The S+ system provides cable companies with the ability to check the serviceability of addresses (especially those that are designated ‘nevers’) and pinpoint those that have a changed status. Below we discuss the algorithm we use in S+ and the cable company’s input that can make it perform in the way that is most useful to the company.
HOW IT WORKS: Getting started using S+ is easy. We work with the cable company to put in place two things:
(1) a process to receive monthly snapshots of the company’s customer base (actives, formers, nevers).
(2) a full list of all the 5- or 7- digit zip codes that are within footprint.
For each address record in the customer base we typically need (in addition to names, addresses, phones) two fields: the current designation of address type (for example single family, multifamily, small business, etc.) and current designation of serviceability status.
Regarding serviceability status – we typically divide the status into four levels:
Every month we run our serviceability algorithms to determine all addresses that have an improvement in serviceability. We provide a list of these addresses to the company on a monthly basis, along with the change in serviceability status. Those addresses that move into the first two categories above are often included in campaign prospect selection.
We work with the cable company to set the distance bounds for each of these status codes. As new actives are added to the customer base each month, this may open up additional homes that we find are between two actives, or within the distance that can be approved without special dispensation. Likewise, as new actives are added the base, this can improve the serviceability of addresses close by those new actives. So an address that was previously non-serviceable may become immediately serviceable or within a distance that allows for an immediate sales contact, based on the distance of this address from a new active.
As noted above, we work with the cable company at the start of the project to set the distance bounds for the different status codes. We incorporate many other considerations, such as physically limiting features such as a river or major interstate highway, in our algorithms. Another example here could be the need to limit potentially new serviceable addresses to be within 200 feet of a serviceable address BUT on the same side of the street.
We work with the company at the start of the process to define these distance limits, but it is no problem to adjust these values at any point in time. In addition we can incorporate any topology filters that restrict particular streets (or parts of streets) or zip codes (5-, 7-, and 9- digit zips) from being considered for serviceability, where a cable company buildout is not feasible.
Two final notes. First, if the customer data provided to us includes PSU level serviceability information(as well as digital/analog and data speed) for the known Actives and Formers, then we can extend that level of detail to the serviceability status codes we provide back to the cable company. Second, MDU’s are not always serviceable even if they are within the desired distance of an active or former—because of potentially much higher cost to turn on all the units. For this reason, we will work closely with the cable company at the start to decide how these cases should be handled.
INFRASTRUCTURE: S+ is available using batch, API and direct DB-run modes. Moreover, it is fully automated for running at frequent intervals such as daily, weekly, or monthly. We recommend full refreshes of serviceability be done on a monthly basis.
An MSO can leverage the outputs of this process in any number of ways. Cable 2.0 can work with an MSO’s Billing Team so that the serviceability of an address can be updated, normally allowing this new status to flow to marketing systems that select prospects for scheduled campaigns. In other cases, we can work with the Marketing team to update serviceability status within their own platforms directly (note that there are related considerations here, namely, ensuring that all systems within the sales-to-connect flow are aligned on this changed status). Another alternative that can be used standalone or in conjunction with the other ideas presented above is to create a direct marketing “Trigger Program” that ensures that an address with a new serviceability status be contacted as soon as it is discovered. Cable 2.0 has experience across all of these options.