SBC’s risky fiber-optic transition

0 Comments has a rather in-depth look at SBC’s transition from a plain old phone company to a fiber-enabled triple play giant which has bet $4 billion on the future. Still the market is very crowded and they have challenges. Still, I think this is more about being competitive and facing off with the cable guys. And with voice revenues taking a trip south, its like they cannot not do anything.

SBC has abandoned several previous forays into the video business, and its executives have more experience delivering dial tone than movies on demand, analysts say. “There’s definitely a pretty steep learning curve for the phone companies,” said Adi Kishore, cable analyst for Yankee Group in Boston. “They’re great technologists. They’ll figure out the network part of the business. But their single greatest challenge will be understanding content and dealing with content providers.” In five years, SBC could gain 14 percent of pay TV subscribers in the territories where it installs fiber optics, according to a recent report by brokerage company UBS.

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