Cable’s Defining Moment


I’ve been in the cable business for nearly 30 years,
and I’ve never been more bullish about our ability to succeed.
That confidence is bolstered by the industry’s laser focus
on providing a superior level of customer care.

Granted, we face more competition today
than we did 30 years ago — from powerful, wellfunded
broadcast, satellite and telephone companies,
not to mention an expanding list of new
competitors such as Google, Amazon, Apple,
Netfl ix and others. Nor is competition the only
challenge we face. Our economy is marked by
high and persistent unemployment, and despite
recent successes, we must remain ever diligent
about the threat of unnecessary government

Still, I am enthusiastic about our future. Why?
Because even with growing competition and
other challenges, our industry is doing what it
takes to not only survive, but thrive. We are demonstrating
that “everything possible” is more than just the theme for
this year’s Cable Show; it’s the cornerstone of what we do
each and every day to respond to the demands of the only
voice that matters: the voice of our customers.

Think about it. When customers clamored for choice in
their phone services, our industry responded, deploying a
reliable, economical alternative that continues to take market
share from traditional phone companies and garner
high marks for customer satisfaction. We deliver real value
to our phone customers.

And when our customers made it clear they would use
the Internet for an ever-expanding array of activities —
from communication to commerce; from music to video
entertainment — our industry responded, developing and
deploying DOCSIS 3.0, which delivers a super-charged Internet
experience, including download speeds that exceed
100 Megabits per second. Without question, we deliver the
best value in broadband.

As customers seek more flexibility in where and how they
enjoy video, our industry is again responding, making it possible
to watch tens of thousands of clips, movies,
and shows anytime, anywhere in the U.S. on a
growing list of Web-connected devices.

And when customers wanted even greater
value and convenience, our industry responded
once more, with a number of companies
— including Suddenlink Communications —
marketing advanced home security and convenient,
easy-to-use wireless home-networking

Importantly, when customers demanded
that we do a better job serving them, our industry
responded. More and more of us are
adopting technologies that help us schedule
technician visits within two-hour or smaller appointment
windows, and we’re doing a better job of showing up on
time. We’re also investing heavily in training and in our infrastructure,
to provide redundancy and improved reliability.
And the list goes on.

Since 2007, Suddenlink has the distinction of the mostimproved
customer-satisfaction scores in the areas of the
country where we’re measured by the independent J.D.
Power surveys. But I also know — based on conversations
with my peers — that Suddenlink is not alone in paying attention
to customer service and making strategic investments
to improve it. In the end, we all know that this is our
defining moment; that, if we take better care of the customer
than our competitors, we will continue to win.

Jerry Kent is chairman and CEO of Suddenlink Communications

and co-chairman of the 2011 Cable Show.