The NBN’s multi-multi-cast approach

The wasted overhead of multiple retailers multi-casting the exact same streams is one of Simon Hackett’s concerns about the National Broadband Network Company’s proposed multi-cast product.

Under the NBN Co proposal (PDF), retail service providers will each be able to multi-cast content. Multi-casting is a neat way of streaming a single source of content to multiple users. The stream is duplicated, as required, through the network. The concern from Simon Hackett, founder of Internode, is that the cost of the new service is prohibitively expensive.

He has responded to the NBN Co proposal, outlining ways of reducing the cost and broadening the market. That includes enabling content such as Fetch TV to be streamed publicly, but protected (as is now the case) with digital rights management. The NBN Co approach is for each retail service provider to multi-cast content, which would mean content from a content provider such as Fetch TV, offered by several ISPs, would be multi-cast multiple times, simultaneously.

Gary Chappell, NBN product manager at iiNet, doesn’t have a problem with that. He says by ingesting the content into iiNet’s own network it can monitor the streams and fault-find more quickly.

It’s one of several proposals from Hackett to reduce the cost of participating in the multi-cast offering, which Tim Stone, the manager for fibre product at NBN Co, describes as “gold”. I explore more of Hackett’s suggestions with Stone on this week’s Twisted Wire.

In a packed program, analyst Paul Budde also joins us to give us his views on the concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about Telstra’s separation proposal, something that we’ll explore further on Twisted Wire next week.

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