56.6 million US consumers to go without pay TV this year, as cord cutting accelerates

Article originally posted on the Yahoo! website here.

By: Sarah Perez

Bad news for traditional pay TV: cord cutting is accelerating at a pace faster than previously estimated. According to a new industry report from eMarketer, there will be 22.2 million cord cutters ages 18 and older this year – a figure that’s up 33.2 percent over 2016. The firm said it’s had to revise its forecast as the pace of cord cutting has increased. Previously, it believed there would only be 15.4 million cord cutters in the U.S.

In addition, the so-called “cord-nevers” – meaning those consumers who never choose to subscribe to traditional cable or satellite TV in the first place – is growing, too. While the pace of that growth is slower – a more modest 5.8 percent this year – the total number of cord-nevers is higher. eMarketer says there will be 34.4 million U.S. adult cord-nevers in 2017.

When you combine the cord cutters and cord-nevers, there will be 56.6 million U.S. non-pay TV viewers this year.

By 2021, eMarketer says the number of cord cutters will nearly equal the number of cord-nevers with 40.1 million for the former, and 41 million for the latter.

The firm attributes its revised forecast, in part, to the growing list of live streaming and over-the-top platforms that are now available.

In addition to existing players like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, in under a year’s time we’ve seen new entrants in the live TV streaming space like AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which arrived late last year; YouTube TV, which launched in April; and Hulu Live TV, which arrived in May. There’s also a growing number of sports streaming services, including fuboTV and Stadium. Meanwhile, major companies have announced similar plans to enter the live streaming space, including CBS Sports and ESPN.

And that’s just live streaming TV.

The on-demand market, which includes Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, and others, is growing, too. Even Disney is prepping its own Netflix competitor.

“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free TV options,: noted Chris Bendtsen, eMarketer’s senior forecasting analyst.

“Last year, even the Olympics and presidential elections could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV,” Bendtsen added.

Another factor accounting for the decline in pay TV viewership has to do with the way we’re now watching video content. U.S. adults simply aren’t watching TV as much as they used to, says eMarketer. The average time spent watching TV, excluding digital, will drop 3.1 percent to 3 hours, 58 minutes – that’s the first time it’s fallen below 4 hours per day, eMarketer notes.

Digital video viewing, meanwhile, has jumped up 9.3 percent over 2016 to reach 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Because of this shift in viewership, the pay TV ad market is now starting to feel the pain of cord cutting, too, the report said. U.S. TV ad spending this year will grow just 0.5 percent to $71.65 billion, a figure that’s down from eMarketer’s prior forecast earlier this year of $72.72 billion.

As a result, TV’s share of the total media ad spending budget in the U.S. will drop to 34.9 percent this year, and is expected to be under 30 percent by 2021.

Of course, the TV ad market isn’t the only one suffering due to cord cutting. Pay TV providers, including Dish, Comcast, Charter, and AT&T, are also feeling the effects on their stock prices as they hemorrhage pay TV subscribers.

 Still, despite the quickening pace of cord cutting, pay TV continues to have a wide audience.

This year, over 196.3 million U.S. adults will watch pay TV (meaning cable, satellite or telco) – a figure that’s down 2.4 percent over 2016. But by 2021, that figure will have dropped nearly 10 percent, compared to five years earlier, to reach 181.7 million.

The only growth in the pay TV market is expected to come from those ages 55 and older. eMarketer says this is the only demographic that will see rising numbers, while all other age groups decline.

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Fast, Reliable Internet Now Available in the Stapleton Area of Baldwin County AL

West Point, GA – Point Broadband, a fiber-fed, fixed wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), announced today that they are signing up customers on their high-speed Internet service in the Stapleton area of Baldwin County.

Over the past several months Point Broadband installed the latest, state-of-the-art, fixed wireless broadband transmission equipment on towers in Baldwin County. This equipment transmits wireless signals to residential and business customers within a radius of the Stapleton Water Tank, located near the intersections of Highways 31 and 59.

“We are thrilled to provide high-speed Internet services to the Stapleton community” said Sherry Sullivan, General Manager of Point Broadband – Baldwin County.  “These residents and businesses have been patiently waiting for our service, and we are excited to deliver on our promise” Sullivan added. Point Broadband already services select customers in Loxley, Belforest, and Malbis, with expanded coverage coming soon. In October, the Atmore (Escambia County) and Bay Minette areas will be online and further expansion into the Robertsdale, Summerdale, Spanish Fort, Silverhill, and Foley areas is expected in the future.

