Carriers increasingly eschew the home visit, a trend that will remain post-COVID-19

There was already a growing trend toward carriers encouraging self-installation of modems and new cable set-top boxes Pre-COVID-19, but this is now becoming a requirement, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Tammy Parker, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Service providers should aim to make all in-home installations and repairs self-service as much as possible – not only in response to the COVID-19 crisis but also because they will gain flexibility and cost-savings from such initiatives.”

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Existing and potential customers who are living their lives at home under COVID-19 lockdowns are clamoring for broadband service and video entertainment in one form or another. Yet, technicians who would normally go into people’s residences to install or repair such services are also expected to maintain social distancing to keep themselves and their customers healthy. That has led various communications services providers (CSPs) to undertake different approaches aimed at providing service assistance while taking precautions.

Parker continues: “In the absence of self-installation options, social distancing, personal protective equipment and customer screening have all become part of the new indoor installation experience.”

While the need for high-speed internet in residences has never been greater, the story is less rosy for pay-TV. Despite traditional pay-TV providers’ best efforts at conducting business as usual, market share will continue to be ceded to over-the-top competition, particularly if job losses continue amid waves of COVID-19 societal lockdowns. Although people stranded at home are seeking entertainment, the newly unemployed and other budget-conscious consumers will increasingly search for options that are less costly than linear TV programming delivered by network-based providers.

Parker concludes: “Self-installation initiatives will continue even after the COVID-19 crisis eases. Service providers will learn from best practices being put into place now to become more nimble in the future.”

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