Comcast, Time Warner Cable offering home-security


Why not? — the broadband connection is already there. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are looking use their broadband service to protect subscribers with home-security system offerings.

The domestic electronic security industry generates $33.25 billion annually, according to the Gold Book, a publication produced by Security Sales & Integration magazine. About 1 in 5 homes nationwide has some sort of monitored security system, said Don Boerema, chief marketing officer of ADT, the industry leader in home security with 6 million customers, or 26% of the market.

Those numbers make home security attractive for cable companies.

“All of our research said it was a good business to go after,” Keith Burkley, Time Warner Cable’s SVP responsible for the company’s Intelligent Home security system told the LA Times. “The market is 20% penetrated, and we really believe it is going to grow to over 30%.”

And indeed, cable companies already have a pipeline to a customer base. New wireless technology has made entry into the home-security business cheap. Wireless allows for video cameras, motion detectors and door sensors. Even lights and the thermostat can be controlled from a remote both inside and outside the home through wireless systems.

“It’s taking the best of security and marrying it with the cutting edge of technology,” Mitch Bowling, Comcast’s SVP/GM of new businesses told the paper.

Bear in mind, the MSOs aren’t sending their own security teams to respond to burglaries. When something is amiss, they alert the owner and the police.

Neither Time Warner Cable nor Comcast would tell The Times how many home-security customers they have signed up. Comcast has rolled out its Xfinity Home Security in several markets, including suburban Philadelphia, Nashville, Indianapolis and parts of New Jersey. Time Warner Cable is launching its service in New York, Charlotte, and Southern California, where it has about 2 million subscribers.

RBR-TVBR observation: There are two very lucrative opportunities for MSOs to capitalize on the home security market: 1. Folks moving into new homes or new0ly-pruchased homes and 2) Price-conscious consumers who will jump at the chance of a great deal on a year/2-year bundle—cable, home security, phone and internet. The thought of one-stop shopping is appealing as well—one visit from the technician. The only hurdle is customer service reputations for some of the cable companies: The mindset is often they don’t show up on time (even though the cable provider doesn’t supply the security). That perception doesn’t fly well when it comes to protection of loved ones.