Cablevision Throws Down The Broadband Gauntlet: 101 Mbps Downstream

Yesterday, Cablevision announced the roll-out of its new Optimum Online Ultra broadband service, with speeds of 101 Mbps downstream/15 Mbps upstream for $99.95 without a bundle.  There is a lot to like about this announcement:

  • Significant speed increase:  Cablevision already offered a 30 Mbps tier, so offering a 50 or 60 Mbps tier would have been a marginal improvement in the consumer's experience.  By leapfrogging to the 101/15 tier, Cablevision can now boast of a greater than 3X improvement in the end user experience.
  • Attractive pricing for wideband:  The sub-$100 price point without a bundle is in line with or below other carriers' 50 Mbps speed tier offer.  Yes, it's more than what most consumers are willing to pay for today, but it should give pause to Cablevision customers thinking of switching to Verizon's FiOS 50/20 tier.
  • Fantastic marketing strategy: Not only does Cablevision get to wear the Fastest Download Speed crown for the time being, but it's decision to offer 101 Mbps instead of 100 Mbps is downright brilliant. This "Price Is Right" strategy may allow them to keep the title longer, as competitors eyeing the 100 Mbps tier will now be forced to rethink whether they stick with 100, match the 101 (which would look a bit silly), or jump to 110 or 120 in order to differentiate themselves.

Just having a wideband offer is beneficial, but will consumers buy it?  That's the subject of a recent report I wrote entitled "The Shift From Broadband To Wideband," which M&SView and JupView clients can find here on the Forrester.com website.  I will be delivering a Teleconference on this topic on Wednesday, May 13 at 11am EST.  M&SView and JupView clients can register for it here.  Hope to see you there!

Comments

re: Cablevision Throws Down The Broadband Gauntlet: 101 Mbps D

Hi,Interesting advancement. But in this tough market situation, it would be a wait & see scenario as consumers find it extremely challenging to stretch their wallets. Broadband would continue to be a necessity but a shift to wideband would be a luxury, in my opinion.