James sent me an email telling me that he was enjoying the blog and that he agreed with my a-la-carte opinion. Thanks for writing! But he also asked the following excellent question, which I thought was worth sharing with everyone.
There are two separate issues in this question I'd like to address. First, cable operators continue to spend very heavily on upgrading and grooming their networks. We are preparing for super-high broadband speeds and for much, much more in high definition video, both in new networks and our video-on-demand platform. So even though the basic HFC (hybrid fiber coax) plant is deployed and will be usable for years to come, much is being done to remain in the forefront of the ever-changing demands of 21st century telecommunications.
Despite this ongoing capital spending, it is also true that customers now have opportunities to save hundreds of dollars each year when they take advantage of any one of the bundling opportunities we make available to them. I know that at Insight, over half of our customers subscribe to one of the bundled packages we offer, getting the benefit of the discounts they bring. So, even if you hear that one benchmark rate -- the "Classic" basic video service rate -- may be increased at some time during the year, the discount opportunities we offer more than offset those increases.
Everyday, more and more customers are taking advantage of those savings.
Good for them and good for us!