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MSO Cable Wants to Cut the Cord

The cable industry long ago widened its ambitions beyond video, addicting millions of customers to cable modems and more recently adding voice over internet protocol telephony to its menu. Insiders call this video-voice-data combo the "triple play" strategy. So with a trifecta of moneymaking schemes on its plate, the cable guys must be pretty satisfied, right? Uh, no. "We're all still waiting for that aha moment in which we have a portable device that came from the cable company," said Dale Fox, vice president of digital phone at Time Warner Cable. That's right. The cable industry wants you to chuck your cable -- at least when you're outside the house. The addition of a fourth wireless component to the cable package is now affectionately known as the "quadruple play." At the annual meeting of CTAM, the cable industry's top sales and marketing folks gathered in Philly this week to figure out new ways to get at your wallet. And while the conference focused on many topics, including better customer service, VOIP, video on demand and improving cable-modem speeds, the big buzz was about mobility. After all, customers now want to take their entertainment and communications with them everywhere they go. The last thing cable operators want is to be left out of that party.

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