New Zealand’s ISP Slingshot offers service to bypass geo-location restrictions

Online piracy is a major enemy of the entertainment industry, which constantly seeks for more effective ways to fight against copyright infringement. In order to adapt a stronger approach towards possible violations of copyright on internet, entertainment corporations have imposed an aggressive hunt against any website that they consider as a threat. However, they are also imposing restrictions that affect rightful customers that are paying for a service. This is the case of restrictions based on geographical location, which are benefiting the companies but affecting the customers unfairly. What the entertainment industry doesn’t seem to realize is that many of the people affected by their restrictions are users that are willing to pay in order to watch the latest episodes of their favourite series, instead of downloading them from torrent sites. However, since in many instances, certain series or content from a website is limited to a particular country, these customers have no choice but to use a VPN in order to disguise their IP address in order to enjoy full access to services of websites like Pandora, Hulu or Netflix.

slingshotlogoIn New Zealand, Internet Service Provider Slingshot has decided to be a more active role to help its customers and has decided to offer a VPN service called “Global Mode”. The feature has been available since last year and it is advertised as a solution for visitors from the US and the UK, and residents in New Zealand that are coming from these countries and that wish to access content from their homeland. With Global Mode, New Zealanders can also enjoy services from websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Sky or Hulu Prime, as well as content from YouTube that is normally only available from the United States.

Slingshot recently clated in the press that the service was meant to enable customers to access content that was usually restricted based on geo-location and announced that the feature was available for all their subscribers without additional cost. With Global Mode, it is possible to watch TV shows on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more. It is important to keep in mind that in order to use some of these services, a valid postal address in the US or financial details are required. Slingshot declared that they would not be looking after the VPN service as such but were only interested in offering an additional option for their customers. Even though Netflix has expended the coverage of their service, there are still some shows and features that are only accessible for US customers and some are concerned that they may see the use of a VPN or a service like Global Mode from Slingshot as a threat. However, Slingshot made their position clear, stating that given that people that use Netflix outside the US are paying customers, they deserve to get the same service as users in the US.