Viodi View – 07/27/12

Is there a rainbow peeking out of the clouds that points to a brighter day or do today’s clouds lead to a fog bank of chaos? Although there is a great deal of uncertainty in the telecom space, which is manifesting itself through cautious capital expenditures, two things are clear; improving efficiency of operations and finding new diversified revenue streams are critical for operators to survive and thrive.

Give Us Visibility 

With over 650 telecommunications’ operators behind last week’s letter that was sent to the FCC and their elected representatives, the rural telecom industry is as united as it ever has been. In a nutshell, a central point of their argument reflects what economists call, The Permanent Income Theory of Consumption. When the future is cloudy and income streams less clear, investors will tend to make fewer investments that require a long-term horizon. Click to read the rest.

Top US Telcos Reject Broadband Connect America Funding by Alan Weissberger

Ten of the nation’s largest carriers were invited to participate in the Connect America Funding program, offered by the Federal Communications Commission.  The fund would pay carriers $775 per broadband line deployed to an unserved home within its territory up to a specific dollar level (which varies from one carrier to another). Click to read Alan’s analysis.

Multiscreen Authentication for the Small Operator

Obtaining rights to stream programming to multiple screens is one of the major issues that cable and IPTV operators face these days, as shown by the recent dust-up between DirecTV and Viacom. In this interview, filmed at the 2012 ACA Summit, NCTC president, Rich Fickle explains how his purchasing cooperative is working to include multiscreen video as part of their deals with content suppliers. Click here to view this video interview where he discusses NCTC’s efforts to help with the multiscreen authentication challenge faced by smaller operators.

The Piracy Continuum

Stuart Rosove of Irdeto explains the nuance associated with identifying content theft. In this interview, he explains the framework for how Irdeto looks at the content security continuum. Ensuring easy access to the legitimate consumer on whatever device she wants is one of the problems Irdeto is trying to solve. Rosove points out a number of use-cases that the industry is working on (e.g. who owns the digital content in the case of a divorce). Click here to view.

From Online to the TV and Back

With all the talk surrounding the appointment of Marissa Mayer as CEO and the challenges she faces in pleasing the stock market, it is sometimes easy to overlook that Yahoo! is a profitable business with a significant position in many areas. Yahoo! is also is a leader in original programming according to Comscore data, “With 21 out of the top 25 most-watched online series…..captures more than 57 million unique viewers a month who come to Yahoo! to watch video.”An example of original Yahoo! programming is the just released series, Electric City, created by and starring Tom Hanks.

In this interview, Russ Shafer, Senior Director of Global Product Marketing for Yahoo! Connected TV, provides an update on the rollout of the Yahoo! Connected TV offering. Click here to view.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

The 100+ MPG Fleet Truck

Improving the efficiency of their fleet is one painless way for operators to reduce operational expenses in these uncertain times. Although the utility vehicles featured in Jay Leno’s video have greater upfront costs, the promised operational cost savings could pay for the Via Motor’s trucks over time. Built with a standard chassis and body from GM, these hybrid-electric trucks look no different from a regular vehicle, but they provide a robust generator capability at the work site and a promised 100+ mpg.

Via Motor’s website promises life-cycle savings due to lower maintenance and fuel costs. In rural areas, where there is lots of “windshield time” it will be interesting to see if the efficiency gains will be as great as what Via Motor’s touts. Given the small amount of fuel these vehicles use, it would be interesting to see if a compressed natural gas-powered version of this vehicle will be developed.

These vehicles could offer an interesting fleet alternative for telecom operators. As hinted at in this video, fleet sales are the initial focus of Via Motors. With automobile legend Bob Lutz leading Via, this Orem, Utah based upstart car-maker has a credible chance at changing the fleet vehicle market. Click to view the video.

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