Point Broadband offers 10Mbps and 20Mbps service for residential and business customers ranging from $64 to $94 per month, with a one-time, standard installation fee. Higher speed and customized service offerings are also available for homes and businesses. Fast Internet from Point Broadband allows customers to “cut the cord” with their expensive satellite or cable provider through streaming video services and save over $1,000 a year. See the Cut the Cord page for more details at http://point-broadband.com/cut-the-cord/

Please contact Point Broadband Customer Service at 844-407-6468 to schedule an installation appointment for new service.

Point Broadband Selects NuTEQ’s GOCare™ Mobile Customer Care Solution

Alpharetta, GA – (September 11, 2017) – NuTEQ Solutions, LLC, a SaaS provider of mobile customer care, today announced that Point Broadband has selected GOCare for Mobile Customer Relationship Management.

GOCare™ is a cloud-based, fully-integrated solution enabling proactive and interactive communications with the subscriber via their mobile devices. GOCare clients realize material cost reductions and improved customer experiences. GOCare embraces today’s consumer “mobile-first” mindset and preferences for service providers that are ‘easy to do business with’. GOCare has earned multiple industry recognitions for innovation including CIO Review Magazine’s 20 Most Promising Utilities Technologies, 2015 Cable Spotlight Product of the Year Award from Cable.TMCnet.com, and Multichannel News’ 2014 Innovator Awards.

“Today’s consumers seek simplicity and convenience” said Cam Lanier, Chairman of Point Broadband. “Point Broadband provides high-quality broadband service to underserved markets at very competitive prices. Our employees identified GOCare as a powerful self-help tool for our subscribers and a key point of differentiation in the competitive broadband industry. GOCare recognizes consumer preference for mobile, self-help technology in delivering a better experience at a lower cost”, concluded Mr. Lanier.

“Point Broadband represents NuTEQ’s foray into the Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) industry and the first client to leverage our recently announced integration with Sonar Software”, stated Mike Roddy, Chief Executive Officer of NuTEQ Solutions. “The Point Broadband team sought an advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to empower the consumer with anytime, anywhere access to account information and self-help tools,” Mike offered. “GOCare clients consistently experience lower operating costs through reduced call volume, a virtual elimination of missed customer appointments, and accelerated subscriber collections,” Mike concluded.

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 About NuTEQ Solutions

NuTEQ Solutions provides software solutions to the broadband and utility industries. Our SaaS portfolio delivers new revenues, reduces operating costs, and improves customer satisfaction. NuTEQ’s GOCare has been recognized for numerous industry awards over the past several years. NuTEQ was founded by industry veterans Mike Roddy and Rick Perkins and is headquartered in Alpharetta, GA.

About Point Broadband

Point Broadband is headquartered in West Point, Georgia. We are a proud subsidiary of ITC Capital Partners, LLC. ITC has a century-long history of providing innovative communication solutions to its customers, with a focus on serving the communities where its customers live. ITC has been successful building, owning, and operating wireless networks and broadband businesses over many years.

Fast, Reliable Internet Now Available in Pontotoc Mississippi

West Point, GA – Point Broadband, a fiber-fed, fixed, Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), based in West Point, Ga, announced today that they are signing up customers on their high-speed Internet service in Pontotoc, Mississippi.  “We entered into agreements with the city of Pontotoc for access to its municipal towers, so we can provide high-speed Internet services to the residents in Pontotoc,” said Jeff Couch, General Manager of Point Broadband – Mississippi.

“We installed the latest, state-of-the-art, fixed wireless broadband transmission equipment on these city towers” added Couch.  Service is already being delivered to test customers, and they are signing up new customers every day.

Reps for the company will be present at the upcoming Bodock Festival on September 15-16, and can sign up new customers at this event. In the coming weeks, reps plan to blitz the area in a door-to-door sales campaign, and will also host a ribbon cutting at their store located at 222 West Reynolds Street.

Point Broadband offers 10Mbps and 20Mbps service for residential and business customers ranging from $64 to $94 per month, with a one-time, standard installation fee. Higher speed, customized service offerings are also available for homes and businesses.

Please contact Point Broadband Customer Support at 844-407-6468 to schedule an installation appointment for new service.

About Point Broadband

Point Broadband is headquartered in West Point, Georgia. We are a proud subsidiary of ITC Capital Partners, LLC. ITC has a century long history of providing innovative communication solutions to its customers, with a focus on serving the communities where its customers live. ITC has been successful building, owning and operating wireless networks and broadband businesses over many years.

