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Pioneer Telephone Picks Widevine for IPTV Aid

In a sign of the times, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative is plunging into the rapidly evolving video-on-demand (VOD) business.

Pioneer Telephone, part of a steadily growing group of smaller and independent telcos quietly rolling out IP-based video services to compete against cable operators throughout the U.S., said it has selected Widevine Technologies' "Cypher" software suite to acquire, protect, and deliver premium broadcast and VOD programming from major movie studios and TV networks. The Oklahoma-based phone co-op will use Widevine's downloadable encryption system to protect video content from such big Hollywood studios as Warner Bros., Fox, and Paramount, as well as pay TV networks like HBO. The co-op will also use the Widevine encryption system to protect VOD programs from the Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Channel, and Scripps Networks' roster of cable networks.

In addition, Pioneer, which now offers up to 169 digital channels to customers in 72 towns scattered across 30 counties, said it may use the Widevine system to beam digital video and other multimedia content to mobile devices and PCs. The company, which has installed 1,100 miles of fiber optic cable, now serves more than 140,000 phone customers and ranks as the third largest telephone cooperative in the U.S.

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