Putting Broadband and DTV Together
Tie-ins with media center PC products are obvious. It's also worth keeping an eye on promotional campaigns that DSL and cable modem providers are cooking up for hardware tie-in opportunities.
Broadband is a rapidly shifting landscape. For example, Covad Communications, an independent broadband network provider, had once been left for dead. Now Covad has reemerged as a significant combatant. Last month, it unveiled an alliance with AOL to provide Broadband Connect as a modestly priced high-speed option for AOL, which has also been constantly dismissed as a lost cause.
And then there's the satellite option. Although 98 percent of U.S. broadband service is delivered via cable or DSL, several satellite companies offer residential broadband access—primarily to rural customers. Hughes Network Systems and StarBand are the largest satellite broadband suppliers, both with extensive retail relationships. Several newcomers are on the horizon, including WildBlue. Again, the opportunity to link broadband video and audio content services to digital home hardware looms large.