In March 2015 Australia became the 50th country in which US video streaming company Netflix had set up a local operation to supplement its planned global expansion in 200 countries. Newcomers Presto and Stan also joined in to further add to the extraordinary rate of growth of all forms of video traffic in Australia, now over half of Telstra’s Internet business. So who is Netflix, and how well might it expand its business in addition to those customers in Australia who are already using virtual private networks (VPNs) to access and pay for their programmes?
In this issue we consider how telecommunication companies around the world have been disrupted by the demand for improved network speeds, capacity and reliability, and the growth of the smart device manufacturers that have become more closely linked with the handful of global digital giants. The pace of change has increased, if that is possible, and it is not unthinkable that further consolidation of the telecommunications market might occur in the next decade.