Australia - National Broadband Network - IPTV versus IPTV RF

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Last updated: 30 Mar 2015 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 6

Analyst: Paul Budde


The further we move into discussions about the implementation of the NBN, the more issues crop up that need to be discussed in this context.

One topic that received a great deal of attention is the need (or not) for an RF video layer to be deployed over the fibre network. Both business and technical elements are involved in this, but let’s start with some of the business elements.

In early 2010 NBN Co announced that it intended to develop its own multicast capability in order to reduce the bandwidth requirements for video transmission. For this purpose the company will in this situation utilise what it calls the ‘Layer 3 aware’ elements of the NBN. This is a rather contentious issue as the company is adamant to only provide Layer 2 wholesale services.

Interestingly it looks like this debate is more driven by the government than by the industry. From the beginning the government has been of the opinion that video entertainment would be an important element in the business model for the NBN. BuddeComm strongly opposes this view as there is no indication that customers are going to pay money for something they already get for free (TV).

Furthermore each household has on average 2.3 TVs and they will all need to be wired into the NBN in order to continue to get the signal. Furthermore, TV quality video required FttH and the NBN will only deliver that to 90% of households – the other 10% would still need the FTA system.

Furthermore at this stage the impact of SmartTVs was not even considered.

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