Ziggo, KPN scrap geo-blocking for online TV services

Tuesday 13 February 2018 | 13:31 CET | News
Ziggo and KPN are scrapping geoblocking from their online TV services Ziggo Go and the KPN Interactive TV app, the operators told TotaalTV. From the end of March, it should be possible to use the online TV services in all countries of the EU.

At the end of January, NLziet also announced that the use of catch-up TV services will be available from 1 April in all of the EU. Scrapping geoblocking for online TV services will become compulsory for all European providers from 1 May. NLZiet believes that the ban on geo-blocking, together with the abolition of retail roaming tariffs from June 2017, will increase online viewing of content during vacations, for example. According to state statistics office CBS, about half a million Dutch people live elsewhere in Europe. In 2016, 18 million holidays were booked abroad.

NLConnect members scrap  geoblocking

Mathieu Andriessen of NLConnect told Totaal TV that providers who are members of the industry group and who provide multiscreen services, will also make it possible for customers to use their TV services online while abroad. As of 21 March of this year, customers of, among others, Delta and Youfone will be able to watch Dutch channels via the online TV app, within the European Union. Youfone recently stopped temporarily selling a subscription to its TV app.

The European Council last summer approved a proposal allowing subscribers to online services to also consume their content in other EU countries. This means that online video, music and games must be available in every country and not be restricted by geo-blocking and/or local agreements. The proposal was submitted by the European Commission at the end of 2015 and was approved by the European Parliament in May 2017. The measure had to take effect within nine months, at the start of the first quarter of 2018.

Geoblocking scrapped for e-commerce

Even before the end of 2018, restrictive measures in the field of e-commerce must also be eliminated. The European Parliament agreed last week to a proposal from the European Commission. It is expected that the European Council will also agree before the end of 2018. The elimination of geo-blocking in e-commerce is about the possibility to purchase products and services via websites on the same conditions and tariffs across the EU.

This does not yet apply to digital content that is copyright protected, such as e-books or video games. Within two years the Commission must assess whether the new rules should also apply to protected content.

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