Last week, CenturyLink hinted it is planning to replace its legacy “Prism” IPTV platform with a new, higher bandwidth system next year. Hoping to appeal to the millennial generation, the new platform (“Prism Stream”) features just 17 channels. The company is still working out costs and the usual broadcaster licensing issues.
Of course, all of this depends on CenturyLink’s network upgrades, which, like all telcos, are behind schedule and over budget. The Prism TV platform, for example, will require a 25Mbps connection.
Meanwhile, Mediacom announced this week it is upgrading its entire network to the DOCSIS 3.1 specification. They are projecting completion by the end of the year. Once complete, Medicom will be able to deploy gigabit service (branded “Gigasphere”) to its customers across its 22 state footprint and 1.14 million broadband users.
And if you live in or near Boston, we have some good news. Verizon is in the initial stages of deploying its flagship FiOS platform. The upgrade includes parts of Roslindale, West Roxbury, and Dorchester.
The initiative follows an April announcement by Verizon that it would spend $300 million to bring FiOS to Boston. While this represents a significant upgrade to users, it may be a nail in the coffin for incumbent cable companies, RCN and Comcast.
The FiOS platform includes 150 Mbps broadband service, telephone service, and “Custom TV” video package. Currently about 90% of Boston residents have only one option, Comcast, for HSI and pay-TV.