New Zealand’s Chorus will stage a trial of 4K broadcasting over its fibre network, the ASX-listed company announced today.
Chorus is rolling out more than 69 per cent of the government-backed Ultra-Fast Broadband network, which provides fibre to the premises connections for households.
Chorus said that 4K services would run in parallel to standard broadband services, employing a second port on the optical network terminal (ONT) that is installed in households. The service could potentially be used to deliver 8K video in the future.
The proof of concept is expected to begin in May.
The company said that the service would potentially allow NZ broadcasters to deliver content directly to viewers without partnering with Internet service providers or building a Netflix-style over-the-top applications that use the Internet for streaming.
Networking vendor Cisco forecasts that IP video traffic will account for 82 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 per cent in 2016. The company also expects that by 2021, more than half of TV sets will be 4K-capable.
Netflix recommends bandwidth of 25Mbps for Ultra HD (4K) video. The Australian government’s letter of expectations to NBN calls for the country’s National Broadband Network to deliver speeds of at least 25Mbps to all households and 50Mbps to 90 per cent of premises connected to the fixed-line network.
A working paper released in February by the Australian government’s Bureau of Communications and Arts Research forecast that by 2026, 4K video will reach 29 per cent local market penetration (up from 1 per cent in 2016), while the even higher definition 8K will reach 14 per cent in the same timeframe.
“As consumer demands for ever greater quality of video such as 4K, along with emerging technologies like multi-camera and interactive services, continue to grow, it’s clear that traditional broadcasting technologies will be challenged to meet those demands long term,” Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie said in a statement.
“New Zealand’s fibre network is a major national asset, and by 2022 will have greater coverage of the population than terrestrial broadcasting,” McKenzie said.
“Chorus is an open access wholesale provider of infrastructure and would aim to provide this broadcasting service on an entirely equivalent basis to all local content providers who are interested,” the CEO said.
SkyTV’s CEO, John Fellett, said that the broadcaster would participate in the Chorus trial.