Net Neutrality Abolish In The United States
Net Neutrality Abolish In The United States
  • Reporter Kim Do-Yeong
  • 승인 2018.01.01 15:12
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   ▲ Ajit Pai, the chairman of Federal Communication Commission
Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced a plan that deregulates net neutrality from Nov.21. Through some modifications, the amendment was finally passed by a vote on Dec.14. Consequently, Internet Service Provider (ISP) can lower or increase the speed of certain traffic. It can even block access to traffic. The concept of net neutrality was first proposed by Tim Wu, a professor in Columbia’s Law School. He stated that unless there is no evidence that traffic is harmful to a user or the net, an ISP has no right to discriminate the traffic. For instance, when ‘Voicetalk’, which is Mobile Voice Over Internet Protocol (mVoIP) was released, a domestic ISP tried to block the traffic associated with ‘Voicetalk’. The ISP argued that mVoIP service can partially replace telephone services, therefore it will influence the sales of an ISP dramatically. On the other hand, the net neutrality rule has not applied to in-flight internet service in the United States. Accordingly, for an airline, internet service is considered as a privilege to a customer, not public service. For example, passengers that board JetBlue Airways will see that there is priority in Wi-Fi service. Rather than Netflix, or HBO, they first see Amazon video service. In the United States, net neutrality had been cause for debate over a long period of time. Then in 2015, the Obama administration passed the net neutrality regulation. It defines the internet as a public facility. However, as Donald Trump, who is opposed to net neutrality was elected President of the United States, the regulation was deregulated. This deregulation is expected to bring intensive influence to ISP, and content businesses like Google and Amazon. Firstly, ISP will have a cause to discriminate the traffic based on content. This ‘content platform’ includes all operators using the internet such as search engines, and personal broadcast platforms. Naturally ISP impose more data fees to companies they try to keep a strict watch on. Therefore, the content they provide will be subject to restrictions caused by a huge data charge. The payment system that consumers use also will be changed. However, deregulation of net neutrality in the United States will not influence domestic policy right now. Song Jae-seong from Ministry of Science and ICT comments that FCC’s decision is a result of a change of government rather than a global trend. He added that the Moon Jae-in government’s philosophy also focuses on keeping net neutrality, so the situation will be the same for quite some time. Although with the governments current stance, debates will be more pronounced than before. Domestic ISP such as SKT, KT, and LG U+ supported the decision of the FCC. Furthermore, the Korea Communications Commission recently expanded the range of communication laws to content platform. This implies that net operators also have responsibility to internet uses. However, civic groups worry that consumers will have to pay a fee to ISP as well as to a content platform. If deregulation is adopted domestically, there needs to be adequate discussion detailing this process for this new era of the communication market.