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Exec Says Cable Marketing Needs Work

6/06/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The cable industry is in the process of locking itself into a no-holds-barred match with the nation's telecom industry over which technology will supply entertainment and communication services to consumers.

Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, pointed to several areas where cable companies must improve. And he asked for the federal government to supply a level playing field through regulation so cable companies can compete with their telephone-centric adversaries.

“We need to advocate for reasonable regulation and advocate for a level playing field. This will allow the consumer to decide who wins,” Britt said at a CableLabs conference, held here last month. Britt did not elaborate on what legislation he would like to see passed.

Other industrywide issues that need addressing are improved marketing skills and better interoperable capabilities between cable operators. Britt said that to better compete with the telcos national standards, such as DOCSIS, have to be in place and utilized by cable providers.

Britt then praised the satellite industry for the excellent job it is has done marketing that service.

“Satellite is actually higher priced then cable, but most people don't think that because satellite has done a great job marketing,” he said.

Narrowing his focus down to Time Warner, Britt said the company is focusing its efforts on improving customer service.

“We want to turn customer service into a competitive advantage. We don't want to talk about customer service as a cost to be minimized, but how to turn it into a good experience,” he said, adding that more than half of Time Warner's customers call for customer service help each month, so the opportunity is there to regularly make a good impression on a large portion of the company's customer base.

Bringing voice services online is another Time Warner priority, Britt said. Public acceptance of voice over IP technology has picked up speed to the point where Time Warner biggest issue is keeping up with demand.