New Australian broadband network to give IPTV a boost

Australia's proposed National Broadband Network (NBN) will help boost the number of IPTV launches in the country, according to Frost & Sullivan, with 235,000 IPTV subscribers predicted for the country by 2014, while New Zealand is also predicted to have 141,000 IPTV subscribers by 2014 as a result of its own new broadband network.

Work is expected to start on the new Australian broadband network before the end of this year, with Tasmania to be the first state to initiate the rollout and construction of the fibre backbone to start in regional mainland areas before the end of the year. The new network is expected to be based on a mixture of Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH), delivering speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

"In Australia, the country’s National Broadband Network (NBN) project is expected to boost IPTV service rollout and uptake as delivery networks will be enhanced with the NBN," said Adeel Najam, analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Given the high household broadband penetration rates in these two countries - Australia at about 60 per cent and New Zealand at just under 60 per cent in 2008 - and the comparatively lower pay-TV household penetration - Australia at 30 per cent and New Zealand at just under 55 per cent (2008) - IPTV has the potential to capture a portion of the pay-TV market."

However, it has been suggested in local media reports that a major reworking of the two countries' regulatory framework for their respective media sectors will be needed before any strong growth by the IPTV industry can be realised.