Story image

Consumer: Global mode action 'protectionism' and 'huge blow for consumers'

13 Apr 15

Consumer New Zealand has joined the growing number slamming the proposed legal action by Sky, Lightbox, TVNZ and Mediaworks to stop global mode, saying the proposed action is ‘a huge blow to consumers’.

Sue Chetwin today slammed the move as ‘simply protectionism of old content distribution models’.

A number of New Zealand ISPs received a legal letter from Buddle Findlay, representatives of Sky, TVNZ, Lightbox and Mediaworks last week, ordering them to stop providing access to services such as Global Mode which provide access to international geo-blocked TV and movie services.

“While they may argue that this is not about taking action against consumers, it’s exactly consumers who will end up paying more because of this,” Chetwin says.

“Consumers will always look for the best deal, and if that isn’t offered by a New Zealand company then they shouldn’t be stopped from looking overseas for a better deal.”

In a stinging statement, Consumer has questioned why New Zealanders should be ‘lumped with an inferior product’.

“What is available overseas is just as fast, more accessible to those with impairments, in many cases easier to use, cheaper and often of equal or higher quality to what is offered here.”

Unlimited Internet and Lightwire have already agreed to cease offering their versions of Global Mode, though both say they don’t believe the service is unlawful.

In a statement last week, Lightwire said it believes the Global Mode service reduces the temptation to illegally download content by offering consumers more choice in terms of accessing content from legitimate sources and on their own terms.

Chetwin also notes that for New Zealanders with visual and hearing impairments, the need to access overseas services is greater as no New Zealand-based services, including state broadcaster TVNZ, offer audio descriptions or closed captions.

Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
Hands-on review: Having fun in Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty
They don’t revolutionise social video gaming, but they are enjoyable enough to occupy you during a wet weekend. 
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.