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Foxtel announces broadband, Australia yawns

Triple-play coming to a waiting nation – next year

Rupert Murdoch @ Davos 2009 credit: World Economic Forum

Foxtel, once held out of the broadband market by long-standing agreement with Telstra, has announced a broadband resale agreement with the incumbent's wholesale arm.

That will see it launch the obligatory triple-play offering of Pay-TV, voice and broadband calls.

Given the tsunami that has engulfed all forms of television, it's no surprise that the provider is looking for that extra bit of “sticky” in its services. Even with an essential monopoly over Pay TV content in Australia, subscriber numbers have been relatively static for some time.

Earlier this year, it trumpeted 2013 growth of 100,000 subscribers (from 2.4 to 2.5 million), noting that this was its best growth in four years – a period in which among other things its last competitor, Austel, became part of the Foxtel borg.

Under the arrangement, Foxtel's broadband will be offered on ADSL and the NBN (whatever form this takes under whatever technology the government manages to roll out).

HFC is not mentioned in the announcement, possibly because of Telstra's long-standing refusal to offer wholesale HFC broadband services. Letting Foxtel onto the network would, The Register supposes, make it difficult for the carrier to maintain its long-standing opposition to letting anybody else use the network.

The Pay TV provider lays on a predictable gush about the launch, which will happen about a year from now, with CEO Richard Freudenstein calling it “transformative” for the business. ®

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