A new study by the Broadband Content Delivery Forum concludes that there's still plenty of demand for high-speed Internet access, despite the travails of several major companies. The study also found that operators could still sell "speed" as a killer attribute, and generate modem-penetration increases.
"It really comes down to a game of expectations," said Bruce Leichtman, president of the Leichtman Research Group and a BCDF member. "Ten million broadband subscribers at this point isn't bad at all."
In a study of 1,000 homes, 40 percent were interested in getting high-speed access and some 30 percent of that group were willing to pay $45 a month for the service.
The biggest problem with narrowband these days, said Leichtman, is speed and reliability, causing narrowband consumers to view broadband favorably.
"The killer apps are still there," he said. His advice for MSOs: "Stay the course."
Leichtman said that MSOs should be sending messages that say, "This technology solves your problem," and "We've got a better Internet for you."
The BCDF also studied what the next wave of adopters is looking for. "They are more interested in news clips and sports clips," Leichtman said. "Communications is also important to them."
While Leichtman acknowledged, "There's absolute price sensitivity in the market," cable operators "still have the ability to get the low-hanging fruit." Some 54 percent of the respondents who were interested in high-speed Internet service said they didn't have access to it.