Windstream launches IPTV in Sugar Land, Texas, taking on Comcast's TV monopoly

Windstream has named Sugar Land, Texas, as the third market for its Kinetic IPTV service. The provider will offer its service to over 30,000 homes beginning in the second quarter, laying a new challenge to incumbent video provider Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Sugar Land is the third market where Windstream is offering Kinetic service, following its launch in Lincoln, Neb. and Lexington, Ky.

Leveraging Ericsson's (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mediaroom platform, Kinetic features HD channels with all packages, free whole home DVR, wireless set top boxes for additional TVs, video on-demand and instant channel change.

The launch is also significant in that it's one of the five markets where Windstream is going to trial its new 1 Gbps FTTH service.

In November, Windstream told investors during the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference that it would trial a 1 Gbps FTTH service in 2016 with plans for a broader rollout to follow in markets where it has previously built fiber to homes. The provider will take a similar approach in Sugar Land, but it has not revealed a specific timeline yet.

Regardless of when it goes live, Windstream will immediately be able to battle Comcast, which is in the process of rolling out gigabit services to select markets via FTTH and DOCSIS 3.1 equipment.

While Sugar Land is not part of Comcast's initial DOCSIS 3.1 rollout, the service provider intimated that it is mulling a wider deployment across its footprint this year, a move that will potentially alter the competitive broadband landscape.

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