We got it, that’s for sure. Just look up in the sky; and that’s not all. But, exactly, what is it? Where does it come from? And, who runs it? First, it might be a good idea to define cable’s business(es). We provide a range of services these days. We’re a long way from being a Community Antenna TeleVision service. Today we’re offering packages of video signals (re-transmitted and original linear), program-listings guides, PPV,VOD, broadband access, broadband services (e-mail, news, guides), telephone (switched, Internet Protocol) and more. In sum, we offer: (1) Video packages (2) Broadband packages (3) Voice packages And we’ve got a few competitors; at least 1 in each category. Here at CableFAX Daily and CableWORLD, we track them all – all the time. And, soon, you’ll be seeing a bit more formal tracking. In fact, we’re putting them into these categories: (1) Satellite Platforms: DirecTV, DISH and VOOM (2) RBOCs and Telcos: FTTH, xDSL (3) Wireless: Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, MMDS, etc. (4) Utilities: Broadband over Electrical Wires (BEW) (5) Overbuilders: Including government-owned (6) Retailers (Mortar-based and Internet): Best Buy et al, Blockbuster et al, Netflix et al, MovieLink et al Some compete with distinct businesses; some (will? may?) compete with the entire line-up. We just know we need to watch them now. Closely. (One kicker, as cable moves to offer VoIP more broadly, might be regulatory meddling. While, with Alaska Republican Sen Ted Stevens the Commerce Cte honcho, immediate total telecommunications law overhaul might not be on the agenda, cable might be hit by basic telephone subsidy requirements.) You might not consider those guys in #6 to be competitors. But they are. If someone buys a DVD at Wal-Mart, he/she certainly isn’t going to use our pipe and/or server to buy the title via PPV or VOD. And if they don’t buy it from Wal-Mart, they might rent it from Hollywood Video or, via our broadband pipe, from Akimbo. And, as for the RBOCs, they are – once again – hiring and threatening to enter the video marketplace. While it might be easy to dismiss them ("There you go again!"), the Fiber- To-The-Home (FTTH) build-outs are a real threat (this time). We’ll be watching – and reporting. Random Notes SoCalCable: The SCCTA’s Annual Dinner "2004 A Broadband Odyssey" is Thursday, 6-11pm, at the Wind Tunnel (no kidding), Art Center College of Design, S Campus, Pasadena (proceeds to Cable Positive/SCCTA). I get to be the (loosely defined) "celebrity" auctioneer, hawking a collectible Gibson electric guitar autographed by some of Lifetime’s "Women Rock" superstars with roundtrip tickets to Seattle, two nights hotel, and a tour of the Experience Music Project museum (courtesy of Lifetime) – value: $ thousands. That’s for starters. . How about a private lunch for the winner and two guests, hosted by cable pioneer Mark Nathanson and me, at his private club in Westwood, followed by a trip to his Beverly Hills home for a tour of his remarkable art collection – value: Priceless. Another prize will be a corporate suite for 10 at Staples Center for a Lakers game – value: about $2,500. Should be fun; come join us. Info: Rosie Roope of SCCTA, 818-569-5100, sccta@charter.net

The Daily


A Bit More on The WICT Network

The Women in Cable Telecommunications officially changed its name to The WICT Network Wednesday, and we’re learning a bit more. The new moniker is meant

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