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Telstra will next week launch its brand new IPTV service which allows movies to be downloaded onto a PC or Media Centre for $1.95. It has also been revealed that Telstra plans to also launch a premium cable broadband service that claims to offer download speeds of up to 17 megabits per second.

Telstra BigPond’s group managing director Justin Milne said yesterday that Telstra’s long-promised video-on-demand service would soon follow the beefed-up broadband rates. At the moment, he said, cable Internet customers can achieve download rates of only 8Mbps, maximum. Naturally, BigPond has given its additional bandwidth product a name and a price – Extreme, at $10 per month on top of regular cable Internet plans. “Combined with BigPond movies downloads, Cable Extreme will provide a quality movies on demand service,” Milne said. The new plans will be available from March, Telstra said yesterday.

They will only be available for cable Internet customers, not ADSL broadband users. Movies are expected real soon now. A spokesman for Telstra said the movie download service would be launched next week, on February 22. Prices for the movies will start at $1.95.The service is unlikely to mean the end of the local video rental store.
Movie releases will be offered to BigPond customers only after they have first been made available to video and DVD stores. ZDNet say  that the move by BigPond comes as smaller cable operator Neighbourhood Cable, which has infrastructure in rural Victoria, said in early January that it would likewise boost speeds for customers.

“With Neighbourhood Cable’s recent upgrades we have tested speeds with capabilities of up to 30Mbps download and 2Mbps upload,” said the telco’s chief executive Ian Fry at the time In addition a number of Telstra’s competitors launched next-generation ADSL2+ services in 2005, which offer speeds of up to 24Mbps. Telstra itself has so far limited its ADSL1 services to 1.5Mbps.

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