Orcon launches free internet TV

50 channels coming up

Auckland ISP Orcon has launched a live TV service in conjunction with Alt TV on the eve of full-rate DSL returning to New Zealand customers.

The service is provided as Windows Media Player streams, at 56, 256 and 700kbit/s bit rates, and currently features music video programming. Orcon has also put up movie trailers from Digirama, as well as an internet radio page featuring independent New Zealand stations.

Asked if such services wouldn’t hit Orcon hard in terms of Commercial Unbundled Bitstream overage charges, as levied by Telecom at 50¢ per gigabyte for aggregate data over 4GB a month, marketing manager Duncan Blair says this is a risk that Orcon is willing to take.

“We will not allow restrictions imposed by one of our suppliers [to] affect our digital strategy,” Blair adds. He says that Orcon is not prepared to wait for a change in commercial terms for Telecom’s wholesale service before offering streaming media services.

Blair says that the service is intended as a demonstration of what broadband can deliver but warns that using the service will eat into customers’ monthly data caps if they use it frequently, as with any similar streaming media.

He also expresses concern that Telecom’s DSL backhaul may not cope with the added traffic from customers streaming media over the internet. This is, says Blair, the reason why the service is free. It is a trial in preparation for the delivery of true IPTV solutions over Orcon’s own network after local loop unbundling has been enacted by Parliament.

Orcon recently announced a deal with Siemens to build an ADSL2+ network. The cost of the network rollout is said to be $30 million, with Orcon and Siemens owning half each.

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Tags IPTVOrconADSL2+DSLWindows media player

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