Friday, February 23, 2007

Earth to Cox: Denial is not a river in Africa

The Advertiser posts excerpts from a recent Cox Press Release to their website under the title "Cox: LUS court decision ‘changes nothing’"

The full quote from which the phrase is pulled:
“Yesterday’s decision changes nothing in terms of Cox’s ability and willingness to compete in the city of Lafayette and throughout the Acadiana and Baton Rouge regions,”
That's either denial or bluster. Yesterday's decision changes everything for Cox. It dramatically effects their ability to compete. It means that in less than 2 years Cox will go from having the most capable network in Lafayette to being an also-ran with a technology decades behind a homeboy competitor that has already received a majority endorsement by the citizenry.

The bluster that this "changes nothing" is belied by phrases used in the very press release that denies any changes are taking place: Cox is now describing its perfectly conventional Hybrid Fiber-Coax as--and I qoute--an: "
existing state-of-the-art fiber network." That goes beyond bluster and marketing to the flat-out deception that we grew used to during the height of the battle in the year before the referendum. HFC is NOT a state-of-the-art fiber network. No one uses the terminology that way. Cox's technicians know better. Only some advanced version of Fiber To The Home (FTTH) can qualify for the title. What is revealing about this pitable attempt to cover itself in undeserved glory is that it demonstrates that Cox knows 1) that the people of Lafayette want a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network and 2) knows that since it doesn't have one to offer it needs to pretend that it does. Cox spent several years trying to convince us that we didn't need fiber and now it deceptively claims that is what it had all along.

That is a lie, and an obvious one.

That the current market-leader Cox feels the need to make it is all the evidence one needs that things have, indeed, changed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I understand why cable says what they do. Fiber to the home provides much more capacity that is needed for any home application and the spend to install fiber today is a poor use of capital resources. Cable operators have a more pragmatic approach maintaining the ability to add bandwidth "on the fly" as necessary to stay ahead of consumer needs. It's nice to have fiber to the home today if you can afford to buy capacity that is 10 years out, today but don't count cable out. Having been prudent in capital expenditures and scaling network capacity with market needs they will be able to match whatever fiber can deliver and at a much lower cost.

John said...

anon,

None of that should excuse the cable companies lying about what they have and what they are offering.

I don't count the cable guys out. (Right now I DO count AT&T out.) They can expand their capacity if they need to...but it isn't cheap and it isn't nearly as easy as they'd have the industry believe--the pixelation and internet dropouts I've been seeing here are a result, I am convinced, of the recent introduction of VOD. Sometimes if your try and bring up the VOD signal you just get a network busy error. Not good. What that proves to me is that they are currently running at the edge of their capacity with what they are trying to do even after what the claim are upgrades in our area. (Which they refuse describe).

LUS will be offering a product based in gig fiber technology. That will give them capacity to burn. They will not have to try and balance services, thrashing to giving more space to whatever turns out to be profitable.

No matter how slowly the US develops in Lafayette Cox will not have the luxury of waiting around until it thinks it is time to offer a product. In Lafayette they'll be faced with competition in LUS that has every reason to offer cheap, high-bandwidth services on its intranet. Cox will have to follow or fall behind substantially. It's called market development--and the incumbents do exactly nothing to encourage usage. Bet that LUS will.

(Japanese and Korean subscribers have already figured out how to tax 100 meg systems. Are we less clever? I think not.)

Lafayette will be a foreign country for Cox. It will be peopled with customers and competition they have already demonstrated they do not understand.