Iowa Independent Telcos have always been at the forefront of adding video and other services to their broadband offerings. It is appropriate then, that the Iowa Telecom Association would produce one of the best one-day programs on the topic of video. Topics ranged from over the top video, to local content to Emergency Alert Services at their event last week in Des Moines.
Brian Collins of Sky Angel explained how their family and Christian oriented service shifted from a satellite to a broadband, over-the-top solution. He explained that their target market represents less than 5% of households, but that the buy-rates are up to three movies per month for the on-demand content. I spoke of the philosophy of over the top, as it relates to independent telcos and couldn’t stay away from my favorite topic, local content.
John Kuykendall of JSI gave an excellent presentation on local content. He summarized different techniques telcos are using to create local content. One of the things he pointed out is the importance of using the web and television to reinforce local content efforts. Janelle Hansen of Marne & Elk Horn Telephone showed an excellent reel of local content examples she compiled from various telcos from around Iowa.
Finally, John Hemingway of Monroe Electronics talked of the nuances of Emergency Alert System. He talked of the future of EAS (EAS-CAP – Common Application Protocol), which is moving towards IP and XML. His prediction is that the earliest implementation for this new standard will be 2011, although FEMA would like to see it implemented as early as next year.