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Scientific-Atlanta: It's not just for cable anymore.

The Atlanta-based broadband vendor has scored a $195 million deal to supply IP video gear to SBC Communications in support of the telco's far-reaching "Project Lightspeed" fiber initiative.

Under the multi-year agreement, S-A will supply equipment — including encoders, satellite dishes, and video routers — for an IP video operations center (VOC), two national IP super hub offices (SHOs) and 41 IP video hub offices (VHOs). The VOC will serve as the "command center," monitoring the availability and quality of content traveling through SBC's switched IP video network.

The selection of S-A is the next step in a $4 billion project that will deploy fiber-to-the-node and fiber-to-the-premise technology to 18 million homes in 13 states by 2007.

To fuel the effort, SBC has already signed a primary $1.7 billion supplier deal with Alcatel, and a $400 million set-top software deal with Microsoft TV.

SBC expects to launch its "U-verse" IP-based video service in late 2005 or early 2006.

Although SBC has yet to specify a set-top vendor, its choosing of S-A maintains a balance of technical power between S-A and Motorola in the telco sector that already exists in cable.

Earlier this year, Verizon tapped Motorola as its primary supplier of video headend equipment and set-tops.

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