MobiTV Says It’s Ready, Willing, Able To Transport MVPD Programming Via Fiber To Cable Operators
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, November 18, 2019 – In meetings with the FCC Chairman and Commissioners last week, ACA Connects leaders said providing cable operators impacted by the C-band reallocation with the option to choose fiber-based solutions would better serve the public interest than the command-and-control approach the C-Band Alliance (CBA) contemplates in its recently filed proposal to clear 300 MHz of the band.
“Given the significant harm that would befall cable operators and their customers if they are forced to maintain operations on 40% of today’s C-band, these operators must be given the flexibility to cope with this new reality using technology-based solutions they believe best meet their future needs,” ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
“I built my company from the ground up, and sure as the sky is blue, this boss lady is not going to sit quietly and let a few foreign-owned satellite companies tell me how to run my business,” said Patricia Jo Boyers, President of BOYCOM Vision and ACA Connects Chairman of the Board. “I know better than them what’s best in my neck of the woods, that’s for sure.”
In a written presentation that was provided to the FCC’s top brass in meetings and filed with the FCC on Nov. 15, ACA Connects expressed its continued support for the 5G Plus Plan, which remains the only plan on record that would rapidly unleash C-Band spectrum for 5G while protecting incumbent users, including small and rural cable operators.
ACA Connects criticized the CBA’s transition plan, which has been short on details but clear in that it would force cable operators to keep using a C-Band that would be less reliable, less affordable, more prone to interference, and unable to meet future demand. It requires more than 2,000 cable operator earth stations and headends to upgrade to technical specifications prescribed by the satellite companies, ACA Connects complained. The CBA overlooked the sheer complexity of its plan, which ACA Connects argued could not get done in three years or within a $3.5 billion budget. ACA Connects posited that a five-year process and $6 billion price tag would be more likely, and is in fact optimistic.
Rather than be locked into CBA’s plan, cable operators should have flexibility to use auction proceeds on fiber-based solutions, ACA Connects said. One option is for cable operators to use fiber to interconnect earth stations and thereby reduce the number of stations that must be upgraded to continue receiving video over the C-Band. Another option is to connect earth stations to a managed video transport provider that has rights to provide cable operators with programming feeds via fiber, cutting out the C-Band entirely. ACA Connects emphasized that these options do not depend on any video programmer transitioning to a fiber-only video delivery mechanism. Moreover, the cost and timing for cable operators to implement these fiber-based solutions are comparable to what would realistically occur under CBA’s plan, ACA Connects noted.
ACA Connects highlighted that the hundreds of thousands of route miles of fiber that would be utilized under these additional options could also meet the connectivity needs for 5G backhaul, as well as businesses, schools, hospitals and other institutions in rural America.
ACA Connects urged the FCC to reject CBA’s proposed transition and seek comment on a transition process that gives cable operators fiber-based solutions, and it argued that a neutral transition facilitator — not the CBA — must oversee the transition.
Also on Nov. 15, MobiTV President and CEO Bill Routt submitted a letter to the FCC expressing support for the 5G Plus Plan, and in particular the proposal that cable operators be given options to migrate their video transport to fiber when C-Band spectrum is repurposed for 5G.
In the letter, Mr. Routt said MobiTV was “ready, willing and able” to expand its operations to accommodate cable operators that choose to receive video from a terrestrial managed video transport provider.
“MobiTV has operational capability to provide this advanced IPTV service to any operator that is connected via fiber to our data center directly or through regional POPs of aggregated fiber connectivity,” Mr. Routt noted further. “When the necessary fiber connectivity is in place, an operator can connect to the MobiTV platform quickly and easily and without any upgrade to its headend, because the service is delivered over the operator’s broadband facilities. Accordingly, MobiTV is a viable option for cable operators, including in rural areas, that seek a fiber-based solution for video transport as a replacement for the C-Band.”
Established in 2000, MobiTV provides an end-to-end app-based IPTV platform that enables cable operators to deliver advanced pay TV services to their end users via fiber connectivity as an alternative to their legacy satellite-based headends. MobiTV has rights to distribute 375 national linear programming feeds and corresponding video-on-demand (VOD) assets. There are more than 100 operators in the U.S. who are receiving this service.
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: http://www.ACAConnects.org