CableOne noncompetitive. Don't they get it?
I've never had cable, not that interested in TV. CableOne is the local company in the Gulfport, MS market. They were very slow to reestablish service following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The only two broadband Internet providers in this area are ATT & CableOne. Recently ATT installed U-verse in my neighborhood, so I decided to try their 6 Mbps service. It's OK, pretty reliable. I don't like some of the limitations imposed by their required "Residential Gateway" (i.e. modem). Anyway, for a year it's $24.95 after which it goes up to $43. What was CableOne's response to the competition? They raised the price of their 6Mbps service to $50/mo and raised the price of their three-for-one bundle from $75/mo to $99/mo. (I assume that taxes and fees get tacked on top of that.) They really seem oblivious to the fact that they are competing with ATT for all their services and with satellite for their TV services. Are they just dumb or crazy like a fox? I don't know which.
U-Verse just isn't to the point to give Cableone... or any cable provider for that matter... any meaningful competition. AT&T cannot supply U-Verse services to as wide of an area as Cableone serves. U-Verse is only available to residences within 1-2 miles of the main switch. Cableone can supply services to the whole town and then some. U-Verse only competes with a tiny fraction of Cableone's traditional customer base.
Eventually U-Verse will mature and AT&T will build out their network to supply most everyone data services over traditional phone lines... but that will take years and better technology will need developed.
Around here (MS Gulf Coast) ATT spent a bundle installing VRADs everywhere. They sold their U-verse TV/Phone/Internet service like crazy. Many people bought into the package and were disappointed with the TV and also with ATT's business practices, so they canceled their U-verse service and returned the equipment. It was so bad that the local UPS store had instructions posted just dealing with U-verse equipment returns. I think maybe 50% of those who tried U-verse kept it.
I was only interested in Internet. Our street never had DSL available. I've been reasonably satisfied with U-verse Internet. Only a bit miffed because of some technical limitations created by the way their gateway box works. Most folks on my street who had CableOne Internet expressed complete frustration both with the service and the company.
What really surprises me is that CableOne not only does not seem interested in competing with ATT, they actually raised their rates in the face of competition from U-verse to make themselves even less competitive. That one's a head scratcher.
Apparently it surprises not only me but also industry observers:
»Cable Industry Lost 400,000 Users So Far in 2012