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Oz VOD has easy launch

Yes, CableandTelecoms to develop

SYDNEY — Australia’s first video-on-demand service, Easy Television, will be launched in the national capital Canberra in June.

Total Television Australia, a co-venture between Britain’s Yes Television and Melbourne-based CableandTelecoms is developing the service.

Starting June 30, Canberra households connected to TransACT Communications’ broadband network will be offered movies and music on-demand, home shopping, Internet and e-mail on TV and conventional feevee channels. Aim is to connect 100,000 homes by the end of next year.

Easy Television has signed a number of programming deals with providers such as BBC Worldwide, sports giant TransWorld Intl. and asSeenonScreen.com, which allows subscribers to purchase items seen on film and TV.

Taking pause

Another capability will be Television on Demand, enabling viewers to stop, pause, rewind and fast-forward at will.

Subscribers will be charged A$40 ($21.20) per month plus $2.12-$3.18 per movie.

The partners say they intend to roll out the service throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Total Television Australia exec director Geoff Babidge said, “We’re very enthusiastic to be pioneering this revolutionary technology to Australian subscribers on such a grand scale.

“Australia is well-known for its early adoption of new technology, so it should be no surprise that we are at the forefront of global commercial deployment of this service.”

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