Imagine you're a New York City High School age student and you were late for school yesterday. If you're someone who didn't get your cell phone automatically updated or your computer wasn't on to switch to Daylight Savings Time and you relied on the clock on your cable box from Time Warner, you may have been late for school, work or an early morning appointment.
That's because Time Warner's customers, over a million of them in the Metro NY area were affected by the "bug" which made it hard for the set top box to tell time, the New York Times reported yesterday.
To me, this is an indication that we're reaching a point where technology is so much a part of our everyday life that even a issue with the decoder boxes makes the news. We're seeing how closely the press covers the cable world and how it impacts consumers. Thirty years ago, this is the kind of coverage you would see and read about the telephone or power company. The cable industry reached that status ten years ago or so and there's no looking back.
That puts them clearly under more and more of a watchful eye by more and more watchdog groups. With the cable MSO's offering voice services now as a regular offering it will only be a matter of time where they begin to be targeted for "unbundling" as well as monopoly operations.
My long term view is your cable operator will be the pipe to the door, but you'll be able to choose who the "provider" of services is so you can pick the real package you want. It happened with the telcos and it will happen with cable. It's just a matter of time.