Updated | TV service providers 'unfazed' by Netflix introduction

Local TV service providers Melita and Go say the introduction of Netflix is 'complementary to the company's services'

The advent of Netflix in 130 countries, including Malta has been the topic of much discussion in the past few hours, and locally social media have been abuzz with phrases suggesting joy at the new service, with some going as far as declaring they would be migrating from TV subscriptions to the streaming service.

However, local service providers have not registered concern on the matter, with Melita saying they “welcome” the introduction of the service, as it is a “legal channel to provide entertainment content to Maltese customers”. Later on during the day, Go also issued a statement saying that it "embraces this new service".

“The presence of Netflix and similar providers in Malta increases choice for local customers and addresses a gap in the market that has been forcing customers to opt for illegal and unsecure platforms to access entertainment and other video content,” Melita said in their statement.

The company made the announcement that it was expanding during a keynote by Co-founder and Chief Executive Reed Hastings at CES 2016, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow in Las Vegas.

Since Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, the service has expanded globally, first to Canada, then to Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan to include 60 countries.

In fact, far from being a cause for concern, Melita and Go consider Netflix and other steaming services like it, ‘complementary to their services,’ given that they offer streaming possibilities on almost all devices, over fixed or WiFi connections.

Melita, which bills itself as the fastest internet service provider on the island, boasts nationwide speeds of up to 100  and 250 Megabits in an increasing number of localities.

“High quality streaming of Netflix uses continuous large portions of bandwidth,” they said.

To that end, Melita has recommended that users of streaming services, who would typically also use multiple devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets, opt for packages with download speeds of at least 50 Megabits per second.

Go on the other hand said that the  internet network has witnessed exponential growth in both subscribers and bandwidth usage.

"At the same time, GO customers experience an excellent quality of service with unlimited internet downloads. This will not be affected by the launch of Netflix which quotes a minimum internet speed requirement of 0.5 megabits per second on its website," their statement reads.

The company added that MelitaWIFI, is accessible for free by all Melita customers subscribed to internet services or mobile contract plans.

“The service allows customers to access the internet from their mobile devices, even when they are away from their home or office, through a seamless indoor/outdoor high speed WiFi service with huge bundles of up to 10GB per month,” it reads, adding that Melita also offers pay monthly mobile customers free access to some 15 million hotspots worldwide through the melitaWIFI Travel service.

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