Sky online

June 30th, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Pay television giant Sky is planning to hit the pause button on its Sky Online site, saying the service does not make sense in the current New Zealand broadband market.

Fellet said: “We did this to make subscribers feel better about our service but it has not been a great viewer experience.”

Viewers were using up their broadband capacity and then becoming unhappy with Sky when they passed data limits and their internet service provider (ISP) dropped them back to dial-up speeds.

I agree such a service will be greatly limited by data caps. But assuming Sky hosts its content locally, and hosts it in a site that peers with the major ISPs, I would have hoped that such local traffic could be excluded from data caps. It is the international bandwidth that is the big problem.

TVNZ was the first broadcaster in Australasia to launch a full online catch-up service and nearly all of of its prime-time shows are available through this service. Each week nearly 250,000 New Zealanders stream 1.5 million shows to their homes, Paris says.

Some TVNZ traffic has been through a relationship with the state-owned ISP Orcon, which has allowed its subscribers to access the TVNZ ondemand website without affecting data caps.

Orcon executive Scott Bartlett said data caps remained an impediment partly because there was only one “pipeline” from New Zealand allowing internet traffic from the United States – the source of a lot of internet traffic.

He said there were also issues over Telecom charges for data transfers.

This is why locally is so important. People should be able to download locally without it affecting their data cap.

11 Responses to “Sky online”

  1. infused (714 comments) says:

    It’s retarded.

    I run and it pumps around 30gb a month. Nationally. I have citylink at work and do around 1tb a month. This is locally, I only have a 15gb international cap. At home I have acs cable as it comes with a 50gb local cap.

    There is no reason to charge for national data. The state of NZ’s internet is bad.

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  2. RightNow (7,328 comments) says:

    A major issue is with Telecom’s wholesaling of ADSL (the Unbundled Bitstream Service) to ISPs. Although ISP’s generally provide free national traffic with other types of connections, with UBS all traffic is metered (by Telecom) and charged for. I understand there is some process to zero-rate certain traffic (such as mentioned with TVNZ-Orcon arrangement?).
    It would make sense for Telecom to separate national and international traffic when metering, but pressure would need to be applied. The best way to apply the pressure unfortunately is to leave in droves. If only there was real competition.

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  3. infused (714 comments) says:

    Telecom can easily separate it. They do it for their other ‘fiber’ services.

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  4. RightNow (7,328 comments) says:

    Yes I’m sure they can, the point is they don’t and won’t without real competition. Just as they would rather route their customer traffic through international routes than peer for free with other ISP’s.

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  5. infused (714 comments) says:

    They are part of WIX, they just choose to route it overseas, like you said. Really pisses me off.

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  6. Will de Cleene (470 comments) says:

    Clearnet offered a portal earlier this year for TV3 clips which didn’t affect the data cap. There’s nothing stopping Sky offering selected programmes through that type of set-up. But long term, repeering must occur for Joyce’s loop to be truly effective. The processing and computational grunt of cloud computing is one way forward for NZ. Think of it as the potential for a Large Fibre Collider.

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  7. AM (10 comments) says:

    I tried it when it first came out. The problem is not the bandwidth, it’s the crippling DRM they imposed. I’m tech savvy, but it took me a few hours and chatting with sky tech support to even get a video to play. Then I couldn’t stream it across my network to my XBOX, normally or via Media Centre to my big telly.

    That is their problem, totally making something that was ment to be convenient, bogged down with crap. Must have had advice from friends in the RIAA or Movie studios šŸ™

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  8. bjchip (81 comments) says:

    You will get no argument from anyone on this one. Right across the spectrum from Green to ACT. All it takes is someone to make it an issue.


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  9. whalehunter (486 comments) says:

    is this a way to voip, instead of a home phone connection?

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  10. dog_eat_dog (1,030 comments) says:

    Infused has it. The costs of operating a site in NZ is prohibitive, and unaffordable. Every website I’ve helped developed has moved overseas – 24 hour service, rates ten times cheaper, and so on. It’s a rort. There’s the cost of our backwards internet, I’ve probably spent around $3000 on hosting overseas, just mucking around as a hobby. I shudder to think how much commercial business could be saving (or are) by moving their hosting overseas).

    Secondly, David, national traffic will never be separated again unless it is legislated. In the bad old days, there were DHCP hubs all around the country, enabling file sharing, gaming and multimedia. Of course, when traffic was free, people used a lot of it, so all of sudden it wasn’t free. Funny that.

    Also, bundling services has allowed some ISPs to bloat their charges, with data at at least three ISPs I know of increasing their bandwidth charges relative to older plans. I don’t get how with more customers, more infrastructure and more data being chewed up, things can get MORE expensive on a per costumer basis. Notice how in the US, moves to impose data caps result in lawsuits and civil liberties up in arms? Here we just sit back and take it.

    Finally, the US has a strange system where municipalities allow one provider to serve an entire city. But we’ve just gone the same road. Telecom’s cabinets mean that Vodafone, Clearnet and any other non-Telecom ISP can’t serve areas with cabinets with their ADSL2+ services. It’s not just the infrastructure, the market is fundamentally broken.

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  11. waituna (5 comments) says:

    Yeah I also tried it when it first came out. The website they put it on was just horrible – slow, no searching, poor navigation. And the DRM killed it for me – you could only download and play it in one PC (i have two media extenders on TVs and three other computers in the house).

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