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Summary:

No, I have not gone on vacation. Instead, I am busy writing the next cover story for the magazine, along with a couple of other short pieces, and am horribly late. So posting is going to be light for a couple of days. And if I […]

No, I have not gone on vacation. Instead, I am busy writing the next cover story for the magazine, along with a couple of other short pieces, and am horribly late. So posting is going to be light for a couple of days. And if I haven’t answered your email, don’t take it personally – there are 600 messages that have piled up in just day. Still, couple of things which have been sitting in my inbox and are worth sharing.

* Future of The Bells Is DSL

Did anyone notice that AT&T introduced a three tier DSL pricing structure and are now offering a 6 megabits per second connection for $28 a month. (1.5 Mbps and 3 Mbps cost $13 and $18 a month respectively.) That’s twice as much as what BellSouth is charging for the same speeds. In other words, either AT&T will raise its prices after the deal with BellSouth closes or BellSouth will drop the prices.

Nonetheless, BellSouth added a record 263,000 DSL net adds in the first quarter equating, while AT&T added 511,000 new DSL users for the same period.

John Hodulik of UBS thinks that while voice might be making them the most money, it is DSL which is strategically more important and is now the “anchor product of the consumer bundle.” In other words, it is going to be the proxy for their future (residential) market share.

* The New Vongo Boys

Talking about the new Ma Bell, AT&T will soon start offering “Vongo” Internet movie-delivery service to its DSL customers. The companies will feature a co-branded AT&T and Vongo Web site and special promotions. Vongo works only on Windows-PC and costs about $10 for unlimited access. PPV is $4 a month. First Akimbo, and now Vongo, I tell you that either someone is having a change of heart over in San Antonio, Texas or that IPTV this isn’t going too well.

* For Comcast, Broadband, VoIP are hot

So just to ensure a little balance, a quick take on Comcast’s earnings report for the most recent quarter - they added 437,000 new broadband subscribers, better than most analyst estimates of 345,000. Average revenue per unit (ARPU) – $43.14. Doesn’t look like the competition is having any impact, because it is higher than fourth quarter ARPU of $42.38. Broadband revenues: $1.1 billion. Forget all that – the biggest news is that Comcast added 211,000 VoIP subscribers, though 141,000 are “net new customers.” And this when VoIP is not even available in the entire footprint of Comcast. Someone should be extremely worried... don’t you think?

[Clarification from Comcast PR: we added 211K net new Comcast Digital Voice (VoIP) voice subscribers, and lost 70K customers for our circuit switched phone business (this was expected – we’re not trying to grow or expand). Netting those two out, we gained 141 K total voice customers (digital voice and circuit switch combined)we added 211K net new Comcast Digital Voice (VoIP) voice subscribers, and lost 70K customers for our circuit switched phone business (this was expected – we’re not trying to grow or expand). Netting those two out, we gained 141 K total voice customers (digital voice and circuit switch combined) ]

  1. Well OM, I think YOU too are starting to figure out the GOLD RUSH is back in Web2.0 as Comcast ramps VOIP…wait till you see the NEXT COMCAST bomb about to BURST onto Qwest with the $99 BUNDLE coming striking FEAR into the Motherland of Qwest Denver! I beleive YouTube.com is a NUKE of WMD proportion and the WORLD is starting to wake up to Weapons of Mass Dialing the Skibare VoipNuke.com model!
    Go Level3 Baby GOOOOOO!
    Skibare

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  2. Is Mozilla going to make the cover of Business 2?
    We should at least one time this year.

    Our pretty faces sell magazines you know! And we’ve got plenty of stories…

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  3. You must have a Cable Cellular Bundle [Sprint] available to auto transfer the home cable phone for free during the Cable system [modem] outages that occur.
    Must be seamless and immediate.
    They haven’t thought this far ahead, as far as I know.
    Bell never even thought of this and they own Cingular/Verizon.
    Telco doesn’t monitor each line continuously like Cable does for modems.
    A Cable Phone Selling Point if I ever thought of one…embrace the outage and prove it by alerting the cellphone. A Very Bold Step.

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  4. 6Mbps now then how many more years will take them to provide 50 Mbps service ?

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  5. Is it for sertain markets, because I wnet on the att site and they offer 1.5 and 3 Mbps only and it’s $30 and $40.
    What am I missing?

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  6. Gaurav Sehgal Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    just like to say that vongo is the biggest piece of crap program i have ever tried. Their movie selection is full of nonsense movies, and their customer service is by far the worst customer service from any company that I have ever dealt with anywhere in the world — and I have lived in 6 different countries. I have been on hold with them for about an hour and 25 minutes now and I am still on hold. I think they make it hard for you to reach them so that you cannot cancel your account and they continue to steal/scam you out of your money. I hate vongo and everything it represents.

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  7. A little late, and a small detail:
    Vongo works only on Windows-PC and costs about $10 for unlimited access. PPV is $4 a month.
    PPV is $4/movie not per month.

    I agree with Gaurav about Vongo sucking in general. It is stupid that you have to call them to cancel the service. I just said that I am switching all my CPU’s to the Apple platform and they cancelled my service without question.

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  8. Vongo does not honor coupons that it includes with the pre-loaded software it pushes on people who purchase new computers. When calling customer service, the service will not give any viable excuse as to why but “user error”, so the representatives I spoke to say it is my fault that they will not honor the advertisements they put in new computer boxes.

    I was charged for two monts of service. One month I will accept as my responsibility. But the latest, I cancelled the service within the time frame, and they charged my credit card, and will not issue a refund.

    I do not recommend this service. The majority of movies are outdated: Circa 1980′s and beyond. Of the “newer” movies, most have been out on the market for a month or longer. So, the service is not worth trying out. It will be a waste of time and money. Customer service is very low par. Arguing with a person who will not give his name, nor the company leadership name, so writing this company to settle issues are not acceptable means of conducting business. A company should give the names and how to reach the office numbers of the chief of operations and/or other management tiers. This was refused to me.

    All this hassle for a $10.59 charge to be taken off of my credit card, and they will not do it, nor even offer my the two weeks free I should of had left. VERY poor customer service, with absolutely no empathy towards customers. So, my alternative is to file a lawsuit. For false and misleading advertisement–seeing that the original pre-printed advertisement I received with my computer says:”30 day FREE trial” of which I only received 14 days of free try out service.

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  9. I am responding to the post dated December 14, 2007. I am the VP of Operations for Starz Entertainment. I am responsible for Vongo’s customer care. I read your post and would like to follow up. Can you please email me your Vongo user name, email address and phone number.

    Regards,
    Peter

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  10. my email address is peter.roberts@starz.com

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