Policy + charging

Suddenlink to Fit Broadband Caps, Overage Fees

Here's a glance at what's making cable waves before Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) takes over the news cycle.

  • Suddenlink Communications appears set to follow AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s lead by imposing broadband usage caps and charging customers extra if they breach them. The Stop The Cap! blog says Suddenlink subs taking the "lite" tier will be capped at 150GB per month, customers on the MSO's 10Mbit/s, 15Mbit/s or 20Mbit/s (downstream) offerings will be limited to 250GB; and those getting the MSO's 50Mbit/s or 107Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 services will be capped at 350GB. They'll all be charged US$10 for every 50GB consumed above the cap. Suddenlink declined to comment about the new policy. (See Will Cable Follow AT&T's Lead on Usage Fees? and AT&T to Fit Subs With Broadband Caps .)

  • Cox Communications Inc. is rolling out addressable (i.e. targeted) advertising services applications to more than 6 million customers based on customer demographic data using Visible World 's Web-based Conductor campaign management system. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) is already working with the vendor to target ads on a house-by-house basis.

  • The 10 largest incumbent U.S. MSOs deployed just 3,000 CableCARDs for use in retail devices such as TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) boxes in the last three months, notes Multichannel News. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , which is trying to avoid a new set of AllVid rules, reports that those MSOs have deployed more than 30 million operator-supplied CableCARDs and just 585,000 stand-alone security modules since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's separable security rules took effect in July 2007.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned video publishing company thePlatform Inc. hired Michael Horowitz as VP of engineering, and Tina Santos as in-house general counsel. Horowitz, a Comcaster for the last five years, reports to thePlatform CEO Ian Blaine. Santos previously served as general counsel at London-based StreamServe Inc.

  • UPC Cablecom is the first service operator to deploy Transmode Systems AB 's new Switched Video Transport platform as Switzerland's largest MSO looks to cope with an expected explosion in HDTV traffic. The Transmode-based multicast video network, set for completion in the fourth quarter, will consist of four interlocking rings covering the nation.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is fighting it out with Showtime Networks Inc. to grab the rights to a new, limited season of the cancelled but critically acclaimed sitcom Arrested Development, reports Entertainment Weekly .

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 4:52:00 PM
    re: Suddenlink to Fit Broadband Caps, Overage Fees

    U.S. MSOs that are looking to implement broadband metering and usage caps should look northward to Canada, where service providers have been implementing them. Rogers Communications, for example, enables consumers to choose a bandwidth usage plan and rewards them for staying under the caps.

    Earlier reports suggested that Rogers and others were finding favor with consumers, though later reports have shown some measure of backlash from the net neutrality crowd. See this Financial Post story. The story asks: 

    "We have gotten used to paying more when we call long distance, leave the lights on and crank the heat up. But taking away the right to unlimited downloads unleashes a torrent of anger. Why?"


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:51:59 PM
    re: Suddenlink to Fit Broadband Caps, Overage Fees

    I haven't been able to prove this, mind you, but a pretty good cable source told me about a year ago that Rogers's cap & overage policy is providing enough to pay for its capacity upgrades, so even if few customers get hit with these overages, apparenlty there are enough of them to get that done.  But, again, i haven't substantiated that, but if it's true and the new network neutrality rules allow for it, I can see alot more MSOs give this a shot, knowing that they are going to get a severe backlash for it.  JB


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