CenturyLink lights up FTTP-based IPTV service in Omaha

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is now offering customers its new Prism TV service in the Omaha, Neb. metro area over a new pilot fiber to the premises (FTTP) network that replaces a legacy HFC system serving 48,000 homes and business its predecessor US West built.

Similar to the legacy Qwest Phoenix market, the service provider is conducting a "soft launch" of the Prism TV service in Omaha this quarter.

Thus far, reports Omaha.com, it has struck cable franchise agreements with Douglas and Sarpy Counties and the cities of Ralston, Gretna, Papillion, Springfield and Bellevue. In addition, it is pursuing a cable franchise agreement in La Vista.  

Similar to other markets where it offers Prism TV, the telco will offer three main prices for a dual-play bundle of data and TV: Prism Premium for $128.95 a month; Prism Complete for $85.95 a month; and Prism TV package at $69.95 a month.

Besides not using the hybrid copper/fiber to the node (FTTN) last mile architecture using a mixture of ADSL2+ and VDSL2, what's different about the deployment in Omaha is it's a Brownfield environment.

"We obviously run a small smattering of GPON properties already, but this is the first time we are doing a large-scale Brownfield conversion and all of the customer migrations," said Matt Beal, CTO of CenturyLink, in a previous interview with FierceTelecom. "That's probably one key difference is that we're looking at it not just from a new capture like everyone else, but also from a Brownfield conversion perspective."

What makes this FTTP network less capital intensive is that fiber had been already deployed within every eight homes in the entire footprint.

While CenturyLink came later to the IPTV game than larger ILEC AT&T (NYSE: T), the subscriber base has been growing every quarter. The telco reported that as of the end of March it had a total 120,000 Prism subscribers, with 13,400 of those added in Q1.

Glen Post, president and CEO of CenturyLink, said during the Q1 earnings call that it has almost 10 percent penetration of Prism TV "across the market where service is available" and that over 50 percent of the customers added were new customers to CenturyLink."

For more:
- FierceIPTV has this coverage
- Omaha World-Herald has this article

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