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TeleUP's Gustavo de Medeiros Talks Digital Rights and Rural Streaming Delivery

Hot on the heels of their joint performance in the Streaming Media's State of Streaming Research Keynote, Tim Siglin, Founding Executive Director, Help Me Stream Research Foundation, and Contributing Editor, Streaming Media, sits down for a talk with Gustavo Neiva de Medeiros, President, TeleUP Inc., to discuss digital rights and rural streaming delivery in this interview from Streaming Media East 2023.

“So, Gustavo, introduce yourself and tell us about the several roles you have in the industry,” Siglin says.

WISPTV and the IPTV Model

Madeiros tells Siglin that he has been in the streaming industry for 21 years, is the President of TeleUP, and is involved in a couple of other organizations. “I also run WISPTV – Wireless Internet Service Provider Television, where we focus on rural ISPs…I got government funding to expand their broadband footprint," he says. "We provide a white label solution for them, where they can offer traditional cable channels, broadcast channels, and an (Internet Protocol Television) IPTV model. But we’ve also added a bunch of FAST channels for the consumers who just want to watch something for free, but their brands stay front and center.”

FAST Alliance’s Fight for the Interests of Independent Channels

“The other organization I'm involved in is nonprofit,” Madeiros says. “It's called the FAST Alliance. And most of my FAST channels that I've been able to license over the years, we're not happy with the revenue they were getting from the platforms and the technology middlemen. The objective of the FAST Alliance is just to fight for the interests of these independent channels, whether it [means] paying less for playout service, getting a better deal from a platform, revenue share, inventory share, that's absolutely just a little bit better. So just aggregate our bargaining power to obtain more bargaining power [and to] aggregate our collective demand.”

The Challenges of Rural Broadband and TeleUP's Solutions

Siglin says, “Let's talk about WISPTV, because that's really fascinating to me. You're working in rural broadband and you're providing classic television channels. Is it a multicast solution? Is that sort of the way that it's handled, or is it handled as unicast live linear?”

“It all depends on whether they're watching a broadcast, whether they're watching cable, or whether they're watching FAST,” Madeiros says.

“Sure,” Siglin says. “And obviously FAST can be on-demand.”

“Exactly,” Madeiros says. “The biggest distinction has to do with the rights. So cable programming is very expensive and very complicated. OTT rights are almost impossible to get, so there we work with a transport carrier, and then we get it to their site and through an origin server. We distribute it within their IP, [that’s] not available in any other way. For the FAST channels, it doesn't really matter. But we have it all in the same Electronic Program Guide (EPG), so in the end, the customer doesn't know.”

Siglin says, “So having done a lot of work back in the day with NCTA and going to Super Con and seeing especially how the world incumbent carriers who could actually provide IPTV as part of their service, that solution was really fascinating. But in the places where the phone service has sort of gone away and now it's replaced with cellular or wireless, is that where your primary focus is, the wireless delivery, or do you do wireline as well?”

“Well, this is what's happening,” Madeiros says. “A lot of these guys, when they started, were the local tech guy in that rural area, and they would use wireless equipment to provide broadband to their neighbors. And some are very large now…you look at Aristotle, you look at Wisper, you know, a couple million in stocks. And most of these that have gotten government funding, they're building out fiber. And believe it or not, people are still ordering Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones. But we also want to give them a flavor of the new, which is the FAST and the OTT stuff, and then we just created a blended solution for it.”

Learn more about independent FAST channels at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

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