CableLabs Unit Morphs Something Old Into Something New
About 18 years ago, back when DOCSIS and cable modem services were still in their infancy, there was Go2Broadband, a service locator from CableLabs that helped consumers figure out if broadband was available at their address, connect them with a provider that could, in turn, get the service installed and turned on.
By tapping into data supplied by MSO partners, that capability now covers north of 93% of US residential addresses, and roughly 134 million homes. Millions of business addresses have also been added to the mix as commercial services continue to serve as a key growth engine for cable. (See US Cable Set to Rake in $18B in Biz Services Revenues in 2018.)
Go2Broadband is still around all these years later, and continues to connect cable service resellers/affiliates (such as Leapfrog, MegaPath, CableMover and Bridgevine) to the MSOs using a cloud-based system tied to APIs. But the use cases and capabilities of the Go2Broadband platform have evolved to become a broader, hyper-local marketing tool for cable service resellers, but with ambitions to provide similar capabilities to industries beyond cable.
Kyrio, the for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of CableLabs that seeks out service and technology opportunities outside of the cable realm, said it has taken that next step as digital marketing methods become paramount and as consumers increasingly use Google "near-me" searches to locate a local business or service.
Under the updated program, Kyrio has added geo-coding to Go2Broadband, providing data about service availability down to individual addresses. Together with a cloud API system, Go2Broadband can now connect users to constantly updated digital offers and shuttle them along to the purchase and installation phase. That keeps the consumer in the digital buy-flow, rather than simply conducting a "warm handoff" between the reseller pitching the offer and the cable operator that delivers the actual services.
"As digital marketing becomes more prevalent, the role of the resellers has begun to shift fairly drastically," becoming less dependent on call centers, Jen Shelby, VP of online services at Kyrio, said, calling geo-based data a "gold standard" for serviceability.
While that all centers on cable services, Kyrio says these hyperlocal capabilities could be extended to other industries, enabling them to tap into a serviceability platform that handles about 90 million transactions a year.
Those talks are underway now, Shelby said, but potential partners could include resellers of home utilities and even solar energy services.
Mitch Ashley, Kyrio's CEO, said the cross-industry serviceability piece for that is complete. Kyrio, he added, is currently working on adjusting the architecture of GoBroadband to make it transportable to other markets. A big part of that effort is tied to a new containerized, microservices approach. (See CableLabs Connects With Kubernetes .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading