No CenturyLink IPTV for Qwest Customers...Yet
Prism Service Will Pass 1 Million Homes, Just not Qwest Homes
by Karl Bode
May 5, 2010
Despite pioneering in the IPTV field, latter day Qwest wasn't much on the idea of getting into the TV business, repeatedly insisting they supported the idea of an "over the top" solution. Granted that was partially because Qwest spent the last few years shopping itself around, and made debt reduction its first priority. In contrast, new Qwest owner CenturyLink offers an IPTV service dubbed Prism, but only in select markets. Speaking on a company conference call, CenuturyLink today stated Qwest customers shouldn't expect IPTV service anytime soon, as the company's primary plan in Qwest markets will be to slow and reverse Qwest customer erosion to cable companies and CLECs.
"We are getting more local -- competing with the CLECs and cable companies who have been taking market share from Qwest," Puckett said. As for rolling out IPTV to former Qwest markets, those decisions will take more time and be influenced by the cost of pushing fiber closer to customers, Post said. Prism TV will pass 1 million homes by the end of the year elsewhere in CenturyLink-land. "We do not expect any additional IPTV rollouts in new markets," he said.
While extending fiber further is costly and takes time, companies like Qwest are losing subscribers to cable because the cable triple play is luring customers away from DSL with faster broadband speeds. Offering discount DSL instead of getting the network upgraded to next-generation services will only help up to a point, and any telco planning to nurse rotting copper for the next decade (Frontier comes to mind) has an uncertain trajectory at best if they face cable competition. CenuturyLink recently indicated they plan to phase out the Qwest brand completely by August.