Netflix Wants ISP Partnerships For Australian Launch

Netflix Wants ISP Partnerships For Australian Launch

Netflix dominates the US online movie and TV rental market and is integrated into all sorts of devices, but isn’t officially available for Australian consumers (unless you fancy messing around with VPN and credit card details). That might change with news the company is exploring ISP deals for a potential local launch.

Aside from regional movie licensing deals, the big stumbling block for Netflix is that unlike the US, the majority of ISPs in Australia don’t offer unlimited data, which can make viewing streaming movies and shows an expensive business. Yes, there are some unlimited plans and a lot which offer 1 terabyte, but even that can go pretty quickly if you’re downloading gigabytes of HD viewing.

The NBN will improve delivery speeds, but won’t in itself solve the data problem. The solution adopted by current providers in Australia is to offer unmetered downloads through a specific ISP; for instance, Telstra doesn’t count content through its BigPondMovies service, an approach also taken by FetchTV partners such as iiNet and Internode.

Fran Foo at AustralianIT reports that Netflix is interested in signing up ISP partners for a launch within the next 12-18 months, though there’s no detail on which ISPs might be involved or exactly when a launch might happen.

The biggest challenge would be finding an ISP which doesn’t already have a rival offering. As mentioned, Telstra is concentrating on its BigPond Movies and T-Hub download services, especially after selling off its physical DVD rental business to Quickflix. FetchTV has agreements with most of the other top-tier ISPs. So while Netflix would be an interesting addition to the local scene, I won’t be holding my breath.

Netflix in talks for local tie-ups [AustralianIT]


  • I’m guessing that movies will be more expensive than their US counterpart.

    But you’re spot-on about Internet access. The US get insanely cheap Internet with very high data allowances. When I was paying $100 for ADSL (with unlimited data), my mother-in-law in Ohio (middle of nowhere, mind you) was paying about half that (I think it was $45 a month) with double the speed (2mb instead of 1mb).

    If more streaming services want to get in on the Australian market, they need to pressure ISPs to provide more internet for cheaper.

    • Netflix works by a subscription service. In the US its like around $10 a month and you can stream as much tv and movies you want. Even if its $20 a month in Australia so all you need to do is watch more than 1 movie a month and you are making a saving

  • This has been such a long time coming, it will be more about changing the mindset of the viewers… how do you make people want to start PAYING for a movie where they probably get any movie they want for free right now?

  • whoever they partner with I hope they still make the service available for those on other ISPs.

    I have plenty of data to waste and am waiting for someone to give my money to that is as convenient as bittorrent.

  • 1TB? Im on a 70GB plan, use Netflix every day and have no problems whatsoever. Most movies/shows are in SD format so let’s not worry about bandwidth too much.

  • Been on Netflix (via PS3) for over an year now. Honestly, I don’t think you need more than 500GB/month. I watch at least 3 movies in a week on Netflix (and that too on HD 5.1) but still I do have around 100 odd gigs left by the end of the month. So, unless you are running a movie marathon, a decent ISP with a fair data cap should suffice.

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