Urban Communications, a decade-old Internet service provider in the Vancouver, British Columbia area, is rolling out a new IPTV service based on its recently launched 1 Gbps Internet service. Its IPTV play includes a basic package of 90 channels (35 HD) for $29/mo.
The beta version does give subscribers access to a larger pool of channels, some 251 in all, at higher prices. The test is limited to two smaller service areas, but the company says it expects a full launch available to all of its Urbanfibre Internet subscribers in the second quarter. Subscribers can also use most Android mobile devices to access content.
The model closely resembles Google Fiber’s, with gigabit Internet service at the core (it costs $79/mo.) and no data caps. None.
Urbanfibre advertises the service as having 1 Gig downstream and 1 Gig upstream. There’s no contract needed, although there is a $100 construction fee.
There is a major caveat, at least for the moment… the service is only being offered to MDUs – apartment buildings, condo complexes, townhomes and the like. At least for the moment.
Urban Communications provides Internet, voice, video and broadband products over its 200 km. carrier grade fiber optic network in metro Vancouver and Victoria to commercial, residential and public sector customers.
The model is an interesting one that leverages fiber and super-fast Internet, and it’s very possible that other ISPs could follow suit, especially as gigabit Internet service – which is forecast to grow tenfold by the end of 2016 – gains traction.
A recent Deloitte report forecast that 600 million subscribers will have access to networks offering a gigabit tariff by 2020, more than half of the world's connected homes.
"While Gbps subscriptions should surge this year, the sharpest inflection point for the service may be in terms of perception," said Deloitte in the report. "For homes, the perceived reasoning for Gbps service will likely evolve from meeting the needs of a single application running on a single device to meeting the aggregate demand from multiple devices. Although a Gbps connection for a single device may be overkill, consumers are likely to continue accumulating connected devices in the long term."
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