It's really surprising that this hasn't been done by an Australian company sooner, but Telstra has launched the country's first online 24/7 news channel, both on their BigPond portal online and on NextG mobile phones.
The channel streams live video of the latest news, finance, politics, sports and weather directly to your browser or mobile phone. It's powered by Sky News content, but BigPond has control over how it is delivered to the audience, so it can cut to breaking news or stick with the latest sports updates, depending on how they feel.
The online portal at BigPond is available to anyone, although unless you're a BigPond customer, you'll pay for the bandwidth (which is the same as watching any other video site). BigPond customers watching the channel have unmetered access. NextG customers can pay $4.95 a month or $1.95 for a day pass.
The only problem with the offering is that the online version uses Windows Media for streaming the video channel, meaning Mac users are left out in the cold.
Full release is below:
BigPond pioneers 24/7 online and mobile news
Telstra BigPond has launched Australia's first online and mobile dedicated 24 hour news channel.
The new channel, called BigPond Live TV News, is a continuous live video stream of general news, politics, finance, sport and weather. It will combine regular news bulletins with wider coverage of business, health, environment, entertainment and technology. The new channel is available online at bigpond.com or on compatible Telstra Next G™ mobiles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Telstra Media Group Managing Director, Mr Justin Milne, said the new service will serve the growing number of Australians who want the convenience of online or mobile news.
"Telstra's new service will provide Australians with a whole new way to receive their news, because from today they can watch and listen to live video news almost anywhere they go and exactly when they feel like it," Mr Milne said.
"Telstra is challenging other news services by offering a dedicated 24 hour online and mobile streaming video service. We cross live to important events as they occur. On our first day we covered the US Presidential debate and Prime Minister Gordon Brown announcing his rescue package for British banks. If there's something worth knowing it will be found at BigPond News," he said.
"It means our customers could be on the bus, in a paddock or waiting for the dentist, and still watch live news as it happens," he said.
The BigPond Live News service is continually updated with video bulletins and also has the ability to break to live news when this occurs.
"Telstra continually pioneers new and innovative content for our customers. We remain committed to being the leader in the region for delivering the best and exclusive mobile and online entertainment to our customers," Mr Milne said.
"Our news channel is yet another example of how Telstra's high-speed networks, whether they are fixed or mobile, are used to deliver high-quality media entertainment," he said.
Telstra 3G and Next G™ mobile customers with compatible handsets can subscribe to BigPond Live TV News for $4.95 per month or $1.95 for a day pass. The news channel is also available online at bigpond.com by clicking on the TV tab. The online service is unmetered for most BigPond broadband customers, which means viewing the video does not count towards your monthly data allowance.