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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 12, 2010

Texas Cooperative Standardizes on Skitter.TV's Converged Entertainment Services

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

Skitter, Inc., has completed Phase Two deployment of the Skitter.TV converged entertainment services platform at Texas based Hill Country Telephone Cooperative (Hill Country).

According to a release, the 54 Skitter Acclaim video encoders have now been installed to get ready for a total linear (live) TV lineup of and 42 broadcast TV channels and 70 cable/satellite network channels from network partners in Austin and San Antonio.

Aside from the linear TV channels from Hill Country, the Tier Two service provider will also gain from the united media environment of Skitter.TV to provide digital audio, user-generated content, over-the-top (Web video) content and video on demand as part of a converged entertainment experience.

The installation of the Skitter.TV platform is expected by the co-op's to be done this summer. They intend to start external beta testing of the service after a short while. Hill Country plans to release their entertainment services later this year.

Hill Country provides service to 2,900 square miles throughout 14 central Texas counties. They serve around 14,000 telephone customers and 5,200 Internet subscribers. Hill Country used the entertainment services as a major strategy in expanding operations further than traditional landline phone service.

The Skitter.TV service will be advertised as a stand-alone offering and part of several service bundles intended to raise customer satisfaction and loyalty and eventually boost network income. Residential and business customers are also offered monitored security services and mobile technical support as stand-alone and bundled offerings by the co-op.

Larry Pechacek, the business development manager at Hill Country, said he believes that Skitter.TV is the best platform for service providers such as Hill Country who provide service to large rural regions.

Hill Country will be deploying Skitter.TV all throughout its fiber and copper networks. This co-op is in the third year of its four-year and $57 million fiber-to-the-node build out. , Hill Country will have over 560 miles of installed fiber which will connect its 3,500 miles of copper once this is finished.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha's article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight