Last year we noted how Netflix was planning to offer stand-alone broadband video streaming in certain unspecified countries -- just not in the U.S
-- where Netflix oddly claims there "isn't a demand" for this kind of service. The mystery country Netflix mentioned last year appears to be Canada
, where Netflix is launching their broadband streaming service without tying it to DVD rentals (in fact they're not offering DVD rentals at all). Netflix says the service officially launches this fall:
In addition to representing its inaugural international market, Canada will also mark the first streaming-only service promoted by Netflix. At the time of launch, the Netflix Canadian service will be available in English only, but the company said it expects to add French language capability over time. Canadians interested in Netflix can go to www.netflix.ca and sign up to receive an email from the company when the service launches in Canada this fall.
The press covering this announcement
seem to have forgotten Canadian broadband users face some of the most restrictive cap and overage penalties anywhere
, with companies like Cogeco and Rogers charging up to $5 per extra gigabyte of usage
, despite paying pennies for bandwidth, plummeting hardware costs, and being perfectly profitable
under the flat-rate model. Heavy Netflix HD streaming potentially eats bandwidth like popcorn shrimp
, so you can do your own math.
Of course the result will be more timid usage of the new service as an alternative to cable -- and greater revenues for cable and phone companies -- which is exactly why low caps and high overages are imposed in the first place.