Windstream spruces up DSL brand with new video streaming bundle

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Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) has jumped into the video streaming business with a new triple play bundle consisting of online video, DSL and traditional voice services.

Under its new "Merge" service suite, which is available to all of its residential customers, Windstream is packaging its existing DSL speed connections (3, 6 or 12 Mbps) with unlimited phone, a free Roku streaming box, and six free months of Hulu Plus.

After paying an initial $75 activation fee, the bundle will be initially offered to customers for $62.99 for a six month period.

"With the explosive growth of streaming content, the 'information superhighway' has become outdated," said David Redmond, Windstream's vice president of consumer marketing. "We created Merge to give our customers access to something better: what we call the 'entertainment superhighway.'

Unlike its ILEC counterparts CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Consolidated Communications (Nasdaq: CNSL) and SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW), Windstream has been more conservative on the video front by choosing to resell satellite services as part of a triple play bundle.

However compelling the new brand may be for Windstream, some critics like Karl Bode at Broadband DSLReports are already questioning if a 3 Mbps connection is enough to support a good video streaming service.

Although Windstream has been making concerted progress in upping its broadband subscriber numbers, the reality for many of the copper-centric telcos is that cable continues to lure more subscribers with much higher speeds (50 and even 100 Mbps) that are also offered as part of a triple play bundle.  

For more:
- see the release
- here's Broadband DSLReport's take

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