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To TDS, TV Is a Gigabit Must-Have

Jason Meyers
7/23/2014

Unlike some entities providing gigabit services, TDS Telecom believes the TV component of its 1-Gig offering is an important distinction.

The company has now turned up fiber-to-the-home networks to deliver gigabit services in two New Hampshire towns, Hollis and New London. TDS Telecom 's gigabit customers are required to subscribe to the provider's TV service as part of their bundle, says Matt Apps, the company's manager of Internet product management and development.


For more coverage of Gigabit Cities, visit Light Reading's Broadband/FTTx content channel.


Some gigabit providers are not as bullish about TV, instead viewing their fast pipes as over-the-top video conduits. (See Colorado Gigabit Network Shuns Video, Embraces OTT.)

"It's really tied to our IPTV platform," Apps says. "There's still a lot of content out there you're just not going to get over the top."

According to the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council , 55 entities spanning several categories are now offering gigabit services in the US (see chart below). In both of its gigabit markets, TDS Telecom's IPTV offering was there first, Apps said. But in future markets TDS Telecom plans to launch both at the same time because the company believes the pairing gives it both a customer and competitive edge.

Source: FTTH Council
Source: FTTH Council

"When you go to gig, you're at the end game for the immediate future. It's a pretty big barrier," he says. "The cable guys will respond, but they can't go there. They just don't have the capability to go to gig."

TDS Telecom charges $100 per month for its 1-Gig data service, on top of charges for phone and TV, which vary according to plan. The company plans to eventually offer 1-Gig in all of the markets where it provides TV service.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

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jasonmeyers
jasonmeyers
7/24/2014 | 2:09:22 PM
Re: Express expense
TDS Telecom's Matt Apps let me know that new customers can come in quite a bit below the $200/month mark and still get gigabit service as part of their bundle:

$99.95 – TDS 1Gig Fiber

$55.00 – Expanded TV

$19.99 – Voice

$4.95 – Gateway fee

-$20.00 Discount for new customers (for two years)

$159.89/month for two years
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson
7/24/2014 | 12:30:03 PM
Re: Express expense
This is a very different strategy and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. TDS is bigger than most of the smaller telcos that are pulling back on IPTV and they may have made a substantial investment on which they want to earn a return. Or they may serve areas where the cable competition is vulnerable. 

In most smaller telcos, selling video is a losing proposition because of the cost of content. 
jasonmeyers
jasonmeyers
7/24/2014 | 11:56:18 AM
Re: Express expense
KBode - no standalone option. If customers want the 1Gig service, they have to be IPTV subscribers. 
KBode
KBode
7/24/2014 | 11:47:55 AM
Re: Express expense
Do they even offer a standalone 1 Gbps option? I was noticing no price point for it the other day. I wonder if offering both options -- then upselling customers to a TV bundle -- would be more effective? 
jasonmeyers
jasonmeyers
7/24/2014 | 10:23:43 AM
Express expense
TDS Telecom's video and voice packages start at around $100/month, so that plus gigabit data service will cost $200/month or more, depending on their choice of TV package. Will consumers believe the extra speed is worth the extra cost?
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