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Netflix shows South Korea a rerun of 'We Won't Pay Your Telcos For Bandwidth'

Season Two looks like it'll be a courtroom drama

Netflix has rejected the premise of the lawsuit brought against it by South Korean telco SK Broadband, which demanded the streaming video giant pay up for the colossal amount of bandwidth consumed by hit shows such as Squid Game.

SK Broadband announced its legal action in early October and at the time Netflix said it would review the merits of the case.

Netflix's response was a post pointing out that its content delivery network – Open Connect – is offered gratis to internet service providers and is "proven to reduce at least 95 per cent of network traffic".

"Unfortunately, while more than a thousand ISPs around the world recognize these benefits, one of the largest internet companies in Korea is turning a blind eye. Why? Because by making both consumers, and content providers pay, they can get paid twice," the post adds.

Netflix veep of public policy Dean Garfield last week visited South Korea and made the same point. A spokesperson for the streaming giant told The Register "Our position hasn't evolved from the blog post" linked to above, and shared Garfield's prepared remarks in which he reiterated that Open Connect saves carriers plenty of bandwidth.

That stance hasn't gone down well. As South Korean newswire Yonhap points out in a terse editorial, domestic Korean internet giants Naver and Kakao pay carriers, while Apple TV+ and Disney+ have promised to do so. The organ calls on Netflix to do better.

"Netflix is abandoning the responsibility it has as a global streaming giant by refusing to fall in line with the worldwide trend," the editorial reads, adding "The company should realize that it cannot solve the snowballing controversy by just dragging its feet."

However, foot-dragging appears to be Netflix's plan. All the way to court. ®

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