With all the quarterly earnings reports in, telecom analyst firm MoffettNathanson notes that the Pay TV industry lost about 113,000 subscribers on the quarter
. Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in Q3, and while telcoTV and satellite providers added 574,000 subscribers, it couldn't prevent the industry from seeing a net loss -- attributed to the slow and small but steady growth of cord cutters.
Calling this the "worst 12 month stretch ever," analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson also point out that the industry still isn't helping its case by refusing to seriously address skyrocketing prices:
"Of course, the fact that pay-TV revenue is still rising smartly is part of the problem. We have always argued that cord-cutting is an economic phenomenon, not a technological one. ... Pay-TV revenue growth reflects rapid pay-TV pricing growth and that is precisely the problem. Rapidly rising prices are squeezing lower-income consumers out of the ecosystem."
Moffett, who is a one-man news quote machine
for the telecom industry, has been much less bullish on cable in general since leaving Sanford Bernstein to start his own firm. His new firm has also noted that cable broadband growth is also running out of steam
“We continue to see steady gains to at least 80% penetration, but at current run rates that’s only three years away, and it must be noted that broadband is now nearly saturated among middle and higher income cohorts,” Moffett explained, noting that both Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems both reported broadband customer losses in the third quarter. “By contrast, every major TelCo save AT&T and Windstream gained subscribers, and all but Windstream and CenturyLink saw significant YoY improvements."
Not only is Moffett no longer bullish on cable at his new firm, he uncharacteristically did not use this week's news to pitch and promote cable metered billing -- something Moffett has been a fan of for years
. Regardless, don't feel too bad for cable: broadband growth is more modest but still strong, and they stand to make huge inroads in numerous broadband markets as AT&T and Verizon back away from massive swaths of territory
they aren't interested in upgrading, leaving cable with a much more potent monopoly in many areas.
Netflix has updated their rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance
with October data. The Netflix ISP Speed Index pulls data from more than 37 million Netflix members viewing over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month.
Many cable operators have been very wary about implementing usage caps and per byte overages ever since Time Warner Cable's rather disastrous effort back in 2009
to force low caps and high overages on consumers. Since then, companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have spent their time "experimenting" with different options and caps as low as 5GB
-- while being cautious (so far) to ensure these options are voluntary for users.
CableLabs is expected to formally issue the specification for DOCSIS 3.1 sometime this month, according to comments made at the DOCSIS 3.1 engineering pre-conference symposium this morning in Atlanta. The new standard is expected to make cable broadband networks not only faster but more efficient, though consumers could have some time to wait before they begin to see the benefits in the real world. story continues..
About a month ago I pointed out
that Mediacom would soon be forcing all
of their customers on to capped and metered plans. In 2012 the company imposed usage caps ranging from 150 GB to 999 GB while charging users $10 per each additional 50 GB consumed -- but only for new customers.
Last summer, Mediacom started imposing usage caps ranging from 150 GB to 999 GB
while charging users $10 per each additional 50 GB consumed. Initially, these metered plans were only forced on new users or users migrating to new plans.
Earlier this year story continues..
Netflix began ranking the quality of video streaming performance for each of the nation's largest ISPs. HD streams have variable bitrate but can potentially top out at around 4800 kilobits per second, and the data, gleaned from 36 million Netflix members who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows, provides a bird's eye view by ISP of sustained throughput available from a given ISP over time.
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. story continues..
Mediacom has been ranked as the worst cable operator in the country by Consumer Reports, and recently built on that not-so-fine pedigree by announcing new usage limits and surcharges for their subscribers
. In addition, Business Week
is running a piece this week exploring how the cable company continues to make life difficult for towns and cities in Minnesota that are tired of being under-served by the cable operator, and have looked to federal funding to build better networks themselves.
Yesterday we noted
that our forums were filled with rumors that Mediacom would be the latest ISP to start charging users usage overages, despite the ever-dropping cost of delivering fixed line bandwidth to consumers. Mediacom has since confirmed the plans
, a tech in our forums noting that the changes will begin August 1, after which point new users -- or users who move to one of Mediacom's new usage plans, will pay $10 for 50 GB of data if they cross their caps.
Several users in our forums are claiming technicians working for Mediacom say the company will soon be the latest U.S. ISP to begin charging users overage fees. story continues..
Cable broadband ISP Mediacom has long had a 250 GB cap in place, their acceptable use policy
informing users that should you exceed that total, Mediacom may "charge you for the excess usage, reduce transmission speed or other Service parameters, limit, suspend or terminate the Service or take other actions." Users in our Mediacom forum
note that while the company has been quiet about enforcing the cap, they're starting to make a little more noise about it, calling users who are starting to go over the cap on a consistent basis. Mediacom is telling users they're not charging them -- yet:
Currently this is a soft cap.
The start of September seems to have brought with it another round of carriage pricing disputes, with consumers -- already paying sky-high prices for cable TV -- again stuck in the middle. Just as the U.S. story continues..
Over the last year cable operator Mediacom has aggressively been deploying new advertising systems. Unfortunately for users, they're not doing a very good job of it. story continues..
Over the last couple of months Mediacom has aggressively been deploying new advertising systems. Unfortunately for users, they're not doing a very good job of it. story continues..
Last week we were the first to report
, Mediacom has refused to comment publicly on the matter -- to us or anybody else.
Earlier this week we reported story continues..
first sniffs, then potentially modifies, consumer traffic.
Earlier this month we noted
how cable operator Mediacom has joined the growing number of ISPs that have begun using DNS redirection to deliver ads instead of the traditional page not found warning. Mediacom took things a step further and has apparently implemented deep packet inspection and DNS redirection advertising technology our users say is difficult to opt out of
-- and persists even if you're using third party DNS services.
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors
, Bill Neilson