Cox Scores Patent for Broadband Marketing Innovation

Cox Communications won a U.S. patent this week for an invention that shows how the cable MSO could market faster broadband tiers in ways that are similar to how distributors have sold premium networks like HBO and Showtime.

“As each of the latest digital entertainment services come on line, the need for bandwidth further increases. To fully take advantage of the new capabilities, consumers must upgrade to higher tiered services and packages,” Cox notes in the patent that was published on Tuesday. “To increase revenue by enticing users to switch to higher tiers of service, a way to provide temporary Internet speed increases to customers is needed.”

Lea P'Simer
Leah P’Simer

Former Cox product development executives Stuart Cassell and Leah P’Simer are named as inventors on the patent, “Temporary Internet speed incease.” P’Simer is now global Wi-Fi lead at Starbucks, and Cassell is a developer at QTS Data Centers.

Abstract: A temporary Internet bandwidth increase is provided. A speed preview interface is presented for obtaining a request for an Internet bandwidth increase from a customer. The eligibility of the customer for the requested increase of the Internet bandwidth is verified. The increase of Internet bandwidth for the customer is provisioned for a predetermined period of time based on the verification of eligibility of the customer. The predetermined period of time may be a temporary fixed period of time or a period of time based on billing status. When the predetermined period of time is a temporary fixed period of time, the increase in Internet bandwidth is terminated after lapse of the temporary fixed period of time.

Stuart Cassell
Stuart Cassell

Claims: 

1. A method for providing a temporary Internet bandwidth increase, comprising: providing, by a service provider, a plurality of bandwidth allocation subscriptions providing a plurality of Internet speed tiers offered to a subscriber according to an escalating price as an increased bandwidth is provided by a higher Internet speed tier; providing a bandwidth allocation subscription to the subscriber; presenting at least one selection option for a temporary preview, without charge, of a bandwidth increase for an Internet speed tier associated with an increased bandwidth allocation subscription, wherein the increased bandwidth allocation subscription is greater bandwidth than the bandwidth allocation subscription; receiving a request to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free; as a result of receiving the request to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free, receiving a subscriber selection of the presented at least one selection option for the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription; determining whether the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase; in response to receiving the subscriber selection and if the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase, provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for a trial period of time after which the temporary preview without charge ends; automatically returning to the bandwidth allocation subscription without a request by the subscriber; and in response to the temporary preview ending as a result of the trial period of time ending, receiving a subscriber selection to upgrade from the bandwidth allocation subscription, for a charge, to the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the providing a temporary bandwidth increase further comprises providing the temporary bandwidth increase for a predetermined period of time.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the predetermined period of time is a period of time determined by billing status.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the predetermined period of time is a temporary fixed period of time.

5. The method of claim 4 further comprising terminating the increase in Internet bandwidth after lapse of the temporary fixed period of time.

6. The method of claim 4 further comprising terminating the increase in Internet bandwidth unless the customer requests a permanent tier modification to an Internet speed tier associated with an increased bandwidth allocation subscription.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising presenting to the subscriber a speed preview link on the Internet tools page for navigating to a speed preview selection page after verifying the eligibility of the customer and obtaining billing data and information regarding tier speeds and prices.

8. The method of claim 1 further comprises retrieving a current subscription tier of the user and service information regarding the increase in Internet bandwidth provided by an Internet speed tier associated with an increased bandwidth allocation subscription.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the retrieving service information regarding the increase in Internet bandwidth further comprises generating a status for the increase in Internet bandwidth, a start and stop time, and a time remaining.

10. A system for providing a temporary Internet bandwidth increase, comprising: a cable modem termination system for providing a plurality of bandwidth allocation subscriptions providing a plurality of Internet speed tiers offered to a subscriber according to an escalating price as an increased bandwidth is provided by a higher Internet speed tier; a bandwidth allocation subscription subscribed to by the subscriber; a network access device, coupled to the cable modem termination system, for receiving from a subscriber login credentials for accessing Internet tools page for managing subscriber options and for presenting to the subscriber a speed preview link on the Internet tools page for navigating to a speed preview selection page; and a service broker, coupled to the network access device, for receiving a subscriber indication of the speed preview link to navigate to the speed preview selection page, for presenting at least one selection option for a temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for an Internet speed tier associated with an increased bandwidth allocation subscription, wherein the increased bandwidth allocation subscription is greater bandwidth than the bandwidth allocation subscription subscriber to by the subscriber, the service broker also for receiving a request from the subscriber to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free, wherein the request from the subscriber to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free comprises receiving a subscriber selection of the presented at least one selection option for the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription, and for determining whether the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase; wherein the cable modem termination system provides the subscriber the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for a trial period of time after which the temporary preview without charge ends in response to the service broker determining the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase and receiving the subscriber selection of the presented at least one selection option for the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription, automatically returning to the bandwidth allocation subscription without a request by the subscriber, and in response to the temporary preview ending as a result of the trial period of time ending, the service broker also receives a subscriber selection to upgrade from the bandwidth allocation subscription, for a charge, to the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the predetermined period of time is a temporary fixed period of time.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the provisioning an increased bandwidth further comprises providing an immediate upgrade to the increased bandwidth allocation subscription associated with the selected Internet speed tier.

13. The method of claim 1, further comprising presenting to the subscriber a speed preview link on the Internet tools page when the subscriber login credentials meet predetermined criteria.

14. The system of claim 10, wherein the predetermined period of time is a period of time determined by billing status.

15. The system of claim 10, wherein the cable modem termination system provides a temporary bandwidth increase by providing the temporary bandwidth increase for a predetermined period of time.

16. The system of claim 10, wherein the cable modem termination system provisions an increased bandwidth by providing an immediate upgrade to the increased bandwidth allocation subscription associated with the selected Internet speed tier.

17. The system of claim 10, wherein the service broker presents a speed preview link on the Internet tools page only when the subscriber login credentials meet predetermined criteria.

18. A computer readable storage memory including executable instructions which, when executed by a processor, provides an Internet bandwidth increase by: providing, by a service provider, a plurality of bandwidth allocation subscriptions providing a plurality of Internet speed tiers offered to a subscriber according to an escalating price as an increased bandwidth is provided by a higher Internet speed tier; providing a bandwidth allocation subscription to the subscriber; receiving from a subscriber login credentials for accessing Internet tools page for managing subscriber options; presenting to the subscriber a speed preview link on the Internet tools page for navigating to a speed preview selection page; receiving a subscriber indication of the speed preview link to navigate to the speed preview selection page; presenting at least one selection option for a temporary preview, without charge, of a bandwidth increase for an Internet speed tier associated with an increased bandwidth allocation subscription, wherein the increased bandwidth allocation subscription is greater bandwidth than the bandwidth allocation subscription; receiving a request to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free; as a result of receiving the request to receive the temporary preview of the increased bandwidth allocation subscription for free, receiving a subscriber selection of the presented at least one selection option for the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription; determining whether the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase; in response to receiving the subscriber selection and if the user is eligible for provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase, provisioning the temporary preview, without charge, of the bandwidth increase for a trial period of time after which the temporary preview without charge ends; automatically returning to the bandwidth allocation subscription without a request by the subscriber; and in response to the temporary preview ending as a result of the trial period of time ending, receiving a subscriber selection to upgrade from the bandwidth allocation subscription, for a charge, to the Internet speed tier associated with the increased bandwidth allocation subscription.