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5/16/2013 1:16:24 AM
NoLoss Member #: 92851 Registered: 5/14/2013
Posted: 10 View all posts by NoLoss
  None of this is ground breaking, earth shattering or even original. Just some thoughts from a guy with a few small systems. I've been thinking this for several years, looking at where we've been and where it looks like we're going. Just some thoughts. 

  Internet: If you don't have it, get it or close up shop. The video business isn't going to get any better. If it wasn't for the Internet subs I would have already sold out or be bankrupt. We started in 2005. Wish I had started sooner. I've been the first with HSI in a town and I've also come in after DSL. Being first is definitely better, but either works. Do it. Especially as cheap as used (but perfectly suitable) gear is now. 

  Video: It's sickening. Programmers rape us. Broadcasters rape us. Small guys have basically 0 leverage to negotiate with the broadcasters or the programmers. As an example, I added a network fairly recently. As I started the process the coop didn't have a contract with the programmer so I contacted the programmer to get a direct contract. They sent me there first price offer. Just as I received the offer I see news that the coop is negotiating with the programmer. I think, Great! I'll wait on them and should get a much better price. Coop price was 1.5c/sub cheaper than the initial offer I received and the carriage requirements were the same. All I did was send a couple emails and make a phone call. I don't see how the coop couldn't do significantly better without even trying. 

  Phone: I haven't offered phone service. Maybe I should, maybe not. Most of the comments I hear from customers switching to me from DSL is that they didn't want the phone service to begin with. No DSL without phone so they come to me. I'm sure I have lost a customer or two because I don't have phone service but I don't think its many. Why don't I offer phone? Cell phones, Vonage, Magicjak, hell give a 8 year old an Obihai and they'll have a completely free phone service set up in less than 10 minutes.

  Governmet: What a joke! Who the hell do they think is serving rural America? How much has the government funded upgrades to YOUR systems? But on the other hand, how many government MANDATED (but not funded) upgrades are in your systems? 

  Sorry for the ranting. Call it whining, whatever you want, I don't care. The video business is a sad place to be for a small operator. It's been bad before, but it's worse than I've ever seen. I'm not that old, but I've been around cable tv my entire life. I don't think we're really CATV companies any more. Well not for long anyway. You have to have the Internet to survive and I believe that's really the only thing we really have. We're going to be Cable ISPs soon. CAISP sounds like it might work. Maybe that can be a new buzz word or something. I've believed for a while now that the Netflix/Hulu models are where video is headed. Just a couple of huge programming vendors delivering all the content over IP. I'm just gonna do all I can to make sure it's delivered through my pipes.

That'll do for now. 

Thanks and leave your thoughts, tell me I'm way off base, nutts, whatever. 
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5/20/2013 10:45:29 PM