Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) is planning to go over the top in a big way with a direct challenge to both Netflix and Amazon. They announced today a partnership with Coinstar's Redbox aimed at bringing streaming video to consumers. And not just in their own territory but nationwide, which means they'll be doing it over AT&T's pipes too, and CenturyLink, and wireless too I guess. We are perhaps finally seeing the territorial walls breached some three decades after Ma Bell was broken up.
The joint venture will leverage Verizon's cloud infrastructure and IP backbone to deliver video to platforms from television to handheld devices. In addition to streaming, there will apparently be a download option. Redbox's existing I must admit, I didn't foresee the Terremark assets being used to power a new national over-the-top video offering.
Verizon will own 65% of the joint venture, with Coinstar holding the other 35%. They plan to launch in the second half, which seems like a rather aggressive schedule for a brand new online offering needing as much infrastructure as this one probably will. I wonder how they'll be handling the CDN, is Velocix still in there powering this? Or have they been working behind the scenes on such infrastructure along another path?
One question that will inevitably come up here is how this changes (or doesn't change) Verizon's stance on things like network neutrality, bandwidth caps, and data hogs. But that's for another day I think.
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