Telstra is rolling out the first stage of its Foxtel onservice from Sunday, 26 June. Available initially to BigPond cable broadband customers in Foxtel metro areas*, it is expected to be more widely released to ADSL households in two months' time.
The service will have 43 channels all up, with the 11-channel Get Started package priced at AU$19.50 per month. Four additional sport, entertainment and movie packages are on offer from AU$10 to AU$15 per month. Much like the changes announced last month to, the streamed content will be unmetered, meaning there will be no charges against user's data plans and no risk of exceeding data download limits.
|Get Started||Eleven channels including Fox8, MTV, Nickelodeon, Discovery, National Geographic Channel, Channel [V] and Lifestyle You||$19.50/month|
|Sport||Four channels including Fox Sports Play, ESPN and Fuel TV||Additional $10.00/month|
|Entertainment||Eleven streaming channels including The Comedy Channel, Disney, Sci Fi and UKTV||Additional $15.00/month|
|Showtime Movies||Two streaming channels, Showcase and Showtime Premiere, plus Catch Up movies from seven channels including Showtime Comedy, Showtime Action and Showtime Family||Additional $15.00/month|
|Movie Network||Two streaming channels, Movie One and Movie Two, plus Catch Up movies from eight movie channels including, Starpics, FMC and Movie Greats||Additional $15.00/month|
Telstra expects the service to be attractive to its 120,000+ T-Box customers who do not want to pay for a Foxtel installation or sign up to a long-term subscription contract — there is only a one-month minimum commitment for Foxtel on T-Box. However, Telstra intends to make the service more attractive by offering it in new home voice and broadband bundles that will see the Get Started package discounted by AU$10 to AU$9.50 per month.
One limitation of the service via, as opposed to the full offering, is that users cannot record or pause any of the streamed content. T-Box recording capabilities will still be an option for free-to-air shows, but Foxtel's streamed programming will be available to watch only through the catch-up service, with content availability expiring depending on the limitations of its licensing agreement.
Existing T-Box customers can subscribe to Foxtel online. When downloading a Foxtel channel for the first time, buffering to load the internet content has been engineered to take an average of eight seconds. Accessing the same channel thereafter should be even quicker.
*Foxtel and its offerings on T-Box and Xbox 360 are therefore not available in the Northern Territory or Tasmania.