What is Korea’s view on Net Neutrality? During the last ITU-D SG1 meeting on OTT services the Korean representatives expressed their vision on Net Neutrality.
First of all, they believe that operators are struggling to ensure the quality of services through investment on infrastructure. However, they do not find any incentive to invest due to the fact that OTT services benefit from network without economically contributing to its deployment. The roots of the problem are founded, according to Korean representatives, on the absence of regulation for these digital services and companies.
They argued that, during the last decade in which internet users have exponentially grown, the OTTS have had the opportunity to make profit thanks to the existing networks. In the meanwhile, Internet data traffic has so rapidly increased that more investments are necessary to guarantee the quality of services. Today, the traffic congestion is due to the importance of video. Thereby the existing unbalances between CSPs and heavy data users, and general internet users seem unfair.
In this sense, not limiting the traffic generated by a group of players, either OTTs or users, and letting them enjoying bandwidth unlimitedly will impact negatively on ordinary users.
On the other hand, there are also warnings against ISP due to the way of traffic management. Moreover, Korean representatives highlighted the urgency of a network upgrade. And the costs should be shared between ISPs and CSPs! That is why Korea advocates for international agreements to guarantee a better Internet experience of users and the sustainability of networks’ investment in the long term.
The Korean government stated that what we need is a balance and a harmonized approach between access to the internet (openness) and network development (investment). That is why it gave a step forward unveiling “Guidelines for Network Neutrality and Traffic Management”. In this document they establish some basic principles: User’s right, Transparency and Reasonability of traffic management, managed service and cooperation between interest groups. Let’s go through all of them!
- By User’s right: They have legal right to use devices, contents, applications and services and also have legal right to be provided with information on internet traffic management
- By Transparency: ISPs should notify to users, on the web page, the scope, activation condition and method of traffic management and also, ISPs should use a clear and easy template of traffic management, for users to compare with the other ISPs
- By Reasonability of traffic management: A network needs to be managed to prevent the deterioration of quality in basic internet services such as web-browsing and email as well to provide equal opportunity of internet using
- By Managed service: ISPs could provide managed services as long as a reasonable level of the best effort internet is secured.
By Cooperation between interest group: All agents involve in Internet ecosystem participates in its development.
In short, Korea hopes that these ideas and experiences help to prepare the studies and reports to be elaborated by ITU-D SG1 since these were mostly welcomed.