Charging or blocking by location

We all get frustrated when various sites are blocked because your IP address says you are from the wrong country. Well one NZ MP wants Radio NZ to do the same. Select Committee News reported:

Mojo Mathers (Green) asked RNZ whether people from all over the world are now listening to RNZ through the internet. Griffin responded that about 75% of internet customers are from New Zealand and the rest are from around the world. Cavanagh added that online broadcasting was hugely beneficial to RNZ as it enabled them to supply on-demand content and reach New Zealander’s anywhere in the World. Mathers suggested charging international internet users of RNZ and Cavanagh not sure about the idea.

This is a very bad idea. The Internet is global and any attempts to charge people based on their location is flawed. It means New Zealanders who are travelling overseas would not be able to access Radio NZ for free. It means expats would be locked off from it. It also would encourage spoofing of IP addresses.

UPDATE: SCN had the identity of the MP wrong – it was Todd McClay, not Mojo Mathers. See this post for details.

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