February 20, 2017 — Muscatine Power and Water announced that it has selected Innovative Systems to provide the “middleware” that will power new customer features for video subscribers when MP&W converts the cable system to Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) later this year as part of the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project.
Innovative Systems was notified of their selection late last week and it comes on the heels of the recent award of a contract to Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG) for the construction of the new all-fiber network. The contractor and middleware providers are essential steps in ramping up the FTTH project and additional vendors and project partners are expected to be announced in the near term.
“Most of the talk about Fiber to the Home up to this point has centered around the possibility of Gigabit Internet speeds,” said General Manager, Sal LoBianco, “and the fiber-optic delivery system in conjunction with new hardware driven by Innovative Systems’ middleware, will transform our customers’ television experience as well.”
With nearly 1200 systems in service throughout North America, Innovative Systems is one of the leading suppliers of hardware and software for the independent communications market. The Innovative Systems product lines specialize in telecommunications video, voice and OSS solutions.
“With a long history of working with co-ops, municipalities and privately owned communications companies, we are excited about this partnership with a municipality the size of Muscatine,” said Jerry Weber, Innovative Systems VP Video and Voice Services. “We are particularly pleased that Muscatine Power and Water will be deploying the full suite of Innovative’s IPTV features, which will provide the residents of Muscatine a video service that will be highly competitive long into the future.“
As part of the video rollout later this year, MP&W will be replacing current set-top boxes with new generation IPTV equipment which is considerably smaller in size, but packed with many new features driven by the Innovative Systems middleware. Customers can expect an enhanced interactive guide with expanded search and other intuitive features plus network DVR with “Restart” and “Catch-up” capabilities. There will even be a remote-control smartphone app that will allow you to set your DVR from anywhere!“Cable TV revolutionized home entertainment decades ago — opening up new technology and programming choices for viewers,” said Erika Cox, Employee and Customer Relations Director. “Now, with the fiber-optic and IPTV technology, customers will have an enhanced user experience and more control and more freedom than before!”
Features of the new IPTV system are numerous, like enhanced On Demand, pay per view and digital music plus access to online streaming services like YouTube, and will be fully ready for 4k Ultra HDTV as customers upgrade their equipment and more 4k programming becomes available from providers. MP&W will provide additional details in the coming weeks through the news media, social media, advertising and mpw.org.
System construction is expected to begin in May followed by neighborhood-level system construction and the first customer cutovers as early as August 2017.