Netflix won’t count against iiNet broadband caps in Australia

So much for net neutrality: Netflix has struck a deal with Australia’s iiNet ISP to exempt its traffic from iiNet’s broadband caps. This means that iiNet subscribers will be able to watch as much Netflix as they want, without the fear that their viewing will lead to any overage charges. But it’s also bad news for any upstart trying to compete with Netflix, and it runs counter to the company’s long and very public defense of net neutrality.

[company]Netflix[/company] said on Monday that it is going to launch on March 24 in Australia and New Zealand. As part of the announcement, iiNet revealed that it will exempt any Netflix traffic from its customers’ monthly bandwidth quotas.

iiNet currently has a 100GB cap for its cheapest broadband plans, and charges customers who exceed that quota $0.60 AUS (about $0.47) per additional gigabyte. The company also has 300GB, 600GB and 1TB plans. Netflix estimates that its customers use up to 7GB of data per hour for the company’s best-looking 1080p HD streams. However, averages are typically much lower.

In the past, Netflix has taken a strong stance against broadband caps. In 2012, its CEO Reed Hastings said that Comcast was violating net neutrality priciples by exempting its own online video services from its broadband caps. “Comcast should apply caps equally, or not at all,” Hastings wrote on his Facebook page back then.

Watching the game

Apart from that means for the linear TV service, by making nice with the service providers Microsoft may be able to use those integration deals to ensure that Xbox Live game play and downloads also don’t count against a user’s bandwidth cap.

Intel’s over-the-top compression

Depending on when Intel actually rolls out its planned new set-top box, it could be among the first service providers — OTT or otherwise — to deploy the new H.265 codec, which could give it some competitive advantages over other fixed-line OTT providers.

More questions than answers on Intel TV plans

The OTT video service being planned by Intel sure sounds like it meets the legal definition of a “multichannel video program distributor,” which means it will likely have to comply with the terms of the Communications Act and be subject to regulation and oversight by the FCC.

Today in Connected Consumer

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been banging the drum on Facebook and in Washington, DC, over ISPs’ use of bandwidth caps, and according to my sources was at least partly responsible for getting those caps on the agenda of the Senate Commerce Committee. But he’s having less success keeping Wall Street happy. Monday’s first quarter earnings report, which featured a $4.6 million net loss for the period, sent shares of the company into a 12.5 percent dive on Tuesday, and the downward trajectory continued through Wednesday morning, which saw the shares down another 5 percent in midday trading. The sell-off has rekindled speculation that Netflix might now be an attractive takeover target for someone, which means Hastings could soon find himself fending off unwanted suitors as well. The question for investors is whether management can stay focused on the job at hand as the company tries to dig out of the deep hole if put itself in last year with the mishandling of its price hike.

Netflix plays the net neutrality card

There is real long-term danger to Netflix lurking in the FCC’s current net neutrality rules, but it lies in the rules’ failure to regulate those parts of the Internet the consumer doesn’t see, like peering agreements between last-mile ISPs and content distribution networks (CDNs). While Netflix would dearly love to see the FCC revisit those rules, the agency isn’t likely to do so absent some clear evidence of consumer harm.

EyeIO: Netflix’s secret weapon against bandwidth caps?

Palo Alto, Calif.–based video encoding startup eyeIO came out of stealth mode Wednesday and immediately announced an impressive first customer: Netflix is using eyeIO’s encoding technology to lower the bitrate of its HD video streams, which should help the company both in mobile and emerging markets.

NewTeeVee’s top 11 posts of 2011

Netflix, AT&T’s 250-GB bandwidth caps, the Royal Wedding, Roku, Google+ Hangouts and The Guild were only some of the subjects that proved to be really popular this year. Check out our list of the eleven most-read NewTeeVee posts of 2011.

How BitTorrent wants to save the Internet

This week’s talk about usage-based billing has been a bit of a deja vu for BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, who thinks the solution isn’t to charge or slow down customers. Instead, he believes smart technology can solve our problems and save the Internet in the process.