The Internet Reacts To NBN Co's 'Netflix Tax'

Image: Netflix

If you ask any Australian in the country how reliable and fast their internet is, their answer would most probably fall in the "shit" to "abysmal" range. And if you asked them online, expect to wait awhile.

This can partly be blamed on our internet overlords, NBN Co, as it rolls out an ambitious (yet antiquated) nationwide broadband product. Originally projected to be completed in 2016, the finish line has since been pushed back to 2020. While some have managed to reach the speeds NBN initially promised, many end users have struggled to get even remotely near them.

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Signing up for a new NBN plan can feel a bit like a game of Russian roulette. There are so many factors that can affect the speed and quality of your connection, and no one wants to get stuck with a shitty service. While not all providers are equal, some are doing a bang-up job of delivering high quality NBN. Thanks to the ACCC’s “Measuring Broadband Australia” program – which relies on real world testing data from Australian households – we’ve got a better idea of who they are.

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In case you thought it couldn't get any worse, today it was revealed that something terrible might be on the horizon. According to iTNews and CommsDay, NBN Co is now floating the idea of throttling video streaming speeds in order to prioritise non-video-streaming traffic.

That means, if you spend most of your internet on watching Netflix and Instagram stories, NBN Co could intentionally make your internet slower or force you to upgrade to a more expensive plan in order to continue streaming at the same speeds. Yeah, it sucks.

Many were concerned about what this could mean for the future of Australian internet:

NBN Co did attempt to justify its position on Twitter, explaining it was looking at ways to deliver the "best possible service to customer."

Let's just hope the consultation process extends beyond retail service providers so Australians can truly have their voices heard. From the internet's reaction, their voices would probably be saying something along the lines of "just focus on getting the damn thing running properly."

[Via Kotaku]


    Looks like yet another reason the raise the VPN shield, maybe permanently if this shit keeps up!

      Would that work? The data still has to travel over their cables, so could they work out if it's a packet of video data?

        Not an expert but I don't think they can tell what's coming over the line if it's from OS, which is what I was alluding to. Happy to be ejumacated on the subject.

        In super simple terms, a VPN encrypts the traffic between you and your VPN provider till where they spit that traffic out (e.g. their server in America), so your ISP / NBN Co can't determine anything about that traffic as it passes through their network.

          Cheers. I forgot about the encryption thing. :)

    Best possible service?
    How about you concentrate on making the NBN work? That would be a good first step.

    Under threat by the prowess of 5G connectivity, your resolve is to suggest an increase to the existing cost of nbn services?

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