Spotlight: Bring on the geeks

Do telcos need to re-think maintenance and repair services for residential customers rapidly creating their own home networks? That is what BusinessWeek thinks, saying the telcos should take a few hints from Best Buy's Geek Squad and similar retailer tech help services. The funny thing is that telcos have been trying to get out of that business, moving to more remote maintenance solutions where possible to avoid the cost of truck rolls. Is rolling out a geek in a VW Bug any cheaper than a truck roll? (Well, of course, the gas mileage is better.)

Telcos had the original Geek Squads, although those big, tough guys who did that work would blanch at being called geeks--blanch and then punch you in the face (kidding, maybe). The broadband-networked home is indeed becoming a more complex technology environment, but short of automating it as much as possible, or selling IT-help-line services to consumers, as some telcos have experimented with, telcos might just want to think about outsourcing technician house calls, perhaps to an outfit like Best Buy's Geek Squad. Check out this coverage at BusinessWeek