Enterprise Customers Tune Into TV

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Cable operators may be extending their data and voice services into the business market, but they're finding that video is increasingly fitting into that picture.

The number of businesses adding good old traditional cable-TV service to their voice and data packages is growing, according to Bob Hattori, Cox Business Service's vice president of business operations. He points to a series of critical news events, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq, as reasons many employers want to keep workers in the news loop.

"We definitely are seeing a pickup in the businesses that want traditional cable TV for their employees," he said. "As we bundle that in with other services it makes it a no-brainer. Keeping up to date with the latest weather and news has become pretty critical."

As with Cox, Cablevision Systems Corp. has seen more businesses opting for traditional cable-television service along with their Lightpath voice and data connections.

It's actually been a rule for many New York securities firms for years, particularly on trading floors. But now it is expanding to other business sectors, according to Joseph Lhota, Cablevision's executive vice president and president of Lightpath.

"It's very important, seeing video services being brought into businesses," he said. "You walk into any law firm or any waiting area right now — the new thing in doctor's offices now is you are going to see a television up on the wall. All of a sudden, instead of magazines, people are watching MSNBC, CNN or some news-based show."

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