Jeff Nolan reports from the SNRC/Accel Symposium [where] the topic was “Next Generation Media Networks: the future of content delivery”.
Balan [of Qwest] hits the key question: why do telcoms want to get into this game when they don’t have any experience with content networks? The answer is that the traditional voice business is a commodity market with lower cost of entry and the slice of the pie is getting smaller. On the data side of the business, bandwidth wars between telcos and cable providers have begun and will continue. Telcos look at video as a service to replace lost revenues and pay for plant upgrades. The technology has been around for 5 years, and new compression and band plans make video over twisted pair very competitive. The inclusion of video in telco offerings ensures that telco remain in the consumer markets. Balan also points out that cable and telcos have managed to piss off at least 20% of their customer base, so video is the ideal swapping strategy to bring customers to replace defections.
He talked in some detail about the various fiber options, but the net takeaway is that fiber is great for new construction, but not so good for retrofit of older structures. Fiber is great for video, offering up to 20mbs.
Interesting slide on services, what caught my eye is EPG (enhanced program guide), full line up HD, network-based PVR and control applications (home automation). Most of the other items were the usual suspects, e.g. a la carte programming.