Cable Tech

IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

1:05 PM -- Fiber to the home used to be all about IPTV -- getting into the video business, as part of the triple play, was how service providers justified the cost of putting in fiber.

That clearly has changed, as today fiber buildouts are as much about getting fiber to the cell tower, delivering Ethernet to businesses, and finding new revenue streams based on what the broadband pipe can bring into the home.

This changing business model is requiring smaller telcos, which once pioneered IPTV deployment, to rethink their strategies. The ongoing cost of video services is a major challenge to any IPTV deployment, and the growing availability of OTT video entertainment poses both a threat and an opportunity.

That's why Ringgold Telephone Co. Inc. 's decision to scrap its existing IPTV system altogether is interesting but not shocking. Despite having done all the investment in a headend, and even having built its own TV studio to produce local content, Ringgold found it was more cost-effective to walk away from IPTV and resell satellite service than continue to pay for and deliver its own content. (See IPTV Pioneer Now Going OTT.)

But it's also important to note that Ringgold isn't giving up on video altogether. Not only is the telco reselling Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), but it's also considering a combo plan for HD off-air antennas and OTT video boxes to bolster its broadband sales.

That's the kind of thinking that telcos need to explore, and that's the kind of thinking TelcoTV has been redesigned to encourage.

In multiple sessions, Telco TV (being held Oct. 25-27) will explore key topics for the new future of video that include how to build out a network that encompasses business services and mobile backhaul, incorporate OTT video into your service plan, reduce the cost of IPTV content, build a multiscreen strategy, and add new services such as video conferencing and home monitoring to the mix.

Video isn't becoming less important to consumers -- if anything, it's becoming a bigger part of daily life, and a more expected part of what broadband delivers. Instead of continuing to pursue failed business models, telcos have to face up to what's working and what's not. If you need to take that step, there's no better place to discover how than in New Orleans next month.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:52:11 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


PS - I actually believe that the dumbest thing that Telcos can do is add smarts to the pipes to try to derive money from them. It will add tons of cost and no revenue.

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:52:11 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

Does this mean the next big idea for telco success is to simply provide the big dumb pipe and let someone else stress over how to make money on advanced services that everyone seems to want but that no one really wants to pay for?

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:52:10 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

I don't think they can sit back and sell "just" dumb pipes, but I think they have to look for things other than duplicating cable. The content owners are making that busienss insanely hard.

And the broadband pipe is the key piece - everything Ringgold is doing is tied to long-term contracts for their broadband service. To get that kind of loyalty, telcos have to continue to invest in technology that will deliver more bandwidth and do it reliably enough to support video.


DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:52:09 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

I think they should sell dumb pipes, but won't because that's not the kind of company (a utility) they see themselves running.


paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:52:08 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance



I want to be clear...I am happy for Telcos to do things other than sell dumb pipes.  But in terms of selling bandwidth, I do believe that is exactly what they should do.

To build a smart pipe infrastructure will cost them a lot of money for not obvious returns.  People will do things like obfuscate the traffic or website to make it hard for carriers to stay ahead of things.  I think it is a fool's errand for them to try to make bandwidth other than a massively available quantity.



cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:52:06 PM
re: IPTV Struggles Don't Negate Video's Importance

Wow, I think we actually agree on something.

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