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Small Telcos Lead North American IPTV

Cable Digital News reports that despite AT&T's widely reported trials and tribulations with IPTV -- and painfully slow service rollout in San Antonio -- smaller regional phone companies and competitive cable operators are quietly introducing the new video delivery technology throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Over the past couple of years, industry observers estimate that as many as 175 telcos and cable overbuilders have launched IPTV services over fiber-rich networks in smaller suburban and rural markets across North America. The installations range in size from several hundred to several thousand video subscribers by such emerging pay TV providers as SureWest Communications, Consolidated Communications, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, CT Communications, South Slope Cooperative Communications Co., Bixby Telephone Co., Oxford Communications and Dakota Central Telecommunications, among others.

"It's up and running today," said Ryan Petty, vice president and product line manager for Siemens Communications' Surpass Home Entertainment Solutions, which backs IPTV deployments with broadcast server middleware. "There is revenue being generated today.

Siemens, in fact, boasts that it already supports more than 75 commercial deployments of IPTV in the U.S. through its Surpass Home Entertainment unit (known as Myrio Corp. before Siemens recently acquired it). Siemens also supports several major international IPTV deployments in Belgium, Holland and Thailand, making it an early leader in the still-nascent industry.

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