Embarq to test IPTV

Executives at Embarq, the nation's fouth largest landline phone company, are talking about launching IPTV tests. The Kansas City Star said the company is planning a quad-play over its own networks; it currently partners with EchoStar to offer TV and said it has no immediate plans to dump that arrangement. Qwest, the No. 3 phoner in the U.S. has a similar alignment with DirecTV, but is also looking into starting its own IPTV service.

Embarq, headquartered in Overland Park, Kans., was spun out of Sprint Nextel last year. It has local exchanges in 18 states and annual revenues of around $6.3 billion. It lost 146,000 landline subscribers in the second quarter of this year as more people opted for bundled telecom packages from cable competitors.

Details about network upgrades, the planned beta site or the launch timeframe haven't been disclosed. Meanwhile, the company declared a dividend of 62.5 cents a share on its common stock and refused approve an annual 3 percent pay increase for employees.

For More:
- The Kansas City Star coverage is here
- The Southwest Florida News-Press covers the employee situation here