So, here goes – the long-awaited roll-out of British Telecoms (BTs) IPTV-service, scheduled to roll out next Monday. The service has been somewhat delayed, with the first roll-out planned for summer 2006, a schedule that later became the slightly more ambigous “sometime this autumn”, which now has been confirmed for Monday December 4th.
The triple-play service will reportedly be slightly down-scale, with broadband access, over-ip-telephone calls and some channels and tv content available on demand.
It’ll be available first only to BT broadband subscriber, it’ll run on a Philips hybrid set-top-box running on Microsoft software.
Now, this is all new territory for BT. But in the market for IPTV, it’s quite a big step – one of the biggest players so far to really start up this seriously, with a plan for the future. During spring 2007, if nothing’s gone wrong, expect BT to feature heavily at, for instance, MIPTV, racking up content and distribution deals. The success or failure for BTs Vision-service will be closely monitored by the other players globally – not only “does it work”, but also more importantly “are people interested”, “will people pay for it” etc.
My two cents? I think we’ll see Vision gaining momentum, providing the technology – soft- AND hardware – is up to it. In a years time, they’ll have a million subscribers, offering a bundle of live tv channels and lots more on demand. And a jolly time will be had by all.
Except Sky then, of course 😉