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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 06, 2011

Qwest Customers: Don't Hold Your Breath for IPTV Service

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

While Qwest (News - Alert) owner CenturyLink offers the IPTV service called Prism, it’s only available in a few select markets. Now CenturyLink is saying its primary plan in Qwest markets will be to slow and reverse Qwest customer erosion to cable companies and CLECs.

CenturyLink may be facing ongoing losses in its traditional PSTN business, but in Q1 it was able to stem those losses with strong gains in broadband services. During the quarter, CenturyLink added over 52,000 new DSL subscribers, bringing it to a total of 2.4 million broadband subscribers.

Glen Post, CEO and president of CenturyLink, said in the earnings release that in addition to “successfully integrating and operating the Embarq (News - Alert) properties, slowing the rate of line loss in our business and meeting customer demand for high-speed Internet and high-bandwidth services.”

In regards to IPTV (News - Alert) service, Karen Puckett, CenturyLink COO said “We are getting more local -- competing with the CLECs and cable companies who have been taking market share from Qwest.”

Post said the company expanded the service, called Prism TV, in the first quarter to three new markets: Tallahassee and Orlando, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C.

Prism TV, which offers video content over a dedicated Internet network, is available in eight Legacy CenturyLink/Embarq markets. CenturyLink purchased Embarq in 2009 and completed its acquisition of Denver-based Qwest on April 1.

Post said the company will continue to expand Prism TV in 2011, ultimately reaching 1 million homes with the service by year’s end.

However, in response to a question from an analyst, Post said the company does not expect “any additional rollouts in the CenturyLink markets” this year.

“We’ll be evaluating the Qwest markets in the coming months,” Post said. “We do think there could be some opportunity there. . . . We’ll be making those decisions around midyear as far as any additional rollouts of IPTV in any of those markets.”

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell