Cable and full fibre broadband ISP WightFibre, which serves homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight (South Coast of Hampshire, England), has entered into a new partnership that enables them to supply a TV service based off the netgem.tv video streaming and set-top-box platform.
WightFibre have been offering bundles with the new netgem.tv entertainment service since early August, although for whatever reason it’s taken them a bit longer to make the official announcement. The netgem.tv service is similar to other popular streaming platforms from Roku, Amazon and Google Chromecast, except it also includes a built-in Freeview receiver and video recording (PVR) features.
In that sense their Netbox HD and Netbox 4K set-top-box devices both include all of the usual Freeview digital terrestrial TV channels and access to popular streaming apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV hub, All4, My5, UKTV Play YouTube, Rakuten TV and Freeview Play. All new WightFibre TV customers will also gain 1 year of inclusive access to Amazon Prime Video. But sadly Netflix, BT Sport and NOW TV are not supported.
The boxes are also compatible with Amazon’s Alexa smart speaking system, which allows you to control the service with your voice (most of netgem.tv’s rivals are also doing something similar).
John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre, said:
“TV is a really important part of the offering in the UK marketing place where the end customer is now expecting to buy TV alongside their broadband, so being able to offer TV is extremely important. netgem.tv have a great value proposition, that brings next generation TV to our customers, that complements our Full Fibre rollout.”
Sylvain Thevenot, MD of netgem.tv, added:
“We all want to watch high quality TV with seamless connectivity, and with the rise of “skinny bundles” with a low entry cost and general “pay as you go” approach, many broadband companies don’t supply premium content with their deals. We wanted to push a quality-first campaign in order to be on top of the great free on-demand TV offered through Freeview Play and with the fastest connectivity – so we made this a reality.”
The new TV proposition is designed to complement WightFibre’s on-going £35m project to rollout a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network, which today’s announcement states will “reach over 60,000 of the 70,000 homes on the island by the end of 2020.” The same press release includes this footnote: “The WightFibre Gigabit Island Project will see full-fibre deployed to around 65,000 homes and business across the Island by 2021.” This appears to conflict a little with the Gigabit Island page on their website, which says the plan is to cover 53,000 homes by the end of 2020.
Otherwise the press release states that their new broadband, home phone and TV bundles start from £25.48 per month, although aside from the netgem.tv service they don’t say what else that includes (speeds, calling allowances etc.) and we couldn’t find a clear answer via their website. We’ve asked netgem to clarify and will report back.
However we did uncover that existing customers could add the HD box to their package for £7.99 per month, while the 4K box is £10.99 and there’s a multiroom feature on-top of those for an extra £2 per month. You could of course alternatively just buy the HD box from Amazon for £109 or 4K for £149 but then you wouldn’t get the free Amazon Prime access.
We’ve been told that the £25.48 per month package reflects an offer, which means you can get the Wightfibre 30Mbps tier at £17.49 per month for the first 12 months and then add netgem.tv to this for £7.99 (takes it to £25.48).