Optus CEO opens a can of worms.
Optus CEO Allan Lew has hinted that he’d like to charge streaming services such as Netflix, Presto and Stan extra to ensure a quality service.
Lew made the comments at the Commsday summit in Sydney on Monday morning, where he said Optus would consider charging services a premium fee “to ensure that the optimised, or the best customer experience is achieved by the end user.
“We need to make sure that the [over-the-top providers] — whether they’re Netflix or others — understand that to preserve the network quality and give you an HD video in the homes, they need to work collaboratively with us,” Fairfax reports.
At the same time, Lew, the CEO of one of Australia’s biggest ISPs, said Optus would “continue to preserve Net Neutrality.”
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Just last week Netflix re-affirmed its commitment to Net Neutrality.
In an investor note during its quarterly earnings report last week, Netflix said it regretted a deal it gave to Optus and iiNet customers which allowed them to stream as many shows as they wanted without it counting towards their monthly data limit.
Netflix said this was a violation of its belief in Net Neutrality.
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What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality, or the Open Internet, is the concept that all traffic and data online should be treated equally, regardless of which ISP a user is signed up to. Without it, ISPs would be able to charge users more for better internet speeds, essentially dividing the internet into fast and slow lanes.
It may also let ISPs give preference to certain websites, such as a site that the ISP itself owns or makes money from.
It’s a big deal in the US where some lawmakers have been trying to allow internet providers to do just that.
BuzzFeed News has contacted Optus and Netflix for comment.
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