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August 4, 2008

Verizon FiOS TV And The tru2way Threat

verizonfiosbackup(2).jpgAlthough they've showed signs of slowing down lately, Verizon has been pushing its FiOS TV network across the United States at lightning speed. Just last week the company rolled out FiOS in all five boroughs of New York City, bringing 100 HD channels to citizens of the Big Apple. And while the fiber-based TV service is a huge threat to the American cable industry, it's facing a looming threat itself.

That threat would be CableLabs' tru2way platform which, Verizon says, isn't compatible with the FiOS network. In fact the threat is so large that Verizon is lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "encourage the development of interactive video standards based on a low-cost, universally implementable interface" such as Ethernet so no one cable provider is at a disadvantage.

It might be too late now though; the six largest cable providers in the United States have already signed Memorandum's of Understanding pledging pledging support for the two-way open platform that allows cable subscribers to access VOD services and other interactive features without the need for a set-top box.

Verizon feels the tru2way platform is proprietary and built for traditional cable providers, putting them at a disadvantage. Plus technical standards aren't really standards unless they can apply to all cable providers, traditional or not. We don't think Verizon should worry too much. If the tru2way initiative does take off on a mass scale, it won't be for a couple more years of set-top boxes giving the company plenty of time to figure out its next move.

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Posted by Justin Davey at August 4, 2008 12:39 PM

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