NXTcomm 2007: Verizon Eyes Fiber HD VOD

Verizon let it be known at NXTcomm 2007 this week in Chicago that it may be getting close to unveiling HD video-on-demand on its emerging fiber-optic TV and advanced broadband Internet service (FiOS), but stopped short of predicting a possible startup date.

The telco’s FiOS service currently competes head-on with traditional cable and DBS and now offers several HD channels, as well as VOD options for its SD content. Mark Wegleitner, Verizon’s chief technology officer, told Reuters and other reporters his firm is now getting close to ramping up a combination of both HD and VOD features.

“I don’t think there are technical obstacles. The network could support it now,” Wegleitner said on June 18. He said HD VOD was well into a beta-testing phase at Verizon’s labs. Its FiOS service also offers telephony and broadband services, along with television, in its bid to siphon off customers who use like-minded bundled products from Comcast, Time Warner, and other parties.

Verizon has defended its ongoing strategy of deploying fiber throughout its network instead of copper, even though it’s paying about three times as much as traditional cable firms to set up its core infrastructure of FTTH (fiber to the home).