For the first time in their 124-year history DFT Communications is providing a live local video service for customers in western New York and parts of Pennsylvania.
The 200+ channel streaming service is powered by the Innovative Systems MG-TV solution and the content delivery is hosted on the MVS network. The journey for DFT entering the video business started way back in the mid-1990s but finding a business model that would work based on the cost of the technology needed for deployment just wasn’t there, according to Dave Pihl, VP of Operations at the company. Pihl said the advancement of video streaming technology over the past few years offered a more favorable business model for DFT, particularly with the ability to receive hosted content delivered from a national head end. While some companies are looking at video exit strategies, Pihl says competition dictates your approach to the telecommunications business, and video is needed to compete. As has been reported in the past, it is difficult to unbundle video customers for a broadband only service, and for DFT they have strong competition that offers bundled video, broadband, and voice services.
General Manager Emily Call says MVS is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Innovative Systems to provide DFT a fully hosted and managed streaming solution to fit their subscriber’s needs. “Working with Dave Pihl and his team to launch a video product in a greenfield market, has been telling of the importance that a bundle offers in order to sell more broadband,” says Call.
“Honestly I don’t think we would have gotten into video without the hosted model from Innovative and MVS.”Dave Pihl, DFT, New York
Like most rural communications providers, the demographics skew towards consumers who have a tendency to struggle with streaming, but for DFT they have invested in a proprietary Set Top Box that bridges the gap with customers who struggle with streaming. DFT includes one IS 5041W STB with every subscription to their video service, which allows customers to use a full size remote control and closely resembles an IPTV or Cable TV experience, but using unicast live streaming delivery. DFT also allows their video customers access to the service with their consumer streaming devices including Roku and Amazon.