We want to be more than just your Internet provider. We want to help customers connect friends and family, help businesses connect with more customers, and just simply make the world a better place. With no monthly usage data caps and no contracts, our customers have the flexibility to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time.  (point-broadband.com)

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The Many Ways to Watch Television

You now have dozens of options, from antennas to new streaming services

By James K. Willcox

Originally posted on Consumer Reports website. See their article here.

It wasn’t too long ago that your options for catching favorite TV shows or movies at home were limited mainly to an antenna or a cable-TV package.

As you can see from the diagram below, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can watch many of the same shows and movies any number of ways, including from cable and satellite providers, various online services, and yes, even with a trusty antenna. Here’s a quick look at all the services clamoring for your attention—and dollars.

ILLUSTRATION: THE TOM AGENCY

Your Expanding Options

 

Online Cable Replacement

Services such as Sling TV and Hulu With Live TV compete directly with cable by offering live channels online for a monthly fee of around $20 to $40. But the choices can be limited. You can get a smattering of broadcast (such as ABC and NBC) and cable-type (Bravo, CNN, HGTV) channels. Premium channels (HBO, Showtime) may be on tap for an added fee. For more details, check out our article on cable-TV replacement services.

Single-Channel Websites, Apps

You can subscribe to some TV channels’ websites and apps to watch just their shows without signing up for a larger TV package. CBS, HBO, Showtime, and Starz all offer this option. Some channels have apps that let you watch their content only if you are already paying through a cable or satellite subscription.

Subscription Streaming

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other smaller players charge a subscription fee, usually around $8 to $10 per month, for unlimited viewing of all their TV content and movies, including original shows such as Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Shows are delivered over the internet, so you can watch on a computer, smart TV, or mobile device.

Pay-per-View Services

Services such as iTunes and Vudu let you rent or buy single titles—a movie, one episode of a show, or a whole season. Amazon Video—the company’s pay-per-view service—offers this option, too. (Note, Amazon Prime members: Not all of Amazon’s content is included with your subscription.)

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TV Antennas Make a Comeback

What’s not to like about free TV? And it’s going to get even better soon.

By James K. Willcox

June 27, 2017

Originally posted on Consumer Reports website. See their article here.

TV antennas aren’t as outdated as you might think. If you live near a city, there’s a good chance you can get networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, and Telemundo over the air.

The main benefit, of course, is that the broadcasts are free. But there are other advantages, too.

The quality of the picture may be better than what cable provides because the signals may be less compressed. And many stations now offer “sub-channels” with programs such as older TV shows or public channels that may not be available on cable.

The other good news? Even more viewing options are on the way. A new technical standard, called ATSC 3.0, will let broadcasters send high-quality 4K TV signals over the air, something they can’t do today. You’ll also be able to get internet content through your TV antenna, too.

Other anticipated benefits include better coverage in spotty reception areas, and the ability to receive broadcasts on your smartphone.

There will be some downsides, however. You may have to pay for some content, and today’s TVs won’t be compatible with the new broadcasts. All of these developments will be rolled out over several years—nothing is changing in 2017, and today’s TVs aren’t in danger of becoming obsolete anytime soon.

For now, TV antennas as inexpensive as $30 work well for many people—but they can require some fiddling. Follow these quick tips to get the best reception:

  • Try the antenna in different spots around the room, preferably near a window. See whether placing it in a higher location, such as an attic, helps.
  • Try an amplified TV antenna if you live far from a broadcast tower or your reception is marginal.
  • Rescan for channels periodically; you might get a new station or two.

Credit: Consumer Reports

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Point Broadband Customer Testimonial – Roy Jaeger – Bainbridge GA Area

At Point Broadband we don’t just pretend to have exceptional customer service. We actually do have exceptional customer service. Please don’t take our word for it – listen Point Broadband customer Roy Jaeger, one of our new friends in our Bainbridge, GA market.

Are you ready for our #FastReliableInternet? We are here to serve you! Call us today: 844-407-6468

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Point Broadband Network Upgrade Complete in Colquitt GA

West Point, GA – Point Broadband, a fiber-fed, Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), based in West Point, Georgia announced today that the massive network upgrade in Colquitt GA has been completed. Earlier this year, Point Broadband acquired certain assets of Turner Broadband and made a commitment to upgrade the network to the latest, state-of-the-art, fixed wireless broadband technology, providing fast and reliable internet service to the former Turner Broadband customers and new customers in the Bainbridge and Colquitt areas.

