The company is being accused of hypocrisy after teaming up with Australian Internet service provider iiNet in order to obtain preferential treatment, while being a long-time proponent of net neutrality.
he video-on-demand company is planning to launch in Australia and New Zealand in the nearest future in order to end the situation where residents of those regions had to use virtual private networks to access the service. However, ahead of the launch Netflix is pairing with the local ISP to offer its service to iiNet subscribers without impacting on their broadband caps. One can notice that such position seems counter to Netflix support of net neutrality (the principle that broadband providers should treat everyone equally).
According to the current iiNet’s tariffs, the usage caps begin at 100GB per month, while HD streaming can consume up over 100MB per minute – as you can understand, Netflix users can easily go over the cap. This is why Netflix wants to make a deal.
However, a few years ago Netfilx’s CEO expressed a very different view on broadband caps, saying that ISPs should apply caps equally, or not at all. Netflix explained this by saying that zero rating is indeed bad for consumers because it can distort consumer choice in favor of choices selected by a broadband provider. Netfilx promised to push back against such efforts, but the company is apparently not going to put its service or members at a disadvantage.
However, this explanation didn’t satisfy the telecoms firms laying into the streaming service: for example, AT&T released a statement criticizing Netflix for discrepancies, claiming that the video-on-demand service had “spun a lot of tales” and now misspeaks on an issue supposedly so crucial to its future.