Sunday, March 04, 2012

Lipstick for the Pig

By all accounts, cable modem has won the broadband war. DSL just can't match the speed and the teclos don't really want to drop cash on wireline copper facilities. Indeed, the RBOCs have halted FiOS and U-Verse build-outs due to lousy returns on investment.

DSLReports puts it best, "What's a cash-strapped phone company to do when you're unable to provide a quality, next-generation broadband or IPTV product to most of your footprint? Why a marketing campaign that pretends you offer a next-generation product, of course. Taking a page from the Comcast Xfinity playbook (sans serious network upgrade), Windstream Communications has decided to rebrand their DSL services under the product name Merge."

"Merge simply takes the company's existing slow DSL (in 3, 6 and 12 Mbps flavors), and bundles it with unlimited phone, a free Roku streaming box, and six free months of Hulu Plus. Prices for this bundle start at 62.99 for six months, not including the usual assortment of surcharges and a $75 activation fee."

This is a first step in trying to get more value from the dumb pipe by wrapping the set-top box (by Roku) and the OTT (over-the-top) video content by Hulu with the DSL. Keeps the landline too. On the books, that's one way to adjust metrics. Right?

LightReading has a good read on it.

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