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Occasional Contributor ChrisCaggs69
Occasional Contributor

Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxtel

Hi All,
I've been a loyal customer of Optus Vision Pay TV since 1996 and you remember in 2004 Optus went digital and switched analogue subscribers to foxtel in 2004 and now in 2019 - 30,000 foxtel subscribers and i've already switched my Optus Mobile of 20 years to Telstra Pre Paid due to the blackhole mobile reception of Optus in Willoughby North on Sydney's North Shore.

This is an article i read from Sydney Morning Herald. When deadline of cable shutting down i'm doing a internet bundle with telstra with foxtel

 

Optus is systematically pulling the plug on its "Optus TV features Foxtel" service, ignoring the NBN's 18-month switchover commitment as it races to shut down its HFC cable network.
In some NBN-ready areas Optus has been threatening cable customers with telephone and broadband disconnection in 30 days if they don't move across to the NBN, then taking advantage of that tight deadline to coerce customers into sticking with Optus when switching to the NBN

 

Unfortunately once these customers are on the NBN they also lose access to the legacy "Optus TV features Foxtel" pay television service, which has around 30,000 subscribers some of whom have been loyal customers since the launch of Optus Vision in the mid-1990s. Optus expects customers to return their set-top boxes, including old Foxtel iQ2 boxes used to record Optus' pay TV channels.
It appears all Optus cable pay TV customers will suffer a similar fate, losing their pay TV as their street is declared NBN Ready For Service. You'll lose all the recordings on your Optus issued-iQ2 box because you'll need to return it (via the supplied satchel) within 30 days or risk a non-return fee of up to $200.

All up it's a pretty shabby way to treat loyal customers, but Optus is determined to boot all the customers off its HFC cable networks as soon as possible so it can pull the plug, defying the NBN's commitment to grant homes an 18-month switchover window.
Once these homes are on the NBN they'll have a choice of internet service providers – unless they've succumbed to Optus' strongarm tactics designed to scare customers into resigning with Optus before they've had a chance to consider the alternatives. But what are your options when it comes to pay television? It's best to think about what you want to watch and then work backwards.
Foxtel
Optus' heavy-handed migration tactics are focusing on areas which have both Optus and Telstra HFC cable in the street. The NBN has decided to scrap the Optus cable but keep the Telstra cable so, as soon as Telstra's cable becomes NBN's cable, Optus is pushing their customers across. These Optus customers will lose their Optus Pay TV, but if you're getting Foxtel via the Telstra cable it will continue working once it becomes NBN cable.
Reports that the entire Optus HFC cable footprint area will now receive Fibre to the Curb – also known as Fibre to the Distribution Point – are incorrect. This will only occur in areas where Optus cable is available but not Telstra cable. If both Optus and Telstra cable are available in a street, the Telstra cable will become NBN cable and homes will switch to this NBN cable as the Optus cable is switched off.

The good news is that these homes on NBN HFC cable (formerly Telstra's cable) now have the option to sign up for cable pay TV directly with Foxtel, something which they couldn't do via Optus cable. Signing up with Foxtel offers access to the newer Foxtel iQ3 recorder which lets you record free-to-air and pay TV as well as tap into Foxtel's streaming services.
Foxtel is doing a special deal for homes which been kicked off Optus cable, offering discounts on the iQ2 or iQ3 recorder (you can't keep using your Optus-issued iQ2). Foxtel is also offering free pay TV installation and a discount on the Platinum plan for a few months.
Unfortunately these homes can't take advantage of the Foxtel Broadband service yet, which offers unmetered access to Foxtel's streaming services so they don't count towards your monthly download limit.
The problem is that Foxtel Broadband isn't yet available via HFC cable, although that's likely to change by mid-year. If you're keen to get a Foxtel broadband and pay TV bundle via NBN HFC cable then try to avoid locking yourself into a long-term broadband contract with another internet service provider.
Fetch TV

Of course Foxtel isn't the only game in town when it comes to Australian pay television. Once you're on the NBN you'll have the option to sign up for Fetch TV, you can either buy a Fetch TV box outright (with a discount for TiVo owners) or get one on a plan through a range of internet service providers including Optus.
Fetch TV's channel bundles are more affordable than Foxtel yet still offer a wide range of movies, TV shows, documentaries, sport and foreign channels. Keep in mind that you must buy your Fetch TV box through Optus if you want to watch the Optus Sport English Premier League service, which is more reliable via a Fetch TV box than via Optus' mobile apps.
The Fetch TV Mighty can record free-to-air and streaming pay TV channels, plus it has a movie rental service, Catch Up TV and access to streaming services Netflix and Stan (co-owned by Fairfax Media). All this combined with Fetch TV's channel bundles offer enough to keep your average home entertained, although keep in mind that you're missing out on Foxtel's live AFL/NRL and new episodes of HBO blockbusters like Game of Thrones.
Stream on
Before you take the plunge back into pay TV, it's worth considering whether subscription services alone – like Netflix, Stan and Amazon – are enough to take the place of pay TV in your lounge room. Google's Chromecast dongle or perhaps an Apple TV offer the easiest ways to give your television a smart TV makeover, except for watching Amazon Prime Video. It's still playing hard-to-get with Aussie viewers, you can sign up and doesn't yet work with local streaming media boxes.

Are you losing Optus pay TV or perhaps just weighing up your entertainment options in the NBN era? What's the best deal for your lounge room?
RELATED: Optus threatens disconnection to sign up NBN customers and fast-track HFC cable shutdown

 

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Occasional Contributor ChrisCaggs69
Occasional Contributor

Re: Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxte

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Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxte

I did like Adam Turner but that article is over two years old. A lot has happened to the NBN landscape in the mean time. Sure Optus had a pretty dodgy beginning as 'rogue' sales staff actively mislead customers on the NBN transfer. The ACCC put a stop to that though and I think Optus use the pressure tactics a lot less these days.

 

FWIW I always found the 18 month NBN switch window pretty excessive. I assume it was intended to allow contracts to expire 'naturally', but in practice all Telcos have just been cancelling any contract without penalty and the customer can sign up with them or another Telco with ease. Three months should be plenty of time for a household to do a bit of research and decide on a new plan (especially as the default do nothing option just sees them on a similar plan with the same RSP but on the NBN)

 

I can also definitely understand why Optus didn't want to be spending millions each month supporting legacy HFC cable infrastructure that was due to be torn down while 1 or 2 households in the suburb were the sole remaining paying customers for all that infrastructure. 

 

IMO most people don't properly understand that they are only leasing their boxes and any content 'bought' online or recorded is usually gone the minute they decide to switch providers. But the future does seem to be streaming so Foxtel, Netflix, FetchTV etc. are all easily accessed these days. You can even look into Foxtel's own NBN Package Plans these days. FWIW A FetchTV subscription, Netflix and Kayo (if you like sport) are a pretty good alternative to Foxtel alone. 

 

Peter Gillespie

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Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor

Re: Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxte

@ChrisCaggs69. Foxtel is switching to satellite only service, i.e. not on NBN. So, nobody will be offering, or be able to offer, their service over the NBN (the Telstra web site is unclear if they will be able to offer Foxtel after the satellite switchover - they do/can offer Foxtel Now and Kayo). I suspect that a combination of Fetch and Kayo would suffice many/most viewers at a lower cost, noting that Kayo is not yet available to TV viewers.

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New Contributor Bra2035
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Re: Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxte

Hi I’ve been trying to find out about this for over a week now and cannot wait over 1 hour to get customer service I too have been with Optus over 25 years when Optus tv Foxtel was available I got it We are due to get NBN switched on 19 July I’ve read the our Optus Foxtel  TV may not be available anymore ??? And that getting Foxtel directly from Foxtel May be done with a dish ?? I would’ve happy to stay with Optus for my internet and phones but maybe switch to Foxtel (Telstra) for Tv I just want to talk to someone at Optus it shouldn’t be this hard to do that I am so disappointed 

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Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor

Re: Optus killing pay TV in NBN-ready areas, what are the alternatives? Optus Pay TV featuring Foxte

@Bra2035  @ChrisCaggs69  This https://mumbrella.com.au/foxtel-to-move-to-satellite-delivery-505165 explains the Foxtel NBN situation. It appears that Telstra will be able to offer Foxtel over NBN HFC - unclear about FTTP/FTTN/FTTC etc. Otherwise, it's satellite.

 

I have Fetch in my NBN FTTN package. I find it better and cheaper than Foxtel: the only thing missing is Fox Sports. I suspect that Kayo will eventually be available on NBN which will cover Fox.

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