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“Grubby” Foxtel Under Siege As Telstra Delivers Slowest Netflix Streaming

"Grubby" Foxtel Under Siege As Telstra Delivers Slowest Netflix Streaming

Meanwhile Netflix has captured 39% of the video streaming market according to research from Pocketbook.

There are also problems emerging for Telstra a 50% shareholder in Foxtel with new research showing that their network is among the slowest to stream Netflix. 

Research issued by Netflix show that the best network for streaming the US service is TPG who scored an average speeds of 3.36 megabits per second (Mbps). Optus came in second place at 3.27 Mbps and iiNet in third, at 3.24 Mbps.

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Telstra, recorded an average speeds of 2.23 Mbps. Now questions are being asked as to whether this is deliberate due to their 50% ownership of Netflix arch rival Foxtel.

In comparison US carriers stream Netflix around the same.

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During the last three months tens of thousands of Australians have flocked to take up an Optus $90 bundle that includes unlimited broadband and a free Fetch TV Box.

According to Optus insiders the network is struggling to meet the demand while set top box partner Fetch TV has placed orders for more than 175,000 new Fetch TV boxes. 

One of the likely reasons Optus and iiNet ranked so highly is because they both have equipment in their networks that caches Netflix content, enabling it to be delivered faster to their customers.

Foxtel has also been slammed by the free to air TV networks who claim that the actions of Foxtel, Telstra and Foxtel’s other 50% partner News Corporation are “grubby and selfish” for claiming the Abbott government could reap a $1 billion dividend by stripping excess spectrum from the networks and selling it to mobile phone companies.

Fairfax Media reported that the free-to-air lobby has asked the government to let the networks use their secondary channels to show sporting events listed on the anti-siphoning list, which gives them first rights to screen key sports events.

The networks’ stance puts them in direct opposition to Foxtel, underlining the difficulty the government faces as it seeks broad industry consensus to push through deregulation of the sector.

Free TV chairman Harold Mitchell told Fairfax Media: “We already have less spectrum allocated to broadcasting than any comparable country and the government was unable to sell all of the spectrum offered at the digital dividend auction in 2013.”

Mitchell added: “There’s no substance in what they are talking about here. This is a grubby and selfish attack by ASTRA on Australian free television.

In a submission to the government’s review of digital television regulation, ASTRA called on the government to mandate the MPEG 4 signal compression technology and multiplexing of broadcasting spectrum – and to sell off any spectrum freed up, rather than let broadcasters use it to offer more services or sub-let spectrum.

But Free TV’s own submission says a switch to MPEG 4 “would not provide a significant benefit and would potentially hinder broadcasters’ ability to move to newer more efficient transmission and compression technologies (DVB-T2 and HEVC) in the future”.