The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> NIVALDO CLETO: Ladies and gentlemen, we now resume the meeting and I open this afternoon's session, a dialogue on Zero‑Rating and Net Neutrality. I'm looking forward to our talks. This afternoon we'll engage in an informative and good dialogue on the complex issue of Zero‑Rating. The purpose of this session is to help others in their respective countries and locales in their own analysis of Zero‑Rating. The session will promote access to expert insight and multistakeholder community discussion and hopes to look at the views across the stakeholder groups and perspectives.
There are many different viewpoints on Zero‑Rating, with some stakeholders being completely against the practice to others being fully supportive. The session will consider the full spectrum of views. In the case where Zero‑Rating is advanced as a means to drive Internet access and narrow the Digital Divide, this session will also explore alternative approaches, such as the use of community networks. Finally, we also will cover issues from the workshops and discussions with workshop organizers in order to manage the session there will be three moderators to ensure expertise and facilitation of the dialogue.
I thank you all for joining us this afternoon, and particularly I thank our distinguished speakers for being here with us. We also look forward to hearing the views of the remote participants.
Our moderators this afternoon is Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco. Remote moderator, Ginger Paque, Director, Internet Governance Programmes, Diplo. And floor and readout moderator, Vladimir Radunovic, Director, E‑diplomacy and Cybersecurity Programmes, Diplo, and Carolina Rossini, Vice President, International Policy, Public Knowledge.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much. Everybody, welcome to what I expect is going to be an exciting session.
We have a lot of speakers. We have five different sessions already on Zero‑Rating in one form or another. As a result we're going to have readouts from those five sessions. So we're lucky we're coming today because there's a lot of content that we already can get.
A bit of housekeeping, because it is so ‑‑ such a full Agenda, and I was joking earlier that because I'm from Cisco and a neutral router, I'll be really routing traffic in a very neutral way but keeping time and keeping the conversations going.
We'll start with the five readouts and each of the presenters of the other sessions will have 2 minutes. We then have four sessions, four mini panels: The first will focus on ‑‑ looking it at research on Zero‑Rating; the second is looking at different definitions, what people mean by Zero‑Rating; third will be the views from the different national views of Zero‑Rating; and then finally, the last session will be looking at the benefits and harms of Zero‑Rating.
The expert panelists will each have 3 minutes. We have a timekeeper that will be rigid that will help me. When the time is up, he's going to start tapping at the microphone. We have a clock here for everybody. At the end of the sessions, with national view, perspective, we want a lot of time for the audience, for you, for the participants. This is not about people talking at or to you, this is about a conversation involving everybody in the room.
Briefly setting the scene, last year, in Istanbul IGF we had a very good session on Zero‑Rating and there were a lot of different points of view, terrible, good. People were saying we really need to make sure that we connect people that are not connected, as you just said, which is extremely important. Others said that the problem is it leads to lock in monopoly behavior, the costs could outweigh the benefits. There was a beginning of some research looking at the impact of Zero‑Rating and how it interacts with principles of net neutrality.
There are really ‑‑ I have already mentioned, there are two areas of, you know ‑‑ for the people that advocate using Zero‑Rating it is designed to solve one of two problems: Both of them are related to connecting the unconnected. One of the things that we know, it is that when you ask people why they're not connected to the Internet there is a group that it is no access. Right. We have had really good sessions. We had one with yesterday on Connecting the Next Billion, other sessions were with the small island countries earlier on how to connect people and get them access if they don't have it.
When you look at where people have access but do not subscribe, they're not online, it is usually for one of two reasons ‑‑ actually it turns out three ‑‑ there is research here in Brazil that points to these. In Brazil, by the way, 90% of people have access to a 3G connection, which is kind of a basic, beginning real Broadband. About 20% of those that have it available that do not subscribe, say they can't afford it, but 70% of the people ‑‑ people can tick off multiple reasons ‑‑ 70% of the people that could have it but don't subscribe say they don't see the value in the Internet, they don't think it is important, they don't understand the value to them. And there is another people that tick off they don't have the skill or capacity, another 70%. There is a group of people that say we can have Zero‑Rating to lower the cost to address the price issue. Then there are people that say, you know what, if we can get people online so that they appreciate the value of the Internet then they'll convert to regular subscribers and that will help people get connected. It is an awareness issue. Cost, awareness, those are the two positive benefits people use to justify to say Zero‑Rating is great.
On the other hand, there is a lot of concern that depending on the structure of a Zero‑Rating package it is not the full Internet, it is a subset of the Internet, not really the Internet. By the way, it could lead to lock in, it could lead to anti‑competitive behavior, it could mislead consumers, preventing people to go where they really want to go on the Internet. There are very legitimate concerns, and there are very legitimate aspirations for benefits.
What we're here today to do is provide a little light, a little heat, a little light on this debate.
The first part of this, it will be about research. Over the last year there have been a number of researchers affiliated with other universities and research institutes that are going to begin to look at the research questions.
First we're going to go to our readouts from the five sessions that we have already had on Zero‑Rating as it relates to Net Neutrality to set the context. We'll start with the readout from workshop 156, Zero‑Rating and Net Neutrality policies in developing countries.
>> Thank you. The conversation in the panel was just in the Zero‑Rating services as a tool to provide Internet access and how that can affect an open, free Internet. For some of the panelists from private sector public policies show the lack of affordability to get Internet access, but also the lack of interest. For them, Zero‑Rating services can help to foster Internet demand. They don't want Zero‑Rating services as a permanent situation, but as an entry level for people offline. Zero‑Rating must be done under specific rules to prevent distortion of competition through relationships in the whole digital ecosystem. As the Wikipedia Foundation representatives said, Zero‑Rating services are not about right or wrong, but a matter of responsibility.
For other panelists from Civil Society the principles of Internet are the ability to connect, create, consume, contribute. The need to connect the next billion doesn't mean we should sacrifice those principles creating a false version of the Internet. In a context where Internet is becoming more corporatized, the Zero‑Rating services start that worrying trend.
Finally, seeing Zero‑Rating as a solution for the access problem is going to remove incentives to find other solutions to provide a wired Internet access.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: You were within time. Thank you.
Access to Zero‑Rating, Josh.
>> On Tuesday, a group of ten advocates, academic, we presented in a public show and talked about Zero‑Rating and Net Neutrality. It was one of the first times such a broad body of work regarding Zero‑Rating was presented and discussed.
Research presentations included insight into the many different kinds of Zero‑Rating mobile services offered by top global operators, baring definitions of Zero‑Rating as seen through the various offerings through providers, data on the widely varying costs of data in single countries and across the world and how it affects users who are using zero rated offerings. The effect of the data caps on countries that don't invest in fiber optic networks, discussions on offering free access to services like Facebook and others, a practice that many believe violates Net Neutrality, differing frameworks to use to view the different practices including Human Rights, consumer rights, competition law and innovation policy.
The challenge, many users of ‑‑ many users are equating Facebook with the Internet. Zero‑Rating being a reality in developing countries since at least 2009, if not before that.
Differing using perspectives on Zero‑Rating, some think that access even limited is good, others think that access to only one or selected content providers would be harmful, the need to distinguish between theoretical harms and real harms. We finally all agreed that we all need more data.
Finally we had descriptions of the Firefox OS rollout and partnerships with German phone and others and the work to connect this to connectivity.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: 2 seconds left. Thank you.
The Dynamic Coalition on Net Neutrality.
>> The Dynamic Coalition, we discussed the contribution to the annual report of the Net Neutrality which is part 3 in this book, the Net Neutrality companion.
There were initial regulatory perspectives. We had the regional perspective saying in Norway and other countries in Europe, the Zero‑Rating is considered as a practice that determines policy discrimination and that it is not considered as compatible with Net Neutrality. A non‑discrimination principle and the goal of Net Neutrality is to avoid fragmentation and foster a platform that's open to communication and innovation. According to the Norwegian regulator and others, this is not compatible with the Zero‑Rating practices.
The second point was how consumer evaluates the Zero‑Rating, and so the reply is presenting in a study, we have consumers that ‑‑ there is a data cap. If the data cap is low, consumer may appreciate and they may have a benefit, if the data cap is high, they don't really ‑‑ they're not interested. The problem is that this may lead to operators keeping the data caps artificially low to sell Zero‑Rating offering.
Subsequently, there was policy suggestion on how to keep Zero‑Rating an exception that could be compatible with others, using ‑‑ considering the rating as a short‑term exception and providing Zero‑Rating on free reasonable and non‑discriminatory conditions.
Finally, the goal of Zero‑Rating that's been presented by many supporters is to foster connectivity. This has been challenged as a statement, and it has been argued that rather than using Zero‑Rating it would be more sustainable to use community networks and to empower people.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
The small island session, please, this morning.
>> Yes. This morning we had a vibrant, provocative discussion on this complex issue, widening it to the concept of free Internet, not just on the Zero‑Rating. The question around who pays for the Internet and what the concept of the free Internet really was a recurring theme throughout the discussion. It was important to understand whether the discussion was about the infrastructure, applications, the monitory contributions of users, so on, and the group agreed there was a need to discuss each aspect as it related to the overall objective of being able to derive the maximum benefit for small economies.
Several of the panelists referenced the many varied modals used across the world to fund the rollout of infrastructure and reduction of cost in underserved areas, and it was agreed a focus on innovative solutions would be necessary to resolve this issue unique to small island developing states.
Expressions of concern as to whether implementation of free Internet and Zero Rated services present in the Caribbean region were really benefiting the citizens of the nations. There was an interesting discussion around the individual components as a system of levers that need to work in tandem to achieve this objective.
Describing the reducing cost of access, improving robustness of infrastructure, stimulating local content as individual levers with different stakeholders that don't always work in a similar way or the pace, we would like to have the discussions inside of that. The general discussion was around the imperative of the synchronization of the various components of the Internet so that the levers could be identified and manipulated within our own unique economies.
Finally, there was a unanimous agreement that there needs to be an expansion of stakeholder involvement with a strong focus on non‑technology players, Civil Society, academia, collaboration was key to getting the Agenda pursued so that the overall desired objective of our states can be realized.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Then the last readout from Antonio from Italy, it was the session on Zero‑Rating Open Internet and freedom of expression.
>> Thank you.
The workshop title Zero‑Rating Open Internet and Freedom of Expression will take place tomorrow, 9:00 in room 8.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: This is an advertisement for people to go?
>> Exactly an advertisement!
The aim is to consider the impact of Zero‑Rating plans on the open nature of the Internet on Net Neutrality, on freedom of expression and inclusiveness. Notably, we will aim to understand Zero‑Rating's effect on socioeconomic development. We will explore all the different sides of the crucial debate, focusing in particular on Zero‑Rating's effect on competition in our Telecom market, on conscience behavior and on Internet Governance.
Our panel will also attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of the current, regulatory trends where regulators assess Zero‑Rating plans on a case‑by‑case or market‑by‑market basis. The workshop's panel is uniquely well positioned to achieve these aims, diverse with regulators, academic, international organizations and private sector actors from all over the world.
Our final objective is arriving at an exchange of views with the full participation of our audience. As a Telecom regulator I know firsthand how difficult it is to get it right and regulate Zero‑Rating effectively as to preserve both Net Neutrality and a vibrant market in the interest of consumers. That's why I'm delighted to have the chance to moderate this exchange of ideas. Join us for this workshop tomorrow morning at 9:00 in room 8.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you. That's a great advertisement. You can probably take things from today's session and build them into tomorrow.
Now we're going to move right into ‑‑ by the way, one of the things that I took away from all of the readouts, I think that Josh, you put it really well, which is we actually need more facts, and actually we need to understand impacts. We now have begun to have research looking into this.
We're going to start with the research panel. Each of the experts has 3 minutes to present their expert views.
If you can change the clock from 2 to 3. When the speakers start, start the clock.
We'll start with Silvia Ello‑Calderwood, London School of Economics.
>> SILVIA ELALUF‑CALDERWOOD: As I heard, there is a call for data. I want to summarize in the 3 minutes that the research that I have been doing in collaboration with a colleague in Denmark and research funds from the Danish Research Council where we have been looking to the issue of Zero‑Rating from three angles, competition, issue of innovation and another. In particular, we had approached these from looking at the various questions on who are the people, who are the companies out there that implement this Zero‑Rating solution.
Our work has been an overview of many countries, Africa, America, Indonesia and three case studies in Chile, Netherlands and others, and there has been many issues with Zero‑Rating, they have pointed to two familiar conclusions. They are that when there is a band in Zero‑Rating it normally holds the local setups and small operators because they're the ones that actually implement first Zero‑Rating. It is not the incumbents, the ones that use this service to get in the market of people, of companies, of people that are trying to access for the first time. There are many examples of this. We have Chile Virgin Mobile, we have others, et cetera.
The second thing that's interesting for us, when we look at the lowest price offers in the market, the top price market gets more data but that only helps the experienced user. You have to ask the question then, what are the options we're leaving to the new user, the one that's not experienced Internet, should we make them wait for a long time before you get it right or just keep it in some kind of access?
What do we need to do to maximize the coverage? Perhaps one of the things we have to do is to get our assumptions right. We have to understand, first, you know, that as multistakeholder model with complexity, there is very much, it is created on a frame, an American frame of the understanding of the Internet and we have to go on and know locally what's going on before we try to put that frame out there.
The conflict, Zero‑Rating with Net Neutrality is perhaps to extend too much the concept, it is a marketing tool in many countries where this is Zero‑Rating provided is a way for small operators that are first entry in the market or establishing themselves to differentiate in the pricing.
Finally, we did more studies that are more serious, we talk about the differentiation. I heard in a session for access a discussion, for example, on how people cannot differentiate between Internet and Facebook. I will say is this the fault of the use of Zero‑Rating or a way of how the companies market that product?
Our preliminary conclusion ‑‑ we're still ongoing in this work and research ‑‑ it is that Zero‑Rating should not be planned. The affects is less than 1% of the market, that's using it ‑‑
>> ROBERT PEPPER: I'm sorry. Your time is
>> SILVIA ELALUF‑CALDERWOOD: ‑‑ we should explore and find out more about the data.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Helani Galpaya who is at LIRNEasia. I never know how to pronounce this. It is a research institute in Sri Lanka and they have done a lot of work on a lot of issues.
>> HELANI GALPAYA: It's LIRNEasia.
We live in an environment where we have some of the cheapest blended prices for voice and data in the world according to most rankings. We have met at a micro level 5% target set by the Broadband Commission on Affordability and we have 20% of over people online. We have a long way to go. This is 15 to 20 years after the deregulation, high competition and five or more years since our government started to throw billions of dollars trying to get people connected.
In surveys of people of the base of the pyramid when asking why you don't use it, the top reason in Asia, I don't need it or I don't see the need for it. It is not affordability or availability of the signal.
In this question, the first question of this context, the first question is Zero Rated content a phenomena that drives people to adopt a form of connectivity that's beyond the traditional SMSN voice? The answer seems to be cautiously yes. For example, in 2015 the nationally represented survey showed that when offered Zero Rated Facebook had a 49% adoption versus the 17% for the whole population as a whole and Wikipedia, the same. If it is free, people use it.
Then the next question, is it an onramp to the Internet? This is a big hole in the research. Repeated use by Facebook, that's the data, they caught 50% of consumers that use free basics, they become paying consumers within 30 days. I think the biggest help in this debate can come if Facebook sheds light on how this number is calculated.
In our separate conversations with operators, Telecom operators that do offer the Zero Rated content, and this is not systematic, they say that the conversion rate is acceptable, meaning as rational profit maximizing players in a market, it is worth it for them to keep subsidizing the free connectivity because people convert to the full Internet and become paying customers.
The next question, do some of them still stay inside of the walled garden? Of course they do! When they are inside of this walled garden, like Facebook, what do they do? We know from evidence that they organize themselves politically, they run political campaigns like they did leading up to elections that ended on Sunday.
We know from our research on gender that there are for example hairdressers that find out about hairstyles of celebrities because this is what their customers demand. There are people who contact other people and occasionally get a job. Evidence from Africa is that the social media platforms like Facebook Zero are used to communicate with existing networks of friends and family because other ways of communicating, SMS, voice, they're much more expensive. It is a substitute.
What is the value of the interactions with related to the large volumes with the job related interactions? We don't know. Do some users think that Facebook is Internet? Yes. Is it related to Zero Rated? We don't know.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Time is up. Can you finish the sentence.
>> HELANI GALPAYA: Is this attractive with other alternatives? That's the biggest question we have. We don't know that. The expressed harms are hypothetical or mythical. We don't have the basis for policy making at this point.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
The last researcher, AI4A, we have looked at that.
>> I want to talk about the research project we started recently, the objective is to use empirically search to determine how service specific data plans, data plans and other new services impact on the Internet affordability in developing countries. In so doing, inform policymakers on the best ways to address these emerging services. From the outset, affordability, it is one part of the access question, but an important part.
The first part of our project looked at the availability of the different kinds of mobile data services across eight countries: Three in Africa, three in Asia and two in South America. We reviewed all of the plans offered by the top mobile phone carriers in all eight countries, and came up with four level panel of classification system. The first category was a full‑cost data bundle where you can basically pay the advertised price for the user for data in whatever way you wish.
The second, a service specific. Here a user purchases the data at the discount rate, but only uses the data on specific kinds of sites or apps.
The third is earned data where the user receives data in exchange for performing some kind of action. This may include completing surveys, other marketing kind of services on certain ANS.
The fourth, it is what we know as Zero Rated data where this is no additional cost to the consumer but the data is only used for accessing those types. Based on the review, service‑specific plans are available in all countries but Kenya and Ghana. In Kenya, a proportion of the Zero Rated plans were most frequently observed. Zero Rated plans exist in other countries but it is a wide range. For example, in Nigeria, there is only one operated Zero Rated option. The most innovative was only available in three countries, it was the least frequently observed.
Across all countries, if you look at the plan, 51% would be classified as service specific, a third were forecast and only 13% were Zero Rated. The majority were service specific when you buy data at a discount rate but only using it on specific sites.
In terms of our next steps, what we want to do is use this framework now to go ‑‑ to apply to inform a set of user surveys in the eight countries I just mentioned. Surveys of mobile phone users in all eight countries to understand the key questions that we have already heard, things like conversion rate, to what extent do the models impact provision of local content, what are the alternatives that exist in the models of data service that could help drive the greater Internet adoption, particularly among the low income groups and other excluded groups.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
We're now going to the floor.
We have Vladimir Radunovic and Carolina Rossini as floor moderators. If there are questions, please go to the mikes.
What we'll do, we'll probably end up taking several questions and then have people respond to those, and the time limit for the people on the mikes is 90 seconds.
If we can change of the clock to 90 seconds or a minute 30. I would appreciate it.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: At this part of the session, it is good to focus on the topic of this part of the session which is actually research and findings and whatever we know about.
I kindly ask you to queue the microphones and for the online participants to queue the online participants as well. Ginger is there to help us include the online participants as well.
In the meantime, I wanted to quickly check with all of you, how many of you actually have a Zero‑Rating package? How many of you have a mobile package that includes Zero Rated, Facebook, Google, any other? Can you raise your hands, please? I would say maybe a fifth of the room.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: More of you may, but you don't know it is saying
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Or they don't to say.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Bring the lights up in the room, thank you, so people can see each other.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: We're doing something fun between the mikes, form the lines. We'll start on this side and move to that side. Please introduce yourself and make your question.
>> AUDIENCE: Good afternoon. I'm from Brazil. I'm from National Freedom for Democratization of Communication.
We think that Net Neutrality issues should analyze the crucial document which is a result of the NETMundial meeting making clear the public character of the Internet success in its relation with Human Rights. We defend that Zero‑Rating in available period of data bundle is not Net Neutrality but there may be relations of competition law and consumer rights. In the end of data cap, the provision of exclusive ANS and the interruption of Internet access represents illegal discrimination and blockage. We say that essential services imply principles that guarantee the continuity and standards of the equality. In other words, that should be available to every citizen regardless of their social classes with a minimum standard of quality.
The work of Civil Society on Net Neutrality is important because the governments in various countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, they're omitted for being convenient with the business plans and projects that treat Net Neutrality like Zero‑Rating and Internet.org. This kind of practice is a falsification of the connecting and can bring a reduced benefit in short‑term. In long‑terms this will damage the development of the market and the commitment of competition and innovation.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Vlad mentioned we would like to ‑‑ we appreciate the statement. I think that it is really important. There will be other opportunities for statements. This is really ‑‑ we want questions on the research. There will be a lot of opportunity for people to make statements.
Also, if the timekeeper could change the time on the clocks, that would be great. That would help us as well.
>> (No English translation).
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: We'll discuss the different types of Zero‑Rating in the next part, national approaches, harms and benefits. There are other space for other comments. Try to be tweet like, try to provide tweets, give space, and I encourage different people from different countries, regions, stakeholders to queue.
Don't forget to introduce yourself.
>> I'm from Tech Freedom and I have a question.
Since the topic here is research, I'm curious, Luca, you suggested it was more sustainable to use community networks than to use Zero‑Rating to make Broadband, Internet access affordable and to increase awareness. What evidence do you have that having the government build broadband or Internet networks is more affordable, more sustainable, more viable than the current practice of Zero‑Rating which has already clearly succeeded in the marketplace at reducing prices? It is something that the consumers actually prefer.
Do you have any evidence that having government build Internet access is actually sustainable? Are you simply providing your own personal policy preference without actually having any evidence?
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Before we respond, let's get a bunch of questions so that we can then get a bunch of responses, quick responses.
>> Hello. I'm Luca. I work for Coding Rights of the Civil Society. My work is more technically involving privacy and surveillance.
From what I have seen in the Internet.org's technical specs, the way that they implement, it is building a proxy for it to look at the traffic for it to work, you have to inspect the traffic to know it is going to the service allowing it, or building right in the software that you use on your phone or computer technologies like DRM, Digital Rights Management, we turn on to be harmful for people, they transform people into adversaries and they disallow the use of free software completely because you have to do, like, proprietary things and pieces of code to be inspected. I'm curious how Zero‑Rating works without this harmful technology.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Any comment from the online participants? Where is Ginger? Where are you hiding? Nothing yet. Thank you. Signal if you have.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Can we have shorter questions in order to get them in? That way we can close the mike lines now? We'll be going over. If we have short questions from everybody who is at the mike, so the lines are closed and then we'll come back to the panel. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from the Institute of Internet and Democracy.
I want to ask since we're talking about fundamental rights if you could approach Net Neutrality as equality, as a fundamental right of equal treatment for the Internet, and therefore if anyone at the table has any concrete data on anywhere where the market had provided equality, talking about concrete data just as was asked for. If you're talking ‑‑ if you're believing the market could provide equality or the market can provide only price, lower price and not actually equal opportunities for people to download or even upload information.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: You're taking notes of the questions?
Before I pass it, we have online participants over there. Can you take over, and then Carolina Rossini, you can go in your line.
>> GINGER PAQUE: I have an intervention from Emrita of CCIAO India which is a non‑profit organization of Telecoms and other providers.
She asks, my question is if you can share any empirical evidence to support Zero‑Rating creating a walled garden?
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: Thank you, Ginger.
On our side, please introduce yourself.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Consumers Association and I'm a representative of Civil Society in CIGBR.
Regarding the difference we can point between a plain soft Zero‑Rating and Internet.org. We think is necessary and knows about recent researchers that proved this kind of practices. They do not represent benefits neither to consumers nor to the market because leading to a false ID of Internet and to stimulate a non‑competitive practices and price increasing.
In the end, we defend that Zero‑Rating ‑‑ sorry.
However, this kind of research proved that this kind of practices do not represent the consequence of this project as Internet.org represents Net Neutrality, and I really am asking about freedom of expression and free flow of information.
I want to inform that the prosecutors in Brazil yesterday released here a technical note regarding the risks of Internet.org represented in Brazil.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, I'm a graduate student from India.
I have a question, I wanted to ask the question.
Is there a correlation between the percentage of service‑specific packs in specific countries to the number of Telecom service providers that are represented in the countries? The reason I'm asking, you provided percentage data without giving the number of operators that are within the countries.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: I think we have to close it.
We're actually over our time for this session.
Some of these are statements, not questions. We'll do one last one, please.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Mexico.
There is a bunch of frameworks when you have the Zero‑Rating discussion, one is Human Rights for example. When you want to deal with Human Rights you asked some questions in terms of you ask yourself is it necessary, for example, is it proportionate, is it ideal? There is a debate about awareness.
My question is are you researching on why is this an issue? We're spending so much time, resources, research resources on this. I don't know if there is evidence that this is an ideal tool for awareness.
The second one, there are 12 countries negotiating the TTP, and it has in the electronic chapter exclusive content for ISPs. When you have exclusive content plus Zero‑Rating is there any default from this? Research on that?
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
So we have a lot of questions and some statements. I'm not quite sure how we're going to respond to all of this in the time that we have.
For the researchers, although there is a quick question for Luca, if you can give a short answer to the question that was directed to you, I would appreciate it.
Then I'll go to the other researchers who actually presented and have them respond to the questions that they feel that they have the data or whatever to respond to.
>> I will respond shortly.
I never argued that government should build community networks, the question is not really pertinent. For community networks, they're built by communities, by people, not by government. It is a tool to empower people, and if you want to know what is my policy preference, yes, that's my policy preference to empower people rather than imposing them to two, three applications.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Let's start going in the same order of the researchers that presented. Okay. Please.
>> SILVIA ELALUF‑CALDERWOOD: I think the technical question, how is implemented Zero‑Rating, it is a simple one. Many operators that are presenting this service are actually using it for common applications that are social networks, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram. Really, there is no special requirement, and the traffic that's being seen is basically routing local communications to international networks.
I want to say that in relation to the demonstrating if there is any recent ‑‑ any reason to believe there is accelerating erection of a walled garden, I have to highlight to most of you most of the companies providing this service are not charging Facebook, they're not charging the users, they're ‑‑ you want to say it in this way, they're subsidizing the service. Their expectation is that the users when they start using the data they move to more expensive services that they can buy or purchase the data.
Finally, I think that the question about is it ideal to study the services, this is a business. The companies, they're providing the service and mobile operators are trying to increase the number of sign‑ups. It is not ideal, but for some people it is an introduction.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> HELANI GALPAYA: There is a question on markets providing equality, if you mean equality with open Internet, that's supposedly what's being done in Asia, cheap prices, access to the Internet and few people are connected.
In Africa, what you have, less of a market provision because markets aren't functioning as well as they do in Asia, markets are not perfect but they have provided an opening to Internet and people are not using it.
Is this an ideal tool to study and should we be studying this as the ideal tool? Zero‑Rating exists in the context of other choices human beings have to get online, to communicate, to do other things. Show me feasible other choices and these can be studied in comparison, or go provide them instead of all of us sitting here and talking about it.
Empirical evidence to support Zero Rated creating a walled garden, the positives of this, I already cited this, if you're on Facebook Zero, using it as a cheaper substitute, that's for me a positive thing that you're having more money in your pocket and communicating with people instead of paying more money.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> DHANARAJ THAKUR: The first response to the specific question, what we found, 51% of all of the plans we reviewed fall under a service specific category, the user purchased a data package and only used on certain sites.
Does it correlate with the number of operators in each country? In other words, if there are more operators in the country, do we see more of these kinds of plans? Actually, it does not. It varies based on the country involved.
I would suspect then that this has more to do with the intensity of the competition in the market, not necessarily a number of operators, but that's a good question that we could look at more because then it could look at broad issues about competitiveness in the market and what the plans may imply.
To go back to not a direct question but something raised throughout, we should keep in mind when defining Zero‑Rating in terms of how it is offered in the markets, there are different kinds of Zero‑Rating packages. There is not one site.
Maybe there is a suite of applications, some that are very specifically temporary in nature and some that are not so specific. I think the implications for these are also different. We should keep that in mind.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
So we're running about 10 minutes behind. That's because I think what we need to do is be more vigorous on our time, but also I really want as much floor participation as possible. The trade‑off, rather than 90 minutes, if we could have shorter interventions from the floor we can have ‑‑ we can still have as many people as possible from the floor.
This section, this is really going to look at the different types of Zero‑Rating and some of the alternatives. Alternatives came up in the last session ‑‑ section.
First, Kevin Martin, Facebook, thank you.
>> KEVIN MARTIN: Thank you.
The debate about this is complex and multifaceted because the problems are complex and multifaceted as well.
Facebook wants everybody online. Of the 4 billion today that aren't online, we see them breaking down to three large groups: There is a billion people that lack the access to the infrastructure that's necessary, and Facebook has many programs to Connectivity Lab, trying to address that. Labs, drones, we're trying to bring connectivity to remote areas.
There are a billion people that barrier is cost. We have some programs designed to lower the cost, for example, the express Wi-Fi program we have rolled out in some ‑‑ program we have rolled out in India, designed to use unlicensed Spectrum to lower the cost of data connectivity.
Another group, relevance, awareness. They may be the biggest barrier of being connected and they live within a range of a signal but that may be why they're not. We have a program that our ‑‑ Free Basics Program, designed to try to address that barrier.
That Free Basics Program is an open platform of basic content that's offered for free. The sites involved in the program include news, education, health sites, jobs, government sites and local content. All of the sites are limited with bandwidth at the limited bandwidth intensive characteristics. The key characteristics are ‑‑ three I want to emphasize today:
One, it is not exclusive. Any operator can participate on the same terms.
It is non‑discriminatory. It is open to any site that meets the same technical characteristics that are required to make sure that it doesn't use up too much bandwidth.
Finally, it is free. It is not just on Zero Rated to the end user, but free. Facebook doesn't pay the operators to participate, and none of the content sites that choose to participate and design their programs are required to pay it either.
I think there is two overarching, critical important points to put in context for this debate.
The first, it is that in Facebook's Free Basics Program that we're trying to listen and respond to the concerns and critics that ‑‑ concerns that are raised. For example, there was concerns about whether or not we were confusing people with the original name of Internet.org. We have changed the name to make sure we're not ‑‑ this is not access to the full Internet. It is access to a site and set of basic services. We have renamed the program.
We have made sure, as I mentioned earlier, an open platform that others will participate in, and we have made other changes in response to the concerns and so we're responsive.
The second, final question, is this working? In the end, that's important in terms of trying to get others online. As Josh mentioned in his remarks, you end up with more data. Our initial data demonstrates it is. It is accelerating the rate of adoption. The operators that participate are seeing a 50% increase in the rate of adoption of people subscribing. Second, we see a 50% conversion rate. For people that try this for the first time, 50% of them will become paying subscribers of the Internet within 30 days. We think that's evidence that it is working and that's what's most important in terms of getting people online.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you, Kevin.
You were within time. Great.
>> JOCHAI BEN-AVIE: Thank you.
I think we have talked about connecting the unconnected. I think we have to ask what are we connecting to.
There is discussion on connecting to small parts or corners of the Internet, but I think that the North Star for all efforts has to continue to be connecting people to the full diversity to the open Internet. We care about that because we believe the open lab and the full web, it is a greater engine for economic and social development, for education, opportunity and for building a world where everybody can create on the web.
Zero‑Rating in different flavors, it has been offered as a potential onramp or means to get there. While Zero‑Rating is currently practiced as most models practice in the market, they don't raise the same prototypical harms of neutrality through blocking or others. There is concerns around this kind of anti‑innovation, anti‑competition concerns.
I want to be clear, if we're going to accelerate the rate of which people are connecting, there are definitely parts of the world where we'll have to subsidize the cost to user in some fashion. Zero‑Rating provides an opportunity to do that, but we believe that we have only seen a limited set of models now. We believe that there must be more and others of alternative solutions to help connect the unconnected to the diversity of the Internet.
In this end, Mozilla, we have equal rating. We're investing in research that everybody is talking about to help better understand the dynamics at the nexus of the Internet openness and access. We're still missing a lot of data.
The other thing we want to do, spark innovation in alternative market solutionists bringing the Internet to everybody, all of the Internet to everybody. Two ways to do that right now, one a partnership with Germaine telephone in Bangladesh. They can watch a 30‑second ad in the marketplace and unlock 20 megabytes of data for free to use on whatever they want. They do that once per day.
The other, it is sort of an interesting Firefox OS business model is the Cliff phone, which is a partnership with 20 Middle East African markets. If the thesis is give people a taste of the Internet and they'll see the relevance to their lives and the demand of the full Internet, Cliff phone gives users the text, data, 5 to 6 months, depending on the market. This is not all we're doing ‑‑ I know I'm running short on time.
I'll throw in one other thought to say, if we think about sort of there is a lot more work that needs to be done on infrastructure on affordability, incentives, but capabilities is an area where there is a lot of untapped potential and room for exploration.
The small scale study we did in Bangladesh, we took a group of users with the normal onboarding experience with a mobile phone in Bangladesh and we gave a test group the same normal onboard experience and a 2‑hour introduction to the web. What's the Internet, apps, data, how does it work. We gave them 2 gigabytes for free and they showed us in return what they did with their months. We saw 20% higher data usage and they had exceeded that free data cap and had a greater diversity in the website visits.
There is a lot of promise. Interested to hear from everybody else.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Steve Song is next, the founder of Village Telco.
>> STEVE SONG: I want to talk about the regulatory options available when dealing with Net Neutrality and Zero‑Rating.
Broadly speaking, regulators have two categories of tools, sticks and carrots, to get the behavior they want out of the market: Sticks, you know, punitive, they force operators to do the right thing, if you like; carrots provide incentives to bring new service providers into the market so that people can self-select away from options that don't serve them well. Historically, in communication regulation, the carrots haven't worked out well. It is very, very expensive to build communication networks, millions if not billions of dollars to develop the networks.
What I want to say now, is that's changed. Here I'll focus on Sub‑Saharan Africa, the arrival of a dozen undersea cables around the continent of Sub‑Saharan Africa since 2009 sparking a tsunami of investment in terrestrial projects across the continent have opened up the possibility of new access options. This combined with the drop in price of wireless technologies, whether it is unlicensed wireless, dynamic Spectrum options, micro GSM services, now the ability of municipalities, of entrepreneurs on community organizations to define their own access options is available. They're hamstrung to some degree by the unavailability of policies and regulations that allow them to do this.
Here, I mean, the Internet loves diversity. What with see in access at the access level is a lack of diversity. It is a bit of a mobile monoculture. What I would love to see in the next IGF is instead of seven sessions on Net Neutrality but seven sessions on access diversity.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Good suggestion. Thank you. You're within time, under time.
Bob Frankston, you will talk about something similar?
>> BOB FRANKSON: I have a language problem.
The word Zero‑Rating is a telecommunication term with nothing to do with the Internet and it assumes a relation with each service and with each customer.
The problem is, the dynamic that gave us the Internet is based on entirely different principle. It just makes the middle disappear. You have two machines that just work together and all you have between a package is totally decoupled from the application. How do you even define the concept of a rate?
The problem is, the Telecom and the Internet use the same facilities. They just are using different ways to use the same facilities. We got today's Internet by tunneling through telecommunications. The fact that we can repurpose it has given the illusion that the Internet is one thing in the pipe called telecommunications and even to the point as a retail service. The telecommunications got this thing, broadband, they Zero Rated the television service, Zero Rated phone service because they just include it and they add this thing called the Internet as yet another thing that they can offer. That led to the illusion that it is a service that you get. Really it is one end of the tunnel through telecommunications.
So the concept of Zero‑Rating is not new, the 800 number, we had numbers for other services, and the fact that it is over IP shouldn't confuse us. Verizon zero rates the video and demand service of FIOS because it is over IP and outside of my cap. They don't count those packets, but the same connection.
If we really ‑‑ we really ‑‑ if you want the Internet, it is an economic problem. We have to make that just works available so we need the communities to fund it as a group. It is available on sidewalks. You don't Zero Rate sidewalks, they're just there.
We can ‑‑ we need to invert the tunnels. Right now the Internet is through Telecom and Telecom becomes services over the Internet.
So I'll skip through this to say the point I want to get to, to connect the first trillion devices, not just a billion people, remember the people carrying the devices, but I want to connect the next million trees, cows, canoes, there is evidence with the whole network. There is a panel tomorrow, community networking, 2:00 p.m., come to that, a version of this, it is RMFVC/Zero‑Rating, this talk is more advanced over that.
Internet is what we create. There is no difference between the community and the government.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Great. Thank you.
That's actually a great place to end being provocative.
This morning you were on the small island session talking about community networks as well.
We're now going to go to the floor, but we're going to have to be very disciplined and probably have fewer just so that we can ‑‑ let's try ‑‑ I want as many people as possible.
If you could lineup at the mikes. If we don't have anyone lining up, that's okay. I want to try to get back on track.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: If you don't want to come to the mike, just tweet your question under the #zerorating IGF2015. We have learned and heard there are lots of business models out there that are being called Zero‑Rating and we may have learned that actually not everything impacts and some impacts and some are good for some countries and some may not be good for other countries.
Without delay we'll go directly here to the panelists on this side, you don't have anyone on that side.
Please introduce yourself, go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE: I have worked with Freedom House, other organizations in Internet policy development.
This year I was in Cambodia. We worked to develop the Internet Rights and Principles that were nation‑based on the Internet Rights and Principles document. What we discovered is that when we wanted to crowdsource this rights document we reached out, created a wiki for it and people were trying to engage in that, but the way that was most productive was when they engage on Facebook. Cambodia they discovered they could talk on Facebook and get politically engaged, and I want to hear more about the use of social network, Facebook, Twitter, to engage politically in the democratic cross building.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Alexis and Alice, from Venezuela, they ask if any of the panelists or experts who have spoken think that the applications such as Facebook and Google that are being offered as Zero‑Rating ‑‑ he used the word jam, remember his native language is Spanish ‑‑ which may end up confusing the users about what the Internet really is.
>> AUDIENCE: In my opinion, Zero‑Rating is a brilliant idea that represents a violation of double regulation, and I can be more precise. The competition law, it is broken because the content to provider who are out of these agreements are, of course, persecuted. It is a violation of the competition law. At the same time is a violation of the Net Neutrality. If Internet neutrality means that to the consumer have the freedom to choose what content, of course I have a form of freedom, but if the content of Google, YouTube, I can have it free, I go there. I don't go to the new competitor. So competition is broken and also Net Neutrality.
One way to represent the double.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: I would encourage friends from Africa, Asia to come to the microphone. We want to hear all of the voices. Join us in the discussion.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Brazil Civil Society.
In countries like Brazil where there is a lack of infrastructure that left offline millions of people and the mobile devices are their only access to Internet we are in a second category of citizens.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm Arthur. I'm speaking as Arthur. I'm not representing any University today.
You guys, I think, around the table, most of you are middle class academics and intellectuals. I think I appreciate if you want to bring I think poorer people or those ‑‑ to give their views, so to make sure that their views, those that are being presented here, that they're also benefiting from the perspectives of the beneficiaries of the services that the likes of Facebook are deploying.
Secondly, you know, technology, that deployment of technology should be seen from a development paradigm. Take when you're talking to me, I think as an African, you know, there's a concept gradual realization of the economic and social rights. If you give me WhatsApp and Facebook, I think it is a good steppingstone. Why don't you encourage like in a Facebook, all of that to say what you should have done, it is good, why not build that up to the next step rather than I think killing or destroying what's good or what other people consider as a good service?
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: There was a person in line. He wants to do the question in Portuguese. We agreed I could translate for him.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: We have to close the line. We're way over.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm Marcus. I'm from the Brazilian Civil Society.
First of all, I would like to say that Marco da Civil is going through many mutilations, changing its principles. There are many principles which are being changed, and when we discuss the topic here, Net Neutrality, this hasn't been regulated. This has been causing lots of confusion and debates and we see the market acting and violating a law which was created. So the question is, do you have any information as to how the Net Neutrality is being treated in different countries, also regarding Zero‑Rating.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Those are tweeting, there is a lot of reports, if you want to pose a question by a tweet, put a word question so we can be alerted. Thank you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Okay. If you can actually get really close to your microphones when you speak, that would help as well.
We'll start with Kevin, then Jochai Ben‑Avie and Steve and Bob.
>> KEVIN MARTIN: We talked about the confusion created. We certainly heard that concern particularly where the service was referred to as Internet.org. We changed the name to address that confusion.
We also ‑‑ I want to point out we support Net Neutrality as well. We think it is critically important to have that and make sure that there is no blocking, throttling, no paid fast lanes. We think that has to be consistent with the ability to bring more people online in an effective way.
We have rolled out our free basic service of this same Zero Rated service in 29 countries around the world and in those countries, there hasn't been a problem, and in the U.S. and in the E.U. they adopted stronger Net Neutrality rules. They have that with the ability of Zero‑Rating, but looked at on a case by case basis.
>> JOCHAI BEN-AVIE: To pick up on a couple of points.
When we did research this year in Kenya, India, Bangladesh, we would ask people in rural areas, we would ask have you connected to the Internet? They say no, we don't have the Facebook account. We say have you connected to any other website? They say no, I don't have the Facebook account yet. You know, we certainly do have concerns around that confusion.
I think that what this says actually is Facebook is a hub for a ton of local, relevant content, photos, stories about peoples' friends, family, that's not surprising. We know that we need to do more to make that value proposition to certain populations of what the Internet has to offer and what it can be. That goes beyond Facebook.
I think one of the ‑‑ we published a study around the power of the smartphone as a form factor that may help to generate sort of local content in a way that we haven't seen before.
I guess my time is up because of that tapping. Happy to follow‑up offline I guess with anyone.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> STEVE SONG: I would like to emphasize the point made by the one gentlemen, that's this is a group of middle class ‑‑ you know, above all, connected people, that are perhaps attempting to make a pronouncement about whether people will be somehow subverted by something like free basics. I think that they have to ‑‑ we have to give people credit that they will be able to figure that out on their own.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: If you don't have enough time, people are asking questions on Twitter. You can do that.
>> BOB FRANKSTON: We need to have another discussion underlying all of this. We're talking about consequences and related issues. The confusion, it is actually very deep and something that will take a lot more time to talk about.
The ‑‑ I hate to use the paradigm shift ‑‑ but starting with this, the Internet is something new. It is not a thing in itself, it is a byproduct of software and what we're able to do ourselves. This is just touching it. Beyond that, that's a longer conversation.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Thank you for everybody for being brief and to the point.
We're still behind, but making progress.
Now we're going to have views, national views and actually we're going to start with Igor Vilas Boas de Freitas from Brazil, our Host Country. Thank you for being a great host and a great country.
Following that, we have a remote participant from Slovenia.
The tech people in the back, get ready. When Igor is finished, we can put Dusan Caf up on the screen.
>> IGOR VILAS DOAS DE FREITAS: Good afternoon to everyone.
It is my first time in IGF, it has been a very good experience.
When ‑‑ a couple of months ago when we try to sit together some public entities within the Brazilian government to discuss the regulation of Marco da Civil I confess that Zero‑Rating was the most main and difficult topic to get to a draft to, to get to a first draft. That's why there are ‑‑ there are very, as we see in this session, different concepts of Zero‑Rating.
During the discussion we realized that we had to ‑‑ we went up to a Constitution level. In Brazilian Constitution, freedom of economic activity is a principle. We realized fast it is first impossible to list exhaustively what kind of model specific, business model regarding Zero‑Rating is allowed or not because it changes very fast.
We should be careful because there is no legal basis neither in general law of communications or in Marco da Civil that allow State to keep service providers from offering specific packages, including Zero‑Rating functionality. This is a right ‑‑ a right law, a question that's very difficult to answer.
What we think, State intervention should occur when there is evidence that those offerings, the Zero‑Rating offerings, are harmful to competition or to the right of freedom of consumer.
Of course the main question, one of the panelists said, it is who pays? Who pays the bill on behalf of the consumer? This is the main issue to define what kind of Zero‑Rating we're talking about. When there's someone different than the network provider paying the bill, for example, the bank, the government itself, there's no specific issue related to Zero‑Rating. When the network provider, the owner of the means is paying, of course we recognize there's a potential harmful effect on competition and freedom. This is in the immediate and long‑term. We recognize it exists.
Of course the way different ‑‑ to see this in Brazil, it varies a lot. We tend to see that as a competition issue that we have to observe. By now, there is no ‑‑ we cannot conclude that there is a need for regulation. Instead we understand that we have to observe and to let things evolve and observe the real effects on competition or the consumer rights to choice.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
We're now going to go up to the magic of remote participation. Dusan Caf who is Electronic Communications Council, Slovenia.
Are you there? Go ahead, please.
>> DUSAN CAF: Slovenia was a second country that tried the concept of Zero‑Rating in the national law in 2012. It came in force in 2015 and mobile operators of the Zero‑Rating pros, video streaming and music and Cloud storage and the ordinary data caps. It was small, and there was higher data caps in other cases and others were virtually unlimited. The discrimination was huge among users and highly anti‑competitive. So the council examined the abuse of illegal business practices in the mobile industry and filed a complaint to the national regulator. The complaint was successful and the regulator issued the first of decisions accelerating in January of 2015 and the rest in the following months on Zero‑Rating. The effect was surprising as similarly as in the Netherlands, the mobile operators immediately increased data caps substantially. Unfortunately, the victory, it may not last. Firstly, civilian operators, they're highly litigious and final judicial decisions are awaited in all cases. MNOs, our right to freedom of economic initiative violated and others on the o other side, the Net Neutrality proponents claim that hour rights have to be considered as well like the freedom of opinion and/or expression, the right to confidentiality, written communications and the right to protection of personal data. These are the freedoms that you will also discuss at the IGF as I have heard before.
Secondly, the provisions may be unfortunately overridden by the new European regulation adopted by the European Parliament a few weeks ago. The rules are not well defined and the implementation will depend on the guidelines that has to be laid down by the body of European electronic communications and regulators in the coming months and later on by the national regulators.
Another issue that is very important and we have experience in Slovenia, this is a different view of regulating the servicers, regulators like to do that through competition law, bullets see what happens here in Slovenia. We know that these practices are highly anti‑‑competitive, on the other side we know in certain countries, especially not well functioning markets with weak regulators competition regulation is not really effective. There is samples of abuse of dominant position cases that are in the electronic communication markets, including other states or at the E.U. level that's taken 8 years or even more from the data ‑‑ from the date of opening of receivings to the final ruling. Competition alone is, therefore, unlikely to be effective and the success of Zero‑Rating practices, according to our experience, it should be regulators intervening to protect the users and to protect others against discrimination.
That concludes ‑‑ we need clear rules, proactive regulation and strong regulators. This is based on experience of Slovenia.
Thank you very much
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Interesting that we have one regulator saying it is not and others saying it has to be. A wide range of views.
We're now going to hear on the national situation in Argentina from Eduardo Bertoni, Universidad de Palermo.
>> EDUARDO BERTONI: Thank you very much.
Actually I will make my presentation in two areas: First, the situation in Latin America, and I will touch on the situation in Argentina.
B, the two main arguments I find in Latin America when we approach Zero‑Rating, and these two arguments are first Zero‑Rating is against Net Neutrality, and second that Zero‑Rating versus access of Internet argument.
The situation in Latin America: Many countries already approved or implemented or are in the process to implementation of Zero‑Rating. According to a recent research those countries are Paraguay, Colombia, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala. That could be a basis for field research on the benefits or problems with Zero‑Rating. The rest of the countries did not start yet as far as I know any discussion on Zero‑Rating.
Now we move toward I think the two main arguments when people in Latin America oppose Zero‑Rating: First argument, Zero‑Rating is against Net Neutrality. This argument is closely related on how we define Net Neutrality and also on what Zero‑Rating is from a technical point of view. Having said that, some laws passed in Latin America on Net Neutrality do not appear to be an obstacle of Zero‑Rating services. On the other hand, there are examples of Net Neutrality seem against Zero‑Rating, Argentina and another could be Brazil. This law changed Internet access with the content services protocols or applications that are used or offered to the respective contracts since Zero‑Rating consists in giving access to content with no cost it could be against the Net Neutrality in Argentina if pricing is a matter of Net Neutrality those regulations are against Zero‑Rating. In Brazil, under the Net Neutrality regulation in the Marco da Civil there is a duty to process on an economic basis the economic package, if this means equally before the law, Zero‑Rating is against Net Neutrality regulation.
Finally, the second argument mostly used to oppose ‑‑
>> ‑‑ oppose the Zero‑Rating. It confuses the Zero‑Rating services with policies that offer real access to the Internet.
For me, this problem is more a semantic problem than a real problem. However, the confusion could be used politically for not implementing policies to increase real access to Internet and this is happening.
Thank you very much.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: I would now like to call for a fourth country view on Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda from the United States. He's over here. Please.
>> DANIEL SEPULVEDA: I want to say, this is an incredibly useful conversation. I'm moved both by the participation and the passion being brought to this conversation and this venue.
Second, I'm extremely happy this conversation is taking place here, not on the floor of the United Nations. The idea that we have a conversation that includes issues ranging from technology, to economics, to ethics, political ideology, and hearing a variety of different views on the relative merits or lack thereof of a specific question as it relates to Net Neutrality is a good conversation and why the IGF was in part created, the ability to come together in a certain fashion to share expertise, ideas, values and to take them home and then use what you have learned and apply in whatever manner you deem useful for you and your people.
I do want to say ‑‑ I think that the explanation just recently about the different laws in Latin America and also in Europe relative to Net Neutrality and how Zero‑Rating relates to each of those laws is incredibly important. What we have to understand is that there are different types of Zero‑Rating and in Net Neutrality law around the world including in Europe and the United States, Brazil, there are exceptions allowed for practices that are not complying with Net Neutrality. The question for regulators in each of those spaces is it in the public interest to allow this particular exception? There may be a case where a Zero‑Rating program is in the public interest to be allowed and there may be cases in which it is not.
We don't know that until we have a specific complaint relative to a specific case and the expertise of a regulator to determine whether or not the public interest has been violated.
So I think generally regardless of how you feel about any given specific Zero‑Rating program that the process that the world is coming to general consensus on or at least these three parts of the world is that Net Neutrality is good as a basic principle we defend it, contain it in our law, and there are cases in which an exception may be, should be allowed. And that to have that case you need an open dialogue, transparent process and an evidence‑based discussion on the affect it would have on the Internet on the edge of the Internet and on users and welfare. What I ‑‑ the last thing I say, is that we should guard against paternalism in that case. I want to go back to what a colleague said, poor people understand their interests as much as we do, the agree to exercise that in the market ‑‑
>> DANIEL SEPULVEDA: We try to enable as much as possible choice and opportunity in the market for them to exercise their capabilities as consumers while at the same time ensuring that any service that's provided to them isn't their only option and doesn't harm them ‑
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
This segment did not have comments Q and As because it was reporting out from different national perspectives.
Now we're going to the last section which is harms and benefits. We have been hearing about some of those, but now we're going to have four experts who are going to dive deep into that.
Pranesh Plakash, Center for Internet and Society.
>> PRANESH PLAKASH: Thank you.
Talking about harms and benefits of Zero‑Rating is a very difficult proposition since there are so many different kinds of Zero‑Rating each of which have different kinds of Harms and benefits. Therefore I will present some theoretical considerations rather than making categorical assertions.
If one takes Zero‑Rating to be the practice of not counting some data traffic towards a consumer's regularly metered data usage and not everyone does use this definition, then one finds that Zero‑Rating can be paid for by the end consumer or subsidized by ISBs or subsidized by content providers or by governments or a combination of these. It can be deal based or criteria based or government imposed. It can be based on content type or agnostic type, imposed by the ISB, or offered by the ISB and chosen by the customer and transparent and understood by customers or it could be non‑transparent and it could be available on one ISP or across all ISPs. The harms and benefits depend on the market conditions, the existing regulatory frameworks, et cetera, regulatory responses must therefore be very carefully collaborated keeping in mind these different kinds of ‑‑ keeping in mind the existing conditions.
So moving on to potential benefits: One, Zero‑Rating can enable Human Rights specifically the rights to freedom of expression, the freedom to receive information and the freedom of association especially when access to communication and publishing technologies is provided. It can enable all of the benefits of Human Rights that the Internet enables. By enabling the product differentiation it can potentially allow small ISBs to compete against markets. It can act potentially as a discovering mechanism as free basics hopes to. It can provide cheaper access to the Internet, a plan proposed by others in India to provide free, slow Internet access for all as one example. In some cases, it isn't even slower, Cal Tig, the first ISP I ever used in India was at one point and was at one point India's second largest ISP actually offered free data, free Internet.
Consumer choice, it enables consumer choice and unbundling of services, for instance, a service specific data pack can do that. It can align consumer interest with ISP interest and help towards correcting the distortions and transit markets. Potential harms, it could be anti‑competitive with specific ISPs or other manufacturer, anti‑competitive amongst content provider, it can harm online openness, diversity, generative and at the edges and I'll just end it there. These are just some theoretical considerations that people can keep in mind while thinking about this.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
That was a great list.
Pros and cons.
Anka Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, you have been involved in these issues for a long time.
>> ANKA KOVACS: Thank you.
Poor people understand their options and interests as well as we do. That's true. They often do so with far less options available to them than to us and they understand that very well as well.
I can see there may be short‑term benefits to Zero‑Rating but in the absence of clear data let's take a longer, historical perspective looking at issues that may matter for those poor people and determine what the options available to them are.
The first question is what kind of Internet do we envision? Even ten years ago the Internet was a very different beast. Today it is much more centralized and even for all of us who have access to the full Internet empowering potential of the Internet today is far more mediated by corporations than it was ten years ago.
That didn't happen overnight. We got here step by step very slowly. If today Zero‑Rating would allow practices that actually work against those strengths I will definitely sign up to make Zero‑Rating a regular practice. At the moment though it looks as if it will set us further on the part of centralization and especially the massive investments that have been made around free basics in India, very much focusing on the discourse of promoting access rather than awareness, one indication, that it does matter to the big Internet corporations and there is a reason for that. The second question I want to ask is what kind of vision do we have for our own societies? The context of the World Summit on the Information Society review process I have been really struck by how much talk there has been on how ICTs support SDGs, but very little about what kind of access people need exactly to be able to make that empowering potential a reality.
Mobile phones may be the first point of access, but that may be part of the problem, not of the solution.
If we are not more ambitious today, are we not letting people down? How much will we still work towards another option, community networks being one among them? If we look at our historical record in other areas, the record isn't great. Many of our countries, very important services like health, education are already two tiered.
Yesterday somebody asked me but you're saying that government education should be scrapped because it doesn't provide the same quality. That's true. But it should never have been done in the first place as many argued and in context of countries like India, it is community‑based education that would be the way forward.
So the question really is, what incentives are still there to work towards providing access to all of the Internet for all of the people all of the time? If the Internet isn't to that extent yet we have an option to make choices and let's be careful about examining the options.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: The next speaker is Belinda Exelby, Director, Institutional Relations, GSMA, U.K.
>> BELINDA EXELBY: Thank you.
For anyone not familiar with the GSMA, we represent the mobile industry worldwide and have over 800 million mobile operators.
We have heard a lot this week on definitions and types of Zero‑Rating. I'll start by clarifying our viewpoint which is that Zero‑Rating is simply a commercial model. It bundles Internet access with specific services or content to make it attractive to certain consumer segments.
There is similar practices and two‑sided commercial models like this in lots of other sectors whether they have been established over a long period too far time and promote competition and bring economic efficiency and social benefit. A couple of examples, many newspapers are provided free of charge to readers through advertiser funding. In London we have the metro in the evening standard who both operate on that basis and they compete fully with paid for alternatives.
Consumers have a choice as to which they prefer.
Similarly, with television services, we see wide range of consumer choice, some advertising funded, some subscription funded and others funded by governments.
We see that the variety of business models and differential pricing benefits both competition and consumers, it is about consumer choice.
My next point is that much of the discussion around Zero‑Rating this week has focused on the auto enrollment use in developing countries to encourage the adoption of Internet. In other markets we're seeing that Zero‑Rating benefits consumers in other ways not just by allowing them to trial a new service without concerns about data consumption charges but providing access to promotions, advertising, marketing, so on without the risk of incurring unwanted, unintended costs.
Another benefit of Zero‑Rating from Sylvia, it supports competition in the content and as a domain allowing new entrants that want to offer services compete with established content providers and they do that with the marketing and distribution and billing platforms of operators they may not have access to. Where content providers can do this, they're doing it because they recognize the increased value of reaching more consumers and there is nothing wrong with this as a business practice.
In fact, in the longer term, it is particularly important as we look for ways to extend connectivity as the more people that content providers and providers have on the platforms and networks the more incentive to invest in expanding them in developing new and innovative services.
I'll conclude by noting in the long‑term, it is not clear whether Zero‑Rating will be sustainable as others have said, it is a highly complex, competitive market. In this environment the key point is that competitive markets and competition law should be sufficient to provide safeguards against anti-competitive behavior and it is not the job of regulators to prohibit practice it's that can benefit consumers and create markets for new, innovative services, the sustainability of Zero‑Rating is something that the markets and consumers should decide.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Our final expert, Christopher Yoo, Communication and Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Thank you for allowing me to participate in this fantastic event. It is a privilege to have witnessed a rich presentation of views.
We heard that this is not a unitary phenomenon, we hear from others how life is changed at the first IGF we would be talking about fixed line Internet. In fact, the wireless revolution transformed the way we have to think about the devices that are used, limits on the bandwidth and enriched ways that the mobility that it enable, enriching things in fantastic ways.
We have heard about the challenges faced by countries, small islands, developing states, they face real challenges. We heard from the Indian operators that if you look at the affordability matrix established by the OACD that equals to $2.50 U.S. per month as an expected revenue and faces the unique challenges that certain markets face. We have heard that there is differences in networks and that in fact when you have MVNOs that are new entrants making new services that they cannot differentiate on the network itself or the price and that in fact they look for new ways to compete and if you look at the enforcement actions brought by Chile, Slovenia, they tend to be brought against new entrants, small players, one with a 1% market share doing fairly small services such as Cloud based services and Virgin mobile was doing what's up and flat rate and it is a provider that's committed to flat rates.
What we see, in fact, different models of deployment. We have heard that in fact Zero‑Rating is not the dominant model, that it is a service specific model and it is not in fact one an but in fact what's up, Facebook, Wikipedia, these are music services, Cloud services, they're all different parts of this that are rich and we find the different systems are exclusive or compensated. We have heard about the importance of the demand side and Zero‑Rating how it enhances that in an aging economy in an aging population, senior citizens are getting different phones. Islamic countries have different ‑‑ require different phones we have found out in research we're doing. We have learned that we're seeing a grand experiment in the U.S., one of the things I'm tracking, some attempts to wire Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. and it requires different strategies.
What we then ‑‑ what we have heard as a common theme, we need more information. We need more data. It is a young practice. The question is what do we do?
Law has a traditional answer. When you're unsure about whether a practice is beneficial or not and it has sufficient promise, let the experiment continue, that is the tradition of the Internet, one of the default answers, it is yes, not no. We can try to find out what different things, what new great innovations we have ever seen are yet waiting.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Right on time.
What we'll do, we'll ‑‑ we have ‑‑ we were supposed to be at the wrap‑up. I would really love to have more interventions from the floor. If we can keep them tight, short we can get as many people as possible and then we'll have the panelists respond as we have in the past and then I don't know whether people will stay an extra ten minutes maybe to have the final wrap up if that's okay.
Thank you. Please.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: My line is longer than yours!
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Keep the mikes closer to your mouth. Swallow the mike.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: I'll try to.
Since we have a bit of people around that want to take the floor, please make sure you actually tweet your words and others will actually transform it.
Go ahead, please.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from New Delhi, India.
Zero Rated services we have heard about so far in practice, not in theory talk about access and proceed from the point of view most beautifully summarized by our friend, the spy for humanity, one Mr. Snowden who says surveillance is the business model of the Internet, we're listening to people talk to how to bring the net to the whole sphere on the assumption that privacy is the privilege of the rich, the ones who lived in the jurisdiction of ECJ or others, any effort to present the tiny part of the Internet to the less majority on the false ground this is all they can afford, this is in fundamental conflict with any rational policy of social development through innovation. This is something that the citizens from our countries resent and our government should prohibit as an obstacle to social development. Why few services are better than giving away promotional data which allows users to discover Internet for themselves. Why should a content provider or Telecom operator choose for them? If we keep getting bogged down in these conversations about the neutrality of the net, a term so gloriously indefinite that everybody supports it, we don't know it.
The poor deserve the same sanitation, healthcare, drinking water and primary and secondary education and network communications of the rich. It is the responsibility of the society to provide them. We like many efforts of the private players and we will work for them like we do for free speech and expression. Nine of your ten choices may be good, this one is bad. Drop it.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: If we want everybody to speak ‑‑ that was really ‑‑ you know, it was well, well, you know, said.
We have to compress it and pretend we're in a Twitter world or something very tight. Otherwise we won't have time for everybody who wants to speak to speak.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: If you can put the one minute here, we'll stop people at time. I'll go through this line here.
Introduce yourself please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello. I'm Amanda from Brazil, an ISOC Ambassador.
Private investments and initiatives on social interest is always appreciated and it happens every day in a range number of sectors. The principles are already here to guide this kind of private innovation in public interest. My question is, here, I see the private sector taking advantage under the scope of accessibility to improve their own business and interests. Why does the private sector refuse to provide Zero‑Rating data package to allow the people to choose freely the content choices.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: I come from Bolivia. It is a country where Internet.org or free basic, it is implemented.
I want to make a point about information GSMA, it says it is all about consumer choice, we need information to make smart choices as consumers. In Bolivia, it is not only the problem of consumers but also the government. We didn't have this debate set at all. Nobody is talking about this in Bolivia.
So some activists are alone saying crazy things that nobody understands. I guess really we didn't have any information about what's going on. We cannot make smart decisions and even we cannot develop any public policy information that we have.
I want to ‑‑ I would like to for all of us understand that we here are talking about things we understand but the whole rest of the world, even especially the people who are not connected, they don't understand this discussion.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Vladimir Radunovic, we have to keep tweeting, not blogging.
>> CAROLINE ROSSINI: We can't read the tweet questions right now. Back to the line.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.
I'm from Research ICT Africa. We collect tens of thousands of product prices across Africa every quarter. I must reemphasize how bizarre it is that we have spent all of this time over so many months, years now in different projects looking at Zero‑Rating. Zero‑Rating is just one of multiple access options, bundles offered, people use Zero‑Rating as part of multiple access entry points, the poor have multiple strategies moving from Zero Rated product in order to use the service on to public Wi-Fi, going to school, et cetera, the idea that people are stuck on Zero Rated services that as we have found, it makes up a tiny percentage of the product, it is really tiny. It is really ridiculous.
The other question to raise, issues of competition, we hear this anti‑competitive, what's anti‑competitive? The issues of the big platforms dominant in the market, keeping our small view entrants in markets apply to non‑zero Rated products, the issue is that it is process competitive, small telcos, it is pro‑competitive. Just to say that people are using multiple strategies, accessing the net in various ways and if the poor, if there is a breach of Net Neutrality, let the poor decide, put it out there, let them make that choice.
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: We have online participant. I think we can close the queues here.
Please, be sharp, up to the point. ginger.
>> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you very much.
We have a comment from India.
Zero‑Rating is one of the ways to increase Internet access and adoption. Our approach should not be to shut down Zero‑Rating, but to improve it. In case any competitive issue comes up, it should go to competition commission. Moreover, nothing stops anyone from providing services for free for increasing Internet reach amongst the unconnected people. Why haven't they done so?
>> VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: My turn again, please. Yes,
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, I do partnerships and policy and work with Wikipedia Zero.
I think IGF this year showed us that Zero‑Rating in itself is not negative but there are benefits to it, and we strongly believe there is a positive way and responsible way to do Zero‑Rating, our approach to it was developing principles by which means we think that we're supporting competition and Net Neutrality yet providing our mission which is serving an underserved community that cannot access the sum of all knowledge because of affordability barriers. We have an open invitation for all interested stakeholders to a develop this operating principle or responsible principles to continue to zero rate and provide access to services such as Wikipedia, yet protect competition and Net Neutrality.
An example is Chile where in 2014 a regulator issued a circular banning free social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp to a commercial bundle, however after a clarification we were able to see how services such as Wikipedia were not covered by that regulation.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: George Suduski, ICANN.
I like the answer to the harm question, it depends, he's right, the reason he's right, Zero‑Rating is a heterogeneous collection of all kinds of techniques to create results for companies that are involved in it. We have a goal, it is to get as many people on the Internet as we can. Zero‑Rating is a way of doing that and we have to desegregate that and look at those things that are common and contribute to the goal, looking through the lens of subsidies and relying on competition law and government practices and incenting the behavior as well as corporate practices that we're better off understanding Zero‑Rating in that context rather than a homogenies concept which we can say very little of in general.
>> STEVE SELTZER: Steve Seltzer, from Labor Net. The question of Zero‑Rating, it is ludicrous. We could have municipal Wi-Fi for all people of the entire world. We have the resources to put everybody online.
>> STEVE SELTZER: That's blocked. That's been blocked by the Telecom companies that want their revenue stream to continue. They prevent Wi-Fi in San Francisco where we're from because it would threaten the revenue.
I think that the ideology that's being debated here really is privatization. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, they're for privatizing the Internet and public education in the United States and the word. This is issues for the public and not just for the private corporations to decide. In Facebook, they have banned sites in the United States, certain sites, not violent, they have done that, unilaterally without debate, discussion. They have become an octopus, making decisions on what's valuable. Awesome ‑‑ not. That's got to be challenged on an international level.
>> [cheers and applause].
>> ROBERT PEPPER: We're doing live coverage of data mining of the words at the moment, we're tweeting. It will be interesting to check applauses.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Zimbabwe, the telecommunication regulator.
I have a question with the Zero‑Rating. What's driving our Internet usage is social media, also with the introduction of WhatsApp and the Facebook and the likes, revenues are going to the operators and some have been closing. I need to know if there is research that's been done to see the impact of the Zero‑Rating on the social media services now that these are the ones that are now driving the telecommunication sector, now that they're coming at being Zero Rated whereby the operators are forced to by big companies to offer these services free of charge or at a very, very low cost, is somebody actually trying to monitor our ability to develop our own local content which would be cheaper because of the Facebook, the users, everybody is going there, now it is Zero Rated and free, how will we have a local content being competitive with the social media which are coming from multinational companies.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Google policy at Strathmore University.
Zero‑Rating is providing Internet where users need a balanced Internet. It may be a transparency to keep the developing countries in the darkness of the information age. If we're genuine with tons of money, want to help the community, zero rate everything, not just one website, people without access to the Internet don't need access to one website, they need access to the entire Internet and please don't give us a long definition of the Internet because we know that the Internet needs the entire interconnected computers. Those who are breaking Net Neutrality rules are trying to play God, they think without them that the poor cannot access Internet, they're wrong. Remember, if you're not paying for the service, then you are the product.
>> [cheers and applause].
>> That quote, it is a good tweet. Go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE: That's really, really awesome.
I don't think I can add much more from what my colleague from Zimbabwe, Kenya talked about.
The other solutions to Connecting the Next Billion online, it is that we have to look at the long‑term. Zero‑Rating is a short‑term fix. We have to develop infrastructure and look at the long‑term solutions, what's needed for this. Not just to be online for a short time and then it is disconnected from being online.
I just wanted to echo their sentiments of preempted, and I want to say thank you very much.
For the record, I'm Afrion from Kenya.
Thank you very much.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Intervoices Brazil.
I would like to hear from the panelists about an assumption that there is currently in the Zero‑Rating defenders arguments, is this Zero‑Rating a part of the path for affordable and universal Internet access? In my understanding it is not. Experiences shows that this increases the data cap prices and Zero‑Rating only makes sense in a disconnected world. To overcome this are the public policies and companies investments in the policies, I agree with all of the floor claims and Eduardo Bertoni, let's discuss the Internet policies and regarding Marco da Civil, I agree with what Eduardo Bertoni said, treating data package in an economic way is incompatible, this is what's in Marco da Civil Article 9, emergency services, technical requirements are not exceptions that can be applied to this case.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
Again, we're over. We're going to go over a bit because we have had great interventions.
I want to go back to our four final experts for some quick responses.
>> The last one in line here, and closing, just one, he was here.
>> AUDIENCE: Good afternoon. I'm from Brazil, Gabrielle.
My question, it is based on democracy.
If it is not for the people, that the Internet work, I don't know who it is. In spite of that, I think most of the people spend their time with Internet, Facebook, WhatsApp, social media anyways, this ‑‑ the companies, they bank Zero‑Rating, how can we convince the population that Zero‑Rating is something bad for it? That's not good for the Internet when they kind of like using the social media that banks Zero‑Rating?
That's it. Thank you.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you very much.
Gabrielle, we actually chatted yesterday. He had some great comments on our session yesterday on Connecting the Next Billion. Thank you. I apologize for not having seen you over there because of the lights.
Let's go back to our final four experts for just the last quick interventions, and then a close.
The close by the way will be in Portuguese. If you don't have the phones, it is okay because of the text, the scrolling captioning will be in English.
Please, we'll start with you. a final wrap‑up comment? Same order that we had the presenters, the experts.
Do it as ‑‑ pretty quick.
>> PRANESH PLAKASH: Very briefly, there are great things at stake here including democratic principles. We must make sure that we can't just take a knee‑jerk response, the regulatory responses to this must be carefully collaborated. There are many possibilities between just banning something and allowing it without any regulation at all. We have to carefully consider those.
My appeal to all those who want to ban all forms of Zero‑Rating is, one, to think about what exactly you want to ban, whether it is specific kinds of Zero‑Rating practices or anything that I initially define as Zero‑Rating first. Secondly, what kind of regulatory response makes sense in your particular market conditions, because not all of them have the same affect.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
>> ANKA KOVACS: Thank you.
I think what a lot of the interventions from the floor in this section especially raised are really questions about what is the vision of the Internet that we have and what is the vision of our societies that we have? Clearly for users Zero‑Rating practices are being proposed and caused enormous anxiety around exactly these things and a lot of the debates about Zero‑Rating do not seem to take those anxieties into account at all.
I think that's about the opposite of a good way to build trust and something we should really shy away from.
There is good reason for these anxieties as I mentioned earlier. Allison's point, it is bizarre that we spend so much time on Zero‑Rating, but at the same time if it is such an important part of the market, then why is it that Facebook sends our Prime Minister to their head office, pays for 50 journalists to fly over, makes sure that during the duration of the Prime Minister's office for every single day we see across India media news coverage of the point that free basics will connect people to the Internet.
Clearly there are real issues there and I do think that they need to be addressed.
On the point of regulation versus incentives, I think that there is perhaps some openness. If we incent other options more, perhaps banning is not needed. We don't see that happening in all countries.
>> BELINDA EXELBY: I want to pick up on the point on consumer choice.
The question came from Bolivia saying that consumers don't understand the whole concept of Zero‑Rating services. That may well be the case. What I would say in the circumstances is that those consumers need to have the opportunity to understand what is being offered through the services. A ban on these practices before they even are given a chance to be experimented with and innovated, it would be doing harm to the consumers rather than benefiting them.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
Last word, Christopher before I close.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: This is dynamic.
I searched the Internet for IGF 2013 and the word Zero‑Rating didn't appear n is fantastic. The way it is appearing in terms of political organizations, both through SMS, social media, in terms of organizing, applying for education, it is fantastic.
I think in some ways some of the questions set up a false choice, we shouldn't try Zero‑Rating or meshed networking or municipal Wi-Fi, we should try all of them. In a sense, there is challenges and questions on Zero‑Rating, is it the right thing in every place? We don't know. I live in a city where we tried municipal Wi-Fi, it was not successful, that doesn't mean we can't learn from that and do better. We need to push instead of trying to decide which one to pull, we have to figure out how to pursue this in different ways. Overall, in the end, we must show we focus on consumers and what helps them. Many times this discussion is abstract on principles and in fact we should focus on what consumers want and how to provide the service they need.
>> ROBERT PEPPER: Thank you.
We're going to have our close from our opening Chair who will try to pull all of this together.
Right before we do that, I want to thank both Vladimir Radunovic and Carolina Rossini who had to leave because they're moderating sessions at 4:00 and they had to leave.
A big, big thank you to Susan Chalmers that put this together. It was not easy. It is a great group, amazing group of people. So Susan, thank you very much, very very much.
>> NIVALDO CLETO: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen for attending this session of IGF 2015.
Thank you, Mr. Pepper, for your excellent moderation. Thank you for the audience. Thank you for those who participated via the Internet. It is such an important topic and it is being a reason for discussion. All Internet for all around the world.
I would also like to thank Susan, I echo the complements to Susan for the organization of this event.
I would like to thank the participants for the high‑level discussion and for the questions.
I will now close this panel of IGF, 2015.
Thank you very much.