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Netflix has a problem with unmetered streaming

Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015

Information Age

How long before you have to pay data charges?

Netflix has revealed that it regrets striking deals with iiNet and Optus which provide unmetered access to its streaming services.

The internet darling dropped the bombshell in a letter to shareholders, less than a fortnight after launching in Australia.

It said it agreed to unmetered content deals with the ISPs so customers would not be constrained by the data download caps common to internet plans in Australia.

"Data caps inhibit internet innovation and are bad for consumers," Netflix said.

"In Australia, we recently sought to protect our new members from data caps by participating in ISP programs that, while common in Australia, effectively condone discrimination among video services (some capped, some not).

"We should have avoided that and will avoid it going forward".

Netflix's regret stems from the idea that providing unmetered access to some video services but not others creates a net neutrality problem - where certain traffic is being favoured over others.

"Our belief [is] that ISPs should provide great video for all services in a market and let consumers do the choosing," the company said.

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