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Interview with TransACT - Streamaster 5000, TransACT and NUON in Australia
Interview by Marcus Schmerl

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Below is an interview conducted with the Geoff Harris, Manager of Corporate Communications for TransACT Communications, a telco based in Australia. This Q&A took place in June of 2001, when they were just beginning to test-market the Motorola Streamaster in parts of Australia.

[Question] - When will the rollout occur?

[Geoff Harris] - The rollout is occurring throughout the ACT right now. We have commenced around 60% of the rollout and expect to be finished the areas with overhead power by the middle of next year. Areas with underground power should be completed around 12 months after that.

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[Q] - What services will be provided (games? movies? other stuff?)?

[GH] - TransACT provides a full telephone service across its new copper cables providing a completely new telephone service and not just another service that utilises Telstra’s existing network. Broadband services will include data connections at speeds from 256/64 kbps to 10Mbps symmetrical, enabling video conferencing and telecommuting to become a reality. Video services include Pay Television, Video-on-Demand, Interactive Television etc all in digital quality.

TransACT offers as part of its basic package for $19.95 (~$10 US) per month

    The five current free to air channels in near digital quality (without the need for an antenna).
  • BBC World
  • CNBC Australia
  • Senate and House of Reps TV
  • TV5 from France
  • DeutscheWelle from Germany
  • The Shopping Network and others
  • Video on Demand (you only pay for the movies you watch - no extra monthly fee)
  • You can also choose to pay extra for the other services mentioned previously
[Q] - Are there any plans by Motorola (or TransACT) to release Streamaster anywhere else in the country?

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[GH] - The Streamaster is currently only available with the TransACT network. We are currently in negotiation with a number of companies in other states to take the technology to their regions.

[Q] - What NUON games will be available to subscribers?

[GH] - As TransACT is essentially only the infrastructure provider and not the service provider, it will be up to others to determine what content they provide on our network. As yet, no games are being offered, although we are currently talking to a number of providers who are very interested in providing a range of services.

[Q] - How will downloads happen and be charged for?

[GH] - Downloads will occur in the same way as they do now through your ISP (just a lot faster). Charges will depend on the plan you sign up to with your ISP.

[Q] - Are there any systems out there yet, or do you have them being tested or used?

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[GH] - We have recently begun connecting homes and businesses in the first three Canberra suburbs and should be progressing at the rate of two to four suburbs per month by the end of July. These offer a full range of services.

[Q] - Is there any way that one can see a demo of these systems?

[GH] - If you are in Canberra at any time, please don't hesitate to call and view our service. Unfortunately we are not able to offer it in South Australia as yet. I have had a number of inquiries from people within the South Australian Education Department and the interest in TransACT appears to be quite high. I would suggest putting pressure on your local member of State Parliament to get them more interested. At present, South Australia is about the only state that has not shown interest in our technology. We would be very interested in providing the same types of services in South Australia as we do here in the ACT.

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