iiNet delays IPTV offering

Rose Major

Plans by Australian internet service provider iiNet to launch an IPTV offering have been delayed into 2010 as the company is still “playing around” with set-tops, according to managing director Michael Malone.

Malone said during the company’s results briefing that the original timeframe of launching before the end of 2009 was unlikely now to be met. “I’d be surprised if we have a commercial product out by Christmas,” Malone said.

iiNet wants time to get its product right, rather than rushing to market, particularly when IPTV technology is moving so quickly.

"We are still playing around with our own box and a couple of others. The market is moving real fast - I am seeing integrated televisions with 500gb hard disks on them so we want to get a box out there at the right price point that does all the basic functionality - time shifing and recording - but has integrated IPTV as well," he said.

Meanwhile, iiNet would continue to refuse to supply details of customers accused of internet piracy, despite being ordered to do so by a Federal Court, Malone said. Handing over the download details would amount to breaking the law, he added, comparing the move with the postal service opening people’s mail.

iiNet is engaged in a legal battle with The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft which wants to prosecute some iiNet subscribers for piracy.

The ISP reported profits up 44% to alomost A$26 million over the year to end-June 2009 with around 500,000 customers using 753,000 services. iiNet is Australia’s third-largest ISP after Telstra and Optus.