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Multicast ushers in new age of TV innovation and interactivity

28 September 2012

NBN Co announced today that telcos and internet service providers are now able to sign up to use its Multicast feature.

The Multicast feature is the latest in a series of enhancements to the fibre optic network designed to help service providers broaden their NBN product offerings and enable consumers to make the most of high speed broadband.

The feature offers providers dedicated bandwidth on the fibre network designed to enable them to deliver innovative, high quality video to Australian homes and businesses.

It is also expected to be a more efficient and cost-effective method of delivering IPTV content compared with the Unicast method of content delivery that many providers use today.

The Multicast feature is designed so that service providers can inject broadcast IPTV channels into one or more of NBN Co's 121 points of interconnect (POI), each of which serves around 150,000 premises.

From each POI, these video streams can then be replicated to potentially thousands of viewers, saving on backhaul costs and creating significant network efficiencies compared with a standard data service.

Jim Hassell, Head of Product Development and Sales for NBN Co, said the Multicast feature offers ISPs an opportunity to provide an interactive and participative viewing experience for their customers.

"For ISPs, Multicast opens the door to more 'triple-play' bundles of a home phone, high speed internet and high definition television.

"It could also have significant effects on the way viewers consume content. The fibre optic NBN is designed to be capable of supporting '4K' or 'ultra high definition television' channels that consume much more bandwidth than many existing networks can support.

"And the NBN is designed not only to enable superfast download speeds. High upload speeds could allow consumers to interact with, or even participate in, their favourite shows."*

Over time, the Multicast feature will also be able to be used for purposes beyond broadcast IPTV. Multicast is designed to create efficiencies anytime a service provider wishes to distribute a single piece of data to many end-users - for example, online education materials, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) updates for businesses or updates to smart-metering software. NBN Co will evolve the Multicast feature to include these types of use cases over time.

Service providers that want to use the Multicast feature must complete an onboarding and certification program with NBN Co. Internode, a subsidiary of iiNet, conducted a full technical trial of the Multicast feature earlier this year at NBN Co's National Test Facility in Docklands, Melbourne.

More information about the NBN Multicast feature is available at:

* The speed NBN Co provides to its customers (telephone and internet service providers) is a wholesale speed. Speeds achieved by end users will depend on a number of factors including the quality of their equipment and in-premises connection, the broadband plans offered by their service provider, and how their service provider designs its network to cater for multiple end users.


Edwina Hinchliffe

Phone: 02 8918 8672

Mobile: 0413 563 752

Notes to Editors

  • The Multicast feature is purchased by service providers in addition to the standard NBN Co Fibre Access Service broadband and telephony product.
  • Multicast feature pricing is as follows:

Product Component

Wholesale Pricing per Month

Multicast Access Virtual Circuit

$2 for the first 5 Mbps

$5 for 20 Mbps

$5 for additional 10Mbps increments

Initial maximum of 50 Mbps

Multicast Domain

$2.50 per Mbps

100 Mbps minimum size

100 Mbps increments up to 1,000Mbps

Media Stream

Waived for fewer than 200 media streams per Customer

$50 each for additional media stream above 200

Minimum media stream size 2.5 Mbps

  • A full list of the Points of Interconnect can be found on the ACCC website.


Multicast ushers in new age of TV innovation and interactivity for service providers

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