Skitter.TV deploys with Hill Country Telephone Co-op

Hybrid IPTV/over-the-top video platform Skitter.TV says it has completed the second phase of its deployment with Ingram, Texas-based Hill Country Telephone Cooperative. The installation brings to 54 the number of Skitter Acclaim video encoders at Hill Country as the co-op gets ready to offer subscribers a linear TV lineup of 70 cable/satellite network channels and 42 broadcast TV channels from network affiliates in nearby Austin and San Antonio.

The Tier Two service provider will use Skitter.TV's converged media environment to offer over-the-top content, video on demand, digital audio and user-generated content across its fiber and copper networks. The co-op is in the midst of a $57 million fiber-to-the-node build-out that will give it more than 560 miles of fiber installed, connecting its 3,500 miles of copper. Its plant infrastructure includes Cisco routers, DSLAM solutions from Occam Networks and the Zeugma Services Node from Zeugma Systems.

Installation of the platform is expected to be completed this summer; external beta testing is expected to begin immediately after that and the launch is planned for late 2010.

"Skitter.TV is key to our on-going strategy to diversify our business," said Delbert Wilson, GM at Hill Country. "We didn't want to duplicate a typical TV service with 300 channels. With Skitter.TV, we have a unique offering with live TV programming we specifically designed for the tastes and preferences of the communities we serve, supplemented by unlimited Web video and advanced features that make TV better."

The Hill Country co-op serves a sprawling area of 2,900 square miles across 14 counties in central Texas. The co-op has some 14,000 telephone customers and 5,200 Internet subscribers. Hill Country will be marketing the Skitter.TV service as a stand-alone offering and as part of a number of service bundles.

Skitter.TV launched in September 2009 and offers telcos--especially Tier 2 and Tier 3 operators and independents--an alternative to standard IPTV by integrating OTT local broadcast video with Internet video. It runs on Windows, Macs, and Linux computers, as well as on STBs. It has a client on Roku's set-top box that's pretty smooth, and has partnered with the National Telco Television Consortium, one of several groups and companies helping small telcos with content licensing and related issues.

For more:
- see this release

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