instant Video selection is available to potential cableTV cord-cutters via this package. Amazon has some original content, so this might be a way to make AT&T's data pipe at least somewhat unique (although, you could just get Amazon Prime and sign up with another ISP).

Not too long ago, Yahoo partnered with ISPs to bundle its "portal" services with "dumb pipes" to make the pipes seem a bit more valuable, but I don't think consumers really bought into that bundle. So the value-add proposition has to actually be something consumers want, not just something that might seem like it could have value....

But back to content... Comcast+NBC could become a new kind of content distribution system. Someday. Maybe. If anti-monopoly laws aren't violated. 
Liz Greenberg 10/3/2014 | 8:47:28 PM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... So glad that you said evolution....revolution it isn't.  Butnyes, it is always a lot of fun to watch.
MikeP688 10/3/2014 | 5:24:33 PM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... Glad to see that your provider is as engaged as it is.  It is ever so part of a prevailing trend that I have seen throughout the country (including Cox & yes even AT&T).    How they continue to distinguish themselves will prove to be the "icing" on the cake or not.     It is fun to be witness to such evolution...isn't it? :-)
Mitch Wagner 10/3/2014 | 1:38:02 PM
Changing gears Speed and cost have been a constant in ISP marketing for 20 years. That suggests the market is ripe for somebody to differentiate. Customer service is a good place to start -- ISPs rank consistenly low in customer satisfaction surveys. ISPs can also make partnerships with OTT providers, and market those. 

Liz Greenberg 10/3/2014 | 10:42:58 AM
Re: Brief Thoughts On the Future.... Mike there are other value adds for instance, my provider adds in telephone service without a surcharge and VPN capabilities.  The VPN capabilities are not used by most customers because they don't understand the purpose.  Additionally, you can have static IP addresses rather than just dynamic.  These are just a few of the value adds that are possible but not offered.

As for SLAs, nearly impossible since the biggest slowdown is not the final "mile" but often at the servers delivering content or somewhere else on the web.
DHagar 10/2/2014 | 3:44:29 PM
Re: The Perennial Need for Speed kbode, exactly.  They haven't had to deliver and assume, except where entered into in the Service Agreements, financial risk.  They can claim all they want - the delivery is somethng else. 

That's why I like the idea of competition via services (ie Vidafone) that may change that.
jabailo 10/2/2014 | 2:00:46 PM
Re: The Perennial Need for Speed Despite the claims they are answering the need for speed, they are not.

There is no ISP that guantees a minimum speed for all 24 hours of the day, without any bandwidth throttling.

There is no ISP that will guarantee a minimum ping time for gaming.

There is no ISP that will guarantee uptime within a minimal range.

No ISP will give to the customer what every IT department demands -- a SLA, Service Level Agreement, which, if violated, means that the vendor takes a financial responsibility.

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