Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fiber as Competition

According to a story in Cable Digital News competition from fiber has lead to dramatic increases in service from the cable company. Speeds are jumping to "up to" 15 or 30 mps with no increase in price. However, read the story closely: there is huge caveat...even a cable company trade magazine feels obligated to tell its readers that 30 megs just isn't really possible considering cableco network architecture. Nonetheless, opening up the pipes to the maximum that is available instead of throttling it down is a very nice improvement; one I wouldn't mind seeing myself. Cablevison is preparing, as well, to make sure its similar bandwidth products are more cheaply available than Verizion's -- this is a reversal of the usual pattern where the Bells, offer the cheaper price.

The story is set New York City and involves Cablevision and Verizon but this could be replayed in Lafayette with Cox and LUS in the not so distant future. Look for dramatically better service from Cox as soon LUS trucks begin rolling. --Better service and cheaper prices from the incumbents will be one of the nicer side-effects of building our own system.

Lagniappe: the story notes that Cox recently posted a free upgrade of its 5 meg tier to 9 megs in six of its large markets. I wonder if we'll see that here?

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