Aereo Hits Capacity Crunch Again
So what's the deal with Aereo lately?
In a sign that snow isn't the only thing sweeping down the US East Coast this winter, Aereo Inc. 's capacity issues are also moving south. Aereo has confirmed that, just as in New York, it isn't signing up any new customers in the Atlanta region until it can add more capacity. (See Aereo Preps San Antonio, Hits Capacity in NYC.)
It's not clear, however, exactly what capacity means to Aereo. We asked the company whether the problem was a need for more antennas, encoding equipment, or storage, or even if there was an issue with content management now that its video traffic is up. A reader pointed out on our message boards that Aereo could also be running out of uplink bandwidth. However, the only response from an Aereo spokesperson was a canned and largely unhelpful statement:
"We're fortunate that Aereo continues to experience strong growth across all our markets. Our team has been working overtime to add more capacity in our existing markets. As soon as additional capacity is added, new consumers will be notified that they can sign up and create an Aereo account."
Just as in the New York case, the company spokeswoman did not indicate when that might be.
The growing capacity crunch comes as Aereo continues to launch service in new markets on one front while it staves off legal battles on another. Because the company encodes and then streams over-the-air television content via the Internet without paying any licensing fees, broadcasters are taking Aereo all the way to the Supreme Court this spring in hopes of shutting the service down.
Despite these legal and technical hurdles, Aereo still plans to launch out its combination TV/cloud DVR service in several new markets in February, including San Antonio on February 19. Aereo is already rolled out in 11 metro regions. (See Aereo Plans Faster Growth Amid Legal Drama.)
But now there are new questions about Aereo's staying power once it introduces service. Stay tuned for more.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading