FierceTelecom 2010 Prediction: Cable gets down to business

Cable operators may face an initial perception problem that they are nothing more than just video providers, but it's clear that will just continue to expand their ambitions as an alternative communications provider for businesses customers in 2010. Throughout 2009, cable continued to make progress in targeting SMBs and even medium-sized businesses with their traditional HFC-based DOCSIS 2.0 and DOCSIS 3.0-enabled networks, delivering a mix of their traditional cable modem and Ethernet service, voice, and even video. Interestingly, cable is also providing customized video packages for its business clientele--a service that Cox Business says is actually a 'churn reducer.' Similarly, Time Warner Cable's TWC Business Class unit launched a two-pronged standard and high-definition video packages through channel partners for SMBs, while Cox Business launched a video set for the hospitality market. At the same time, cable operators will continue to build out their respective fiber network footprints to target not only larger business clients, but increasingly wireless backhaul opportunities that reside along the same path.

You don't have to look too far for proof of cable's desires for 2010. Earlier this year, Cox Business, Charter and Time Warner Cable all outlined their desire to grow their business revenues and networks to serve the business user during a conference on cable in business. Out of the three mentioned here, Cox Business is clearly the most ambitious. The company has set a lofty goal of achieving $2 billion in business revenues within the next six years. Also not to be overlooked in 2010's cable business drive is Comcast. While Comcast might appear to behind the business curve, the company, which really got off to its business start in 2006, has set the wheels in motion for growth with its impending acquisition of Cimco.

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