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Volume 11, Number 31, August 18, 2008 - Cable Cos, Telcos Report Declining Broadband Growth

Industry Events

NTCA 2008 Regional Meetings (July-Oct)


Finance and Accounting Conference
(Sept 3-5)


NTCA 2008
Fall Conference
(Sept 21-24)


Telco TV 2008 (Nov 11-13)


2009 Wireless Symposium: Call for Speakers


EXPO '09
(Feb 8-11)


Get Smart with NTCA in 2008: Earn While You Learn


The Marketplace


Demystifying Peer-to-Peer Networks


An IPTV Solution Designed for Your Telco


FRS Produces Mailer on DTV Transition | NTCA Events | NTCA Publications

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Volume 11, Number 31, August 18, 2008

Cable Cos, Telcos Report Declining Broadband Growth

Affiliates Agree to Retrans Cease-Fire

Qwest Reaches Labor Agreement with Unions

In-Stat: Online Video Sales To Reach $4.5 Billion By 2012

Cable Cos, Telcos Report Declining Broadband Growth

Cable operators and phone companies signed up about half the number of subscribers in the second quarter of 2008 that they signed up during the same period in 2007.

The nation's 20 largest cable and telephone providers acquired 887,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in Q2, according to the Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), a research and analysis firm which specializes in the broadband, media and entertainment industries. This was the lowest number of net broadband additions since LRG began tracking the statistic seven years ago.

Overall, cable companies reported having 85% as many additions as a year ago. Phone companies fell on tougher times, adding just 23% of the customers they attracted one year ago.

"While the relative number of quarterly broadband adds has certainly peaked," said Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst, "the decline in additions this quarter compared to the same period last year was exacerbated by Verizon and AT&T's emphasis on selling higher speed FiOS and U-verse bundled services, often at the expense of the traditional DSL service."

View LRG's release.
View CNet's article, an interesting read on what this could mean for future telco and cable company strategies.

Affiliates Agree to Retrans Cease-Fire

In an effort to ensure that in the weeks leading up to and after the digital transition there is no disruption of local TV service, the boards of directors of the ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliate organizations agreed to support a month-long "quiet period."

The affiliate boards agreed to retain their signals on cable, satellite and telco TV from February 4, 2009 - March 4, 2009.

"This pledge -- coupled with our unprecedented campaign to educate America on the DTV transition -- will minimize consumer confusion, and help local broadcasters and government to achieve our joint objective of a seamless transition to the next generation of television," NAB television-board chairman and Barrington Broadcasting CEO K. James Yager said.

Qwest Reaches Labor Agreement with Unions

Qwest Communications International Inc. announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement with union employees almost one day after its labor contract expired.

Qwest negotiated a three-year deal with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents about 20,000 of its employees in 13 states. Qwest also reached a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents the company’s employees in Montana. Details of the two contracts were not released.

The agreements come in the nick of time. Qwest is providing telephone and broadband services to the Democratic National Convention which will take place in Qwest’s hometown of Denver in almost one week’s time. The telecommunications provider also is providing service to the Republican National Convention, which begins September 1 in St. Paul, Minn.

CWA members had voted to authorize a strike, but luckily for Qwest none was called when the contract expired. CWA organizing coordinator Al Kogler reported that it will take a few weeks before union members will vote on the new contract.

In-Stat: Online Video Sales To Reach $4.5 Billion By 2012

The worldwide online video market is experiencing dramatic growth, reports high-tech market research firm In-Stat. Worldwide online video revenue is expected to eclipse $4.5 billion by 2012, up from $1.2 billion in 2008.

Purchased/rented videos are expected to offer the most robust growth for online video in the near term, in large part due to an increase in subscription services such as Netflix. Ad-supported professional video from major TV networks also will become a strong revenue contributor by 2012.

"What is now seen as a predominantly younger pastime will spread to encompass a wider group of people, in part due to the aging of current online video viewers, but also as a result of word of mouth, spread of services, growth of in-home networks, and new network-connected consumer electronic devices," said Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst.

Kaufhold went on to remark, however, that more than half of consumers report that the still prefer packaged goods, which bodes well for Blu-ray discs. "Surprisingly, younger people who regularly watch online were the group that expressed the highest interest in owning a package goods bundle that includes artwork and extra content."

View In-Stat's release.

And, last but not least, our video of the week: the animator vs. animation.

Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.

