Innovative Systems Powers 124-Year-Old Company’s First Local Video Service

For the first time in its 124-year history DFT Communications is providing a live local video service for customers in western New York and parts of Pennsylvania.

The 200-plus channel streaming service is powered by the Innovative Systems MG-TV solution and the content delivery is hosted on the MVS network. The journey for DFT entering the video business started in the mid-1990s but finding a business model that would work based on the cost of the technology needed for deployment just wasn’t there, according to Dave Pihl, VP of operations at the company.

Pihl said the advancement of video streaming technology over the past few years offered a more favorable business model for DFT, particularly with the ability to receive hosted content delivered from a national head end. While some companies are looking at video exit strategies, Pihl said competition dictates your approach to the telecommunications business, and video is needed to compete.

It is difficult to unbundle video customers for a broadband-only service, and DFT has strong competition that offers bundled video, broadband and voice services. “Honestly I don’t think we would have gotten into video without the hosted model from Innovative and MVS,” Pihl said.

General Manager Emily Call says MVS is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Innovative Systems to provide DFT a fully hosted and managed streaming solution to fit their subscriber’s needs. “Working with Dave Pihl and his team to launch a video product in a greenfield market, has been telling of the importance that a bundle offers in order to sell more broadband,” Call said.

Like many rural communications providers, the demographics skew toward consumers who tend to struggle with streaming, but DFT has invested in a proprietary set-top box that bridges the gap with customers who struggle with streaming. DFT includes one IS 5041W STB from Innovative Systems with every subscription to the video service, which allows customers to use a full-size remote control to closely resembles an IPTV or cable TV experience but using unicast live streaming delivery.


DFT also allows its video customers access to the service with its consumer streaming devices including Roku and Amazon.

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