Consumers reluctant to pay more for online TV

  • Concept of IPTV still foreign to most
  • Not considered a viably contender with Pay TV
  • Quickflix, iView and FetchTV amongst alternatives to Pay TV and Free-to-air

The majority of broadband customers aren't prepared to pay more for extras on their plan such as unmetered TV shows, according to a survey.

In a recent poll from comparison website Compare Broadband, site visitors were asked, "Would you pay more for a broadband plan to include unmetered Australian TV shows online?" 66% (242 votes) of the 367 respondents said "No" to the query, while 32% (118 votes) said, "Yes" and 2% (7 votes) said, "I don’t know".

Several Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer content including Internet TV channels for free, with the downloads used to view them not counting towards a customer’s monthly data quota.

Scott Kennedy, Compare Broadband's General Manager, commented: "Right now 'content' is not important to the majority of consumers; however, when the NBN is rolled out and wholesale prices are the same for all ISPs, content partnerships will become a key point of differentiation.

"The results are also indicative of the way we presently use our broadband connection and as we become more internet savvy we will stream video via our broadband connection through our HDTV, at that time content will be a major driver in our purchasing decision."

iiNet, iPrimus, BigPond and Internode all allow their customers to watch channels such as ABC's iView or FetchTV without having to worry that their monthly quota will be reached too early, resulting in a shaped (slowed down) broadband speed, or in some cases, excess usage charges.

These providers all have competitively-priced plans for ADSL, ADSL2+ and Naked DSL customers.

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t’s Freezone feature leads the pack as it lets its customers access FetchTV, which can be added onto plans at an extra cost, ABC iView, Bloomberg.com and  Loco TV, as well as Tivo Movies On Demand and QuickFlix online movie rentals, all without adding to the download quota. iPrimus and Internode also has a deal with ABC iView, iPrimus is associated with Tivo, and Internode with FetchTV.

Allowing consumers to stream content from the other free-to-air networks such as Ten, Seven and Nine and even the BBC's iPlayer once the service goes global, for no extra cost, seems to be the next logical step for providers and one that would be welcomed by consumers.