The new President of Canadian telecoms company Bell Media has branded her daughter a “thief” and reprimanded her for watching US Netflix through a VPN. Mary Ann Turcke found out that her 15-year-old daughter was accessing the US Netflix, rather than make do with the inferior Canadian service, but Turcke rebuked the girl for “stealing” and put a stop to it, an audience at the Canadian Telecom Summit heard.
Turcke recalled her daughter asking her, “Mom, did you know that you can hack into U.S. Netflix and get so many more shows?” Rather than question a system that restricts content based on exclusive deals based on geographical lines, the Bell Media boss instead chose to overreact, telling the Toronto audience, “She is 15 and she was stealing. Suffice to say, there is no more VPNing.” Sounds like a fun household.
“It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix,” she continued. “Like throwing garbage out of your car window, you just don’t do it. We have to get engaged and tell people they’re stealing.”
Watching Netflix via a VPN might contravene the streaming service’s terms and conditions, but it is not illegal – certainly not “stealing, as Turcke puts it – and points to a larger problem with geo-blocking and the availability of content. The fault lies with studio policy regarding their properties, studios that have indicated that they have little interest in tackling piracy.
These people want to pay for content; “Netflix pirates” have to subscribe to the service in order to bypass region locks, and instead of being celebrated they are chastised and treated like criminals. If all these “thieves” cared about was getting content by any means, they’d be downloading torrents for free. Watching Netflix through a VPN is unethical, at worst. Not a crime. But I’m sure Turcke’s daughter really appreciated being publicly shamed by her mother for the sake of a flimsy political point.
Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information.
British telecoms company BT has announced plans to upgrade its fibre network to offer “initial speeds of a few hundred megabits per second to millions of homes and businesses by 2020″ and up to 500Mbps speeds by 2025.
“We know the technology is capable, so it’s just looking at how we deliver that on a larger scale,” a BT spokesperson said.
BT hopes to achieve this by implementing its “third-way” (copper and fibre being first and second) G.fast technology, which should prove more cost-effective than expanding its network to fibre-to-the-premises.
“[Government money] probably wouldn’t mean it would be faster [to deploy G.fast upgrades] as we’re still rolling our fibre program and as that winds down G.fast will deployment will wind up hence we believe it will stay in broadly the same capex envelope. It might mean the scope of any program could be larger, however but it is a significant engineering task,” the spokesperson added.
News network CNN has declared T-Mobile as its Tech Company of the Year for 2014. Faced with stiff competition from Apple and Microsoft, CNN posits that “no other tech company shook up its entire industry the way that T-Mobile (TMUS) did this year.”
In 2013, mobile telecom provider T-Mobile shifted its business model, scrapping phone contracts, allowing customers to switch network easily, and introducing free international roaming. This year it went one better, offering to pay early termination fees for customers wanting to move to T-Mobile from another network, introducing free music streaming, independent of existing data plans, offering seven-day smartphone loans, free in-flight internet, and monthly rollover data allowances.
The move kicked off a major price war amongst its rivals, with Sprint offering half-price bills and Verizon and AT&T lowering rates while upping data allowances, with all three now offering free smartphones on contract. But still, T-Mobile has gained 3.5 million customers this year, more than any other mobile network, taking its market share from 11% at the start of the year to 18% now.
To CNN, this remarkable growth and brilliant business strategy has earned T-Mobile the title of Tech Company of the Year, and could point towards the company becoming a long-term success story.
Telecoms company Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the Three mobile network in the UK, has emerged as a contender to buy EE and O2 networks. BT was the first telecoms company linked with EE and O2, earlier this week, but it seems they might have competition from Hong Kong-based Hutchison, who are hopeful of buying up one of the two companies.
Three has a network sharing agreement with EE, which may be terminated should BT purchase the company, which might worry Hutchison. However, Hutchison has already purchased O2 Ireland, so may be inclined to continue the takeover. EE is valued at £11 billion, whereas O2 would be the cheaper option at £9.4 billion, but EE – a joint venture between Orange and Deutsche Telekom – is the largest network in the UK.