If you’re an Optus or iiNet customer, I hope you’re loving every minute of unmetered Netflix streaming, because the streaming giant that signed the deal in the first place hates it.
That’s right: Netflix regrets ever signing unmetered arrangements with Aussie ISPs.
In a note to investors today, Netflix discussed its ongoing Net Neutrality fight in the United States.
Net Neutrality is the idea that all traffic going over the internet should be treated equally, rather than have some content slowed or billed differently from ISP to ISP.
Netflix has been fighting US ISPs over the right to a flat, fair and open internet for years now, and it wishes it had never got involved in the fight in Australia.
Netflix thinks that by signing these unmetered relationships with ISPs like Optus and iiNet, it is effectively conceding a fight over Net Neutrality.
The streaming giant added in its statement that it wouldn’t look to do any more unmetered streaming deals.
Here’s the investor note:
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.
Netflix has form when complaining about data caps.
When speaking to Gizmodo Australia a few months ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that there’s just no need for data caps anywhere in the world.
“There’s no reason for data caps. We want to make the internet unmetered. Period. The capped model is antiquated: we want to make it about speed. 10Mbps will cost more than 1Mbps and 50Mbps will cost more than 10Mbps and that makes sense. Historically, there was so little content in Australia that many users went over the international links and those are pretty expensive, but now there’s more and more content and content caching in Australia.”
Hastings did add to that comment in our interview by saying that at the end of the day, Australian ISPs don’t really care what Netflix thinks, so these new comments are unlikely to change the status quo.
Netflix is still more than happy to take Australians’ money though. The expansion into Australia and New Zealand has increased the number of “addressable households” by eight million. While it won’t say how many Aussie customers has actually signed up just yet, it’s a fair bet that most of them have at least heard of Netflix by now.