Broadband Week Briefs

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CTAM Finds VOD Awareness Grows

Alexandria, Va.— Consumers' awareness of video-on-demand is growing, according to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing's latest Pulse survey.

Of 1,016 homes surveyed in December, 74% of digital subscribers knew about VOD, and slightly more than half of the overall respondent base had heard of it.

Younger and more affluent homes showed the most knowledge. Some 65% of adults between 18 and 34 knew about VOD and 69% of those with household incomes above $75,000 were aware of the service.

CTAM president Char Beales said the numbers were encouraging, given that VOD is a brand new product for consumers: "This research shows that cable marketers have done a good job building awareness of on demand in just a few short years."

The study found 22% of all subscribers had ordered VOD, with 34% of premium customers and 35% of digital subscribers saying they had used the technology.

In other research, 58% of digital subscribers said ordering VOD was more convenient than renting a video.

Mediacom to Use CSG Care Express

Englewood, Colo.—CSG Systems Inc. said Mediacom Communications Corp. will use its CSG Care Express package to allow subscribers to view, manage and pay bills online.

Mediacom will deploy CSG's self-care and electronic bill presentment and payment modules, which will also allow subscribers to activate new services and edit account information online.

CSG said the Care Express package allows MSOs to emphasize specific promotions or offer Web-site only packages. The software includes an electronic shopping cart for subscribers to compare packages.

Cedar Point, Moto Team Up on VoIP

Derry, N.H.—Cedar Point Communications said Motorola Inc. will support the voice-over-Internet protocol provider's Safari C3 integrated switching system as part of an end-to-end solution that would include Motorola's BSR 64000 cable-modem termination system and its SurfBoard multiterminal adapters and advanced provisioning system.

The companies said they have finished a successful test to integrate the technologies. The Safari C3 product line is a softswitch architecture that Cedar Point said meets PacketCable standards and is a carrier-grade platform.

Both companies are major vendors for Comcast Corp., which plans to roll out VoIP in 2004.

Comcast Teams With T-Mobile

Philadelphia—Comcast Corp. is offering its high-speed Internet subscribers Wi Fi links through T-Mobile, which has 4,000 HotSpots across the country.

Comcast subscribers who also subscribe to the T-Mobile HotSpot service can surf the Web, check email or view streaming media at wireless broadband speeds with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA at T-Mobile locations. Current high-speed subscribers who sign up for one T-Mobile HotSpot Day Pass for $9.99 will receive an additional DayPass each month for the rest of the year, at no charge.

Movielink Adds Multiple Days

Santa Monica, Calif.— Internet movie-delivery service Movielink is adding a new feature, MultiPlay, which allows customers to re-rent movies for additional 24-hour viewing periods for up to 30 days after their initial download, without downloading the file again.

For instance, Movielink said the movie Hulk, which rents for $3.99, can be rented again for 99 cents. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which rents for $2.99 initially, can be rented for $1.99 on a MultiPlay basis. (Individual movie studios determine both initial and MultiPlay pricing.)

Movielink CEO Jim Ramo said it was "particularly appealing to travelers who may have their movie viewing interrupted or children who want to watch a move over and over again."

Movielink is running a "$10,000 MultiPlay Sweepstakes" promotion through Feb. 16. Anyone who rents a title again through MultiPlay is automatically entered in the $10,000 cash prize sweepstakes.

Broadband Services Adds Churn Cutter

Highlands Ranch, Colo.—Broadband Services Inc. is launching CPEase, a new software tool designed to help cable operators combat digital churn.

The service package combines BSI's information-technology platform business process-support services and logistics infrastructure, providing operators lifecycle management checkpoints, including new inventory, equipment recovery, cleaning and screening, redistribution and warranty tracking.

BSI said the new product will help operators reduce capital spending and operational expenses by increasing recovering percentages, and reducing cycle time for recovery, repair and redeployment.