Hot on the heels of the launch of South Africa’s first subscription-based online video-on-demand service, Vidi, Axxess has announced a new feature for its digital subscriber line (DSL) account it calls “DNS Suite”.
Among the tools included in the Axxess DNS Suite is a DNS-based regional content restriction unblocking service called “Global Axxess”.
Or in simple terms: a relatively easy way for South Africans to access online content that is restricted to the United States.
It’s still in beta, but according to Axxess’s launch announcement its subscribers would be able to unblock at least some sites with US-only region restrictions.
Axxess was unspecific as to which sites were supported by Global Axxess.
Global Axxess tested
We tested the DNS Suite service using a 40GB Axxess capped account, and were able to confirm that it unblocks Netflix and Hulu.
Services we tested that did not appear to be unblocked were YouTube, Comedy Central (including The Daily Show), and the website for Conan (teamcoco.com). It also does not unblock any non-US sites, such as the BBC’s iPlayer.
With such limited support, Global Axxess is not a drop-in replacement for subscription-based unblocking services such as UnoTelly, Unblock-US, and Unlocator.
However, Axxess has said that it would be extending the websites supported by Global Axxess to include European sites soon.
Circumventing region restrictions illegal in SA
It is also worth noting that according to local legal experts, it is actually illegal to circumvent region restrictions such as those implemented by Netflix and Hulu.
However, if someone uses such a service to access content outside the region it has been licensed for — even if they paid for it — they are committing copyright infringement.