Washington, D.C. - The broadband pipe won't just be the conduit for Internet content in the future, with cable operators working diligently to provide services like home control, energy management and home health services in the not too distant future, according to a panel session at the Cable Show Tuesday.
At a session moderated by Multichannel News technology editor Jeff Baumgartner entitled "Coming Down the Pipe: Emerging Businesses Powered by Broadband," top tech executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Mediacom Communications and Bright House Networks outlined their strategies for using the robust cable infrastructure for new services. While home security dominated the early part of the conversation - a product that each MSO on the panel has launched - each executive said that even those existing offerings are evolving to include capabilities like thermostat control and other types of home automation.
Time Warner Cable vice president of corporate and new business development Shanti Grandhi added that the push has been to provide services under a connected home banner, providing home security bundled with other products that set it apart from the competition. According to the panelists, about 20% of the home security market is controlled by one company - ADT - but the rest is split between small mom and pop operations that provide services to neighborhoods. Cable operators have been addressing that larger segment by offering products in addition to simple alarms. For example, at Comcast, senior vice president and general manager of new business Mitch Bowling said the MSO includes an Eco Saver feature as part of its XFinity Home Control product that allows customers to set thermostats and turn on and off lights remotely.