Table of Contents For This Issue
News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home
Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on the political import of broadband in New Zealand, Embarq's radical decision to use live humans, rural BPL and US DVRs.
In today's increasingly competitive video services market, tools are needed to isolate problems, anticipate them before the customer sees them, measure whether services are improving or deteriorating and then determine the "quality of experience" as perceived by the viewer. We describe a taxonomy for tools with examples, and suggest some questions operators should ask when selecting tools.
On one of our trips to Sanibel, we visited with managers at the Fort Myers Comcast system, to get a sense for what tools they use to pinpoint problems and monitor the quality of their services. Their mind-set is changing from "Did I clear the trouble report?" to "Is the customer satisfied?" This requires not only the proper tools, but also different attitudes--and giving technicians the ability to call upon other resources if they can't solve the problem alone.
Service providers initially rejected the idea of DVRs but emerged to become their leading suppliers. The current situation with "over the top" video -- ways to bypass a broadband provider's pay-TV distribution services and go directly to the consumer -- is so confusing to ordinary consumers that we expect the market will have to sort itself out. Depending on how they proceed, service providers could once again come out as key players.
Our recent columns in Broadband Library discussed tru2way as an open application platform, and remote management of triple-play services.
Several recent personal experiences led Sandy to conclude that seemingly ordinary events are frequently the result of extraordinary journeys. She talked about them in a recent blog posting.
We hope to see some of you at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This will be the eighth year we have been writing about the show and it is always an experience for the mind (and the feet).