Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Qwest holds off IPTV in favor of residential high speed Internet access

Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert tells Bloomberg his company is holding off offering video over phone lines, concentrating instead on accelerating residential broadband Internet access.

It's a wise move on Notebaert's part. Residential customers need high speed Internet access first and foremost. Telcos like Qwest should be prioritizing it and speeding deployment considering they didn’t offer DSL in more than 20 percent of their service areas as of mid 2006, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

If and when Qwest wants to offer wire line-based TV service, it would be well advised to follow Verizon and utilize fiber optic cable rather than a hybrid fiber/copper play in the early stages of deployment by AT&T, dubbed Project U-Verse.

High definition TV itself needs about 9Mbs. Getting that much data over twisted copper pair that comprise the last segment of U-Verse that was originally designed to provide plain old telephone service (POTS) packaged with telephone and high speed Internet service could well prove problematic. Notebaert is in a position to watch it fail on someone's else's dime instead of investing his own shareholders' money.

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