Canadian telco Bell Aliant looks to IPTV, FTTH for growth through 2015

Canadian telco Bell Aliant is looking to take a deeper plunge into IPTV waters, and plans to use a $350 million expansion of its broadband network to plumb the depths of consumer demand for an alternative service.

The company currently has 37,000 IPTV customers and believes it will be able to "dramatically accelerate" subscriber IPTV uptake, as well as garner more high-speed broadband customers, as its FTTH grows through 2012. Some of the expansion is planned for central Canada, but the company declined to be more specific, citing competitive reasons. The company competes with Eastlink, Quebec's Videotron and Rogers Communications Inc. in Atlantic Canada as well as in Ontario and Quebec.

The buildout will give the company a footprint of more than 600,000 households and businesses by the end of 2012.

"It a very cost-effective thing for us to build and it gives us the opportunity for revenue growth," president and CEO Karen Sheriff said. "It lets us pretty significantly expand our television footprint, to offer television to way more people than we do today."

The company already is in the midst of a $95 million buildout in eastern Canada, primarily in the New Brunswick area, that will take its reach to 140,000 homes by year's end.

Sheriff said the company expects the bulk of its growth to come from broadband over the next five years.

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