Here's what's pushing broadband's buttons this morning.
Web video publishing specialist Ooyala Inc. has landed a $35 million "E" round led by Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) subsidiary Telstra Applications and Ventures Group, and will use the funds to scale up its operations outside the U.S. Ooyala, which counts ESPN and Bloomberg among its customers and competes with thePlatform Inc. , has raised $79 million so far, a spokesman says. Tied to the new funding, Telstra and Ooyala said they are working on a deal that, when finalized, will make the Australia-based service provider a "major" Ooyala customer and reseller as it looks to integrate the vendor's online video technology with its IPTV service. Gary Traver, a director of Telstra Media and the former COO of the Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Denver, has joined the Ooyala board. (See Traver Out as Comcast Media Center Chief .)
The sale of Blu-ray players will peak this year or next year, and the technology will be on the downslide in about four years as consumers continue to gravitate to specialized streaming devices, Roku Inc. CEO Anthony Wood said at last week's TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco. He said Blu-ray players don't provide the same performance as a dedicated streaming device, and believes that the company's new streaming stick, set to become available later this year, will become a big driver as more consumers stream video directly via Internet-connected TVs, reports NewTeeVee.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is seeking a franchise to offer video services in Colorado Springs, setting up a potential battle for customers with the area's incumbent cable operator, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), reports The Gazette, noting that Colorado Springs would be the first major market in the state to get a video service from CenturyLink, which intends to deliver it via IPTV. The Colorado Springs city council is set to vote on the proposal at its July 10 meeting.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s strategy behind its new FiOS Internet tiers "seems to be setting a new precedent" on broadband pricing, ISI Group Inc. analyst Vijay Jayant says in a note issued Monday. Rather than gravitating toward usage-based pricing, as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and some cable operators are starting to do, Verizon's instead "forcing consumers to pay more for increased speeds so long as their bandwidth needs increase." He also believes that Verizon's low-end 15Mbit/s tier is testing the limits of the speeds consumers will need as they look to connect more and more devices in the home, seeing the company's 25Mbit/s becoming the new "mainstream" tier for FiOS. (See FiOS Speeds & Prices Take a Quantum Leap , Comcast to Raise Caps, Test Overage Fees and AT&T Enforces Broadband Caps.)