By Paul Hayes

PERTH, WA: Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet yesterday threw its hat into the IPTV ring with the announcement of a partnership with FetchTV through which it will offer subscribers unmetered free-to-air and subscription TV for around $30 a month.

Australia’s third largest ISP, iiNet’s deal with Malaysian-based FetchTV will provide users with pay-per-view HD movies, as well as channels such as Discovery, National Geographic, MTV and Fox International.

“iiNet and FetchTV are set to change the face of Australian television forever,” said iiNet chief executive officer, Michael Malone.

“FetchTV allows people to easily tailor their viewing experience, making it the perfect transition into the world of digital TV.”

iiNet’s venture with FetchTV also includes what the ISP calls market leading 3D TV capability, in-built single and multi player games and social networking web applications.

FetchTV chief executive, Scott Lorson, said that a large portion of the Australian market is suited this IPTV service.

“FetchTV has been developed to satisfy the entertainment needs of the 70 per cent of Australians who have elected not to take up the existing and expensive subscription TV alternatives.”

The announcement came on the same day Samsung launched its 2010 3D TV range in Sydney, where it also unveiled its own IPTV alliance with Telstra BigPond Movies.

LG Electronics also announced a similar deal with BigPond Movies last week.

Malone welcomes the competition in the IPTV market.

“iiNet, like FetchTV, is an Australian-founded and owned business with a passion for giving the big guys a run for their money.

“We’re all for competition in the market. It drives further development and improvements in any industry.”

Trials of the new IPTV service are set to take place within the next month, with iiNet’s TV service available to customers soon after, the company said.