The Marketplace

Demystifying Peer-to-Peer Networks
Recently, peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic has sparked media controversy and reignited the net neutrality debate. In a P2P network users can easily consume massive amounts of upstream and downstream bandwidth. Some studies even claim that P2P accounts for more than 60% of traffic on the Internet. But what exactly is a P2P network? How does the popular technology affect the IP network? And, what actions should the rural telecom provider take? To read the paper, log in and visit the ePapers Web page.

IP-PRIME: An IPTV Solution Designed for Your Telco
NTCA and NRTC have launched the IP-PRIME IPTV Solution for rural telcos. The solution offers rural telco members a choice of two business opportunities: 1) an end-to-end IPTV service using a centralized, satellite-delivered IPTV distribution solution content transport, headend, and set-top box solutions or 2) a programming-only solution for telcos with existing headend facilities or other transport arrangements. To date, more than 30 service providers have signed up for the solution. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Kevin McGuire at or 703-351-2032.

FRS Produces Mailer on DTV Transition
The Foundation for Rural Service has released its latest informational mailer, “Digital TV: Dealing with the DTV Revolution,” which explains the upcoming DTV transition deadline. The mailer provides valuable details on the February 2009 switch to all-digital TV programming and addresses various consumer concerns, including how to tell if your television will receive digital TV, how to purchase a digital-to-analog converter, and how to receive a coupon to help with the purchase of a converter box. This DTV bill stuffer has been recently updated to comply with the FCC’s DTV Consumer Education Initiative and will satisfy the requirement for a DTV bill stuffer in your customers’ monthly billing statements. To order copies of the mailer, visit For more information on the foundation’s products, contact Cara Garfield at 703-351-2026.

Industry Events

NTCA 2008 Regional Meetings (July-Oct)
Attend the meeting for your region to learn about current issues impacting the telecommunications industry. Explore the emerging technologies workshop while connecting with colleagues. Register early to take advantage of the early-bird registration discount. We recommend that you call and make hotel reservations as soon as possible. Be sure to ask for the NTCA group rate. For more information, visit NTCA's Web site.

Finance and Accounting Conference (Sept 3-5)
Gain a greater understanding of important issues such as interconnection agreements and allocating IP assets at the Finance and Accounting Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Choose from 10 general sessions, 12 concurrent sessions and an open forum. Network with colleagues at the two receptions, luncheons, tours and watch the Royals vs Athletics baseball game.

NTCA 2008 Fall Conference (Sept 21-24)
Plan ahead to maximize your conference experience. Choose from concurrent session topics such as wireless industry updates, effective ways to survey subscribers, preparing for DTV and marketing for change and competition. Share ideas and learn from colleagues. Receive timely solutions for the daily challenges of running a telecom business. Experience compelling education in the desert sanctuary of Indian Wells, Calif., September 21-24. Earn SmartPoints when you register for the Fall Conference.

TelcoTV 2008 (Nov 11-13)
TelcoTV is the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy. With 3,500+ attendees and 175+ exhibitors - TelcoTV is a must attend for IOCs looking for in-depth information on triple play networks. Come out and meet hundreds of other telcos, deploying advanced video services. NTCA members receive a 20% discount on Standard and VIP Conference passes (Use promotional code NTCA).

2009 Wireless Symposium: Call for Speakers
The 2009 Wireless Symposium will take place January 7-9 in Austin, Texas. NTCA is looking for experienced and qualified speakers from reputable companies familiar with the IOC market. If you are interested in speaking at the symposium, please submit a proposal to Dave Lowe, NTCA manager of Business & Technology Division. Speaker proposals are due no later than July 31, 2008.

EXPO '09 (Feb 8-11)
EXPO '09 takes place during NTCA's annual meeting and is the hottest show in rural telecommunications. Stay ahead of the competition and unveil your top solutions to approximately 3,000 representatives, including key decision makers, looking to upgrade and provide the best services to their customers. Get in the middle of the action on the EXPO floor and register today.

Get Smart with NTCA in 2008: Earn While You Learn
NTCA has a dynamic line-up of conferences for 2008, and we want telco employees and directors to expand their knowledge by gaining "smarts" when attending these conferences. When telco employees or directors attend select NTCA 2008 conferences, that particular telco will earn SmartPoints. Six member telcos that have accumulated the most SmartPoints at the end of 2008 will become eligible to receive gift certificates valued at $500, $250 or $150. Gift certificates will be awarded based on the number of employees: 1-75 or 76+.