It begins. The first salvo in the local net neutrality battle has been fired in Australia, with Optus saying it wants Netflix to pay to make sure its streams arrive at customer computers safely.
Net neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers. In a bid to raise revenue from so-called cable cutters in the US, cable TV and internet service providers have been throttling services like Netflix, essentially holding streaming traffic hostage unless the streaming service paid to get out of the slow lane. New streaming companies want ISPs to treat internet traffic like energy companies treat power: no fast or slow lanes, just neutral traffic.
Optus today flagged that it would look to destabilise net neutrality in Australia by putting its hand out for some of Netflix’s cash. Speaking at the CommsDay conference today, Optus CEO Allan Lew indicated that the ISP would charge over-the-top services like Netflix, Presto and Stan to ensure customers received “the best experience”.