When the tide is surging against traditional cable video service bundles and towards Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services, what’s an operator to do? Rather than get swept up in an undertow of cord-cutters, operators can instead seize on the opportunities to drive broadband revenues and improve the quality of experience and overall satisfaction of their customers.

While a wave of headlines has been highlighting the entry of new D2C services and the negative impact of cord cutting, the latest edition of the OpenVault Broadband Industry report (OVBI) shows that significant new opportunities await for operators. By helping customers understand the broadband requirements for high quality video streaming, operators can right-size their subscribers to the necessary bandwidth speeds.  These higher speeds, while not only bringing in higher ARPU for the operator, can give subscribers the speeds they need to consume high quality streaming video simultaneously across multiple devices. 

Let’s connect the OVBI data dots: In Q3 of this year, cord cutters chewed through more than half a terabyte of data per month – 520.8 GB – almost double the monthly average usage for subscribers on Usage-Based Billing and Flat-Rate Billing plans.  OVBI also shows that more than two thirds of those cord cutters didn’t upgrade to higher-level packages when they severed their video bundles; moreover, 4% actually downgraded. (Register here for a Monday, November 18 (3 p.m. EST) webinar with more insights.)  

It’s likely that many of these cord cutters now are bumping up against tier limits or creating traffic jams that impact network performance – or both. The result can leave operators awash in negatives: dissatisfied customers, sluggish networks and increased demand on broadband customer support resources at the same time that video and video equipment revenues have vanished.

Arming customer retention teams with facts about cord-cutting usage and an individual customer’s behavior can help operators turn the revenue tide. Do customers know that their usage and their data plans have become misaligned, especially as their streaming video consumption has increased in recent months?  Do they understand how the streaming of video to multiple devices simultaneously can impact experiences? Have they thought about the ability of their current package to support that 4K TV they’re buying for the holidays?   

By using tools such as those available from OpenVault to gain insights into broadband usage and the home ecosystem, operators can improve how the video disconnect call can be wielded to communicate the value of a higher speed package. Ultimately, that can create the foundation for an improved customer experience and can help generate revenue that can help to compensate for lost video CPE revenues. 

There’s no question that the rapid proliferation of D2C services and the availability of new delivery systems has brought an ocean of change to cable operators. By gaining and utilizing insights into broadband usage, they can create packages that help the industry ride the wave of change, rather than swimming against the tide.