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It's all over the top

Twisted Wire asks, "what role is there for the telecommunications industry in content, when we seem happy with over-the-top delivery?" FoxtelGo is the latest case in point.
Written by Phil Dobbie, Contributor

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A few weeks ago, Geoff Huston from the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) said on Twisted Wire that the argument from telcos that we need the managed delivery of content to ensure an adequate quality of service is nothing more than old companies trying to argue their way out of failed business models. In other words, their job is to push bits around; end of story.

Two weeks ago, Foxtel launched FoxtelGo, giving over-the-top access to Foxtel content irrespective of which network you're on. Does this mean that the relationship with Telstra is nothing more than that of a shareholder? "Correct," says Kym Niblock, general manager of Emerging Platforms at Foxtel.

Of course, there's always the risk that disparate networks will react to the success of over-the-top plays. Eli Katz, chair of the UK's Internet Telephony Service Providers' Association, talks about the battle to ensure net neutrality from the fixed and mobile carriers. He sees no reason for any form of network control for voice — it should all run happily over the top.

With faster speeds delivered by the National Broadband Network (NBN), surely it means that everything, even video, can happily be delivered as an over-the-top service. No wonder telcos are laying off so many people.

Do you think carriers still have a role to play in the differentiated delivery of content? Call the Twisted Wire feedback line on 02 8304 5198, or leave a comment below.

Running time: 28 minutes, 05 seconds

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