Cablevision leasing Apple TV box for $5 monthly to OMGFAST subscribers
Testing the waters for using Internet video devices to compete with fellow cable operators, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) launched a promotion at its OMGFAST wireless broadband system in Florida in which subscribers can lease an Apple TV set-top for $5 monthly.
While Cablevision already competes with broadband Internet services from Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and other cable operators in South Florida with a wireless Internet product that offers subscribers download speeds of 50 Mbps for $29.95 monthly, the Apple TV promotion OMGFAST is touting this week marks its entry into the video business. OMGFAST is offering free installation of the Apple TV set-top, which retails for $99. The device lets users access content from Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iTunes library, in addition to video from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo and other content providers.
Formerly known as Clearband, OMGFAST relies on Multichannel Video Data Distribution Service (MVDDS) spectrum. It delivers high-speed data from microwave transmitters placed on communications towers and rooftops to subscribers with fixed wireless receivers that look similar to a high powered satellite dish.
Cablevision bid $84.6 million to acquire MVDDS licenses covering 45 markets in a 2004 FCC auction, but the OMGFAST rollout in Florida is its only commercial deployment.
"OMGFAST! is a developmental project offering high-speed wireless broadband service in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach counties. We currently have no expansion plans and any future plans would be informed by the business results," Cablevision VP of corporate communications Kelly McAndrew told FierceCable in July.
Cablevision is only offering the Apple TV promotion to OMGFAST subscribers. The promotion isn't available to Cablevision customers in the New York area or on its Optimum West systems on Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.