Vodafone and TelstraClear reject zero-rating for Quickflix

Allan Freeth predicts Quickflix won't be successful unless TelstraClear and Telecom lift data caps for internet traffic to its online service

Chief executives at Vodafone and TelstraClear have ruled out zero-rating internet traffic to the new on demand content provider Quickflix.

At a panel discussion at the Telecommunications and ICT Summit in Auckland this morning both Vodafone’s Russell Stanners and TelstraClear’s Allan Freeth said that their customers’ traffic to the Quickflix site would continue to be counted towards data caps.

When the video on demand service launched in New Zealand last month Slingshot and Orcon announced that customers’ data from the site would be zero-rated.

When Computerworld suggested that Quickflix was competition for Sky TV, Stanners replied: “Saying Quickflix competes with Sky is like saying the corner dairy competes with Countdown.”

Freeth told the audience that Quickflix had limited content available and that its movies are “five to six years old.”

“Quickflix won’t be successful until Telecom and TelstraClear decide to unmeter it,” Freeth said.

TelstraClear’s current contract with Sky TV could prevent the telco from zero-rating Quickflix, said Freeth. “Contract wise I’m not sure we are allowed to by our friends at Sky.”

When Computerworld told him that Sky TV has indicated that Vodafone, Telecom and TelstraClear, can zero rate Quickflix data, Freeth replied. “That’s what they say publicly, not quite privately.”

Prior to the panel discussion ICT Minister Amy Adams again rejected regulatory intervention in the content market in order to facilitate uptake of the Ultra Fast Broadband network. Here’s the reason she gave to Computerworld’s question about regulation:

“I think at this very early stage of the broadband rollout we have to be careful not to get ahead of where the market will develop and even in the short space of time since that last speech we’ve seen some new market entrants and things starting to change.

“The other thing I’m very aware of is that competition law in NZ is very carefully regulated under the Commerce Act, you have the Commerce Commission sitting there as our competition watchdog with a number of powers able to look at any allegations of inappropriate behaviours of dominant positions, so I’m very confident that they have the skills they need to investigate any allegation that arises in that space.

“More widely I’d need to see examples of clear regulatory failure and consumer loss before we were ready to step in. At this stage it’s very early in the process and the backstop of the ComCom approach to regulating competition is there already, I’m confident of where we are.”

However Freeth predicts that “there will be some type of regulatory intervention in the next two years, to encourage Sky TV to move away from its monopolistic practices.”

Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds was not present at the conference.

8 Comments

Bogues

1

Quickflix won't be successful until they have a much broader range of DVDs on offer. Five hundred 5-6 year old movies isn't going to cut it when you spend $16 per month.

They would need to have a catalogue close to what Fatso has if they want my business.

bobbbbb

2

pfff, who needs unmetering. My Telecom plan gives me 160Gb of data - roughly 160 quickflix movies per month, whihc is far more than I can actually watch!

Anonymous

3

Sky is hopeless. Too many repeats, overly repeated. You walk away from your TV at 2pm you come back at 6pm and the same movie/show is on again and it's on the same damn channel. But if you really liked that show, well it's on again the next day and the day after and the day after that... This happens on EVERY channel. We're getting ripped off and there no one out there in NZ to help.

Anonymous

4

I'm currently a Vodafone customer, but after the ridiculous comments from Stanners, I'll be switching to ORCON! Might pay for him to step outside Venue once in a while and actually understand what his customers want!

Dave

5

I see that TC and Telecom have an option to out do each other here. Why not work out way to let Quikflix customers have unlimited cap when downloading movies from Quikflix?

henareho

6

Telstra and Telecom wont zero-rate because there is nothing in it for them, and this is mainly to do with the monopolistic position the govt are letting Sky get away with.

Its similar to the way the govt were letting Telecom rip off ordinary NZers and the other telcos off before David Cunliffe gave them a sticking over unbnudling.

No leadership from the Minister Amy Adams or Steven Joyce. With no public TV service and even TVNZ admitting defeat Sky's John Fellett must be laughing all the way to the bank.

We need competition, the govts talk is cheap!

Mike W

7

Why on earth does NZ ISP still pursue data caps. If and when UFB kick in all that data cap will be used up in 1week. Does NZ ISP still want to be in the stoneage with data caps chains on customers.
Ask yourself, why cant I watch a video any time I want and not worry about data caps.

Regards
Mike

Anonymous

8

I'll be the first if Quickflix puts up a couple of hundred classic sci-fi flicks. I see that Telecom has just doubled the data allowances (eg from 60 Gb to 120 GB for one of the plans) for about the same price that Vodafone gives for 60 GB. Besides, what would be the excuse not too ? It's all local data. Reasons given for datacaps has always been that most of the data comes from offshore which is not cheap, so what gives ??

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