A new option on some ISPs allows Kiwi consumers to access overseas video content that providers had previously blocked in New Zealand. Customers of the ISPs Slingshot and Orcon now can watch BBC iPlayer, Netflix US and other services without having to worry about using potentially complicated proxies or VPNs. The new technology being used by these ISPs is named ‘Global Mode’ and made available by the New Zealand company Bypass Network Services.

Slingshot and Orcon are using this technology to win new customers – creating a point of difference from the other offerings in the marketplace. Understandably some New Zealand broadcasters are not impressed seeing that they may have exclusive NZ distribution rights for some of the content. It is on the value of those rights that they invest in their broadcast network to deliver the content to New Zealand consumers. Now the consumers have a simple way of accessing content at much lower costs, and can bypass the traditional broadcasters.

As a result Television New Zealand, Sky Television, Mediaworks and Spark subsidiary Lightbox have all written to CallPlus subsidiaries Slingshot and Orcon and other internet providers that are making use of the new technology. They have also written to Global Mode’s creator, Auckland firm Bypass Network Services, telling it to stop the service.

We are very interested in seeing where this leads. New Zealand Broadcaster’s content rights need to be protected, but innovation in the marketplace is key. We hope that the outcome benefits all, broadcasters who have invested millions in their infrastructure and also consumers with better content quality and value that new technology allows.

Read more about Global Mode here.

Read The New Zealand Heralds thoughts here.

Read NBR’s thoughts here.

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