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SBC continues IP video push with Scientific-Atlanta

SBC Communications has tapped Scientific-Atlanta to supply IP video infrastructure equipment in a bid to compete with cable and satellite television operators within two years.

SBC, based in San Antonio, will spend $195 million in a multiyear contract with Scientific-Atlanta. The infrastructure will include video distribution handled by two super hubs that feed 41 regional hubs. Scientific-Atlanta will also provide hardware and network management services to SBC for its new Project Lightspeed network.

The telco giant plans to spend $4 billion on a fiber optic network expansion plan that would deliver video, phone and Internet access to 18 million subscribers in 13 states. The IPTV portion of the project will feature advanced video services including HD programming, VOD and video recording features over upgraded telephone lines.

Using IP technology and fiber optics, SBC plans to compete with cable and satellite providers by offering subscribers more control over their TV programming.

In SBC’s network, the IP video super hub offices will use Scientific-Atlanta’s video encoders for SD and HD transmissions. It will be capable of serving the entire SBC footprint. Additional Scientific-Atlanta encoders in the IP video hub offices, located throughout the SBC service area, will provide the essential encoding functions for locally originated content.

At the IP video operations center, Scientific-Atlanta’s ROSA element manager system will be used to support a broad array of network monitoring and control functions.

Last November, SBC announced that Microsoft would provide the IPTV operating system for its future set-top boxes.

SBC joins competitor, Verizon, who announced plans to spend about $3 billion extending fiber cables directly to homes to offer its own bundle of advanced services delivered via an IPTV infrastructure.

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