eircom nears its IPTV launch, but challenges remain

eircom, Ireland's incumbent service provider, is on the verge of launching its IPTV service in an effort to more effectively compete with the country's cable and satellite TV providers.

Eoin Halpin, IPTV technical architect at eircom, said in a Total Telecom article from the TV Connect event in London this week that it is currently conducting technology and customer trials of its TV service.

"We expect to be launching quite soon," he said.

Halpin said that any telco that is considering an IPTV rollout needs to be prepared to address issues such as the customer installation process and a system to provide information on any service activation delays.

The IPTV service will run over a mixed fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) network consisting of a mix of fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) and fiber to the premises (FTTP) networks.

Last month, eircom commissioned its thousandth fiber-based remote terminal (RT) cabinet for its FTTC network to deliver up to 70 Mbps over a hybrid copper/fiber configuration to 1.2 million homes and businesses by 2014.

In the FTTC configuration, it will deliver services like IPTV over a VDSL2 connection to each home or business.

The service provider is currently moving through a three-part FTTx network initiative that will leverage a mix of both FTTC and FTTP networks that will reach 1 million homes by 2015.

eircom's FTTx initiative runs parallel with the country's broadband plan to provide a minimum of 30 Mbps speeds to every consumer and business in the country.

Herb Hribar, who returned to the telco as its CEO last August, said last month during the IBEC CEO Conference that its RT cabinet "investment is future proofed allowing for further upgrades to fibre to the home technology that can support even faster speeds when the economics of the technology improve."

Hribar said that if the economic environment in the country improves sufficiently to make an FTTH upgrade viable, the technology could see households and businesses in many parts of the country receiving connection speeds between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps.

For more:
- Total Telecom has this article

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