Last December Verizon announced
that in addition to buying $3.6 billion in spectrum from the cable industry, they'd soon be partnering with them as well -- Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox and Bright House all agreeing to bundled Verizon Wireless services with their triple plays. The deal has taken significant heat from consumer advocates
for its potential erosion of competition; particularly of the landline variety in smaller markets where competition barely exists as it is.
So far the deal hasn't really amounted to much of anything -- be it anti-competitive or even particularly interesting. Comcast's currently just offering users a $200 prepaid Visa gift card in a handful of markets if they add Verizon Wireless services.
As expected, Time Warner Cable has now joined the party, today launching a website
alerting customers that they too can now join the quadruple-play-gift-card fun. Users can check out the full FAQ here
Right now, the bundles are only available in Kansas City, Raleigh, North Carolina., and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. Comcast has made a few statements
noting that integrating fused billing and retail support has been a bit of a challenge. Several of these companies have struggled to bill their own
customers correctly over the years, so there's no doubt going to be some growing pains as the partnership unfolds.
As it stands a gift card and unified billing doesn't really scream "excitement," though Verizon and the cable industry say that ultimately they'll expand the deals to include video services that work across both wireless and cable services.