What do your grandmother and city hall have in common? (No, this isn’t the beginning of a bad joke.) Today, they both have many of the same technology and communications needs. And today, both can look to cable to fulfill those requirements-cable, phone and Internet access-easily and cost-effectively. Sure, residential customers, more and more, are turning to their cable company for all their communications services, but what about local businesses, hospitals, municipal offices and schools? Through our CTAM Business Services Committee and Forum, which is being held at National this year, cable companies and suppliers come together to meet directly with customers and also to share best practices and research, and to learn how to serve those valuable business customers. While the residential and the commercial customer have many of the same needs, let’s not over-simplify what cable is offering to its business customers. As cable works to expand its customer base, it is also expanding the services it has to offer. Reaching out to the business customer means providing products that are critical to helping business run smoothly and efficiently. Cable companies are feeding companies of all shapes and sizes with ultra-high-speed broadband Internet access, voice, wireless access and Web-based hosted communications services. Cable is growing the business by growing the product. Business = Opportunity Why are CTAM and its members so focused on growing the business services marketplace? The potential revenue in small and medium businesses is $30 billion. According to Kagan Research, the average residential cable subscriber generates $60 to $90 in revenue each month, while a medium-sized business customer has the potential to generate over $750 each month. This is a customer we want. Cable is working hard and smart to capture this market. And, we’ve been moving fast, but we’ve got to move faster if we want to stay in the fight. The competition wants this customer, too. So, cable will continue to progressively and aggressively roll out new products, offer better bundles that include business applications, and provide better service and support than the competition. How do you get up to speed? So that answers the first question. Now, here’s another. What do CTAM Business Services and the musician "Prince" have in common? They’ve both changed their names. In our case, Business Services was formerly known as Commerical Services. And, speaking of change, this year the CTAM Business Services Forum is taking place at National Show, which means we’re offering our attendees the important advantage of attending both the Show and CTAM’s exclusive educational sessions in one business trip. Specifically, attendees of the CTAM Business Services Forum have three ways to learn. They have access to the BizNET Pavilion, where companies are showcasing the latest products. Then they can attend the NCTA Super Session on Tuesday afternoon, "Cable’s Business Services: Time To Unleash a Gusher!" where I’ll moderate a discussion among John Dyer, Cox Communications, Mike LaJoie, Time Warner Cable, Michael Smith, Stratecast Partners and Tom Rutledge, Cablevision Systems. This is followed by six interactive roundtables featuring current hot topics ranging from scaling technology, developing business voice and growing back office infrastructure. And finally, they can attend the full-day CTAM Forum on Wednesday, where they’ll hear directly from the cable’s business services leaders, such as Ken Fitzpatrick, Time Warner Cable, Kevin O’Toole, Comcast Communications, Kevin Potente, Cablevision Systems and Bill Stemper, Cox Communications. Check your NCTA program for details and join us-because CTAM and cable mean business. Char Beales is pres/CEO of CTAM.

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