Netflix announced today that it will begin operations in Australia and New Zealand on 24 March. The popular streaming service for movies and TV shows has been long awaited by Australian fans, who have taken to using VPN services in order to watch the company’s catalogue of content for under $US10 per month.
While anyone with a broadband service from any provider will be able to tune in to Netflix, those who use iiNet (including brands Internode, Adam, and Westnet) fixed line broadband will benefit from the ISP putting all Netflix traffic in its quota-free zone. Any data downloaded from the Australian Netflix service through iiNet will not count towards a user’s quota, ensuing that data caps aren’t swallowed up by binge watching. It's the first un-metered data agreement with a major broadband provider to be announced by Netflix, hinting there will be more to come.
In a press release from Netflix this morning, CEO of iiNet, David Buckingham said that "offering our customers quota-free access to Netflix is yet another demonstration of iiNet’s commitment to providing our customers great, hassle-free entertainment experiences". iiNet has form in this area, with the company already providing quota-free content to users of the Fetch TV service, as well as to ABC’s iView (when viewed through a computer’s Web browser).
Fetch TV’s second-generation set-top box is one of the devices through which users will be able to watch Netflix. Other devices include smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, and HiSense, as well as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Users of PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U, will also be able to access the service through those platforms.
Monthly pricing for the Netflix service will be announced at the launch on 24 March. Single-stream standard definition, two-stream high-definition, and four-stream 4K ultra-high definition plans will be offered. Gift cards will be available for purchase for $20, $30, and $50 in retail outlets.
Optus joins the party
A statement from an Optus spokesperson reveals that Optus' consumer broadband users will also benefit from quota-free access to Netflix.
Optus consumer broadband customers will be able to access as much Netflix content as they want, without metering. Any Netflix Australian content will not count towards a customer’s data cap.
Read more: Video on Demand war spills onto smartphones
Updated 4 March to include the statement from Optus and to clarify it is Australian Netflix traffic only.
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