When I saw the Qwest ad in my morning newspaper, my first thought was: this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Qwest claimed that 72 percent of users in a recent “Broadband Challenge” found Qwest’s premium service to be as fast, or faster than, Comcast’s.
Comcast sued. Who’d be surprised by that? What’s surprising was Qwest. What were they thinking?
Qwest ditched the name “Qwest DSL” in favor of “Qwest Broadband,” which is smart marketing. The average consumer doesn’t have much of a grasp on why cable modems have been faster than DSL modems, so if both services are called “broadband,” that makes it incumbent on cable companies to explain the difference. Good luck with that, right?
A smart telco, looking to boast about its DSL – er, broadband service could easily make a claim about being “competitive with cable,” or something like that. But Qwest? Qwest decides to take a dull stick and poke Comcast’s ankles with it.
A dull stick
Qwest’s premium service, not widely available, tops out at 7 Mbps. Comcast has 8 Mbps service pretty widely available. Qwest’s service is cheaper, usually about $37, compared to $52 or so for Comcast, but Qwest wasn’t making a point in its headline about value, it was emphasizing speed.
Maybe Qwest thinks it’s on solid ground by virtue of the fact that each cable modem user’s maximum speed varies. But then DSL speed varies from customer to customer. Not much firm ground there.
Maybe Qwest thinks it’s justified because it’s an issue of consumer perception. But The Rocky Mountain News pretty much destroys that. The test was of only 100 people, and it has a laughably large sampling error. I can see Qwest’s marketers getting all excited about the results, but marketers are excitable by nature.
I am having a hard time imagining Qwest’s lawyers looking at that test and thinking the results would validate any of the claims Qwest’s marketers made in the ad the company eventually ran. Usually, it takes two Tums to settle an upset stomach. I can easily imagine the Qwest lawyers each gobbling the maximum of four on this one.
…And that not being enough. But I digress.
What’s most startling is that this very same week, Verizon came up with an offer that successfully accomplishes what Qwest bungled attempting. Verizon is offering potential customers a free, 30-day test-drive if they subscribe to the service online. “Test-driving our broadband could be the most fun you have all summer,” Verizon said.
The offer is simple, seemingly strings-free, and attractive. I would expect it to be at least moderately effective. People who accept the offer are going to think of it as comparison shopping, and some of them are going to be satisfied with what they see.
And there’s nothing to sue about.
Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
Streaming21 launches IP broadcasting solution Streaming21 has unveiled its IP broadcasting solution, the Media Relay Server 2.0, which enables the broadcasting of live TV channels and events to TV sets via the Internet. The server allows for real-time video delivery to TVs through open networks, it accepts subscribers from any ISP, and it delivers over unmanaged and non-multicast networks.
U-verse debuts in San Diego area AT&T has launched U-verse in in parts of the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan statistical area (MSA), including San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Chula Vista and San Diego County. AT&T said it will continue to increase availability throughout the area on an ongoing basis. U-verse is also available in spot areas in the San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura County markets.
TI, Network Physics collaborate on VoIP quality solution Texas Instruments and Network Physics plan to co-develop products for VoIP and IPTV systems based on TI’s Piqua portfolio, which combines TI’s digital signal processing chips and embedded software used to monitor and analyze the performance of the systems in which they are integrated.
Network Physics plans to first integrate Piqua software with its NetSensory Solution Insight for VoIP 2.0. The NetSensory tool combines endpoint information and correlates it with other network data to provide network operators with more than 60 performance and utilization metrics, delivered in real-time, so issues can be addressed immediately.
It has the ability, TI said, to drill down from industry-standard voice quality metrics to the underlying network conditions responsible for call degradation, measure the impact of other enterprise applications on voice traffic, and judge how other applications are affected by the network changes made to support voice.
Hans Christian Andersen
Arris to serve Danish Arris has attracted a new customer, satellite and cable provider Canal Digital, which will use Arris’ C4 CMTS to deliver broadband Internet and voice over IP service to its customers in Denmark. The first deployment will take place in Odense, Denmark, which the company pointed out is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Vector, a systems integrator based in Europe, will provide integration and maintenance service
Avaya enters $8.2B merger agreement
Investment firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital will together spend about $8.2 billion for the outstanding shares of VoIP specialist Avaya, in a deal formally considered a merger. The transaction is expected to close this fall.
ZCorum offers wholesale VoIP service ZCorum, a wholesaler of broadband and communication solutions, is launching its VoiSelect Digital Voice service, for broadband operators looking to enter the VoIP market. VoiSelect Digital Voice is a SIP-based service that includes many common features of traditional voice service, including unlimited local and long distance calling in the U.S. and Canada, voicemail, caller ID, three-way calling, call waiting, call forwarding, and call return.
A NEW Live Webcast from CED “FUNNELS, RUNNELS AND TUNNELS”
Using WDWM PON to pump more streams through access network fiber Register Here Today!
Qwest enhances broadband experience Qwest has expanded its relationship with Microsoft to offer Windows Live, as mentioned above has renamed its DSL service, and has introduced a new domain name for its e-mail customers.
Windows Live is a set of communications services fronted by Microsoft’s search engine. Combining some features that used to be associated with its MSN service, Windows Live is designed to be similar to, and be competitive with, search services from AOL, Google, and Yahoo!
Windows Live Services by Qwest will offer Web search that includes maps, directions, images and video, all built into the browser. Windows Live will include OneCare, which will provide users a unified suite of services, including anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities, to protect and maintain their PCs.
Qwest Broadband customers who are also signed up with MSN Premium will also have the option to use a new domain name: q.com. Qwest expects customers will appreciate the new opportunity to choose e-mail addresses that don’t include (or aren’t based entirely) on random combinations of characters.
XO launches wireless in Las Vegas XO Communications and sister company Nextlink Wireless have introduced wireless broadband service in Las Vegas, XO Communications’ 12th U.S. market. The pair have licenses for spectrum covering the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area.
XO Communications has begun providing broadband wireless in Las Vegas
Through broadband wireless point-to-point connections, XO Communications said it can deliver high-speed network services directly to businesses at speeds ranging from 45 Mbps to 155 Mbps (OC-3) to support a range of communications services, including dedicated Internet access, metro Ethernet, voice over IP (VoIP), wide area networks in campus or business park settings and network redundancy.
Clearwire wireless hits Richmond Clearwire Corp. has launched its wireless high-speed Internet service in Richmond, Va. The coverage area includes Chesterfield, Henrico, Glen Allen, Mechanicsville and Midlothian.
CableLabs publishes RFI for PacketCable 2.0 products CableLabs issued a request for information (RFI), soliciting information from equipment vendors about their PacketCable 2.0 product roadmaps. The RFI also seeks information regarding any IMS-based applications suppliers are developing for the cable industry.
PacketCable 2.0 is designed to be application agnostic.
Applications described in the RFI responses will be considered by CableLabs for inclusion in an upcoming interoperability testing and demonstration event being planned for the PacketCable Applications Lab. The lab, which was launched in April 2007 at CableLabs, will promote multi-vendor interoperability and will showcase new applications being developed for the industry.
The PacketCable 2.0 RFI is available on the CableLabs web site, here and the Product Information Tables matrix referenced in the RFI is located here. The deadline for responses to be delivered to CableLabs is July 13, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Advantage Business Media. All rights reserved