Windstream has lit up its Kinetic IPTV service in 13 North Carolina communities, marking the latest move to enhance overall broadband revenues and customer ARPU.
Kinetic is being offered to eligible customers as a bundled service with Windstream’s broadband internet and voice service.
Pricing is competitive with local cable operators. Customers can sign up for Windstream’s Kinetic Preferred Bundle plus 1 Gbps FTTH service for $99.99 per month for the first year. However, the telco has not revealed what the price would be following the promotional period.
Leveraging the Ericsson Mediaroom platform, Kinetic offers a wide array of features including HD channels, free whole home DVR, wireless STB (for additional TVs), VoD, Instant Channel Change, exclusive savings when services are bundled, free professional installation and Kinetic on the Go.
North Carolina is the fourth Kinetic market following successful launches in 2015 and 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska; Lexington, Kentucky; and Sugar Land, Texas.
In August, the service provider filed a cable TV franchise agreement with the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State to bring its Kinetic IPTV television service to the state.
Being able to launch IPTV and higher internet speeds in more markets like North Carolina will be critical for Windstream as it tries to reverse the broadband subscriber decline trend the company has seen in recent quarters.
During the third quarter, Windstream reported that consumer broadband connections were 1.06 million, down sequentially from 1.07 million in the second quarter.
Still, consumer service revenues increased $1 million sequentially to $312 million. Driven by broadband speed penetration gains across all tiers, improved modem rentals and sales of bundled services, consumer average revenue per household increased 2 percent sequentially and 6 percent year-over-year.
While providing 1 Gbps service is a priority, particularly in areas where Windstream already has built out existing fiber, the service provider is no less keen on enhancing its existing copper network via its Project Excel program.
Project Excel, which the telco says is 60 percent complete, is aiming to provide up to 100 Mbps and higher over existing copper using a mix of VDSL2 and vectoring.
Bob Gunderman, CFO of Windstream, told investors during its third quarter earnings call that it is “starting to see a higher uptick in take rates for higher speeds in the excess of 50 percent.”