As the telco-cable battle rages on...
This Fourth of July weekend, SBC
, the second-largest U.S. telecommunications company, will make their strongest move to lure customers away from the cable companies.
According to executives with SBC they see a two- to three-year window to grab customers as cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner ramp up their voice services. SBC, under Project Lightspeed
, is planning on rolling out their own video service (IPTV) next year.
SBC Communications Inc. announced a new promotion — which begins July 1 — designed to encourage consumers to declare their independence from high cable prices and to switch to SBC Internet and video services. Consumers who "cut the cable cord" and provide a recent cable bill to SBC companies are eligible for three free months of SBC Yahoo! DSL and SBC | DISH Network satellite TV service. The three-months-free savings for both services range from approximately $170 to $340, depending on the packages selected. In addition, consumers will reap further savings on those SBC services, compared with typical monthly cable prices for similar services.
Additionally, SBC companies announced that the highly popular, online limited-time-only offer for SBC Yahoo! DSL service for $14.95 a month, with a one-year term, will now be available through SBC call centers for new residential DSL customers who already have or who will purchase key service bundles such as SBC Connections, which include local and long distance phone service and custom-calling features like Caller ID.
Both promotions — backed by mass-media advertising campaigns in major markets — further the SBC strategy of growing its broadband share by encouraging dial-up Internet users to upgrade to DSL and cable Internet customers to switch.
A recent national survey conducted on behalf of SBC companies highlights just how anxious consumers are for more competition. When asked to compare which moment in American history best describes their reaction to ever-increasing cable rates, 40 percent said they simply "surrender" like the British at Yorktown during the American Revolution — giving up and going along with it.
"With this exciting promotion, we're letting consumers know they can exercise their freedom of choice and declare their independence from already high monthly cable bills that continue to increase," said Scott Helbing, senior vice president-SBC Consumer Marketing. "We're urging consumers to do the math and compare what they're paying now for their complete set of services to our competitively priced bundles of communications and entertainment services. They will find our savings liberating."
Beginning July 1, cable customers who switch can take advantage of one or both SBC offers but must mail in a recent cable bill with the appropriate service or services to SBC companies in order to receive bill credits for the three-months-free savings depending on services and packages selected. The SBC Yahoo! DSL-cable-switcher offer is a limited-time offer beginning on July 1; the SBC | DISH Network-cable-switcher offer is available now through Sept. 30.
Residential customers who take advantage of the switcher offer can receive SBC Yahoo! DSL Express (up to 1.5Mbps) for $14.95 a month, with qualifying packages, or $29.95 without a package or bundle of services. Eligible residential customers can receive SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro (1.5-3.0 Mbps) for $24.99 a month, with qualifying packages, or $36.99 without a package or bundle of services.
The residential-customer-switcher offer for either SBC Yahoo! DSL Express or SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro service includes a $99 DSL modem, which is free after a $49.01 instant credit and a $49.99 mail-in rebate.
Residential SBC Yahoo! DSL service requires a one-year term and SBC local phone service; other monthly charges also apply.
Consumers who take advantage of the switcher offer can receive SBC | DISH Network satellite TV service packages, including America's Top 120 for $42.99 a month; America's Top 180 for $52.99 a month; America's Everything Package for $86.99 a month; or equivalent Spanish-language programming packages. In addition, as part of the cable-switcher promotion, customers can receive three free months of HBO and Showtime Unlimited premium channels, which normally retail for $13.99 and $11.99 a month, adding on as much as $77 in savings; that offer expires Aug. 15.
For additional information on these promotions and SBC products and services, consumers can visit www.sbc.com or contact a SBC customer service representative.
*A total of 610 telephone interviews were conducted with a national sample of cable television subscribers, 18 years of age and older, via the ORC International weekly telephone omnibus. Interviewing was conducted June 17- 20, 2005, and results were weighted to reflect actual distribution of the population.