New Products, Local Presence Boost Business Services

Top execs say differentiation key in increasingly crowded field
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NEWPORT, R.I. – Business services continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the cable business, but as the market matures operators are being forced to look at the business in a new way, coming up with additional services and differentiating themselves from what is becoming a crowded field.

Most cable operators have been in the business for decades – Cox Business lit up its first telephony market in the 1990s and has grown its business services segment from about $100 million in annual revenue in the 90s to around $2 billion this year. That success, especially in New England, Cox Business eastern region VP Hyman Sukiennik said that has forced the company to delve deeper into its relationships with customers.

“We’re so heavily penetrated, [we have] so much wallet share, now it’s a question of what additional products and services we can bring,” Sukiennik said at a panel session during the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association annual conference Thursday. He added that one product the company is especially excited about is business security services, which was launched at the beginning of the year, and includes protection and surveillance products.

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