Optus Launches 4G, Loses Online Broadcasting

  • 4G tests for the Hunter region
  • Telstra wins case
  • Optus could appeal

Optus announcement today that some customers in Newcastle, Port Stephens, Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie areas of New South Wales will  receive the 4G network, has been tempered by losing its right to broadcast NRL and AFL games.

The 4G services are to select customers and are free, in exchange for their feedback on network performance and device capability.

Meanwhile, it has lost its case to stream AFL and NRL matches over the mobile network or via a PC. Telstra has the rights to stream these games but Optus argued – initially successfully – that as they weren’t broadcasting them live, but two minutes later, then they weren’t breaching the agreement.

However, a full bench of the Federal Court decided that Optus was responsible for recording the games, as opposed to the customers, which was the argument Optus brought to the lower courts. This meant that Optus was violating Section 111 of the Copyright Act. With the decision being overturned, Optus is disappointed but will now consider tis options including an appeal.

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