TV over Telephone lines in Mumbai/Chennai

Now this is really exciting – “MTNL, BSNL to kick-off IPTV from Mumbai, Chennai“. Television via telephone lines! [ via]

It remains to be seen if anyone can offer these services, over MTNL and BSNL’s lines, or if the two state-owned telcos will attempt to “lock-in” users into their content. The problem, of course, is MTNL and BSNL have not yet decided what business they are in. If they are telecom companies, then they ought to stick to maintaining the telecom infrastructure around India. But they imagine that they are ISPs, too – so they’ve “locked in” consumers into using only MTNL’s Triband and BSNL’s DataOne Internet services over their copper-wire infrastructure. Now they also imagine that they’re content providers. Going by past experience, there’ll be a messy “licencing” and “bidding” process for channels/content providers to provide television over, for instance, MTNL’s Triband service.

It would be interesting to see how MTNL would react if there were a service that offered, let’s say, an ad-supported, web-based TV-channel that operated via the RealPlayer or Windows Media Player plugin inside a browser.