Foxtel Moving Customers From Cable To Satellite
28 May 2018
How Is Foxtel Currently Distributed To Your TV?
There are currently three different means by which Foxtel, Australia’s largest PayTV provider, can distributed to your TV. They are either:
- Cable (overhead or underground)
- IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)
Depending on how your Foxtel service is delivered can impact the type of set-top box you can use, types of outages you can expect, who can fix your PayTV reception if something goes wrong, how you order on-demand content (premium movies & Pay Per View events) and even the number of channels you can receive. For example, customers receiving Foxtel via Satellite are not currently able to access a large number of the digital Free To Air networks’ channels, due to the Free To Air networks not being able to strike a deal with Foxtel and the owner of the satellite (Optus). If those satellite customers want to receive all available Free To Air channels, they will need a TV antenna installed and combined to their existing TV cabling.
So Why Is Foxtel Moving Customers To Satellite?
For many years, Foxtel has been leasing the rights to use a portion of the spectrum on the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable network from Telstra. This allowed Telstra to use the HFC cable network for not just PayTV (Foxtel), but also cable internet services, albeit over a different frequency. As the National Broadband Network (NBN) has evolved through its many forms, one technology currently being utilised is delivery of the service over the existing HFC network. This means the cable network is getting more and more crowded, and eventually, to allow for faster speeds and more capacity, the NBN will be the only service delivered over the HFC network. As a result, Foxtel will cease its lease of the cable network. If delivery over cable is no longer an option for Foxtel, customers will need to receive their Foxtel services over either satellite or IPTV. As reported on EFTM.com in a recent article about this development, Foxtel Group Director of Corporate Affairs Bruce Meagher has confirmed the migration plan to EFTM.com, stating “Foxtel is moving to satellite only delivery for its broadcast subscribers while also significantly increasing its presence as a video streaming service… In the future, the NBN will fully manage the HFC network to deliver broadband services. Satellite is the best option for high quality video images watched on the large screens in homes and other venues. IP delivered streaming services are clearly the delivery mode of choice for individuals watching on a range of devices in and out of home. Foxtel is able to offer the best of both.”
When is the Migration to Satellite Taking Place?
No timeline has been released, however, it is rumoured that Foxtel has already stopped installing cable systems at new sites. Given the size of the task, it has been estimated that it could take up to 3-4 years to complete the migration of existing customer from cable to satellite. It is indeed no easy feat, considering the number of single dwelling residential premises and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) that will potentially require the installation of a satellite dish, new cabling, amplifiers and splitters/taps required for larger MATV and SMATV systems.
What Does This Mean For Current Cable Customers?
There are a number of benefits to receiving Foxtel over Satellite, rather than cable. As reported by EFTM.com, Mr Meagher told EFTM “Satellite is less prone to outages than the HFC cable and delivers great quality HD signals. iQ2 and iQ3 boxes can be connected to the internet to deliver a range of services such as streaming video, Start Over and Look Back.” Read more of the EFTM.com article here. As mentioned earlier in this article, one further impact is that all cable customers who want to keep all their Digital Free To Air channels will need to install a TV antenna. Thankfully, Foxtel’s new iQ3 receiver has a TV antenna input to easily allow customers to receive these additional channels. If your TV Antenna is not installed correctly, call the team at Install My Antenna on 1300 800 123 for a Free Onsite Quote for your TV Antenna Installation today!