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Why U.S. IPTV Innovation is Rural Phenomenon

The introduction text on the homepage of the upcoming TelcoTV Conference and Expo says "IPTV represents a revolution in telecommunications -- one that will define telecom carriers for decades to come. It is a transformational event that impacts all facets of the business."

The current line-up of telco speakers for this event tells the untold story -- IPTV deployment leadership within the North American market has occurred at smaller independent telcos, and in all cases they did it without Microsoft's involvement.

While some of these early IPTV deployments date back to January 2002, most would still be characterized as 'me too' offerings that essentially mirror the programming and presentation capabilities of the incumbent cable and DBS pay-TV service providers. Regardless, they are valid examples of early IPTV technology and operational innovations nonetheless.

One panel session that's sure to attract the attendees is entitled "Broadband TV: Bypass Villian or Golden Opportunity? -- The dawn of web based video content is upon us. How does this growing distribution model impact IPTV operators? Is Internet TV a threat or an opportunity for service providers? This panel will discuss the impact of Broadband TV, as well as give an overview of where important segments of the industry are lining up."

In contrast, the key session topic that's missing from the current program further demonstrates the fundamental challenge that begs to be addressed -- how to create a truly meaningful and differentiated consumer experience that takes full advantage of the raw potential of the IPTV platform.

Consumer advocacy -- along with a deep understanding of consumer needs and wants -- always seems to escape these industry-focused events where internal and/or a vendor's vested interests come to the forefront, sometimes overtly and most often covertly. Therefore, this is typically not the place for sheepish telco marketing executives to come in search of unbiased guidance.

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