Foxtel launches NBN service across HFC network

Foxtel has added HFC services to its fibre to the node, building, and premises NBN offerings, with packages including unlimited downloads at speeds of 25/5Mbps.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Foxtel's new NBN package pricing

(Image: Foxtel)

Foxtel has announced adding hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) services to its National Broadband Network (NBN) offerings, expanding its NBN footprint out by 50 percent.

The pay TV provider, which said video streaming is one of the primary uses for the NBN, is differentiating its offerings by bundling broadband services with content packages involving unlimited data downloads on all Foxtel content.

"We pride ourselves on being a broadband provider where your service is specifically built for entertainment with NBN, unlimited streaming, a modem optimised for video, and HD certification from YouTube," Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said.

"With the addition of HFC, we have secured the most important broadband technologies and can now service over 92 percent of Australian households with either ADSL or NBN connectivity."

Packages for new customers across all NBN technologies start at AU$101 per month on Foxtel's Entertainment bundle, which includes unlimited downloads; unlimited standard local and national calls across a home phone line; and pay TV with an entertainment pack providing 45 channels.

New customers signing up for the Platinum package will pay AU$202 per month, and will receive more than 90 pay TV channels.

The Foxtel Wi-Fi modem and activation fees are waived for 24-month contracts.

Existing pay TV subscribers can pay AU$75 extra per month to add an unlimited download NBN service on a 24-month Entertainment bundle contract, or AU$65 extra per month for unlimited download with no lock-in contract on the Platinum bundle.

"We are offering our Platinum subscribers a compelling low price; we won't charge any upfront fees, and they can enjoy the flexibility of a no lock-in contract," Tonagh said.

Customers on its unlimited NBN data plans will be put on the 25/5Mbps speed tier, although they will be allowed to move between data plans and speed tiers each month without having to pay a transfer fee.

Foxtel, which announced a quarterly loss of $23 million (AU$31.2 million) earlier this year due to the closure of subscription video-on-demand provider Presto, is also offering "NBN-ready" ADSL broadband, meaning customers will be transferred over to the NBN once Foxtel offers the service in their area.

The addition of HFC follows Foxtel in May announcing that it would be offering fibre to the node (FttN) and fibre to the basement (FttB) alongside its fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) NBN services launched in November last year.

At the time, Foxtel said its push into the NBN market as a retail service provider would "accelerate" over the next few months in an effort to complement its entertainment offerings.

"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," Andrew Lorken, executive director of Broadband at Foxtel, said last year.

"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."

Under NBN's Corporate Plan 2018-21, 3.1 million premises will be served by HFC, while 1.9 million will get FttP, 4.6 million FttN or FttB, 1 million fibre to the curb (FttC), 600,000 fixed-wireless, and 400,000 satellite.

Vodafone Australia also recently announced its NBN plans and inclusions ahead of an internal trial across 300 premises, although it has only an initial launch planned for late this year.

"If things go well -- and that's very much to get feedback making sure that we've got everything sorted, which we're confident we are -- then we'll quickly move to rolling out and launching initially in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, Newcastle, and Wollongong," Vodafone general manager of Fixed Broadband Matthew Lobb told ZDNet.

Vodafone's three plans of "essential" NBN 25, "essential plus" NBN 50, and "premium" NBN 100 followed guidance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that retail service providers should package and advertise their fixed-line services along the lines of evening peak speeds.

The ACCC had suggested labelling speeds as "basic evening speed" for 12/1Mbps services, "standard evening speed" for 25/5Mbps, "standard plus evening speed" for 50/20Mbps, and "premium evening speed" for 100/40Mbps.

Under Vodafone's home broadband pricing, it will cost consumers AU$70 per month for 12Mbps download speeds, AU$80 for 25Mbps, AU$95 for 50Mbps, and AU$110 for 100Mbps, with all options available in 24-month and month-to-month options and including unlimited data, bonus mobile data for post-paid customers, and its 30-day network satisfaction guarantee.

Business plans will cost AU$80 for 25Mbps, AU$95 for 50Mbps, and AU$110 for 100Mbps.

The network will be launched across NBN's fixed-line networks "really soon", with fixed-wireless rolling out in the new year, Lobb told ZDNet.

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