Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 1946

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 1946

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 1946

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 1946

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 1946

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/database/driver.php on line 2022

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/filesystem/path.php on line 143

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/filesystem/path.php on line 146

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/joomla/filesystem/path.php on line 149

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/components/com_fabrik/helpers/string.php on line 264

Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/src/User/UserHelper.php on line 621

Deprecated: Function get_magic_quotes_gpc() is deprecated in /home/wgig/public_html/igf/website8/web/cms/libraries/cegcore2/gcloader.php on line 63
2015 11 11 WS 156 Zero-rating and neutrality policies in developing countries Workshop Room 4 FINISHED
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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. 


>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Hello, everyone.  Just one quick announcement.  There is a lot of seats here.  We don't have that much panelists, so if you are willing to take a seat upfront, you're invited to do it.  We are starting in one minute and a half.

Okay.  Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for joining us.  My name is Claudio Ruiz and I'm the Head of the Derechos Digitales, Digital Rights Organization here in Latin America.  I'm very proud to host this event, to host this workshop, but specifically, not because of the issue that we will be discussing in the next hour, hour‑and‑a‑half, but specifically because of the amazing panelists that I have in this roundtable, and the amazing people willing to join us in the conversation.  This was one of the most popular workshops in all the IGF, and my team is very proud of it.  And I think that that can convince you that that will engage a very insightful conversation regarding one of the hottest topics on the Internet Governance and Internet rights Agenda all over the world.

The main theme of this workshop is exhilarating and challenging policies in Developing Countries.  For us, it was very important to have a insightful conversation coming from Developing Countries in this International debate.  There is a lot of things to say.  There is it a lot of experience that I think, we think, is very important to share in a forum like this, so again, I'm super excited.  I don't want to spend more time on presentations, but to be able to dissent to the rest of the speakers that are joining us this morning.

So, first of all, I would like to introduce Mr. Juan Jung is on my right.  He is the Head of the ‑‑ he is Coordinator of Regulation Studies on the Inter‑American Association of Telecommunications companies here in Latin America.  He is a very important part of the conversation here in the region regarding civil rights and neutrality.

  Ms. Anja Kovacs is on my right.  A very well‑known researcher and she is the Director of the Internet Democracy Project in India. 

To my left, Mr. Bruno Magrani.  He is the Head of Public Policy of Facebook Brazil.  So he is the local here in a lot of ways.

  Ms. Nanjira Sambuli is a researcher ‑‑ did I say it right?  Nanjira?  Because my Spanish is not that good.  Nanjira Sambuli is the Research Manager in Kenya.  And lastly where is Jorge at?

My near right is Mr. Jorge Vargas, the Regional Manager for Strategic Partnerships in Latin America at Wikimedia Foundation.  So, as you can see, we have an amazing speakers and I'm very proud of it.  I already said that.  So, I will pass the mic to Juan.  Would you like to start, Juan?

>> JUAN JUNG:  Thank you, Claudio.  Hello to everybody.  Many thanks for being part of this important conversation.  I think that in emerging regions, we have a very important challenge that is to close the digital divide.  We have more than a half of the people in the world is still offline, do not use Internet, and most of that people is on emerging regions.

I will talk mainly about Latin America, that is the region that I work more closely, and we can say that we have 53% of the people in Latin America that do not use Internet.  The region has been making balances.  Prices are going down.  Investment is growing. Quality is increasing.  But despite that, there is still half of the population that we have still yet to connect, and though that half of the population is usually the poorest.  We have a socioeconomic divide that is overlapping with the digital divide.

And we have some restrictions to connect these people.  One is the huge investments that are needed and we are working on that, but also, there is an affordability issue, mostly related to income levels, low‑income levels, in emerging regions.  Prices have already been going down.  If you can see the revenue per users in emerging regions, Latin America and other emerging regions, are far behind those numbers in U.S. or Europe.  So, the affordability issues mainly related to an income restriction, an income barrier, that we need to take on.

In that sense, we need to focus the public policies on the connected people that do not connect because of lack of affordability, as I said, but also because of lack of interest in some cases.  Commercial flexibility is a key to connect that people.

First, because it helps us to create commercial plans suited to different income levels, different segments.  We have to remember the role that the prepaid had in massifying mobile services in emerging regions.  It will not be possible to have the penetration levels we have today in mobile services if it wasn't because of the pre‑paid that is a result of commercial flexibility and commercial innovation plan. It accelerated ‑‑ Zero-Rated can help us foster the demand, create the demand.  There is examples of that.  LATAM Wikimedia is an example.

  It can help us take these barriers preventing us to go to the base.  Of course we do not want this to be a permanent situation.  We are thinking about this as an entry‑level for people who are currently offline.  And of course, we have to make it carefully because there are risks here.

We cannot allow situation in which we go towards Internet or closed gardens or a situation in which innovation and competition.  We must avoid all that.  So, we must do it under some specific framework, under some specific roots, because it is essential to prevent the distortion of competition through the relationships, through the whole digital ecosystem.

For instance, specific applications that can be offered through sponsorships that allows the use of certain services.  This should be allowed to anyone who wants to be part of this plan, any commercial offer made to an end-user that establishes a certain special consideration for some services should be open to all of those interested on equal terms.  That is a key issue to prevent any distortion of competition.

We must prevent that any actor who could eventually have significant market power in one of the segments of the digital ecosystem, can be able to distort the competition, to use, to leverage that position through the whole digital ecosystem.  We must avoid that.  So, Zero-Rated services doing in a way that insures no arbitrary privilege to any provider that preserves the uses, freedoms of choice, that is transparent and do not distort competition, is the way forward.

In that sense, Zero-Rated services do not harm the spirit of the key principles that we need to keep in Internet.  I think that is the way forward because the restrictions we have in emerging regions are important so we must think out of the box.  Zero-Rated services is one idea out of the box.  We may have another one, but I think it is important to promote these services in a correct way.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you, Juan.  And specifically referred to just right in time.  I appreciate that.

There is two logistic things I wanted to share that I forgot at the beginning.  So sorry for that.  The first is we invited a lot of Governments to join this table but sadly they didn't come.  So, that is something that I really wanted to highlight.  And the second thing is, the idea behind this workshop is to provide the way for the public to join the conversation and to have questions.  So, I really encourage to any of you that have questions; and I know that -- I'm pretty sure you have a lot of them. Please prepare it in a balance and be ready to be very strict in time and to do it afterwards, after the second round of presentations.

So, having said that, please, Anja.

>> ANJA KOVACS: I want to focus more on the specific context of Developing Countries.  I want to start by telling everyone a story.  The story goes like this.  Once upon a time, there was an amazing medium that was much more affordable than had come before and that allowed communication across distances that was not possible before, and it was much cheaper than anything that had gone before.  And then governments and businesses got together and the potential for two‑way communication for people that that medium had made possible, was closed down.  And the medium I'm talking about is radio. 

Why I'm telling that story is because I think what we do right now in general, is really key.  And I think we have to be very careful to look at issues like Zero-Rating through a very narrow lens where we only look at very immediate, direct impacts and consequences.

Many people have been talking about how the Internet is getting increasingly corporatized in general, and what it does for spaces of free speech, for example.  That is really worrying trend and overall, Zero-Rating plays into that trend and strengthens it further.

There is a lot of ‑‑ the main question or the main issue ‑‑ the main argument that is used to promote Zero-Rating is really because it expands access at least in the Democratic or Developing Countries.  And the appeal around that is becoming a very emotional one.  But so the question, I mean I think we have covered this before.  What do people actually get access to? 

It's often commercial and well guarded.  Among the things I was really wondering yesterday where that would go is, another Civil Society organization, coding rights, released this fabulous guide on how to send nude selfies securely.  I thought, where will something like that go if people get access to the Internet mostly through Zero-Rating?

I doubt there will be many companies, either Telecos or intermediaries willing to take onboard that content, especially in more conservative countries.  This of course is the question of what it does to the Internet in general, the innovation debate, et cetera.

What I found really interesting is that at least in the context of India, Facebook has been arguing for example, that the figures have not been shown publicly, but what has been quoted to me at least, is almost 50% of people actually convert from Free Basics or Internet or open and Internet within a month.  I thought that was really interesting data; because if that is the case, then clearly, the access barrier is not really about financial issues but about something else.  Within a month, one contact that conversion rated.

If it's really just about awareness, then maybe there is other ways we can deal with this.  In any case, within the context of India, the limited evidence that exists and there is a particular research study by researcher called Amber Cock (sp) which showed actually people who do not have access to the Internet at all, prefer to have access for a limited time to the entire Internet rather than to have access to Zero-Rating packs.

Packs for especially things like WhatsApp and FACEBOOK were popular among college‑going students who in any case had Internet, for example, at school.  But not among people who did not have any other access points.  So, the indication of the need is clearly a different one.

Zero-Rating also has to be seen, I think, in the larger debate about what kind of incentives are needed to make sure that everybody gets access to the full Internet at some point in time.  And I'm really worried, and this is I guess quite a contextual question, but definitely in the context of India, I'm really worried that seeing Zero-Rating as the solution for the access problem is actually going to remove the incentives for both Telecos and governments to find any other solutions to provide universal access.

So, we might end up in a situation where we have a two‑tiered Internet.  I think that is important to remember in the context of our countries because we have two‑tier access to many other things, health, access to education is steered.  Increasing like a city like deli, access to clean air is steered.  This is a realistic trend.  Among the big barriers in India is among other things, and I'm specifically talking about that context now, the whole issue of spectrum auctions and use and the use of spectrum.  But, that is obviously a much more complex debate it is much more difficult to get broad public support even just to explain what the issues are.

We recognize that for Telecos, for example, that is a challenge, and that things really need to move there.  So perhaps that is where we should start to focus more of our energy in terms of moving forward specifically when it comes to access.

Just one final point I wanted to make is that I'm also getting increasingly concerned that where these Zero-Rated services are provided by governments or by ‑‑ that we get to very clean version of the Net in many of our countries where it becomes more and more difficult for people to exploit the earlier empowering potential of the Internet that we have seen. 

And so, then you get, which I call the single model, where there is perhaps a lot of provision of services, things that are really important for people's social and economic in some ways but it does not really promote the exercise of Human Rights by people in the way that the Internet allowed earlier.

I think that is a very dangerous road to go down.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thanks, Anja.  I was preparing a lot of questions for Bruno at the beginning but I think I will totally refer to give you the mic.

>> BRUNO MAGRANI: Thank you for the invitation.  I wanted to start my presentation by my remarks by emphasizing that recent survey that the President's Office in Brazil released in the beginning of the year.  It was fascinating to me because many times when we discuss connectivity, a lot of focus of the debate has been on lack of infrastructure, but when we see the data ‑‑ so I'll start with the data. 

The question that was asked by the President's Office in Brazil was why are people not online?  And they asked people like, who did not have access, why you're not connected?  And the top four reasons why people were not connected were, lack of interest, 43%.  Lack of skills of how to use a computer, 41%.  Lack of need for the Internet, 24%.  14% is because it is too expensive.

So, and this connects very well to the data that we have seen globally, which is that many of the problems related to why people are not online are because awareness and cost.  And Facebook has been working on several initiatives to try to bring more connectivity to people all around the world.  But there is like one of the programs that has attracted a lot of attention and I'm going to focus on that one.  That's the one called Free Basics.

So, Free Basics aims to try to solve the problem of awareness.  So it is designed not to keep people or to give people a limited Internet, but rather to show some of the Internet to people so that could be a ramp to the broader Web.  The program will fail if people just stay within the limited services that are offered to them because it won't be sustainable for Telecos.  It doesn't make sense for Facebook, not even for commercial standpoint, because the version of Facebook that is there among the many services that are offered to people has no ads.  The data usage there is very, very limited.  The only data that is collected and used is aggregated data to show what are the service that is people are using the most.  So there is no usage of data for serving ads for anything like that.

So, the program ‑‑ so first, it is a known ramp to the Web.  That is the main thing I want to emphasize.  And the reason for that again, is to solve the issues I just described.  So this is the President's office survey saying that many people are not connected because they lack the interest or lack the need for the Internet.

So, the other thing that I want to emphasize is that, so Facebook has been engaging with many stakeholders all around the world and listening to people a lot.  So, actually the new name, Free Basics, it was proof of that.  So, some people had concerns about that the name could be misleading so we listened to it and we changed name to become Free Basics.

So, the other thing that people were saying was that, why does Facebook get to pick and choose who gets to be there?  So, the other change that we made to the program was to open the platform for any developer who meets some technical criteria.  And why did we need some technical criteria?  Very simply, because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to convince Telecos to offer those services for free. 

So, those criteria actually emphasize data efficiency.  So I mean of course Telecos cannot afford to give a lot of data for free for people.  The other thing that it emphasized is, it requires applications to show people the broader Internet, or to create incentives for people to move to the broader Internet. 

So, again to emphasize the idea that this is a known ramp.  We do not want people to be there.  And Asia already mentioned some of the data we have that is fascinating, which was we actually saw that 50% of people who got access to Free Basics, they moved to the broader Internet within the very first 30 days after they got the first experience with the service.

So, what that means is, of course we can think that some people have access to the Internet and they can't afford it, some people have no interest for the Internet and they can afford it and some people don't have any interest and they can't afford.  So there is a slice of people here who could be online but they are not because they don't know the benefit of the Web.  And that is why the program was designed this way.

So, I want to keep it short but just one final thing.  I really want to emphasize that we truly need more data to support one argument or another, and I think we are really missing data in this debate.  So, Facebook has been trying to bring more and more of that data and we welcome people who can bring more data to the table.  And the same way we adjusted the program after we heard like some criticism, so we will be willing to make some adjustments once we see the data.  But, we really need to see the data.

And one really final thing, I think it is fascinating to see like all this variety of programs to try to get connectivity to people.  We need to allow experimentation and innovation in that part as well because otherwise we will be blocking potentially good urban official programs without even knowing whether they make sense or not.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you, Bruno.  So, next in line is Nanjira.

>> NANJIRA SAMBULI: So, I look at it as a couple of things; one being this period of the Internet, which is a couple of things to me, which is an ability to connect, to create, to consume, to contribute.  And in this conversation about obviously bridging the digital divide and not just because there are people who are offline, the point that my colleague here raised that the same inequalities or the same tiered access we see offline, will be perpetrated on line.  That doesn't mean however, we should sacrifice some of the spirit of the Internet along the way in creating versions of the Internet that will not ‑‑ will still keep some people locked out of access much in the same way they have already been locked out on the best health care or the best education there is to offer offline.  For me, this is a question when we talk about Zero-Rating as a principle. 

Of course various aspects of how Zero-Rating is done but the problematic issue is who gets to do it and what does that mean for the versions they create?  Do they become the gate peepers?  This is not trying to point out Facebook, which is usually the first go to platform to talk about mostly because of prominence, but also what Wikimedia‑Zero and other platforms and other people will definitely do this.

One question is asking Jorge earlier, is Wikipedia, your SMS friends is a fantastic idea, but if I'm reading say, the story of my people via SMS and there is a factual error, how do I correct it?  How do I correct it?  So, we have given a version of the Internet that is accessible but does not give people right to create in their own way, to correct as well.  And so this spirit of the Internet, however we decide to do Zero-Rating, must be upheld, I think.  So, that we are not in a situation where we are throwing the baby with the bathwater, but we are giving the spirit of the Internet.

I'm here because I use the Internet and I'm also able to push back on a narrative that say CNN will have about my country.  But if I was in a version of the Internet that only allows me to consume that stuff and not push back, then you know, I'm locked out of correcting narratives.

So, there is obviously the dangers of perpetrating one aspect of notion, the content creators who gets to interact?  Do people get to interact in a way that they are pushed back on content is also part of this Zero-Rated access aspect.

One question around the statistics also on the Free Basics model.  The numbers keep growing which is interesting.  But, are they staying off Free Basics?  Or are they just going to watch a video that was popular and then going back into ‑‑ for lack of a better world, the World Garden?  So, my point being, the statistics being par aided need to have the whole picture.  And right now, Facebook is the only entity that can give us a true picture.

I don't know if there are any content creators on Free Basics, it will be great to hear from you.  What are you seeing about the content you placed?  I know entities like UNICEF are a global partner.  What are you seeing about the consumption of the content placed on platforms like Free Basics?  Do you get access to the statistics? Are people demanding more?  What are the analytics you get to know what people are demanding? 

So again, the point being, the spirit of the Internet however we decide to go about access for the next billion, should also have their voices in it.

One of the things that was worrying for me is the next billion are mostly hypothesized and theorized but their voices are completely lacking from this.  Who has done design thinking sessions with them to ask, you heard of fails book and you want to use Facebook.  Shear a version of Facebook you can use with what you have.  But this is the other version that people experience.

What do you want and how do you want it?  So, I would really like to see going forward, more efforts to bring in the voices of those ‑‑ those would be the next billion and hear their desires of the kind of Internet they also want.  So, thank you very much.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you Nanjira.  So, next is Jorge.

>> JORGE VARGAS: Good morning.  I'm Jorge Vargas and I do policy for the Wikimedia Foundation. 

First of all, I want to clarify people ask, Wikimedia, Wikipedia.  The Wikimedia Foundation is the non‑profit that supports Wikipedia.  We are in the background but the true actors of the story are a community of volunteers that edit and contribute back to Wikipedia, 70 million plus people that dedicate their free time to invest in contribution to free knowledge, reusable knowledge.  We are just supporters there.  The Wikimedia Foundation developed Wikimedia‑Zero as part of the mission we have.  We have a very clear mission of accessing or providing or empowering communities around the world to the sum of all knowledge, which is Wikipedia and the other knowledge projects so the foundation supports those

We want people to partake in the sum of all knowledge, hence it's in our DNA too.

Care about people to access or empower reach to the access to this information.  For this, we developed Wikimedia‑Zero three years ago.  We currently are working with 72 mobile operators providing free access to Wikipedia via mobile site, any App that accesses Wikipedia.  And we are already in 63 countries.

Our goal is to increase the reach of Wikipedia.  Our mission is to empower communities to partake in the sum of knowledge.  We want penal to be able to access and read Wikipedia but also to contribute back.  We believe that people should also be able to edit.  People should also believe allowed to give back on their knowledge and we care for that in Wikimedia‑Zero.

We do our deals or partnerships in a very special way.  We do it the Wikipedia way.  We do it completely transparently.  Our contract is online.  We have a template online that people can consult how we do it.  We guarantee that there are no short‑term promotions.  We seek our partners are doing this for a minimum amount of time.  We discuss with the volunteer community in the ground who are the voice of the people that we are planning to serve, or intending to serve.  We hear their voices.  See the program makes sense for them.

And most importantly, we develop but what we have would cap the operating principles.  We believe Zero-Rating in itself is not something that could be right or wrong.  Zero-Rating could be done responsibly.  Hence, we developed key 10‑framework principles in which we think we will operate in alignment with Net Neutrality principles and the open Internet in general.

Part of those operating principles is talking about no exclusivity, no essential payments of any kind, no commercial bundles.  Wikipedia cannot be tied to a commercial bundle and a full experience.  We don't want people to not be able to access the full experience that Wikipedia is providing; hence, we are not required to use a special App.  We do not want people to go through a special funnel.  We want people to just, that are regularly navigating the Internet, when they hit a link to Wikipedia.  It is free.

Affordability is a barrier to access knowledge and information and we believe that it is that barrier is still up, Wikimedia‑Zero is still relevant.  We believe people should still have access to know and information.  There is this free repository of knowledge there that people should be able to access and if affordability is still an issue, we can still be able to destroy the barrier via Wikimedia‑Zero.

Hence, with that barrier in mind, we structured the program to promote and support the Net Neutrality and open Internet.  We are non‑profit.  We don't have deep pockets.  We need the open Internet to survive.  So as we said last year in the opinion that we posted about it, we need the open Internet to survive.  Hence, we believe that we need to find a way in which the Zero-Rating model that Wikimedia‑Zero is using is still in alignment with the main and core principles of Net Neutrality.

Second of all, we or I would like to make a clarification.  Wikimedia‑Zero owns a foundation and with our partners.  We are not in partnership with any other Zero-Rating platforms, including Free Basics.  We believe that Zero-Rating could be done responsibly and we have our own approach.  Other models serve the same mission, however, we believe that the privacy of the users and the open Web should be protected at all‑time, hence we are not completely aligned with the way Free Basics does compared to our operating principles and hence, we are not in a partnership with any other Zero-Rating platform out there.

However, we know Wikipedia is part of Free Basics and that's part of the magic that free licensing provides.  Any third party can take Wikipedia content and incorporate it into a platform, such as Free Basics, third party developer Apps.  So, as long as the content is freely‑licensed, the license continues to be reused and any third party can use it and that is the magic of free licensing.  That's the magic of Wikipedia

Finally, I want to end up my first interception with an open invitation.  We feel we developed a starting point.  We give a first tab of what responsible Zero-Rating should look like but we want to do this in the Wikipedia way.  We think we should be doing this collaboratively.  We developed this initial ten key points that we believe will allow a Zero-Rating platform to be in compliance with Net Neutrality principles and in alignment with the open Internet.  However, we are open and we have been open since the beginning of the program, to what people have to say about them.

  We consult with the community.  We have consulted with industries, stakeholders, we consulted with Net Neutrality advocates and policy and activists in general to find a way in which we can find a way to clarify this gray area where we believe Wikimedia‑Zero has to exist in a way in which Zero-Rating is being done responsibly, protecting the open Internet, but at the same time serving our mission, which is providing access to free knowledge and information.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you, Jorge.  Very insightful points.  So, there is a lot of questions around in my mind about the role of Governments.  That would be super interesting to have it on the table but sadly, as I said, it wasn't the case.  So if there is anybody in the audience from the government, I encourage you to just join the conversation somehow.

And other open questions are regarding really connected with what Nigeria said in terms of how the Zero-Rating practices can or not preserve the principles of an open Internet.  I think there is a lot of open questions from the audience.  It's impossible to talk about any issue regarding Net Neutrality and Civil Righting in Developing Countries in the 45 minutes left in this discussion.  But, the good news is that now the floor is open. 

So, I really would like to open the conversation with the rest of the audience.  So please, please go to the mics out there.  We have 45 minutes left so I really encourage you to be very straight to the point, please.  Go there.  So, if there is any questions please have a line there.  You can use that microphone if you're in that general spot.  Questions?  We have one question here.  1, 2, 3, 4 ‑‑ can you please go to the mic, please?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm Mike with the Art Street Institute.  I used to work with the Wikimedia Foundation and worked for some of the ‑‑ helped to plant some of the seeds that eventually have become to my great pleasure, Wikimedia‑Zero.

  My question is, after the United States Federal Communications Commission dealt with the Net Neutrality issue this year, it was ‑‑ it seemed to be the case that Net Neutrality activists around the world were inspired by what the Federal Communications Commission had done, but I noticed when I read the opinion that the FCC excluded Zero-Rating services from regulation.  It seemed to be the case that the Commission majority believed that there was at least open questions about whether Zero-Rating is anticompetitive or necessarily is helpful or, but they also allowed it may be helpful in providing access in one way or another.  I wonder if this decision for Net Neutrality activists, and I have been a Net Neutrality activist as well as an encyclopedia lawyer. 

I wonder if the panelists have some comment on what the Commissions or what is come out of the United States with regard to both being for Net Neutrality and allowing Zero-Rating to happen?

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I'm from NGO in Bangalore and my question is also with regard to Wikimedia/Wikipedia.  I think I would like to ask you if in India, there is a local community ‑‑ there is a local community of act visits of knowledge, they want to organize local Canada knowledge in a certain manner in a certain way and certain framework which they find not very good about Wikipedia's framework.  They want to have their own framework and they want to promote a platform of local languages sources.  How do you see that particular initiative competing with yours which also has a local language?  And of course the question would have been asked to you many times before that if there was Encyclopedia Britanica now and they had Zero-Rating and you were trying to emerge as Wikipedia.

What affect it would have had on you and it goes to that famous saying, I don't agree with the person next to me but I would defend his right to speak.  I think Wikipedia should be defending the right of the new and different kind of initiatives trying to organize knowledge and step out of exclusive Zero-Rating services.  I don't know what your temperances are, which makes them comply with Net Neutrality but any kind of gate keeping of Teleco who chooses which content goes in, if all content goes in, there is no Zero-Rating.  It is free Internet, and free Internet is very, very fine. 

So, I don't know what those principles are but how does that integrate any new initiative which is trying to organize language locally, which can't compete with Wikipedia because of that, thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.  So, can you please introduce yourself?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Name is Plumber (sp) with the Electronic Frontier.  My question is, is the Wikimedia Foundation able to get Zero-Wiki from free for universal usefulness?  Imagine that Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp have to pay for bringing their services to Zero-Rating so related to parameters.

>> ALISON GILLWALD: My name is Alison Gillwald from the research ICT Africa.  It's a think tank based in Capetown which is a Africa‑wide network, 20 countries.  We also collect pricing data for 46 countries, tens of thousands of products every month.  And I'm always interested in how big the Zero-Rating issue has become because among the biggest products that are available and the way people of accessing the Internet, in Africa, zero rating is just one of many things and relatively small at the moment.  I mean, everything is bundled.  People aren't buying 4‑Band plans as they discussed here.

 I really think when I hear the conversations about the concerns about it, and the sense that this is something that is locked into for in perpetuity, is very strange; because as we see it in what is happening out in the countries, looking in the markets we are looking at, these are short‑term marketing strategies that sometimes have pro‑competitive affects, not anti‑competitive affects, looking at or depending on who you're looking at.

So, a small Teleco going into a relationship with big platform like Facebook. For example, allows them to increase their market share and compete effectively and push down prices.  So, there is a whole lot of ‑‑ I think it is really important.  This is understood in the broader context of delivering services.  And the different harms that are identified or not, are addressed individually with different particular instruments.  So, if it is just an issue of access, the implication of saying these services aren't giving you the full Internet, is that we are therefore going to keep people off the Internet? 

If these are access points, entry points, gateways into the Internet and we are saying they are not the full Internet, therefore they should not be permitted.  The affect is that essentially us who are online are deciding who is offline should be accessing services or not.  Rather make them all available.  And the other point I wanted to make, the final point, also Zero-Rating is treated as a single way that people are accessing the Internet.  Zero-Rating is part of multiple strategies that poor people use to access the Internet. 

So, accessing the Internet when they can through social networks which I'm really sorry but the evidence indicates that social networks drive Internet take-up.  People don't rush out and buy packages and that to access government services.  If they are there they will chaises them as well.  And they are using those essential networks as cost strategies communicate with their local communities.  They are not speaking to the wider Internet.  That's not to say they shouldn't be or they can't be and that some people are, but that is how those packages are being used.  And then people move from that package on to an open Wi‑Fi network for example, and download the videos, yes.

  They aren't just going to download videos on their own package or public Wi‑Fi and then they go to school and get further Internet as well.  And it's expanding all the time.  So, the notion that people are only access Internet through Zero-Rated packages.  It is a cost strategy but not the only point of access.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.  So, you and then Pranesh.

>> ROGER MATHEWS:  Thank you.  My name is Roger Matthews from CO Cellular Operators of India.  We represent 80% of revenue of the total mobile operators in India, the majority of the mobile operators.  So first of all, just a few data points that I'd like for the panelists to consider, first is that network totality, everybody agrees with it.  Nobody that I heard of is object to network totality.  The issue is Zero-Rating or subsidized plans be correlated with this?  And/or ought not to be for reasons articulated?  For one thing this is the tail that is beginning to wag the dog.  Less than 1% of the total revenue of our operators comes from Zero-Rating‑type programs. 

