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Global Mode is dead: a winning move for ISPs

By Patrick Pilcher
Wed 24 Jun 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

CallPlus are axing global mode. The service was provided by Bypass Network Services and allowed Kiwi subscribers to pose as US or UK internet users.

Calling a halt to Global Mode is the smartest move possible for ISPs in a potentially unwinnable legal dust-up with TV networks. 

TV network execs may be patting each other on the back, but stopping people from obtaining content offshore is a lot like turning off a tap in a bathroom showroom. 

Turning off one tap doesn’t mean that others won’t be turned on. In other words, killing Global Mode is only likely to drive users to a multitude of other options, many of which are free. Most are also operated outside of New Zealand, beyond the reach of TV network lawyers.

In other words there’s plenty of VPN services available that offer the same capabilities as Global Mode. There’s also a large number of download and streaming options too.

Some TV networks have also played it smarter than others. Sky TV may have sought an end to Global Mode, but they also provided alternatives in the form of premium channels such as SOHO, which often airs shows within 24 hours of them screening overseas.

About the only certainty at this stage is that the environment will change. While our Three Strikes legislation provides a framework for copyright holders, as well as reasonable protections for Joe and Joanne public, speculation is mounting that copyright provisions are part of the TPPA; this could see Three Strike laws replaced with more draconian copyright legislation.

Yesterday the Aussies passed new laws that could see access to sites facilitating piracy blocked. You’d think the Aussies would have looked at the UK where similar efforts failed as Brit law makers failed to match faster moving techies in a digital arms race for content.

Here’s hoping local lawmakers are smart enough to avoid passing similar laws here. 

Either way, the news is that even though Global Mode is dead, the news is still good for ISPs. Smarter TVs (such as Sony’s new Android sets) and the proliferation of streaming services have made broadband the conduit of choice for content as many abandon the reality TV cesspit that is traditional broadcast TV in droves.

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