TBox cable TV finally set to disappear from NZ homes as Kiwis increasingly turn to streaming services

On July 10, Vodafone will shut down the old TBox, which uses DOCSIS 2.0 in Wellington and Christchurch, as legacy technology gets replaced by newer, better, more reliable options

Today Kiwis have access to many sophisticated viewing technologies, using digital satellite, terrestrial TV, on demand streaming services and the newer VodafoneTV to catch up on their favourite shows. But over 20 years ago, when a show called The West Wing was in its heyday, a then-exciting new cable TV service launched in Kapiti, Wellington and Christchurch, which subsequently became known as the TBox service (Telstra TV Box).

Following a relentless rise of newer and better technology, Vodafone is now finally about to call time on TBox cable TV. After spending six months migrating customers to new tech, the company is now making final efforts to contact the approximately 1,500 customers who remain on TBox to help them move to more modern TV services - before the underlying and outdated DOCSIS 2.0 modems stop working for good on Saturday 10 July.

David Redmore, acting Consumer Director explains. “Despite an extraordinarily comprehensive programme by us and SkyTV to reach out to all TBox and DOCSIS 2.0 customers, there are still around 1,500 households on this outdated technology and we don’t want them to be left without any viewing options when this old cable TV service stops working on 10 July. But with much newer and better forms of TV viewing now available, its time to retire the old technology.

“Over the past six months we’ve been directly contacting customers who still use this old, legacy equipment to let them know that Sky will be calling them to book a technician visit and install the latest Sky TV Box at no cost to them at all. Sky’s MySky TV Box offers all the features TBox customers enjoyed, plus a lot more, and we believe is the best like-for-like replacement option for TBox customers.

“We’re even arranging for a Vodafone Downer technician to collect the legacy TBox TV equipment and cabling, during or shortly after the Sky installation. For customers who also have broadband and phone services, we have been ensuring that the Downer tech also upgrades these services to the latest world-class broadband and voice calling services.

“It’s now getting to the point of no return, so this is a final plea to the remaining TBox customers who haven’t yet moved onto newer technology to call us as soon as possible.”

Vodafone’s legacy Cable TV network in Kapiti, Wellington and Christchurch was originally developed by Kiwi Cable, then operated by Saturn Communications and TelstraSaturn, and is now operated by Vodafone.

Broadband services have been offered over the Cable TV network using DOCSIS 2.0 technology from the early 2000’s. In the late 2000’s, DOCSIS 3.0 started operating, which will reach the end of life in 2022, and customers still on DOCSIS 3.0 are also being contacted to encourage them to move onto newer technology as soon as possible.

This is separate from the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which has been in operation since 2017. DOCSIS 3.1 technology is world-class and will continue to be supported globally and by Vodafone NZ for many years to come.

If you or someone you know is still using the old Tbox on DOCSIS 2.0 technology, please contact Sky as soon as possible to arrange an upgrade to newer technology, by calling 0800 243 875.

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