Might is Right (how the big companies killed Global Mode)

The “Global Mode” case has been settled in favour of the big media companies.

A notice posted this morning to the NZX by Sky TV reads, in full: “The legal proceedings against ?Global Mode? service providers have been settled. As a result, from 1 September 2015, the ?Global Mode? service will not be available to any person for use in New Zealand.” [See expanded statement by Sky TV to media end of article.]

In return for CallPlus dropping its service, the media companies have dropped their case.

Sky TV, TVNZ, MediaWorks and Lightbox owner Spark brought a High Court Action against the CallPlus (owner of Orcon and Slingshot) over their Global Mode service, available to all customers of its ISP services, which made it easier to access BBC iPlayer, Netflix US and other offshore content services usually geo-blocked to New Zealanders. The action also covered Bypass Network Services Ltd (BNSL), the tiny Auckland company that developed the Global Mode technology used by Orcon and Slingshot (plus a half-dozen smaller ISPs who threw in the towel as soon as the legal action was brought).

The big media companies claimed the service breached the Copyright Act and the Fair Trading Act.

I really felt there was a solid argument to be had about parallel importing, but I can understand why a relative minnow like CallPlus does not have the financial resources to take on companies that spend the same amount on office expenses every week. Read more »


Consumer NZ slams action on global mode

Consumer NZ has come out against the cartel of media companies trying to shut down global mode provided by some ISPs.

They stop short of calling them mafia-like but they do call them out for their blatant protectionism.

NetGuide reports:

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. ?? Read more »

NZ is the only country where Internet access is getting more expensive

Spark, Vodafone and Callplus together represent 94 percent of the residential internet market and all have put up their prices for home internet packages.

Internet service providers blame the rises on the Commerce Commission’s recent draft decision which reduced the price companies pay for use of the copper wire network.

The charges relate to what Chorus (the wholesaler) charges internet service providers and telcos like Spark, Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot and Flip, for accessing their copper infrastructure which was deployed years ago by the Post Office. Those wires run down almost every street in the country and are the phone lines we have been using for decades.

Because it is a monopoly, the price that the wholesaler can charge is regulated by the Commerce Commission.

In 2011, when Telecom was split into a retail arm (Telecom) and a wholesale arm (Chorus), the Commission had to work out what Chorus’s wholesale services were worth, and what price they would charge internet service providers and telcos, including Telecom (now Spark) to use those services.

The price was originally set at about $45 per customer per month. Read more »

One of Hooton’s corporate wrecking crew busted with $250k fine

Matthew Hooton is heading up the corporate wrecking crew of self interested parties intent on destroying Chorus so they can trouser even more profits.

One of the crew is Slingshot and their parent CallPlus. And we can judge them and their honesty by the massive fine they were just stung with in the Auckland District Court.

Slingshot – the consumer division of ISP CallPlus – has been fined $250,000 after pleading guilty in the Auckland District Court today to 50 charges it faced under the Fair Trading Act in relation to the marketing of its telecommunications services.

“We have accepted the findings of the Commerce Commission and the fine that was issued today,” CallPlus CEO Mark Callander tells NBR.

“We have cooperated fully with the Commerce Commission throughout this process and we have taken this matter very seriously. Most importantly, we have apologised to the 27 customers who were impacted by the actions of the third party telemarketing company, Power Marketing. It is good to finally resolve the matter so we can focus on the opportunities ahead.”? Read more »

Final copper price decision today, bet you Hooton’s rent a mob are outraged

According to my Wellington mates, later today the Commerce Commission will be announcing its final wholesale copper broadband price decision.? Predictably, Vodafone and Hooton?s ?axe the copper tax? coalition of CallPlus, Slingshot and Orcon will no doubt demand the government not intervene so consumers get the lowest possible internet prices.

What Hooton is hoping no one remembers is that we?re talking about wholesale copper prices ? the charges internet retailers pay Chorus.? Not the price consumers pay.

Most of the internet retailers who access Chorus? copper network have not confirmed they would pass any reduced costs on to consumers.? As usual Orcon is using?weasel words

?This being said, some internet retailers such as Orcon have committed to pass on?at least some?of the commission’s draft price drop to customers if it is finalised.? ?? Read more »

Telcos sting consumers with an internet tax

Matthew Hooton and his band of lefty loonies are trying to spin their ?copper tax? campaign, but Hooton’s reputation is in tatters. His campaign has failed miserably and his ego has taken a battering.

Word around town is that he is blaming Sue Chetwin from Consumers NZ??for his campaign?s failure. Apparently he reckons Chetwin is crap at running his lines in the media and he is thinking of giving her a red card. It?s always someone? else’s fault eh, Matthew!

Today there has been another interesting turn of events.

Orcon and Krim DotCon have launched a campaign to scrap data caps on internet usage.

As much as I loathe Crim Dot Com, he raises an interesting point in the TV advertisement for Orcon:

?Bullying corporations are restricting your internet data just to make more profits.?? Read more »

Media finally catch on to Hooton’s tricks

Matthew Hooton will be crying into his cornflakes this morning, which will take the edge off the hangover somewhat. The media are finally starting to see through his highly misleading campaign.

In an editorial in The Press yesterday, the paper gets to the heart of the issue ? the campaign is just designed to line the pockets of groups like Vodafone, Slingshot, Orcon and CallPlus.

A well-organised campaign is being orchestrated on the matter, it is true, suggesting a Government proposal would amount to an extra “tax” on broadband users of some $600 million over the next five years.

This glides over the fact that the shareholders of Vodafone, one of the largest international telecommunications companies in the world, and hundreds of times bigger than Chorus, stand to benefit if the other side of the argument prevails.

Labour’s prime objection is to the Government’s intervention into something it believes should have been left to the Commerce Commission. There would normally be some validity to that argument. Since Chorus’s monopoly of the copper network is deemed to make it unsafe to leave pricing to the free market, the next best option is an independent regulator.? Read more »

Liar, liar Hooton’s pants are on fire

It looks like Matthew Hooton?s campaign against the Government is about to unravel

Finally, we have a journalist prepared to look past the PR rubbish and actually examine the dodgy behaviour of those involved in the broadband campaign against the Government.

Now that a bit of sunlight has been shone on this?tired old grouping of the disaffected drinking buddies of Hooton, the greedy, the tax dodging ratbags and second rate bloggers, things are about to get interesting.

Hooton has been spinning to his heart?s content that his campaign is about putting more money into the back pockets of Kiwi mum and dads.

Absolute rubbish.

As the NBR?s Chris Keall has revealed (behind the paywall), it looks like the campaign is actually about stuffing that money into the pockets of?retail service providers. Hooton couldn?t give a toss about Kiwi mum and dads.? Read more »