Telstra goes broadband with tools and toys

Telstra goes broadband with tools and toys

Telstra has continued its push into the broadband applications market with the announcement of Big Pond Advance, a "tools and toys" approach to online multimedia content. Company officials hinted that the channel may stand to carve out a slice of the pie.

Offered through its Big Pond Cable Internet connection service, Big Pond Advance includes an easy-to-navigate homepage with high-speed links to news, entertainment and lifestyle services, claims David Stokes-McKeon, managing director, Internet and data services at Telstra.

Stokes-McKeon said Big Pond Advance "toys" include an audio and video link to 2WS radio program Mulray Live and Wireplay Warp which lets customers play PC games like Quake II online in a networked environment.

Currently available via cable to 1.6 million homes and offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Stokes-McKeon said that there are a number of "tools and toys" applications on the way, with Telstra looking at ways to expand the geographic coverage of the services through new technologies including satellite and eventually telephone lines.

Telstra Big Pond spokeswoman Nicole Sheffield indicated a restructuring of Telstra's channel strategy for its online services is in the pipeline, with the provider looking to resell broadband applications and technologies through a rejigged channel.

Sheffield said the company would be looking at retail outlets "where people can have a look and a play with the service and see the differences broadband access offers".

Although reluctant to discuss the details of what new business applications will be offered, Sheffield said future partnering with software companies will see applications based around video conferencing and video/audio streaming.

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