Instead of the traditional set-top box and TV viewing, most of us are consuming entertainment (think Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother) from online sources. It gets annoying when the video loads slowly or starts buffering, but the biggest pain of all is when the notice says “Sorry, this video is not available in your country.”
Singapore’s internet service provider startup, MyRepublic, prides itself as the fourth consumer-focused high-speed broadband service provider in the country. It claims to have higher bandwidth than local, major telcos and ISPs SingTel, Starhub, and M1 (pictured right). It also boasts 17 percent market share of the fibre broadband consumer market, establishing itself in a short time as a disruptive influence. Plus, the company claims to have lots of positive feedback from customers.
At MyRepublic’s first anniversary event which was held yesterday at Singapore’s The Art House, CEO and co-founder Malcolm Rodrigues revealed the startup’s new ‘Teleport’ service, which allows consumers to connect to international TV channels and online media content with ease. This new feature will launch in beta next month.
In essence, now Singaporeans will be able to stream content from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Pandora internet radio – even though those are usually geo-restricted to certain countries. The role of the Teleport service here will be to provide access to such content, but users might be required to sign up for an account with those sites before the content is made available. And of course, content that is available for viewing will ultimately still be subject to regulation by Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA).
Often, people use free or professional virtual private networks (VPN) to access geo-restricted stuff like Hulu. What sets MyRepublic and VPNs apart is that the latter would have all its data redirected to a third-party server for encryption, which often results in a bottleneck. Whereas for MyRepublic’s Teleport service, it will integrate and leverage on MyRepublic’s network, which assures users premium transmission priority and minimal buffering.
The company also hopes to make setup of things like Teleport easy for customers. It is not required of users to have additional home networking configurations or technical knowledge, as the activation of the add-on services will be configured on MyRepublic’s end.
The homegrown high-speed fibre broadband service is also inviting the first 1,000 customers to register for its Teleport beta trial which is scheduled for launch in April. After the trial is completed, the Teleport service will be made available at a monthly subscription fee of S$5 (US$4) per month.
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