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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cable Firms Begin To Glitter

Cable players are seen to put in the fiber line all the way to the computer servers in for 15 percent less than the telecom players in the US - and it could do it in days, not weeks, says IHT. To attract business customers, cable companies are increasingly positioning themselves as a friendlier, cheaper, more flexible alternative and are aiming to win the small corporate clients that the big phone companies have tended to neglect. They are selling data and phone services to hotels, restaurants, schools and hospitals that already buy television services from them, and they are making headway with small establishments like family-run shops and gasoline stations. More than 90 percent of the businesses that Cox,a well known cable company sells to employ fewer than 100 workers.

In the past cable companies have had limited success because their networks did not offer phone service, and they lacked sales teams that were focused on selling to businesses. That has changed. Internet-based calls can now be transmitted through cable data lines instead of traditional phone lines. The cable industry, after the networks have been upgraded, is now able to offer comprehensive telecommunications services including phone, TV and high-speed Internet connections. The cable operators are able to offer voice service to complement their high-speed data, commercial services are a cherry waiting to be picked. In the US, while the cable companies have only 1.5 percent of the business market, their share is growing. Instat finds that at the end of 2004, 995,000 businesses got their high-speed data lines from cable companies, 60 percent more than in 2003.

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