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Telstra denies IPTV shift

Ellis review results hold staff in suspense

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Telstra has strongly rejected claims that the company will move away from the IPTV market, in a response to The Register's report last Monday that it was reviewing its IPTV strategy and considering moving its 300,000+ T-Box customers to Foxtel.

The carrier refuted claims that it will move away from the IPTV market, with Telstra media relations spokesperson Jane de Gault claiming that that “the company is committed to the T-Box.”

But Telstra did not say our story was incorrect or request a correction or retraction.

The response from Telstra also avoids the core issue of our story, namely that Telstra’s IPTV division and customer base is currently under review by recently appointed group managing director, Digital Media Rick Ellis. Sources maintain that a strategy to shift Telstra’s T-Box customers to Foxtel is on the table. The move would initially see the T-Box technology platform retained, but the customers and content owned and managed by Foxtel.

Telstra would not engage in detailed discussion on the review of the IPTV business unit but did say, “it is fair to say Telstra is constantly reviewing all parts of our business in order to continue to succeed in what is an incredibly fast-changing, competitive industry. Rick Ellis brings fresh eyes to a complex portfolio and is reviewing the strategy as part of his role since joining the business.”

However in an internal message to staff regarding the speculation about the unit's future, executive director J-B Rousselot, who reports directly to Ellis wrote the following:

“As you now, with Rick’s appointment we are currently reviewing the Telstra media business. As you would expect when a new business unit is brought together such reviews invariably lead to lead to speculation and rumour. ….You will also recall that Rick has undertaken to be transparent about the review process so I encourage you to await his updates as it becomes possible for him to share it with us.”

Telstra refused to answer whether any discussions with Foxtel on the IPTV customer base have been taking place.®

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