Turnkey IPTV provider Avail Media has garnered almost all of the former customers of IP-Prime.

SES Americom announced in December 2008 that it was shuttering its IP-Prime transport and programming service, supporting small U.S. telcos with IPTV services. Executives with SES Americom said IP-Prime had fewer than 10,000 subscribers, and that number didn’t justify staying in business. IP-Prime’s last day of business is scheduled for July 31. (For more, click here.)

IP-Prime actually had about 8,300 subscribers, mostly related to BEK Communications out of North Dakota and Western Kentucky Telephone, said Jon Romm, COO of Avail Media.

"They had 17 clients that were doing full gateway services," said Romm. "Out of those 17, we’ve transitioned 16. In addition, they had 40 high definition (HD)-only providers; we’ve moved 34 over. There are no clients remaining that run the risk of having a problem for the July 31 shutoff." (For more, click here.)

Avail Media has around 22,000 subscribers for stand-alone linear IPTV services such as those offered by IP-Prime, said Romm. In addition, the company has more than 1 million subscribers for its VOD service for providers, including AT&T’s U-Verse, he said.

Of the transition process for former IP-Prime customers, Romm said, "Any time you’re going to switch an entire ecosystem while live, it’s always a little tricky. (But) the clients didn’t feel the pain. We did switchovers by boxing zip codes in at three o’clock in the morning."

There are also differences in technologies and equipment between IP-Prime and Avail Media that had to be taken into account. Romm said the two companies use different antenna vendors, different receivers and different middleware.

Avail has been in the news recently with announcements that it was partnering with Cisco (click here) and merging with TVN (click here).

– Linda Hardesty

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