According to a report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian market for internet protocol television (IPTV) and internet video is less developed than many other international markets, with fewer than five IPTV providers and fifteen internet video providers offering full-length professional content directly to consumers.
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According to ACMA, the industry participants interviewed for the study believed that IPTV and internet video will become more common in Australia in the future but there was disagreement over the actual timeframe, with estimates ranging from 18 months to three years.
At a basic level, IPTV is the delivery of multimedia services over a managed IP network. In the communications industry, IPTV is often seen as ‘Telco TV’, a subscription television service offered by DSL-based telecommunication carriers.
There are several supply-side factors acting as barriers for IPTV and internet video deployment.
Internet video providers believed that capped plans for broadband access and the cost of downloads were important barriers to take-up and deployment.
Capital expenditure requirements were cited as a major barrier for potential IPTV deployments, although this may become less important with a national fibre to the node (FTTN) network rollout.
According to US analysts, Light Reading, the worlds top ten largest IPTV deployments lists seven European countries, with three of the top ten IPTV providers being French.
The list’s top provider, Iliad, offers French consumers a DSL/IPTV/VoIP triple play bundle for $US45 a month, and will soon start offering consumers fiber lines for the same price as existing DSL offerings.
A recent study stated that in the U.S. family of four will pay $US140 per month for the triple play, compared to $US80 in Germany, $US54 in France, and $US50 in the UK.
Much of France’s success (from the consumer point of view) is attributed to local loop unbundling.
Overall, the development of IPTV and internet video is all part of the growing number of new online delivery methods, new types of content and engaged consumers are driving significant change in the media and communications industries.
Examples include the appearance of social networking websites, the rise of user-generated content and new online avenues for obtaining entertainment, including music, TV and film content and interactive games, says ACMA.