Verizon in No Rush for IPTV
"At the moment, there's a lot of items we can still support on the broadcast model," says Vincent O'Byrne, director of access technologies at Verizon.
Here's why. As the annoying kid in the commercial explains, FiOS uses three wavelengths. Features based on the IPTV model, such as video-on-demand channels, run over the 1490nm data wavelength.
But broadcast TV runs on a 1550nm wavelength, the RF overlay that makes FiOS different from pure IPTV. And Verizon doesn't plan on changing that unless it sees a business case for going all-IP.
"It would have to be a situation where there's something we couldn’t support on our broadcast wavelengths," says O'Byrne. "Also if we found ourselves moving more and more features to the 1490, that would be the biggest rationale, because as you go to the 1490, you’re using bandwidth that you could use for other items."
So far, that hasn’t happened. "The way I see it is, we’re not forced to go into an all IP scenario," says O'Byrne. "That's one of our advantages. We can make the transition when and if the business case drives us in that direction."
IPTV is associated with the capability to deliver interactive features, but Verizon is already doing a lot of interactive things with FiOS over its old-school cable style architecture. (See Verizon Previews FiOS Future.) A move to full IPTV would just give it the capacity to do more interactive things.
"If and when we go full IP, it allows us to increase the channel capacity to provide those future interactive services and conserve bandwidth on the downstream," says O'Byrne.
So far though, the bandwidth on FiOS's FTTH network has been more than sufficient. As long as it stays that way, Verizon will not see a need for IPTV.
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading