Parents could be up for massive broadband bills next month thanks to Foxtel and Microsoft, after the two Companies announced the availability of a new Xbox 360 Foxtel movie service that is broadband metered.
In some cases a 1GB movie download could cost as much as $150 if a consumer has exceeded their monthly broadband allowance.
Foxtel, who are struggling to hold onto subscribers due to the high cost of their service and the introduction of new services like the Telstra T Box, have moved to compete head on with new IPTV services such as Fetch TV and the new Telstra T Box service which is offering over 1,500 movies at between $3.95 and $6.95 with no charge for broadband downloads.
Next month’s launch of the new Foxtel service will be metered, with ISPs set to benefit from an increase in data downloads.
From November the Foxtel streaming service will be offered to Xbox Live Gold members who already live in a Foxtel service area, with packages costing from $20 a month.
Research shows that a standard-definition movie uses between 800 and 900 MB of data, and if the average television viewing is around 21 hours a week this would equate to 16.5GB of data each week, well over most ISP data allowances.
Foxtel are refusing to comment on the issue of costs associated with their new download services or whether they are advising parents about the potential of high Internet bills associated with the new movie service.
Foxtel has also refused to identify how many consumers watched the Commonwealth Games on the Foxtel service.
Service provider iiNet offers Xbox Live content as part of its unmetered content, but its communications manager Anthony Fisk said that the Foxtel service won’t be unmetered.
“They can use that if they wish, but there are a lot of problems with the Xbox service, and Foxtel can’t guarantee service quality,” Fisk said. “My understanding is that no ISPs have made a deal to provide Foxtel unmetered.”
Telstra’s Craig Middleton said it was unlikely BigPond customers would receive the content unmetered.