Bell Canada turns on its IPTV service

Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) is making another effort to stick it to cable competitors with the debut of 'Bell Fibe TV' service in Toronto and Montreal.

The new IPTV service, which is based Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Mediaroom multimedia software platform, will be initially available to 500,000 residences in parts of Toronto and Montreal, with a goal of reaching one million homes by mid-2011.

Touted as a 'complement' to its Bell TV satellite service, a service that has gained considerable momentum in suburban areas, Bell Canada said Fibe TV is going to be its weapon to battle cable competitors Rogers and Videotron in large cities such as Ontario and Quebec.

Bell has high hopes for its IPTV service. The service provider has set a goal of reaching 5 million homes by 2015.

Showing its seriousness about being a major video player, Bell's parent BCE purchased the remaining 85 percent it did not own in Canada's largest private broadcaster CTV. The purchase will enable Bell Canada to extend various elements of content including both the 2012 Olympics and the Discovery Channel to both wireline-based IPTV subscribers and mobile TV subscribers.

Serving as the foundation for the service is its ongoing 'Fibe' Fiber to the Node (FTTN/VDSL2)-based last mile network, one that currently passes three million residences in both Toronto and Montreal.

For more:
- see the release here
- The Chronicle Herald has this article
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
Bell Canada enhances video play by acquiring CTV
Bell Canada intros Internet TV, Videotron goes wireless
Bell rings in IPTV service in Toronto, Montreal
Bell Canada lays out its FTTN service plans
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