ELLETTSVILLE –Smithville will end its offering of traditional “cable TV-style” media on October 31, completely replacing its prior multi-channel TV packages with its new streaming TV service, according to Darby McCarty, Chairman and CEO.
“The world of television is undergoing rapid change, and this move reflects both our commitment to providing the best possible service for our customers and current industry trends,” Ms. McCarty said. “We began offering optional TV packages to our customers during our $100 million fiber expansion in 2009, because that was what our customers were asking for at that time.”
“Today customers want to choose content that matches their needs, not forced to take hundreds of channels that they never watch” she continued. “To meet this demand, we launched our streaming media product earlier this year. We’ve had great feedback from customers about the product and the price, so we have made the decision to completely convert to streaming.”
Smithville first launched its streaming TV product last January, featuring a variety of channels and content that included news and feature programming from Indianapolis, Louisville and Evansville TV stations. Because of consumer high demand, Smithville had already dedicated server capacity for Netflix and other on-demand content subscribers in place at the time of the streaming product launch.
“We created this service to match both what our customers were telling us and where the industry is going,” explained Dave Brodin, Chief Operating Officer of Smithville. “As content costs for traditional cable-TV-style programming continue to increase, the traditional model of forcing customers to take packages containing hundreds of channels – most of which they never watch – is becoming too expensive for our customers and for Smithville.”
Earlier this year Smithville was forced to pass on increased contract costs for its soon-to-be-discontinued cable-TV style service, which helped accelerate the decision to convert all media service offerings to streaming TV. “We recognized that our customers and the company could not continue to bear these continuous price increases,” said Brodin.
“Streaming TV is a much more cost-effective option,” Brodin added. “Our streaming product offers a basic channel package for a low price and customers can subscribe to additional streaming media products that reflect their interests.”
“Mainstream network and traditional, cable-based operations already follow this trend,” the Smithville COO continued. “CBS, ESPN and other networks have launched streaming media versions of their content.”
Smithville Streaming TV services are available only to Smithville fiber-based customers and DSL customers with copper-based internet service of 5 Mbps and above. The service can be accessed by Smithville customers for $21.00 a month by downloading an app to their ROKU box, Amazon FireStick, or an Android (Google) or iPhone. No contract for services is required and the service can be viewed on multiple devices.
More information about Smithville Streaming TV is available online at https://www.smithville.com/tv/.
Cord cutting and industry trends – Popularly called “cord-cutters” or “cord-nevers,” customers who have cancelled (or never used) their traditional cable TV-style services will represent an estimated 75 million viewers in the United States by 2020. (“Cord-cutters” is somewhat of an inaccurate name, as viewers who use streaming media still have to have access to commercial broadband, which is typically available over a fiber or hybrid landline, or on occasion a wireless phone service).
Streaming media – which includes stand-alone video service from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Sling, Google/YouTube and others — already consumes up to 70% of available bandwidth at peak periods in the United States.
About Smithville – Nationally recognized for more than a decade as a Top 100 Broadband Company, privately owned Smithville is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company with more than 200 employees. With an earned reputation as a communications technology innovator, Smithville is presently deploying Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and other enhanced fiber services to its business and residential customers. It launched its “Best Speed Available” service in 2017, eliminating speed tiers and data caps for its internet service, regardless of platform (fiber or copper). These services, which range up to 100 Gbps for enterprise operations, provide a platform for the fastest connectivity available in Indiana to business, institutions and consumers. In addition to its residential services, Smithville provides commercial fiber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and managed services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers, government offices, residential centers, communities, and other entities, including the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park and the Purdue Research Park. Smithville also manages a legacy copper communication network in rural south-central Indiana, and a system-wide fiber-to-the-cabinet upgrade has improved speeds and reliability across its copper-based network. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana. For more information, please visit www.smithville.com.