SBC Inks $400M IPTV Deal with Microsoft

SBC Communications has signed a $400 million 10-year deal to deploy Microsoft's IPTV software in the set-tops it will deploy as part of its fiber buildout.

Microsoft's software will offer instant channel changing, customizable channel lineups, VOD, DVR, interactive program guides (IPG), event notifications, etc. Testing of the IP-based television service--built on the Microsoft platform--began in June. Field trials will begin in mid 2005 and later in the year, commercial availability of the IP-based TV platform will be in the planning stages.

Also, during early 2005, the San Antonio, Texas-based telecom expects to begin construction on its estimated $5 billion Project Lightspeed that will offer IP-based services such as IP television, VoIP and Internet broadband. By the end of 2007, Project Lightspeed expects to reach 18 million households.

Microsoft TV IPTV Edition also provides a security system that includes subscriber digital rights management technology to protect content across devices.