4 Sep 2015

Life after Global Mode for streaming fans

5:14 pm on 4 September 2015

As a global internet access service shuts down after legal action by media companies, the company behind it says it is business as usual.

girl working on laptop

Users were able to use Global Mode to access film and television streaming services such as Netflix US. Photo: 123RF

M2 Group-owned CallPlus, which owns Orcon, Slingshot and Flip, and ByPass Network Services reached a settlement with several media companies in June to stop offering Global Mode.

Sky Television, Television New Zealand, Lightbox and Mediaworks had taken a case to the High Court against the service, which they argued breached copyright law.

The service - among other uses - allowed users to stream film and television content offered in other countries, including the US version of Netflix.

Under the terms of the settlement, CallPlus and ByPass Network Services were required to turn off Global Mode on 1 September.

M2 Group New Zealand chief executive Mark Callander said the company expected the end of the service to have "very minimal impact".

"Our customers remain supportive of what we were trying to achieve and the fight we put up. We have a very loyal bunch of customers."

Mr Callander said the company's customers had plenty of other options to access content.

"Customers now have a range of local options for content now, including Netflix. Alternatively, customers will simply revert to previous methods to access overseas content via VPNs."

Not all streaming fans happy

Some former Global Mode users are unhappy with alternative streaming options.

Amy Britton, 34, a mother of three in Tauranga, said she was now using Lightbox, on a trial basis, and had switched to the New Zealand version of Netflix.

Mrs Britton said the local version was "awful" compared to its US counterpart, she had read negative things about services such as Hola, and she did not want to pay for a VPN.

She added that she could not remember the last time her family watched free-to-air TV.

"New Zealand broadcasters choose awful shows, or put great shows at ridiculous timeslots... Sky charges way too much for content that can be viewed online, and endless repeats. I certainly won't be switching on to free-to-air or signing up for Sky again [so] back to sites like Couch Tuner."

Mrs Britton said, however, she would not be switching her internet service provider as Flip had been "great apart from this".

Sky Television, Lightbox and Netflix New Zealand declined to comment on any recent changes to subscription numbers.

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