Qwest Markets Not Getting IPTV – Yet
In announcing first-quarter earnings today, CenturyLink CEO Glenn Post said the company is "pleased with the progress" that Prism TV is making elsewhere, where it contributed to a 2 percent increase in broadband customer ARPU. (See CenturyLink Earnings Up, But Headed Down?)
For the newly acquired Qwest customer base, however, the immediate effort will be to duplicate what CenturyLink has done with many of the Embarq markets it acquired -- that is, focus on new customer acquisitions and higher rates of retention, according to Post and COO Karen Puckett. (See Merger a Boon to CenturyLink Business?)
"We expect to regain market share -- the opportunity is there," Post said.
CenturyLink is making "significant changes" to the go-to-market strategy in the former Qwest markets, including changes in relationships and compensation with agents, and those market plans are now in place for each of its market regions, Puckett said.
"We are getting more local -- competing with the CLECs and cable companies who have been taking market share from Qwest," Puckett said.
As for rolling out IPTV to former Qwest markets, those decisions will take more time and be influenced by the cost of pushing fiber closer to customers, Post said. Prism TV will pass 1 million homes by the end of the year elsewhere in CenturyLink-land.
"We do not expect any additional IPTV rollouts in new markets," he said. "We are working to accelerate the [penetration of the service] in the existing markets. We will be evaluating the Qwest markets in the coming months. We are in the process of working through the costs and plant requirements, shortening of loops that will be needed, and we expect to make the decision mid-year."
CenturyLink will be investing about half-a-billion dollars in building out local fiber, if FTTN and fiber-to-the-cell tower investments are combined. That's out of a total capital budget of $2.6 billion.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading