[SDS] Let’s get gigabit

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On Friday of last week I had gigabit fiber Internet installed and wow is it amazing. It’s 5x faster down, and 100x faster up. Legit.

I’ve been singing “Let’s Get Gigabit” to the tune of Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” on and off for three days. I dare you not to get it stuck in your head.

The switch was a long time coming.

I’d been thinking about switching for years. The only thing preventing the switch was that I had cable TV and Internet by Xfinity. That company is formerly known as Comcast, the long-running most-hated company in America.

I’ve had absolutely no problem with Xfinity. Overall they provided fantastic service without a blip. But two big pains I had with them were both related to their Internet service:

  1. It was expensive for relatively pedestrian download speeds
  2. The upload speeds are ridiculously slow

I’m certainly an outlier in terms of my conception of quality Internet service, but I have a very clear use case. I run an Internet-based, remote business out of my home and I need the fastest Internet I can get, within reason.

Enter the alternative, CenturyLink. Whereas I was paying about $100/mo to Xfinity for 200mbps down and 10mbps up, CenturyLink offers fiber Internet with speeds of 1 gigabit down and up for $65/mo. It’s a screaming deal. So I made the switch to fiber, and switched my cable TV provider to Hulu, and now we’re an all-Internet household.

We’re laggards by 2020 standards, but we finally did it!

The only thing left to do was call Xfinity and cancel my services. Predictably, the customer service agent tried to convince me to stay by offering me a discount on cable and Internet. But the main reason I decided to switch could not be overcome by any discount, or any amount of groveling by a well-trained Xfinity support rep. Their product was inferior because they didn’t offer gigabit fiber at any price.

Notice how many the red, yellow, and orange all flipped to green for me. It’s just a better product bundle for me.

Xfinity’s bundled service package is no longer as enticing as it once was. Their primary advantage was monopoly and bundled service. For a long time, they were the only game in town – easy sale! And once competition came in for TV/internet/phone, their big advantage was bundling – get everything on one single bill and receive a small discount.

The problem now is that their value prop has eroded to the point of being absent. I still think their cable offering is the best, but it’s much more expensive than perfectly good Internet-based offerings.

Their Internet is quite slow and expensive compared to the alternative. So the only thing really keeping us with Xfinity for all those years was trust and risk.

Even though Xfinity is the most-hated company in America, I always had a good experience with them. And the alternative was inherently risky for two reasons: 1) CenturyLink and Hulu were unknown to me in terms of firsthand experience, and 2) I already knew Xfinity was working.

What finally did it for me was revisiting the price of my bill, and realizing that I was spending a lot more for a lot less.

By the time I spoke to the rep on the phone, there was no chance of keeping me as a customer because I didn’t buy into their value proposition. Said another way, I was no longer their ideal customer. Xfinity’s ideal customer is probably not very tech savvy, not interested in change, and values having multiple services on one bill. None of these things apply to me. As soon as I was willing to change, they had no value prop for me.

The point of all of this is to be crystal clear about your value proposition and recognize who it applies to, and who it doesn’t. Don’t waste your time selling to people who are a poor fit, because there’s a huge market of people out there who need your help and buy into your value prop right now.

Spend your precious time with them.

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