31/1/2018 NBNco axes plans for multicast technology.

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“A lack of interest” has prompted the NBN provider to shelve plans for TV over the net.

Back in 2012, NBNco announced that it would be supporting multicast technologies allowing service providers to inject TV signals over the network but citing a low uptake in the service has prompted the National network to scrap the system.

This illustrates multicast. A single data stream is replicated to all users. Much like TV, one transmitter for many users.

Multicast technology allows the streaming of media very efficiently over a network by duplicating a single stream of data delivered over a trunk or backhaul connection from a Point of Interconnect (PoI) direct to end users.

In this example, a single 20 megabit stream could be rebroadcast and redistributed by a PoI to hundreds if not thousands of subscribers without impacting on the backhaul or other large capacity links. This would offer services like live TV to be carried over the same network as internet services.

This service was going to be delivered over fixed line networks including FTTN, FTTB and HFC but has been halted. There is however a technical trial underway to test multicast over the Sky Muster Satellite Network to see if distance education would benefit from the technology.

An illustration of unicast. Each user has their own data stream. Very inefficient. Much like YouTube.

Trials are expected to run in the next few months in 15 remote locations around the Northern Territory including the School of the Air in Alice Springs, Kathering and Ludmilla. During this time, testing and optimisation will be carried out ahead of the national product launch scheduled for mid 2018.

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