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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he’s “not too worried” about FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s intent to eliminate the Title II regulations that guarantee net neutrality for US consumers.
Speaking at Netflix’s headquarters in California, Hastings said he believes “the culture around net neutrality is very strong. The expectations of consumers are very strong. So even if the formal framework gets weakened…. we don’t see a big risk actualising, because consumers know they’re entitled to getting all of the web services.”
Talking to The Verge, he said that Netflix is only participating in so-called zero-rating schemes with US wireless carriers because “they’re not choosing one over the other …. they’re providing consumers with a better value without being a gateway.”
Since Pai’s appointment, there have been many questions around how the rules might change, and whether the overarching principle of internet neutrality could be compromised. Hastings has been outspoken about practices he believed went against net neutrality principles. But in 2015, Netflix announced a deal with Australian ISP iiNet to exempt its traffic from data caps, and last year said it would work with US carrier T-Mobile on its Binge On programme, which lets customers stream video from Netflix and HBO without it racking up monthly data usage. Some net neutrality activists saw this as a reversal in Netflix’s earlier position.