New kids on the block
As U.S. cable and telecommunications companies have grown ever-larger in size via consolidation, a rash of small, regional service providers have sprung up around the country. Theyre promising to bring new services at reasonable prices to their customers. Theyre promising killer customer service. Theyre promising bundled services on a single bill.
In short, theyre hoping to replicate the cable industrys approach from several years ago, when community was an integral part of any successful cable companys mantra. These are companies focused on providing the global reach of the Internet, with local content and care. Because theyre small, they hope to be nimble and add services faster than any corporate Goliath could convene a meeting.
Call them what you willoverbuilders, broadband service providers or competitive service providersthese companies all see an opportunity to capitalize on the advancements being made in the voice, video and data industries and provide their customers with nearly every service imaginable. Some are highly ambitiousothers are more modest in their goals. But all of them represent the groundswell of interest in providing ubiquitous information and entertainment, on demand.
What follows are brief snapshots of some of the better-known service providers and the strategies they've put in place to compete.