Foxtel has joined the Aussie ISP ranks and Triple Play is its first offering. It’s a broadband, home phone and Pay TV subscription bundle that will appeal to Telstra broadband subscribers that also enjoy Foxtel in their home. It launches today, prices starting from $90 per month.
Telstra owns the controlling share of Foxtel, but just how much involvement Australia’s largest Telco has had in Foxtel’s shift to ISP-hood is unclear. It’s possible that there was heavy involvement at some level, but it’s difficult to imagine Telstra’s ISP executives are anything but put-out at the increased competition for their bottom line.
One thing is certain: this is not a Telstra-run operation. Your broadband will still turn be delivered over the Telstra ADSL network, but Foxtel will be responsible for your service as the newest ISP Down Under.
What you get
With this bundle you get an active home phone line, either ADSL2+ or NBN broadband, and Foxtel’s basic Entertainment Pack valued at $25 per month. This is real Foxtel, complete with a Foxtel cable connection (if you can get one) and Foxtel iQ3 set top box and remote.
You can opt to add other Foxtel packages on top of the basic one, like Sport, Drama or Movies, but you’ll have to call Foxtel up to arrange those add-ons.
There are four different basic bundles, differing only in their monthly data allowance:
- $90 – 50GB
- $95 – 100GB
- $105 – 200GB
- $125 – 500GB
As for your phone line, you get unlimited local and national calls to fixed line numbers, so long as they don’t start with '13'.
If you want to call a mobile phone it’ll run you 49c for the connection fee, after which it’s 30c a minute, capped at $20 for the first 20 minutes. These are almost identical to Telstra’s landline-to-mobile call prices, once again indicating at least some cooperation.
What’s the point?
Being part-owned by Telstra, and from its pride of place in many an Australian living room, Foxtel has the weight of reputation behind it from day one. With reputation comes the ability to charge big bucks, just ask Samsung or Apple about their smartphones, but Foxtel is for now at least keeping things under Telstra’s prices.
A Telstra ADSL2+ subscriber already pays $100 a month for 100GB. Foxtel’s basic package is a further $25 on top of that, adding up to $125.
For that price you can grab 500GB on Foxtel Triple Play, as well as the same Entertainment Package. Alternatively you can drop the price down to $95 for the same 100GB and cable package, while saving $30 per month.
It should be noted that currently Telstra is running a deal for new customers on its bundles, which lowers the price to just $80 per month for the 100GB bundle, but that is a special offer that won’t last forever. Even so, it’s still $10 more expensive per month once you add Foxtel on top.
Alternatively you could go for Telstra's Entertainer Supreme bundles, which are pretty much the same concept as Foxtel Triple Play, except with a higher price tag.
The one area where Foxtel can’t compete with Telstra is in internet speed. Telstra’s plans are also available as cable internet for the same monthly price, which is much faster than ADSL. You need to live in a cable-supported area, and many renters will have trouble getting cable installed in their apartments, but cable users will be unlikely to take a step back now that they’re used to luxurious speeds.
Foxtel bundles will be available over NBN in time, but the launch date for this is still unspecified and NBN-supported areas are fewer and further between than those sitting on Telstra cable networks.
Looking at the rest of the competition, there are ISPs with much cheaper ADSL2+ plans than Foxtel has, but you don’t go with a big name for the savings. For the same reason that people sign up to Telstra for the reputation of reliability, Foxtel can expect to gain subscribers from its name alone, as well as by pointing to Telstra’s more-expensive prices for a similar service.