Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Netflix turned off by low data caps

internet movie and television service Netflix has no plans to enter the New Zealand market because of the country's low internet data caps and problems obtaining content, a conference heard this week.

Netflix is a United States-based platform letting subscribers legally stream movies and television shows via the internet for a monthly-fee.

Vice-president of product innovation Brent Ayrey gave a keynote speech at the ITEX business technology show in Auckland on Wednesday. He told Telecommunications User Association (TUANZ) chief executive Paul Brislen afterwards that Netflix had no intention of launching in New Zealand. Despite the strong demand for online video and content, the quality of the local internet network and low data caps would be problematic for Netflix, Brislen said.

"[We heard that] next year the average Netflix customer in the US will need a data cap of one terabyte a month. I've got one of the bigger caps in New Zealand and I'm sitting at 60 gigabytes. I would need 1000 gigabytes of data. The whole crowd gasped at that point," Brislen said.

Another issue was the access to rights to screen popular movie and television content in New Zealand.

"Access to content is critical for them, because if they don't have good content to sell there's not much point bothering," Brislen said. "At the moment, Netflix certainly doesn't have the willingness to go after the rights for such a small territory.

It's a mixed problem, it's one of network capacity, which we're fixing with the [ultra-fast broadband scheme] but also access to the rights, and it looks like those are pretty much tied up at the moment with Sky."

- NZ Herald

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