Cable customer care leaves room for improvement, execs say

The cable industry “has to get better at customer care,” as telcos continue to push into providing TV and broadband, Comcast Cable COO Steve Burke said during the opening session of SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia. “We have a long way to go,” he said.

And, he said, the industry needs to fix its issues quickly, especially with Verizon’s FiOS lurking. “We need to be better at proactively monitoring our networks,” he said. “If we don’t fix that reliability it’s going to stop us from bringing exciting things to market.”

Burke said Comcast will squeak out every bit of bandwidth to be able to offer all channels in high def, and will begin reclaiming its analog bandwidth this year.

“Ultimately every single channel is going to be in high def,” Burke said. “We just need more capacity. We have to make this investment. We have to do it. We have to get going and now’s the time.”

Charter Communications President and CEO Neil Smit agreed, saying cable operators needed a level-by-level approach to repair damaged relationships with customers who’ve come to expect sometimes substandard service from cable operators. “I don’t think it’s one solution; it’s a lot of singles and maybe a double here or there,” he said.

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