As if being the only cable TV heavyweight in town wasn’t enough, Foxtel is now also an internet service provider (ISP). As you might expect, the available plans lean towards the entertainment side of things. The only offerings so far bundle together broadband internet, phone and a Foxtel subscription. These plans are called Foxtel Triple Play.
What you get
Right now, ADSL2+ is the only form of broadband available from Foxtel. At some point in the future NBN plans will join the party, but for now Foxtel is keeping quiet on when that will be, as well as if pricing will be impacted in any way.
The only plans available now are the Triple Play bundle plans. These include phone line rental with infinite local and national calls to landlines (calls to mobiles are extra); 50GB, 100GB, 200GB or 500GB of data per month; and a Foxtel Entertainment Pack subscription, complete with iQ3 set top box. These bundles cost $90, $95, $105 and $125 respectively.
Affiliation with Telstra
It’s no secret that Foxtel is part-owned by Telstra – around 50%. As such you would expect some collusion between the two giants, considering that Telstra is Australia’s largest broadband provider.
Despite this, there does not appear to be any obvious official cooperation. Of course there will be some business wheelings and dealings, but on the surface at least Telstra is not officially handling the broadband side of things. Foxtel appears to be going it alone, although it would be unsurprising if it was utilising Telstra’s internet exchange network.
Telstra’s lack of involvement is made more obvious by Foxtel’s adoption of the easiest form of broadband open to all providers: ADSL2+. There’s no mention of a cable internet connection anywhere, except for the impending NBN plans; a service that is also open to all providers in supported areas.
If Foxtel and Telstra were working closely together on this, you might expect re-branded Telstra broadband cables being utilised as Foxtel cable internet. This is not so, even though Foxtel’s TV service is often provided over a similar cable infrastructure.
Foxtel also uses a different advertising agency than Telstra, suggesting that its marketing budgets are not as tightly controlled as, say, Virgin Mobile’s is by its parent company: Optus.
All of this being known, Foxtel broadband is still going to benefit from its brand’s affiliation with Telstra. Telstra charges a premium, even on ADSL2+ services, and can do so because it is seen as being a superior product. Foxtel can use some of that good-rep to boost its own profit margin.
Foxtel’s Triple Play bundles are certainly much more affordable than going directly through Telstra, but you’re still paying more than you would from going with a smaller ISP like Exetel or TPG for broadband and then signing up to Foxtel separately.