Secondly, let me also say that we must articulate the context in which some of these decisions are being made.  For example, when 95% of the total subscribers in your networks are pre‑paid, not post‑paid, the choice parameters become extremely critical.  Let me just say that when you look at the pre‑paid environment in India, 43% of every renewal in a month or a period of time is 10 rupies or less.  That's less than 001 cents.  53% or so is 50 rupies or less, close to a dollar.  The average rupi is close to 2.50 dollars.  So I think without looking into those parameters and arguing about Zero-Rating as the big thing that is out there, is I think content.

  So, I think the point to be made is that we must in these situations look at the point of sale.  The point of sale is what certainly in India from our experience of operators, drives the selection.

  Now it's not the fault of Facebook and Google and YouTube they have got recognition.  When consumers go to the point of sale, they don't ask for the Internet.  They ask for these programs.  And they get loaded on at the point of sale on the handset side.  We must look at what handset manufacturers are also doing to embed these stored types of choices in terms of points.

So, that is one thing that again missing in these types of discussions.  So again, please look at it in the pre‑paid environment where 95% is there, where rupies are low and point of sale are critical in terms of choices and saying that Zero-Rating ought to be a choice.  We keep talking about consumer choice.  Nowhere in India do we say that this is the only choice.  Affordability is key to our markets and we make Internet affordable.  We continue to strive to do so.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you very much.  Insightful points.  So, we have a lot of questions from the remote table out there.  So, I will pass the mic to the next four questions.  Please go straight to the point because we are 35 minutes and 30 seconds left on the session.  So, please go straight to the point to be able to en case the conversation with the rest of the Panelists at the end.  Pranesh, please.

>> REMOTE MODERATOR: Thank you for the opportunity, Chair.  The first two is from Larry from Zimbabwe.  And he said, Zero-Rating has resulted in the conversation in Zimbabwe leading towards free infrastructure and sharing among local service providers lead by government.  This could lead towards protecting meaning that the Internet again becomes less open.  Where is the balance between knowledge and fight for ultra-local innovation?

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Is that the only question from the remote participation?

>> REMOTE MODERATOR: The second one is from Zimbabwe too.  The thing is, Zero-Rating is an advantage to companies that can get the Zero-Rating.  But, what happens in Developing Countries where a select number of mobile Apps and aren't Zero-Rated?  What happens to the uptake and use of those Apps that are not Zero-Rated?  It feels like the creation of unfair advantage.  Everyone should have a chance to showcase their product on equal footing.  This is my thinking.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: All right.  So thank you.  So Pranesh, you can go please.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH:  Pranesh for the Centre of the Internet and Society.  It is unfortunate that they didn't define the parameters to Zero-Rating as to what different panelists consider what is Zero-Rating and what isn't.  Some people for instance, serve specific packs for Zero-Rating and those sitting across the table from me does not.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Not necessarily.  Let's not ‑‑ more discussions needed.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH:  Some other people do not consider zero specific packs to be Zero-Rating and told me so.  And in India, the market to care for people are not opting for service-specific packs.  So, when you're talking about Zero-Rating it is also a question about what is the regulatory response to it.  So what should be the banning?  How should be the regulating?  What kinds of regulations between doing nothing and banning could be doing?  It's those questions and those I don't think we are really addressed.

There are very many different kinds of Zero-Rating.  There is unpaid ‑‑ and they have different levels of harm.  There is unpaid essentially ISP subsidized Zero-Rating, the model that is being followed by both Wikipedia and by Free Basics.  Those present a whole different set of potential harms.  Much less in my opinion, than subsidized content provider subsidized Zero-Rating which is very different again from Zero-Rating that enables vertical integration, clearly anti‑competitor, Zero-Rating that is exclusive, which is clearly anti‑competitor, it could be banned versus Zero-Rating of Governmental services.

So, there are very many different kinds of Zero-Rating.  Let's not talk about just ‑‑ there can be a response to it.

Further, the question of privacy was brought up.  There are forms of equal rating which is providing free Internet access or free Web access such as Web Pass, which have the same set of privacy concerns; because these privacy concerns happen any time you have a proxying service for accessing the Web, which Web Pass is how it is. So, it's Equal-Rating but it is still raises the privacy concerns.  So, it's not just something you need to Zero-Rating. 

Lastly, very quick point on two‑tiered access.  So, fast Internet is also two‑tiered access.  If we provide free but slow Internet to everyone, that is still discriminates because people on that free Internet can't have access to video content, can't have access to things which require large bandwidth.  That itself is two‑tiered access.  There is no such thing at neutral Internet access.  It's a question of what kind of neutrality are we talking about?  And access to education was brought up by Anja.  And that is tiered. 

Well, we don't say that free education provided in government schools because it is low‑quality, should now be banned because poor people deserve the same right to education as rich people.  We don't say that free should be banned because of that.  We say we have to improve the quality, right?  And other kinds of models. 

