Layer3 TV, the Colorado-based pay TV operator, is using Verizon’s fiber network in Washington, D.C., to market a broadband bundle as well as a stand-alone broadband service that delivers symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps.
Layer3 TV isn’t commenting on the connection with Verizon, and Verizon has been asked for comment.
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However, people familiar with the linkage said the broadband end of Layer3 TV’s offer in the Washington, D.C., are does use Verizon’s FTTP network. And while Verizon would perform the connection to the exterior of the customer’s house, Layer3 TV is on board to active the service itself, as well as elements such as billing and customer care.
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Layer3 TV’s pureFiber offer has appeared on its site for the Washington, D.C., area since at least last week. There, Layer3 TV is selling the pureFiber Internet service (100 Mbps/100 Mbps) as a standalone for $69 per month (with a two-year agreement), or for $125 per month as part of a bundle ($75 per month for the Layer3 TV pay TV service, and $50 for the 100-Meg broadband service). In Washington, D.C., Layer3 TV is also selling its 260 channel-plus TV service, branded as Platinum allHD, as a stand-alone for $85 per month, with no annual contract.
Layer3 TV (and Verizon) compete with Comcast and RCN Corp. in the Washington, D.C., market.
Though the financial terms of the agreement in the Washington, D.C., area were not immediately known, the partnership could provide strategic benefits to both companies.
For Layer3 TV, being able to market and sell a broadband service give it an all-important broadband component to sell as a stand-alone or as part of a bundle.
For Verizon, it will give consumers in its wireline footprint another pay TV option outside of its own Fios TV product, and one in Layer3 TV that is delivered via IP, features a next-gen interface, and a whole-home device platform that delivers a large lineup of HD programming as well as access to a small but growing mix of 4K content. And even if Verizon cedes a pay TV subscriber to Layer3 TV (it's still unclear if Verizon gets a share in those revenues), Verizon does gain or retain a subscriber to its higher-margin broadband service, and also prevents those customers from getting service from a market rival such as Comcast or RCN.
The Verizon reselling arrangement Washington, D.C., market adds a new wrinkle to Layer3 TV’s marketing and distribution strategy.
Layer3 TV also has a partnership with NextLight, a municipal fiber broadband provider in Longmont, Colo. Layer3 TV has not announced if it plans to seek similar agreements with broadband providers in the other two markets where it has launched its IPTV service: Chicago and Los Angeles.
Layer3 TV has also dabbled in partnerships that give incumbent pay TV providers access to what some may refer to as a “flanker” brand/service for pay TV. Prior to being acquired by Altice, Suddenlink Communications hooked up with Layer3 TV in some markets in Texas for a service branded as Umio TV. The Umio TV trial is no longer active.
Altice is believed to have inherited Suddenlink’s investment stake in Layer3 TV when Altice acquired Suddenlink in 2015.
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Layer3 TV hasn't commented about any linkage to Verizon, but Layer3 TV did release a statement from CEO Jeff Binder about the broadband offer in the Washington, D.C., area: “Layer3 TV places consumers first by delivering the products, content, and technology requested of cable and satellite providers for years. Consumers have suffered too long with sub-par video quality, legacy interfaces, and a lack of integration with modern applications and devices – we are changing that with best-in-class video quality, the most advanced hardware and integration of all the best social, OTT and digital platforms.”