BoFiNet moots video on demand by year end

Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) will before the end of the year launch an online video on demand platform. According to the organisation, this platform will broadcast video signals that will allow users to enjoy homegrown and international television and film content.

Phenyo Moipolai, the BoFiNet Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) project manager told local media recently that the platform was underway “as calls had already been made for film and TV content producers to submit proposals for evaluation. As we speak consultants specialising in content acquisition were engaged with the acquisition process including other stakeholders such as Cosbots and CIPA being on board to ensure that contractual agreements for intellectual property rights were covered.”

This IPTV platform will feature live channels which include but not limited to Btv 1 and Btv2, Now TV, Access TV, Maru TV and Kuduga TV. There will also be in its offering, a Catch up television service and live local radio stations. “The platform would launch with about 187 titles of which 57 of these would be local titles on the day of the launch. 15 of these titles would be commissioned for the first year while 37 would include titles from the southern African region. The service would be free for its subscribers for the first month like other IPTV services such as Showmax and Netflix”

According to Moipolai, this IPTV content would be sold through licensed local service Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Public Telecommunications Operators (PTOs). “Strategic fibre networks had been set up in key areas around the country to enable network neutrality and improvement of ultra high internet speeds that ISPs and PTOs could tap into to enhance service networks for streaming IPTV content to the end user.” 

“Opening up a market for film and television production in the online space will open up employment opportunities for production companies and its affiliated industries,” Moipolai added. 

Currently, different versions of IPTV are available in the market the likes of Showmax and Netflix, whose net profit for the third quarter of 2018 was $408 million with a net subscription base of 137.1 million which is said to have helped streaming services to overtake traditional television providers. Local production companies welcomed the development from BoFiNet and said the opportunities to open up employment were now the onus of the stakeholders in the entertainment space.  

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