Point Broadband has replaced and installed new transmission equipment and has upgraded existing customers’ modems to deliver faster speeds and consistent service. “We are thrilled that many of the existing Colquitt customers are already converted to the new system,” said Point Broadband’s VP of Operations Jason Gauntt. “We are actively signing up new customers in the Colquitt area every day,” added Gauntt.

Point Broadband continues to show a strong community presence in Bainbridge and Colquitt. Reps for the company will be present at Franklin Spring Creek Ford on Monday, July 31st from 2:00 to 6:00 PM to take orders for new service and answer questions about how Point Broadband is connecting these communities. An additional event will take place in front of the Point Broadband store on Calhoun Street in Bainbridge on Tuesday, August 1st from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Reps will also blitz the area in a door-to-door sales campaign through next week.

Point Broadband offers 10Mbps and 20Mbps service for residential and business customers ranging from $69 to $99 per month, with a one-time, standard installation fee. Higher speed, customized service offerings are also available for homes and businesses.

Please contact Point Broadband Customer Support at 844-407-6468 if you have any questions regarding your current service, or to schedule an installation appointment for new service.

About Point Broadband

Point Broadband is headquartered in West Point, Georgia. We are a proud subsidiary of ITC Capital Partners, LLC. ITC has a century long history of providing innovative communication solutions to its customers, with a focus on serving the communities where its customers live. ITC has been successful building, owning and operating wireless networks and broadband businesses over many years.

We want to be more than just your Internet provider. We want to help customers connect friends and family, help businesses connect with more customers, and just simply make the world a better place. With no monthly usage data caps and no contracts, our customers have the flexibility to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time.  (point-broadband.com)

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Contact:

Taylor Nipper – VP Marketing
(770) 680-0684
tnipper@point-broadband.com

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How Much Broadband Do You Really Need?

Originally posted on Consumer Reports website. See their article here.

June 22, 2017

Audio and video aren’t created equal when it comes to their demands on your broadband service. The difference is measured in bit rate—how much data travels to your home each second. You can see the bit rates needed to stream a few types of entertainment below.

But even though you may be getting relatively fast Internet service, the actual speed can vary, especially at peak viewing times, like right after work. During these times, services such as Netflix may compensate for a slower connection by downgrading the video quality you see. And if most of your streaming device are connected to the internet wirelessly, your WiFi also affect performance. (See “How WiFi Makes Waves,” below).

Fast Broadband

Broadband networks of just a few years ago would have sputtered and stalled if faced with today’s consumers and their appetite for streaming services.

However, networks are faster now. The average U.S. broadband speed hit 50 megabits per second last summer. That’s a 40 percent jump from 2015, according to Ookla, the company behind Speedtest.net, a tool consumers can use to measure their home’s internet speed.

Download speed is critical for video streaming; upload speed matters if you share a lot of videos or play online games. Note that web speeds can slow in the evening during the data equivalent of rush hour.

Your household’s viewing habits matter, too. As data enters your home, it’s distributed via WiFi. If several people are watching movies on separate devices, you may start to notice decreased performance.

A final factor is WiFi strength, which may be inconsistent from room to room. If it is, try moving the router to a central spot. If you have a very old router, consider buying one that follows the 802.11ac standard; the router should be faster and more secure.

Credit: Consumer Reports

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the August 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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What’s the Difference Between Mobile (Phone) Wireless Internet & Point Broadband Internet?

“What type of technology is Point Broadband? Is it like mobile phone hotspots?”

These types of questions are some of our favorite to answer! We are happy to say that we do not use mobile wireless technology. Instead, we use newer Fixed Wireless LTE technology. Whereas mobile wireless technology comes from one fixed point, we utilize two fixed locations to provide you with internet. Remember the old-school Nintendo game “Duck Hunt?” What made that game so difficult was that the ducks moved, making it hard to hit the target. Mobile wireless technology used by cell phone companies can sometimes be like that, always trying to hit a moving target. Instead, our internet locks in on one fixed location and is sent to another fixed location: your home or business. Add this up, and you have fast, reliable internet, #PoweredbyPoint.

Not only that, but unlike the mobile phone companies, we don’t cap your data each month (Ever! That’s right, use as much data as you’d like!), and because of that, we can offer high speed, reliable internet that is really good for gaming, streaming online video (Netflix, Hulu, YouTubeTV, and Amazon Instant Video), and much more!

If you’d like to stay up to speed on where Point Broadband is going, then please “like” our page, as we publish updates often. If you’d like us to consider coming to your area, then fill out this form and share with your friends too!

Thanks for considering Point Broadband – we’re happy to serve you!