Netflix could have to pay millions in bandwidth usage fees in South Korea

South Korea’s Internet service provider SK Broadband is suing Netflix to pay for increased network costs and bandwidth usage that the streaming service’s content has generated in South Korea. Reuters writes. The company quotes Squid and DP, two popular Korean Netflix dramas, as part of the cause.

SK Broadband’s demand for payment is not unfounded. A South Korean court sided with the ISP in June, The Herald of Korea writes, suggesting that Netflix was responsible for the demands its content imposes on SK. Contrary to Netflix’s request that it not be charged, given that the clients are the ones who transmit and already pay for it, the court said that the company has “an obligation to pay the price of the services to SK Broadband.” SK estimates the cost at 27.2 billion won (about $ 23 million) for 2020 alone, according to Reuters.

The edge has contacted Netflix for comment. The company shared the following statement with TechCrunch in response to SK’s demands:

We will review the claim that SK Broadband has filed against us. In the meantime, we continue to seek open dialogue and explore ways to work with SK Broadband to ensure a smooth streaming experience for our shared customers.

From Netflix success in korea and in the popularization of Korean film and television in the US has reached a critical point in the last year, and particularly in the last week, thanks to the surprise success Squid. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Monday which was on its way to being the company’s most popular show thus far, and within four days of its launch, it was already number one in the US. on Netflix’s top ten list.

Netflix reaches agreements with service providers such as Comcast in the US. so that your connection receives priority treatment and, ultimately, better video quality. However, Netflix is ​​in a different position now than when it agreed to pay Comcast: It has already lost in court and SK Telecom is not. Incentive to make a deal while regulators consider a pending Big Cable merger – so while it has more weight to pull, it also provides an example of why you might pay in the first place.

(Disclaimer: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, owning The Verge.)

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