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January 17, 2019 by Matt Davis

Cloud’s Impact on Broadband Competition – Change is Coming…

As the first stop for access to the Internet and all of the service and applications that come with it, Internet service providers have faced dynamic and relentless change for just over 20 years. In that time, the tools required to compete have changed as well. At first, the primary requirement was availability – just get broadband out there and it would sell itself. Next came the urgency to compete with bundles – most importantly, the triple play. More recently, as the sheer number of internet applications has grown and video streaming rapidly advanced, bundling gave way to raw broadband speed – which is still where we sit today. But change is coming…

In September 2018, Independence Research LLC conducted an online survey exploring the evolution of the consumer Internet market which is rapidly moving beyond a speed competition to one that puts a premium on reliability.  The results show that proliferation of multiple in-home devices ranging from phones and tablets to gaming consoles and smart TV’s, coupled with a growing list of Internet connected home appliances, services and applications make true “always on” an ever-increasing network requirement.  

 

The increasing dependence on consistently reliable internet connectivity creates an opportunity for service providers to take advantage of new cloud-based capabilities that can quickly diagnose and sometimes even anticipate issues with broadband delivery – both to the home, and perhaps even more importantly within the home.

For example, service providers using cloud-based analytics can quickly tell if a customer’s internet problems are caused by a Wi-Fi issue (almost 50% of respondents said they encountered Wi-Fi problems in the last year or so) or something deeper in the network. Or, they can see that a household is consistently bumping up against its speed ceiling and may be better served by a different tier of internet service. The overall impact is that it allows the service provider to understand their customers in a much more intelligent way and to dramatically improve the customer experience. Customers would prefer to have to never think about their internet connection, but when issues arise they want them fixed immediately. Developing the capability to use analytics-based capabilities to anticipate and troubleshoot network issues, more effectively target customer needs, and offer new and relevant services is the next phase in the broadband evolution.

Change is coming, and service providers can adopt cloud-based analytics now and lead; or deploy it later and follow – in either case, it looks like using analytics to enhance customer experience is just a matter of time.

On January 23, I am partnering with Calix to present a detailed analysis of U.S. consumer responses to the questions of customer experience, satisfaction and increasing dependency on high quality internet services. Areas analyzed will include: reasons for broadband churn, customer support issues, Wi-Fi issues, higher tier upsell opportunities, targeted marketing opportunities and much more. Register here to join the live webinar.