IN PERSPECTIVE: What’s in a name?

Tue, 03/31/2009 - 8:35pm
Brian Santo, Editor

There are fewer and fewer differences between cable companies and phone companies.

Verizon can legitimately be considered the seventh-largest cable operator. With 1.9 million video subscribers, it is larger than Insight, Mediacom and Suddenlink, with Bright House Networks next on the list. Comcast, meanwhile, has surpassed one of the three remaining Baby Bells – Qwest – to become the country’s third-largest phone service Brian Santoprovider.

Verizon and AT&T hardly qualify as “babies,” though – maybe we should call them Adolescent Bells?

But I digress. …

Actually, no, come to think of it, I don’t. What you name a thing can be fairly important. Ask Marion Morrison.* Or ask Verizon, which is studiously avoiding referring to itself as a phone company anymore.

There are fewer and fewer differences between cable companies and phone companies, especially from a consumer’s perspective. From equipment vendors’ perspective, there remain some significant differences, but the number of distinctions is diminishing. There are regulatory differences, but those are being chipped away, too.

Whatever we call these multiple service providers, acting as if they exist in two completely separate categories is becoming less justifiable.

With that in mind, CED invited Verizon and AT&T to participate in our annual CTO roundtable this year; we’re gratified AT&T was able to accept. The article begins on page 20.

Also this month, I’m pleased to reintroduce you to our new publisher, Rhonda Rhodes. I’m calling it a “reintroduction” because many of you already know Rhonda as our associate publisher/western account manager. Bonus? CED continues to benefit from the presence of Bill Parker, who will pick up responsibility for CED’s strategy. Rhonda and Bill will be with the rest of us from CED, traipsing the floor at the Cable Connection events; be sure to stop us and say hello.

*aka John Wayne


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