The Cloud - What will it do for Aussie broadband users?

Cloud Computing promises great productivity benefits for Aussie businesses – but what can it do for regular home users?

Australian broadband users can look forward to an exciting future of new cloud services – including new entertainment and gaming services – thanks to the rollout of the NBN.

Whilst most of the attention on cloud services has so far focused on the opportunities for the business sector, the cloud will also bring benefits for home broadband users.

The NBN will deliver access to a high quality broadband connection with fast download and upload speeds – and ample data allowances from RSPs on their various plans – enabling users to get the most from the cloud.

Farewell to the set top box? 

Whilst many homes are already using the cloud to store and retrieve content from applications such as iTunes, the next-generation of cloud services will see many new entertainment services delivered to Australian homes.

In practice, this means pay TV operators like Foxtel may choose to replace their current set top boxes – which store content on physical Hard Disks – in favour of much cheaper and simpler devices which retrieve stored content from the cloud.

This move away from expensive settop boxes – which typically also require installation by an engineer – makes delivering TV far cheaper so will open up a whole new wave of cloud-delivered entertainment for Aussie homes from a range of new and existing providers.

American pay TV provider Charter Communications, has already unveiled its new Worldbox cloud TV service, as has German pay TV operator Kabel Deutschland - both in partnership with American vendor Cisco.

Although some content owners remain nervous about cloud content storage – fearing potential content piracy - the cost savings for pay TV operators are significant and will drive cloud TV deployment.

Gaming in the cloud 

Delivering popular gaming titles via the cloud to subscribers’ settop boxes is a great way for telcos to remain competitive in the consumer broadband market.

Cloud gaming allows subscribers access to new games without the need to buy expensive new gaming consoles.

Flagship operators around the world are adopting this model, including market leaders like Korea Telecom which recently expanded its HD cloud gaming platform.

The market for cloud-based gaming is set to boom further over the coming years with US research firm IDC forecasting that total gaming revenues in Asia Pacific – excluding Japan – will reach US$30.4 billion by 2018, up from US$12.9 million in 2013.

Entertainment and online gaming are just two of the new services that the cloud will bring to Australian homes – and who knows what other exciting cloud services are coming around the corner?
 

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