Daily use for Orcon's GlobalMode
CallPlus says nearly a quarter of Orcon customers are using its free "GlobalMode" service on a daily basis to access online services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer that are supposed to be blocked in New Zealand.
The telecommunications company invited all 170,000 customers of its Slingshot brand to use GlobalMode in July, and in August extended it to Orcon, an internet provider with 60,000 customers that it bought it June for about $32 million.
Orcon general manager Mike Shirley said 22 per cent of its customers were accessing previously blocked sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer on a "daily basis".
Canadian company UnoTelly estimated in June that 20,000 to 30,000 Kiwis were probably watching Netflix in breach of Netflix' terms and conditions, using a variety of intermediaries including its own. But CallPlus' figures raise the possibility that the true number getting around such geo-blocks could now be significantly higher.
GlobalMode, developed by Auckland firm Bypass Network Services, is designed to let people access overseas online services, such as internet television services, that are supposed to be blocked in New Zealand. Usually such services are blocked here because the internet television companies do not own the local distribution rights to programming.
Sky Television, Television New Zealand and MediaWorks all banned CallPlus television advertisements that made reference to GlobalMode in July, citing the potential the service created for copyright conflicts.