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Qwest: We Still Don't Need No Stinkin' IPTV
Execs continue to insist 'over the top' video is the right path....
by Karl Bode 05:26PM Tuesday Dec 08 2009
Despite being one of the early pioneers of telco TV (not too long ago they shut down their VDSL-based IPTV service ChoiceTV), Qwest continues to insist that unlike other Ma Bell offshoots AT&T and Verizon, Qwest has absolutely no interest in becoming a TV provider. While Qwest is sometimes criticized for playing wait-and-see with video, the decision could ultimately come back to be the right one if "over the top" Internet video-delivery winds up trumping IPTV projects like AT&T's U-Verse. Qwest's EVP for product and IT Neil Cox continues to insist Qwest is making teh right call:
"Only sports need to be live," Cox said. "We see these walled-garden IPTV models breaking down. We see a tremendous amount of over-the-top video." For that reason, Qwest will continue to partner with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), which has added an Ethernet jack to its newest DVR/set-top receiver to bring broadband content to the TV set "to provide a really rich customer experience," said Cox. Even sports programming is moving to the online model, he said, citing Major League Baseball's successful online video efforts.
Of course this repeated "no stinkin' IPTV" mantra by Qwest kind of ignores the fact that they couldn't afford to become an IPTV provider even if they wanted to. While recent Qwest ads highlight the fact Qwest is a broadband company offering "fiber optic Internet service," their still-copper-based services (which top out at 40 Mbps for $99-$110 a month) reach only a small portion of their overall subscriber base. Why? In a significant number of their markets they lack the competition to make offering the "latest and greatest" necessary in the first place.

So while Qwest likes to portray their avoidance of IPTV as some kind of precognitive wisdom, it has more to do with tight purse strings and the fact that Qwest is lucky enough to be in a competitive position where "sitting back and waiting" (be it IPTV or network upgrades) is even an option. Meanwhile, it remains possible this measured approach is also about Qwest biding their time, playing it safe, cleaning up their debt, and making themselves attractive to a possible suitor like Verizon.

topics flat nest 

Washington, IL

Maybe Quest couldn't afford to be an IPTV provider, but

this little Illinois company is already an IPTV provider,
Consolidated Communications , headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois


Fair and Balanced
Katy, TX
·AT&T U-Verse

Why should they waste their money???

The future of cable tv providers is filled with tons of competition.

All these ISPs that have cable TV will eventually become dumb pipes and people will buy IPTV from the cheapest provider.

Qwest is smart for saving their money.
Republicans: less fiscally conservative than that other party.

Austin, TX
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

I'm fine with this

Though I admit that if Qwest was doing IPTV they'd probably roll out their VDSL service a lot faster than they are now ($70 for TV + $50 for internet > $60 for internet) I'm fine with Qwest not trying to deliver TV over copper infrastructure. If they offered TV over their VDSL service they'd have to reserve bandwidth like AT&T does, meaning that they'd top out at 30 Mbps or so for internet rather than 40 Mbps like they do now. Yes, U-Verse TV may have a better UI than their cable competition, but I'd much rather have the full 19x2, 25x2 or 32x5 connection dedicated to internet, with VoIP running on top of that.

The other great thing about Qwest not getting into TV themselves? They have no TV biz to protect, and since they're running a point-to-point network (versus cable) they have no reason to cap service. Sounds like a win to me.

Now if Qwest would only upgrade their crap to VDSL2 around here so I could have an alternative to Comcast...

Troy Mcclure

Portland, OR

Where there is a monopoly . .

Where there is a monopoly of Qwest , they have no reason to do anything.

Where I live, the RT is full, no one else can get the high speed (1.5 Mbps DSL), until some one else cancels.


Chicago, IL

They got ONE thing right!

The ONLY TV that has to be live is sports! Period. The concept of 'prime time' and 'must see tv' will die soon enough. Let's let TV shows stand on their own, instead of riding the coattails of others. I for one, WOULD be willing to pay comcast $50.00 a month, if they would let me download in a DRM free, high quality format, any TV show they broadcast. Guess what, the networks will get paid based upon the number of downloads a TV show gets. That means that the people (not some stupid nealson rating) will determine what shows continue. I for one, despise american idol and the like, and would never download them. But the shows I do like, are always cancelled by short sighted fat cat coke snorting network pigs.
Republicans : Ignorant, illiterate, whacked out hillbillies with nothing to lose. More viewers for FOX news.

Cleveland, OH

Re: They got ONE thing right!

and AI would out due more shows than you could count if it went that way.
www.two-pugs.com www.2pugs.etsy.com

Portland, OR

Qwest Service you can count on!

It was qwest that made me join dslreports in 2001, to check if I qualify for DLS. Guess what almost 10 years later, and I still don't qualify. Qwest Service you can count on!

Fargo, ND

They're right.....

HDTV is an unnecessary drain on any ISP's networks. Cable companies can't even deliver quality HD content.... I have yet to see one anyway. Both Midco and Cable One are absolutely terrible when compared with Dish Network. So if they can't do it via traditional means, what makes them think they can do it on Demand?

Canonsburg, PA

"making themselves attractive to a possible suitor"

There may be a possible suitor for Qwest but it sure isn't Verizon unless you count cherry picking the best parts and jettisoning the rest.

Jamaica, NY

Qwest sells IPTV

Qwest already is an IPTV provider, they use the DirecTV platform

Canonsburg, PA

Re: Qwest sells IPTV

That just makes them a DirecTV reseller, not an IPTV provider.

Evergreen, CO

Qwest IP TV? Hah!

Qwest charges me $40/mo for 1.5/0.8mbps DSL. It's the fastest available. They couldn't route their way out of a paper bag, much less provide realtime video services over their Internet links. When I hit a big web page or watch a video on youtube, my network latency jumps up from a 70ms first hop to a 600+ms first hop, badly disrupting VOIP and other realtime network services, and often, web sites fail to load without punching the browser refresh.

Qwest == fail.

Fargo, ND

Re: Qwest IP TV? Hah!

Sounds like you have a wiring problem in your house...your house==fail. I have the same service you have, from QWEST, with zero issues..it's great:)