FEATURE: On the Hot Seat with Keith Galitz

On the Hot Seat with Keith Galitz

Canby Telecom, an 11,000 access-line ILEC in Canby, Ore., launched an IPTV service in October 2005 and now has north of 1,000 video customers. The company serves 8,500 homes with voice, broadband and a TV service featuring video-on-demand, an interactive program guide and a nifty alternative to those pesky handset searches during a favorite show--on-screen caller ID.

Keith Galitz, a former executive with Qwest, took over the phone cooperative as president and general manager in March 2004. His journey from a multibillion dollar carrier serving 14 states to a 103-year-old local co-op serving an 84-square-mile area began conventionally. (Galitz will also share his knowledge in a "lessons learned" panel at IPTV Evolution, a FierceMarkets event held in conjunction with the Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO at the Los Angeles Convention Center Sept. 10-12. Click here to find out more.)

"I lived north of here and play golf at the local country club," Galitz said. "The prior president and I played golf together, and I told him if he ever retired, I wanted to apply."

Galitz came to Canby just as the board was exploring a video play. He spoke with FierceIPTV Editor Deborah McAdams about the resulting endeavor.

FierceIPTV: What influenced the decision to launch IPTV, particularly before the technology was proven, and in some cases, available? 

Galitz: We turned 100 years three years ago, and prior to that, we did lot of customer surveys. What came out was that they wanted another choice other than the cable company. We came up with a plan and took it to the board, and the board approved. We did quite a bit of research; visited other telephone companies. The business plan took us roughly three months.

Continue reading the rest of the interview at FierceIPTV.com.