Updated: Netflix to flick the switch on March 24

iiNet and Optus customers will get quota-free access to the service

Netflix will begin offering subscription movie and TV services from all major broadband operators in Australia and New Zealand on March 24.

The company has also announced an “un-metering” agreement with ISP iiNet, offering users quota-free access to the service. This enables iiNet broadband, Naked DSL, NBN and iiNet TV with Fetch customers to stream as much content as they like without it counting against their home data caps, Netflix said.

Optus said it will also be offering its customers unmetered Netflix content.

"Optus broadband consumer customers will also be able to access as much Netflix content as they want, without metering. Netflix Australian content won’t count towards a customer’s data cap,” an Optus spokesperson said.

Users will be able to stream all three seasons of political drama House of Cards, thriller Bloodline, and other movies and TV shows from the Netflix catalogue.

An iiNet spokesperson told CIO that the ISP had worked with Netflix to embed content caches - Open Connect Appliance servers - across its broadband network. Netflix provides these servers if an ISP receives more than 5Gbps in peak daily Netflix traffic.

"These are specifically for NetFlix Australia customers using iiNet broadband products," the spokesperson said. "These caches are designed to maximise the user streaming experience but also reduce our cost of delivering this content by minimising replicate video streams across our network."

iiNet said there were no plans at this stage to offer unmetered arrangements with other streaming services such as Stan.

Meanwhile, mobile users who sign up for specific plans offered by Vodafone in New Zealand will receive several months of prepaid service. Consumers purchasing Microsoft’s next-generation console, the Xbox One, will also receive three months prepaid access to the Netflix service.

At launch, NetFlix will be available on smart TV’s manufactured by Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, and HiSense, as well as Fetch TV’s second-generation set top box, the company said.

Internet-connected users will be able to subscribe to Netflix and watch a curated selection of movies and TV shows in high-definition or Ultra HD 4K.

From launch, consumers will be able to purchase Netflix gift cards in denominations of $20, $30, and $50 at Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post, and Officeworks, the company said.

Netflix will be offering a single-stream standard definition plan, two-stream high-definition plan, and four-stream 4K ultra high definition plan. Details on monthly pricing will be available at launch, the company said.

iiNet CEO, David Buckingham, said the introduction of Netflix to the Australian market will be a game changer.

“We couldn’t be happier about Netflix launching in Australia. It opens up a whole world of affordable entertainment options for our customers and we’re adamant about ensuring the content is easily accessible to as many people as possible,” he said in a statement.

“In addition to our partnership with Fetch TV, Netflix significantly strengthens our entertainment offering and we expect it to be an extremely popular option for all those avid television and movie fans out there.

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Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly

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