Foxtel launches fibre-to-the-premises NBN service

Saying the NBN was 'purpose built for entertainment', Foxtel is now offering broadband services to customers living within the FttP footprint nationwide.

Australian pay TV company Foxtel has announced launching National Broadband Network (NBN) services, with the provider offering high-speed broadband exclusively across the fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) footprint.

The service, available from Thursday, marks the beginning of Foxtel's push into the NBN market as a retail service provider (RSP), which it said will "accelerate" over the next few months in an effort to complement its entertainment offerings.

"With today's launch on the NBN network, we're taking our broadband service to the next level. When our customers couple Foxtel's premium movies, TV shows, and sport with our unlimited broadband bundles, they will receive their content on broadband that is purpose-built for entertainment," said executive director of Broadband at Foxtel Andrew Lorken.

"We think this truly differentiates Foxtel from other broadband providers in an increasingly competitive market and we aim to be the broadband supplier of choice for those customers seeking a combination of the highest-quality internet access and the best content."

Bundles for new customers start at AU$111 per month on a 24-month contract, including a 200GB download limit across the NBN; unlimited standard local calls across a home phone line; pay TV with an entertainment pack; and a Wi-Fi modem labelled the Foxtel Hub.

Existing pay TV subscribers can pay AU$85 extra per month to add unlimited broadband, while Platinum HD Foxtel subscribers can add NBN for an additional AU$75 per month, both on 24-month plans.

Existing Foxtel ADSL customers are able to switch their services to NBN without re-contracting.

Vodafone Australia also announced its entry as an NBN RSP last month, but will not be offering plans until 2017.

Gold Coast City Council undercuts NBN with its own fibre offering

Rather than waiting for the NBN to reach all areas of its region, Gold Coast City Council has gone to tender for a fibre-optics broadband network alongside its 14-kilometre light-rail line.

"This scope of works is for the provision of design, documentation, supply, construction, delivery, installation, testing, and commissioning of a long-haul/distribution fibre cable, access points, and service links including without limitation all associated communication, electrical, civil, and mechanical components for the full functioning of a 100Gb fibre optic wide area network," the tender documents say.

According to reports by the ABC, Gold Coast City Council will be spending more than AU$3 million of its own funds to roll out a fibre network to service customers by the time the Commonwealth Games take place in 2018, as the NBN is taking too long to reach those areas.

According to the tender documents, the network, part of the Digital City Program, will involve the installation of 865-core fibre optic cable across the Gold Coast city, from First Avenue, Southport, through Surfers Paradise to Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach.

"The City Distribution Fibre is a high-capacity backbone cable that will be used for the transmission of data, video, voice and control signals along the Gold Coast Light Rail corridor," the council said in its tender documents.

"The City Distribution Fibre Optic Wide Area Network consists of high capacity backbone cable and Fibre Access Nodes (FAN) that will enable connectivity of Principal's data, video, voice, and control signals."

The network has been broken down into three work packages, with the first and last noted as being priority. The first covers the initial design and construction of the ICT WAN backbone cabling and FAN; the second involves design and construction of five ICT WAN service links to the Gold Coast Rapid Transport building, Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Security Operations Centre, Safety Camera Network, and Kurrawa Park; and the third involves design and construction of the Health and Knowledge Precinct WAN.

"The Principal's Distribution Fibre (backbone) is proposed to be installed from the Health and Knowledge Precinct Communications Room, First Avenue, Southport, through to the Broadbeach Communications Room, 2729 Gold Coast High Way, Broadbeach (within the Synergy Building) via the existing Stage 1 Light Rail pit and pipe system," the tender documents specify.

"At strategic locations along the 14km cable route, it is proposed to install Fibre Access Nodes (FAN) that will enable the termination of a 144 core break-out cable (tail)."

Tenders close on November 16.