In a moment of sweet irony, Comcast’s president of technology disappeared mid-interview this week after his internet connection cut out – just moments after he boasted about how superior cable Wi-Fi connections were to cellular data.
Tony Werner was interviewing Michael Powell, the president of cable industry body NCTA, at the Cable-Tec Expo’s opening session on Monday – which, like most conferences, has gone virtual this year – when the Comcast exec suddenly disappeared from people’s screens.
Werner was right in the middle of crowing about how cable companies like his own Comcast were doing such a great job during the pandemic. “The LTE and the wireless guys are making such a big deal out of 5G,” Werner mocked. “During COVID, Wi-Fi is carrying 15 times the amount of traffic than LTE is. I guarantee you that 10G will be carrying more than that times whatever 5G carries. The networks have done really well…”
And then he cut out.
Fortunately, Fierce Telecom was watching and caught the moment and the aftermath. Powell was left to interview himself for several minutes until Werner popped back online and delivered a line that only a cable exec caught with his pants down would instinctively reach for: he blamed someone else.
“I happened to be on LTE here,” he claimed, “and so I dropped for a minute or two.”
Is it true? Well, of course!
There is, of course, no way to independently verify that the president of technology for Comcast was using a cellular LTE connection while interviewing the head of his cable industry’s top lobbying body for the opening session of a very popular cable industry conference.
Commonsense would suggest the claim be given as much credence as a Comcast rep's promise to a new subscriber that their bill really will stay at $60 a month as per their contract.
Proving that Comcast doesn’t take itself too seriously, however, if you register for the expo and navigate to the conference’s full archive of sessions to watch the moment again, you’ll find that… um… it is the only session that isn’t available to watch.
Still, you can’t argue that Werner doesn’t lead by example. ®