In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers to access Netflix will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are, David Fullagar, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, wrote in a company’s blog post. This is aimed at stopping users, like in South Africa or Nigeria, accessing content that is strictly available for the US or Europe. By Staff Writer
Fullagar said some of Netflix members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory.
“To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”
At CES 2016, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a massive global expansion of the most popular video-on demand service. Netflix is now available in 130 new countries, including South Africa but most of the shows are not available.
Fullagar added that if all of Netflix’s content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool its systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in.
“We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.”
“Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”
He added that the firm was looking forward to offering all of its content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. “That’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.”
Meanwhile, Netflix will compete in South Africa with local video-on-demand services like Naspers’ ShowMax, Times Media’s VIDI, MTN’s VU and PCCW Global’s ONTAPtv.com.