Monday, October 24, 2005

TELECOM '05: Cox Says Telcos Have A lot of Catching Up to Do

Telcos have a lot of catching up to do as they enter the market for triple play services, said Jim Robbins, President & CEO, Cox Communications, speaking at TELECOM '05 in Las Vegas. Cox introduced its first bundle of video, high-speed data and voice service back in 1997 in Orange County, California. The cable carriers also know how to integrate and sell advanced video services, including HDTV, DVRs and VOD. On the voice front, Cox recently launched its fourth VoIP market this year, giving it a total of 13 local markets served with voice (circuit-switched plus VoIP). In some areas, Cox's voice penetration already exceeds 40% of homes passed. Most importantly, said Robbins, Cox has figured out the critical issue of customer satisfaction, pointing to a recent J.D. Power and Associates award captured by Cox for the third year.

Robbins, who is retiring at the end of this year, poked fun at the telcos saying they always experiment with a new technology for decades before getting it right. Nevertheless, Robbins said Cox welcomes the new competition so long as the Bells agree to play on a level regulatory field. He cited the recent video franchise law in Texas, which was passed with forceful lobbying efforts, as an example where special concessions are granted to telco video providers while existing cable operators are forced to live with the old franchise rules. Robbins also said "predatory pricing" on broadband really helps no one.

  • Cox Communications is the third-largest U.S. cable television provider


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