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Robbins Poohpoohs Telco Video Threat

Cox Communications President & CEO Jim Robbins doesn't seem too worried about the Baby Bells moving into the cable industry's core video market. But he's not exactly overjoyed about the prospect either. Speaking at the CTAM Commercial Services Forum in the Washington, D.C. suburbs late last week, Robbins questioned the phone companies' ability to expand into video. After watching the Bells try to offer video service over satellite and MMDS links in the past and present, he argued that they still lack cable's understanding of the video business. "I don't want to sound overconfident," he said. "They're formidable competitors. But I think their ability to pull it together is fairly ragged." But Robbins noted that the Bells, faced with cable and wireless competition on the voice side, have no choice but to expand into video services. He also noted that the telcos "have one boatload of money and will just throw money and people at it."
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