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BellSouth Trials Microsoft's IPTV

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ATLANTA -- BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) today announced a technical trial of Microsoft® TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform, tapping the advancing capabilities of the company's next generation broadband network. BellSouth's fiber-rich broadband network will increasingly serve as the primary platform used to deliver cutting-edge voice, video and data services to customers.

By leveraging new DSL technologies, including ADSL2+ and copper pair bonding, and BellSouth's five million miles of fiber cabling, BellSouth intends to trial a feature-rich video offer during the first half of 2005. BellSouth will also continue to expand its fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) network, which currently passes one million homes, to an additional 180,000 customers in 2005. BellSouth is currently completing testing of IPTV hardware and software within its labs and will later expand its trial to set-top boxes within customers' homes selected for the trial. BellSouth will then evaluate further deployment based upon results of the trial.

"IPTV will potentially forever alter the way we consume video content much like personal video recorders have done," said Bill Smith, chief technology officer of BellSouth. "IPTV places customers in the driver's seat and gives them complete control of their entertainment experience regardless of the media format or on which device within their home they wish to use. We're bringing together the benefits of broadband, the rapid adoption of home networking technology and the magic of software to give customers content where, when and how they want it."

BellSouth Corp.

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