While hardly as lucrative or flamboyant as feeding SMBs, another news item this week should have ended up on the desks of cable marketing and technology gurus. A new study of human resources manager by Yoh, a talent and outsourcing services provider, found that 81 percent of companies have remote work policies, and 67 percent believe it’s likely that telecommuting will increase over the next two years. So what’s that got to do with cable? Think of all the stories you used to hear about how cable modems slowed down when the kids came home from school. Now think about the types of people – heavy users would probably be an understatement – this survey has identified and how they’ll be on the cable networks during normal work hours when things are generally slow. “What’s really happened more than anything else is the worker now has the ability to do this that he or she never had in the past,” said Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh. Yoh, said Lanzalotto, looks at workplace trends “because we’re placing a lot of people and performing projects for customers with high-end folks.” Those folks will now potentially be – at least as long as the network is reliable – work-at-home cable modem users. The key to this is the type of customers – high-end employees – and their patience threshold – nada, zip, zero – for network flaws. Bring ‘em on “We would love to see those guys stay at home and do a lot more work,” said one MSO technology executive, speaking on background because the call didn’t go through his PR department. While today’s networks can handle the increased load, he said, “we’re going to drastically increase the bandwidth over the next two or three years. We’re trying to advance to DOCSIS 3.0, which will allow us at a minimum to get 160 megs in the downstream.” Of course, if cable isn’t ready for the new worker paradigm, the telcos will step into the fray with their “dedicated” DSL pipes and concurrently more expensive home business offerings. At least that’s been the trend in the past, although that part about dedicated bandwidth is not necessarily accurate, said the exec. “Yes, it’s dedicated to the home. The bad part is you don’t get statistical multiplexing as a result of that. It’s a false statement that it’s not shared because as soon as it comes of the central office unit, it goes right into the DSLAM, (which) is nothing but a concentrator, so instead of doing it in the network, they do it at the DSLAM, and you have contention rates at the DSLAM.” It’s that kind of inflammatory information that, no doubt, leads to cable public relations personnel – it would be unfair to call anyone in a PR position an executive – putting leashes on their technology experts. – Jim Barthold

The Daily


Time and Time Again

Commentary by Steve Effros Oh, well, as the proverb first penned by Scottish poet John Burns put it, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray! Actually he originally wrote “The best laid schemes

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