Monday, April 18, 2005

IPTV update

ISP Planet has an article out about the status of IPTV roll-out. "There were a lot of announcements in 2004 of trials and service launches," says John Bosnell, senior analyst at Point-Topic, "but a lot of those haven't quite got going yet." The challenges include inadequate network infrastructure, unfriendly regulatory environments, high and often unpredictable capital costs, the difficulty of securing content consumers want and the uncertainty around whether consumers will actually switch to an IP-based pay TV system. "It really comes down to the regulatory landscape," says Laszlo. ... Even in those jurisdictions, of course, the carriers must have networks capable of delivering IPTV. This means, at a minimum, advanced DSL with network speeds to the home of up to 6 Mbps. ...ISPs in the U.S., Laszlo notes, have two strikes against them as prospective IPTV operators—inadequate infrastructure typically and uncertain access to that infrastructure. .... There are 1,200 to 1,400 of these independent phone companies in the U.S. According to one estimate, 50 to 75 are already offering IPTV services, and 70 percent of the rest intend to offer service within 12 to 24 months....Some vendors estimate the cost of set top boxes at as little as $100 each, but at least one company trialing IPTV, Bell Canada, recently told Bosnell that actual costs were currently running at more like $600 to $700. ... "You may get an average revenue of $50 a month from video. But often a lot of that will go back to content providers just to pay for privilege of using their programming." .... The whole business of acquiring content is another major challenge.

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