Many customers of Tidewater Telecom and Lincolnville Communications, two subsidiaries of Lincolnville Telephone Company, will soon have the option of getting Internet protocol television through the companies’ growing fiber-optic network.
Shirley Manning, the president and owner of Lincolnville Telephone Company, said fiber-optic cables can bring a dial tone, Internet, and video into a home simultaneously using just one cable.
“This is the best product out there,” she said.
The company is currently testing Internet protocol television in the area and hopes to offer it to customers along its fiber-optic network within a month or so.
The company’s fiber-optic service, called O.P.E.N. or Optical Premise Ethernet Network, is currently available in certain areas of many Lincoln County towns, including Alna, Boothbay, Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Edgecomb, Newcastle, South Bristol, Waldoboro, and Wiscasset.
With the Internet-based television service, the product can be delivered through ethernet cables throughout a home or by using a wireless router, according to Randal Manning, vice president of operations for Lincolnville Telephone Company.
The IPTV service would offer a “standard cable lineup” with the choice between two tiers of programming and some premium channels, he said.
With a “whole-home” digital video recording system, as many as six or possibly more televisions could record different shows – or watch different recorded shows – simultaneously using IPTV, Randal Manning said.
The IPTV service will first be offered as wired only until the wireless system can be fully tested, Randal Manning said. “I want it to be all that it can be,” he said.
Since IPTV is a software-based service, the system is also able to adapt and change depending on what the company wants to deliver, he said.
The company still needs to sign franchise agreements with the towns in order to the deliver the IPTV service, but once they do, “anyone who has our O.P.E.N. product, our IPTV will be available to them,” Shirley Manning said.
Fiber-optic service through Tidewater or Lincolnville Communications is not available everywhere yet, but the plan is to build off the current lines to provide more availability to residential customers.
“It costs a lot of money” to expand the fiber network, Randal Manning said. “I hope people are patient with it.”
For more information, call Tidewater Telecom at 563-9911 or Lincolnville Communications at 763-9911.