Windstream gets green light to bring IPTV service to Lincoln, Neb.

Windstream has officially become the latest telco to enter the still growing IPTV race by securing a video franchise agreement in Lincoln, Neb., where it will compete directly with local cable incumbent Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Lincoln will become one of a minority of cities where consumers will be able to choose from more than one video provider.

City Councilman Jonathan Cook said all of the city's consumers will benefit from having a second player to get their service from, according to a report in

"Prices are lower, and service is better," he said. "It's a good thing all around."

For nearly 20 years, Time Warner Cable had been the only video provider in Lincoln. While Windstream is Lincoln's incumbent telco, the service provider's video play had consisted of reselling Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) satellite TV services.

Under the terms of the franchise agreement Windstream developed with the city, the service provider has to bring service to about 45 percent of the city with the goal of ultimately providing it to 80 percent of Lincoln's households by the end of the 15-year period. Time Warner Cable is required to provide video to all of the city's households.

In addition, Windstream will have to pay franchise fees of 5 percent of its gross revenue to Lincoln and pay 41 cents per month per subscriber to support local government and public education access.

During the franchise review process, Time Warner Cable claimed that the telco was getting a better franchise deal. City officials and representatives from Time Warner Cable and Windstream addressed those issues and amended Windstream's agreement. Among the changes were a provision that allows Windstream and Time Warner to split the cost of a public access studio rather than force Windstream to build a separate studio.

While it has yet to specify a launch date, Windstream previously told the city that it would be able to start providing service to about 50,000 homes sometime during the spring of 2015.

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