Netflix Regrets Signing Deals Wit ISPs iiNet & Optus To Allow Unlimited Streaming

Streaming giant Netflix’s arrival onto the Australian market brought along a handful of marketing missiles to gouge their way to the top of the game, among rivals Stan, Presto and Quickflix: Netflix partnered with Optus‘ Fetch TV to bring a dedicated app to Fetch users’ screens, and they also inked a few deals with Internet Service Providers iiNet and Optus, allowing customers of those ISPs to enjoy gloriously unmetered, unlimited content streaming. But much like your annual Melbourne Cup punt—placed purely on the horse with the dumbest name or whose jockey’s outfit looks the most fabulous—split decisions often come with a heady dose of remorse. Case in point, Netflix.

A statement for Netflix investors today argues that such an unmetered streaming arrangement does not align with the company’s staunch views on Net Neutrality – ideals where the Internet should—by and large—be an equal place, and where the less control ISPs have over net speeds or billing, the better. 

Netflix’s statement from Chief Executive Reed Hastings reads:

“Data caps inhibit Internet innovation and are bad for consumers. 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. Fortunately, most fixed-line ISPs are raising or eliminating data caps in line with our belief that ISPs should provide great video for all services in a market and let consumers do the choosing.”

While the optimistic no take-backsies approach would be appealing for those enjoying unlimited OITNB on demand, the key sentence there is, “we will avoid it [unmetered ISP deals] going forward.” However, the specific details on Netflix’s agreements with iiNet and Optus are at this stage unclear, as is Netflix’s ability to give an Irish farewell to the deals altogether. You can be pretty sure, however, that similar offers for other Australian ISPs won’t be happening anytime soon.

Hastings also claimed that Netflix was feeling “very bullish” in relation to the long-term success and future of the service in Australian and New Zealand markets. Chief Content Officer of Netflix also said, according to Farifax, that curbing the usage of piracy through VPNs—or indeed, through Australians using VPNs to bypass local Netflix for the US version instead—was “a bit of a whack-a-mole to get ahead.”

via Gizmodo.
Lead image by AFP via Getty.