​Telekomunikasi Indonesia blocks Netflix due to unfiltered content: Report

Indonesia's state-owned telco has reportedly blocked access to Netflix as the service does not comply with local regulations.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Journalist on

Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), the country's largest telecommunications and internet service provider (ISP), has reportedly blocked Netflix from its platforms due to a permit issue and concerns it has with the availability of unfiltered content on the streaming service.

Telkom's director of consumers Dian Rachmawan told The Jakarta Post that Netflix is no longer accessible on its IndiHome, WiFi.id, and Telkomsel platforms, saying that the video streaming service should cooperate with the country's ISPs and abide by Indonesia's regulations by filtering the service appropriately.

"We block Netflix as of Jan. 27 at midnight. The issue is about the permit. They don't follow the rules. They also display violence and adult content," Rachmawan reportedly said. "We must do it [blocking] earlier, before things get more complicated and create a serious issue."

According to the online publication, there are only a small number of Telkom's customers that are also Netflix customers, with the telco saying the block would not affect business.

Netflix landed in Indonesia at the beginning of the year, with the streaming service becoming available in 190 countries and in 21 languages.

While speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that in the time that he had been on stage, the Netflix service had gone live in nearly every country in the world, except China.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced that it was planning to prevent customers from using service unblockers and VPNs to access the video streaming service.

"In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are," David Fullagar, vice president of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, said.

Fullagar said it is the end goal of Netflix's to have its content globally available, which he believes would leave users with no reason to use proxies or unblockers. He said Netflix is making progress in licensing content across the world, but admitted that there is some work to be done before it can offer all customers access to the same television and film catalogue.

"Over time, we anticipate being able to do so," he said. "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."

Less than a week later, it was reported that Netflix had stuck to its word, with users in Australia allegedly blocked from using VPNs to access global content.

uFlix said that some of its customers were starting to have issues with Netflix blocking non-Australian content, with users presented with the following message: "You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again."

Whilst apologising for the inconvenience the content blocking might be causing paying customers, the VPN service said it was working on a solution to "get around" these newly introduced measures.

VPN provider NordVPN has not yet received reports of its Australian users being blocked from accessing Netflix.

"NordVPN users can watch Netflix without any interruptions. We have not witnessed any blocking yet," NordVPN chief marketing officer Marty P Kamden told ZDNet. "In addition, we are preparing a solution which would help if they target us specifically."

According to research by Roy Morgan, Netflix ended 2015 with 2.728 million Australian account holders, up from the 1 million reported by the firm in May.


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