Verizon is planning to stream live FiOS TV to mobile devices, with a particular focus on the iPad, the company announced today. The move is part of Verizon’s ambition for mobile devices capable of equalling (and surpassing) your current TV.
As demonstrated today, FiOS customers will eventually be able to browse a channel selection indistinguishable from what they’d otherwise view on their television – though Verizon touted their “What’s Hot” iPad app, a mosaic view of what other FiOS customers in your area are watching, updated every five minutes. Content would be piped in via Wi-Fi directly from FiOS, without the need for an intermediary streaming device a la Slingbox. Although Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir was hot on Apple, praising the iPad’s live TV capabilities as a realisation of “why [they]built FiOS”, the company emphasised that their new service would be available across all platforms.
A time frame for the live TV service remained murky – Verizon reps at the event refused to specify a release by even next year’s time, pinning the delay on pending negotiations with content providers. The company was murkier still on the policy implications of the service with regards to recent net neutrality turmoil – as the thought of a dedicated mobile television service for FiOS customers resonates with anyone who feared the Google/Verizon proposal cleared the way for a non-neutral “second internet”. No comment was given on whether you’d be able to, say, watch TV on your iPad over your girlfriend’s connect if you’re a FiOS subscriber but she isn’t. The company stated that “ideally”, rival ISPs wouldn’t be discriminated against, but refused to comment further.