The National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) has released further details on its multicast product that will be designed to allow retail service providers to deliver high-quality, high-definition video channels over a fibre network.


The service will be available as an add-on feature to NBN’s fibre offering to allow the introduction of a triple-play voice, broadband and video content for any retail service provider (RSP) fibre based customer. It will be designed to assist in the delivery of specialist content such as non-English speaking video content, high-definition TV, 3DTV and interactive services.


By carrying video content as a single stream as far into the network as possible before replicating this content for consumers, the multicast product feature is able to deliver backhaul savings, compared to delivery via multiple unicast streams, and brings opportunities for innovative video and interactive content across the NBN.


The Multicast Access Virtual Circuit is priced at $5 per month for the first 20Mbps allocation and can be ordered in additional increments. To provide a multicast service, a service provider will also need to purchase a Multicast Domain starting at $250 per month per 100Mbps at each point of interconnect they serve.


NBN Co has announced that while multicast will be initially delivered via its fibre network, it may offer multicast over its wireless and satellite networks in future.


NBN Co has released an information paper for industry with more details, and is seeking industry feedback. NBN Co plans to release the multicast feature to the market in the middle of next year following a testing period due to begin at the end of this year. In the interim, service providers will be able to make IPTV and video on demand services available through the uni-cast capability of the network.


The multicast product and pricing overview can be found here