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Wednesday, 14 December 2011 10:51

Internode offers fetchtv over FTTH networks - without multicast

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Internode has launched trial of the fetchTV IPTV service to its customers connected to the NBN's FTTH network and those on FTTH networks provided by Opticomm in new housing developments.

Internode delivers the full fetchTV service (as opposed to the 'lite' offering) over its own DSLAM network using IP multicast technology, which means that it does not have to delivery a separate data stream to each user taking identical content at the same time. The content is stored in the DSLAM network so only one data stream from the server is needed to serve multiple end users.

NBN Co is planning to offer IP multicast over its FTTH network, but it will not be available until Q3 of 2012. NBN Co is, however, looking for service providers willing to trial the service between now and April.

In the meantime, Internode says it has "designed and implemented a new technical approach to allow us to deliver the full subscription TV channel suite offered in the full fetchtv service, without requiring the underlying network to support IP multicast."

Detailing the trial on the Internode blog, CEO Simon Hackett said: "We believe this represents the first time that any Australian ISP has delivered the full fetchtv subscription TV channel capability (including all available TV channel packs) over NBN and Opticomm service ports."

The main downside to the non-multicast delivery technology adopted by Internode is that, to enable service delivery Internode 'reserves' 6Mbps of the available bandwidth on a customer's service. So, for example NBN customers with a 12Mbps service will find that they have only 6Mbps for all other Internet services.

However, Hackett says: "It is actually possible to 'live dangerously' by turning off the bandwidth reservation'¦We have technically provided for you to be able to make that request if you wish to. However, if you do that, you'll need to self-manage your peak network link usage, because your other Internet activity may then interrupt the subscription TV channel experience."

Internode has launched a nationwide commercial trail that will be available to any NBN connected Internode customers and those on any Opticomm FTTH network (and Hackett says potentially other FTTH services in the future). Customers must sign up under the standard 24 month contract but will be able to cancel their contract during or at the end of the trial without the normal early termination fees if the service fails to perform satisfactorily.

Last week, announcing delivery of Internode services via the NBN to the first house in a new South East Queensland development, Internode said it had offered the occupants a free three month trial of the fetchtv service.

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