Viodi View

Viodi View – 03/08/16

Should smaller broadband operators even offer video, given all the marketplace and regulatory challenges? That’s a question I am looking forward to posing at a panel at next week’s NTCA TEF conference. This session should be interesting, given this week’s proposal to the FCC by INCOMPAS (PDF) that, as a condition for approval of the Charter/Time-Warner merger, a new.non-profit video programming purchasing cooperative be created with New Charter as the anchor. It will be interesting to hear Craig Moffett’s view on this idea, as well as his other thoughts on the video market. Moffett always has great insight and this week was no exception as he pointed out Google’s slow progress in signing up video customers for their Google Fiber project.

Google Fiber’s Slow Rollout & Pole Access Challenges by Alan Weissberger

An image of a Google Fiber billboard in Provo, Utah.
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Google Fiber had only 53,390 TV customers as of Dec. 31,2015, according to U.S. Copyright Office data published in a recent MoffettNathanson report. Furthermore, growth in subscribers is slowing. The report said that Google Fiber’s video customer base grew by 79 percent over the previous year. It grew at 136 percent for the last six months of 2014, and just 78.8 percent for that period in 2015. In Provo, Utah, where Google bought the municipal network three years ago, Google Fiber added just 65 video subscribers in six months.

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The Skinny on a Skinny Bundle

A high-level view of the packages included with Cincinnati Bell's MYTV.
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Giving consumers greater choice in selecting the content they want, when they want, at prices that are more affordable than traditional packages is what Cincinnati Bell is hoping to achieve with its just introduced MyTV offering. Starting at less than $20/month, MyTV, consists of a “Starter Pack” and multiple “MyTV Genre Packs” that allow consumers to essentially build their own programming line-up. Michael Morrison, Director of Fioptics Services for Cincinnati Bell, points out the offering isn’t ala carte, such as what the CRTC mandated and has just launched last week in Canada.

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Continued Growth & Faith in the Industry

ACA Chariman Robert Gessner leading a panel at the 23rd ACA Summit.
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What do a municipal utility, a traditional telephone company and a “new breed” telecom operator have in common? They were all represented on a ACA Summit panel moderated by 2nd generation cable television owner Robert Gessner. As Gessner alludes to, one thing these operators have in common, whether or old or new, is their continual reinvestment in their respective networks as they look to the future.

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Work with Us and Not Against Us

Matt Polka about to provide his summary of the 23rd ACA Summit.
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“We are small businesses that matter and that make a difference in our communities,” is the message that Matt Polka and the American Cable Association members imparted to elected members on Capitol Hill at the 23rd ACA Summit. In the above interview, Polka implores Congress and regulators to work with and not against the small operators that serve parts of rural America that would otherwise be unserved or underserved.

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Broadband Is Rural Economic Development

A panel at the 2015 IP Vision discussing rural economic development.
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Regardless of whether it is agriculture, education, manufacturing or service industries, broadband is a must-have infrastructure to spur rural economic development, says Jessica James Golden, Strategic Outreach Manager of NTCA. As such, NTCA’s members are in a special position to help market the communities they serve, as well as bring various community members together to drive growth. In the above interview, Golden discusses the panel she moderated and how the speakers on that panel reflected NTIA’s efforts to work with various groups, such as NREDA, at the national level to help its members economic development efforts.

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Some Tweets, Short Thoughts and Upcoming Events:

  • This flow chart from the Mercatus Center of George Mason University depicts the many regulatory hurdles that cable providers face and offers a glimpse of the associated opportunity costs. Thanks TedatACA
  • Hypothesis: The most efficient upgrade is an overlay instead of DOCSIS 3.1 Stay tuned for the results at
  • “Data is the new creative” talking about changing local cable advertising business
  • ViodiTV at MTA – looking forward to programming the hotel channel starting on March 22nd. Stay tuned as to what channel
  • Looking forward to covering IP Vision, April 6-8th, again this year. This show is a must-attend for anyone interested in the impact of IP and the associated broadband ecosystem in rural markets.

Tech as the New Mobility Status Symbol

Mark Platshon of BMW i Ventures discussing electric versus internal combustion at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley 2016 conference.
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“Once upon a time, there was a gas one and there was an electric one,” so stated Mark Platshon Senior Advisor of BMW i Ventures. Given BMW’s motto for its 100 year anniversary that, “We’re creating the history of tomorrow,” Platshon, with his entertaining and educational history lessons, is the perfect representative for this mobility giant. In his role, Platshon is looking for the start-ups and new technology that will help BMW compete with Internet players, like Alphabet.

Read more and watch this exclusive interview with Platshon.


Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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