Sunday, April 17, 2005

NAB Keynote: Verizon's Seidenberg Promotes IPTV

"FiOS will change the competitive landscape in the video marketplace, both now and in the future. From Day One, we'll offer a new technology, a new business model and a new customer experience," said Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman and CEO of Verizon, speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas. So far, Verizon has deployed its fiber-to-the-premises network in more than 100 communities across its service territory, and it plans to reach a total of 3 million homes by the end of this year.

Seidenberg is convinced that consumers will prefer the flexibility and integrated lifestyle enabled by IPTV. He said Verizon would offer more local content than cable or satellite. It will also provide upstream speeds will give customers multimedia and interactive capabilities such as sharing family videos, video on demand, 3-D gaming and setting camera angles for sporting events. FiOS TV will also offer HDTV and DVR (digital video recorder) functionality on multiple TV sets. Seidenberg said he is committed to protect intellectual property in a digital universe, specifically that Verizon will help broadcasters address retransmission issues in ways that expand the market for both the company and the broadcasters.

Seidenberg also said that Verizon is committed to partnering with broadcasters on the policy issues related to Verizon's entry into video. Citing the requirement that Verizon obtain a franchise from local authorities to provide cable service, Seidenberg noted that, as a local telephone company, Verizon has always had a franchise to deploy and operate its networks. Now, he said, the company is being asked to obtain a second franchise to use these networks to compete in video.

While continuing to negotiate local franchises, he said, Verizon is seeking statewide solutions in some jurisdictions as well as a federal solution to this issue.

"We ask you to lend your persuasive voice in support of clearing away this barrier to video competition and speeding the day when America's communications companies can use our fantastic resources to offer your content and provide a true and compelling alternative to cable," he told the broadcasters.


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