Optical/IP Networks

Poll: IPTV Field Is Open

Consumers want their IPTV, but they seem to have doubts about their broadband providers, according to this month's Light Reading Research Poll.

About 40 percent of the 146 respondants so far say they want IPTV any way they can get it -- by cable, RBOC, satellite, or carrier pigeon. Roughly 23 percent say they would prefer an RBOC to be their provider, a figure that edged out the 16 percent voting for cable operators. (A surprising 8 percent said they plan to stop watching TV, which means Light Reading readers are either quite highly evolved or just sarcastic.)

Asked which type of provider they would least want to receive IPTV from, respondents doled out nearly equal doses of non-love. MSOs and wireless providers each got 30 percent of the no-confidence vote, while RBOCs trailed only slightly with 25 percent. Only 13 percent chose CLECs, which could simply be a reflection of CLECs' smaller footprint.

Multiple interpretations come to mind. Possibly, none of the answers inspired enough ire to get a bigger piece of the vote. Or, maybe readers are so upset at all their service providers that they had a hard time coming to consensus on just one option.

One option not included was the government, as municipal networks have been sprouting worldwide (see Carriers' Days Numbered?).

Thirty-four percent of voters think last-mile bandwidth is the biggest hurdle to IPTV, while another 15 percent say old-world telephone and cable mentalities are the biggest problem (see IPTV Scramble Is On).

But copyright and piracy are on respondents' minds, too. Digital rights managment ranked second as a favorite stumbling block, with 25 percent of the vote, and half of those polled say piracy is a bigger IPTV security risk than denial-of-service attacks or IP address spoofing.

Readers are split when it comes to receiving TV on a wireless handheld device. (While the question didn't specify it, we intended to exclude plain old handheld TVs from that category -- they're wireless, but we were thinking more along the lines of cell phones and PDAs.) Early voting was split 50-50 on the idea, but the "no" vote has pulled ahead with a 60-40 margin.

Don't like the results? Take a minute and make your voice heard; The poll, which closes May 31, can be found here. And feel free to use this article's message board to further explain your picks.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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