HomeChoice Maybe able to offer 512kbps Internet SoonBTwholesale have confirmed a launch date of 9th October 2001 for the BTvideostream Plus service. This will allow providers like HomeChoice and Sky (if they decide to use the licence they currently have) to launch a new product that has an additional 588kbps ATM channel for data use.
Currently the BTvideostream is provisioned using a single 2.3Mbps ATM channel, the Plus product will add a 588kbps down/288kbps ATM upstream channel to this, i.e. provide space for a proper broadband internet connection in addition to the VOD service. This additional channel is supplied as an ATM channel and how it is used is down to the providers. This additional channel is a variable bit rate channel, so isnt suitable for delivering a second smaller VOD channel, the main 2.3Mbps channel is delivered using constant bit rate parameters to ensure smooth streaming of the MPEG1 video data.
The pricing is interesting for this new product, End User rental works out at £23+VAT per month for both channels, this seems reasonable and a cheap way of getting a 512kbps internet service BUT once you look at the costs for between the exchange and the provider(ISP) it's a different matter - breaking down the figures to monthly per user cost the backhaul bandwidth will cost the provider around £42+VAT/month, plus almost the same again for the installation of this bandwidth, but this could be spread over several years.
So the question is would a VOD and Internet access product be attractive at £65+ per month or will it have to be subsidised heavily and rely on charges for watching the VOD.