Video services

Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber

An update on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s 1-Gig jig in the Kansas Cities leads off Thursday's cable news roundup.

  • Google got one step closer to delivering video services via the fiber network it's weaving in mid-America when the Missouri Public Service Commission approved the company to provide TV service in Kansas City on March 1. The company told The Kansas City Business Journal that obtaining the franchise licenses are a necessary legal step as Google mulls potential service packages, but warned that it does not necessarily mean it will launch a video service there. [Ed. note: Yeah, right.] Google's in the process of building an experimental 1Gbit/s network in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. (See Google Calls KC Fiber-Ready.)

  • Roku Inc. is looking to sign on strategic partners, such as TV makers and cable programmers, to help it raise up to $50 million to use toward more marketing and an international push, Bloomberg reports. Roku has raised $32.5 million so far from backers such as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and could end up pursuing an IPO.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s video-on-demand service (VoD) will become available on TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) Premiere retail boxes in April, according to ZatzNotFunny. Comcast and TiVo currently are testing the VoD integration in San Francisco, but haven't announced what markets are next in line. (See Comcast Trial Fuses TiVo With VoD.)

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) EVP of Marketing Jonathan Hargis has left to "pursue other opportunities," becoming the latest top exec to part ways with the cable operator in recent months. Former Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge resigned late last year and was recently named CEO of Charter Communications Inc. ; and cable unit president John Bickham left last November. (See Ex-Cablevision COO Becomes Charter CEO.)

  • Cox Communications Inc. has expanded its IT support service for broadband customers to all markets following initial launches in its New England/Cleveland region. Cox Tech Solutions is a fee-based service that helps customers resolve PC-related issues such as crashes, home networking configurations and virus/spyware infections. Cox sells the service on a case-by-case basis for via a monthly subscription.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:40:07 PM
    re: Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber

    Yeah, lots of OTT to be piped over that puppy. But will be interesting to see if Google moves ahead with a pay-TV service of its own there there as part of this "experiment" or allows others to try their hand at it.  Following the build has been interesting, but how they will apply it will be more so.  JB

    AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:40:07 PM
    re: Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber

    However Goog's services packages play out, anyone who taps the capacity of a 1 Gbps data service is going to be viewing a lot of streamed video. 

    wanlord 12/5/2012 | 5:40:05 PM
    re: Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber

    remind me again why Google is investing in this? Verizon spent Billions to do this in places they already had infrastructure and they are barely making money....

    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:40:01 PM
    re: Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber


    Of course, who is going to develop applications with the potential customer base only being KC?  Unless Google is going to develop them and then basically give them away.



    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:40:01 PM
    re: Google Gets OK for Video Over Fiber

    I think part of this is to keep the heat on SPs with access networks and to get lots of PR and buzz off the effort and give a showcase of what's possible with 1-gig. But part of me thinks they also want to know the video business, so they can expand on that but go about it using OTT.  If they move ahead on this video franchsing thing they'll get a good taste of retrans, slim margins and other ugly content side parts of that business.

     I'd be surprised if they try to replicate this in many more markets, so it's not like any MSOs or telcos outside of the KCs should be too worried that Google's going to overbuild them with FTTH.   In the meantime, their spin is that this is an "experiment" to allow new apps that most other access networks can't deliver right now.  But they have enough cash to do a gold-plated approach while keeping it small and localized enough so it doesn't really hurt them much financially. JB


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