So, banning as a knee‑jerk reaction to Zero-Rating is something I greatly caution against.  We have to think of it in terms of competition, in terms of consumer harms and benefits and access to rights which is also enabled by Zero-Rating.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.  So we have three more questions and then I pass the mic to the rest of the panelists and I think we will have time for another round, very short round.  Please.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Carlos from Mexico.  It is a privacy concern.  In Mexico, we have this ISPs we are ashamed to say they were using added communications in companies to make a deep participation on zero networks to allow them block, in this case Skype. 

I have come close to some representatives of some companies who are being Zero-Rated and of course, I have come to close to ISPs asking them, can you transparent what are the tools of your using to make this kind of discrimination?  I know that it is not in every single-traffic management.  I know it is not needed always, but can you make it transparent?

If you are making a case for Zero-Rating, in all these topics, that's your interest probably, I think, because the part opposes this kind of tools, will say, well, it is in your interest.  Go and make it transparent.  And the answer I have received is, there is no way.  It is a nondisclosure agreement on this.  The application we don't receive any money for this but well, we cannot do it transparent.  So it is a question to the ISPs and applications in Zero-Rating.  Can you make it transparent in how do you make it in a technical way?

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Hi.  Josh Levy from Access Now.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: There is another mic that is maybe better for you.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I sound so much better now.  So, just on the FCC.  I wanted to comment.

This is a comment here that the FCC's new open Internet rules don't ban Zero-Rating.

That is true but they leave an opening for people to flag potential violations and we actually this week have a potential violation because T‑Mobile in the U.S. has decided to Zero-Rate video applications widely, like Netflix, YouTube, which is causing quite a lot of concern among community there in the U.S.

So, I wanted to clarify there is an opening for people in the U.S. to flag those kinds of violations and potentially ban those practices.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: You didn't represent yourself, but still.

>> JOSH LEVY:  Josh Levy, Access Now.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Matthew Shares (sp) with the Center for Democracy and Technology.  This has been a great discussion.  What it highlights is the difference of understanding what the benefits and harms are of Zero-Rated services.  We are undertaking a extensive study of the different types of Zero-Rating services and what we have come to realize is it is very difficult to affectionately assess those benefits and harms if one looks at it in a narrow isolated sense.  What you really have to do is as some of the other said, look at that as a market.

  What impact has Zero-Rating services on the market?  And the question I'd like the panelists to answer is, how important is it to look at the market distorting effects of Zero-Rated services when it comes assessing the benefit and the harms of the services?  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: A lot of questions.  And I would like to pass the mic to in the same order.  You agree?  Good.

>> JUAN JUNG:  Thank you, Claudio.  Some colleagues and some questions we are talking about the risk and the dangers or the harm as a result of Zero-Rating.  We must take into account that we may have different models for Zero-Rating and the key issue as I told previously is to be sure that no actor that could eventually have significant market power in one segment of the digital system is able to distort competition to level from that position.  We must avoid that.

Also, I prefer not to talk about limits of contents of Zero-Rated.  I prefer to talk about different pricing skins of frameworks of the services.  About the specific harms that some colleagues were talking, there is important research, academic research paper written by Russ Layton.  She studied Zero-Rated had negative affects harming consumers and competition levels.  She studied a sample of data from a sample of countries.  She specifically found no evidence that Zero-Rated will prevent the emergence of new applications and services.  So, it keeps Internet as a space open to innovation.  And she found no evidence that users do not go beyond Zero-Rated.  That it is also one of the risks that was mentioned here.

So, I think we must promote Zero-Rated services being aware of the risks and keeping all the measures that we need to prevent any distortion of the competition, and we do it that way we can connect billions of people.  We can benefit the quality of life of a lot of people having access through e‑Government, to e‑Health, e‑Education, to Wikipedia also, and we are keeping the principles of Internet, the spirit of the Net Neutrality principles and keeping Internet as a space open to innovation.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you, Juan.  So Anja, would you like to have remarks?

>> ANJA KOVACS: Thank you, Claudio.  I'm going to not directly answer any questions but I want to make a comment which speaks to many of the comments, especially those that were raised about actually a really small part of the market, why this has become such a big issue?  Should we really be so concerned then?  And I think here it is really important to look at context again.  Initially, there was a service in India called, Airtel Zero.

  Airtel is an ISP, which actually went under the radar for a really long time.  There were a few people who were talking about the Zero-Rating and the Net Neutrality debate but not very many.  Only it became an issue after the regulator issued a report that seemed very biased against Net Neutrality in favor of Zero-Rating, in favor of certain Internet‑related businesses.  And in the context of the campaign that followed, the questions about Internet take also became much stronger. 

So, I think it is important to realize that there was a context in which a lot of people felt that the free and open Internet is under threat for everyone.  And Zero-Rate playing a crucial role in the people who wanted to close it down. 

So, if you then see the enormous amounts of money that Facebook has been throwing to promote Free Basics, when our Prime Minister went to Silicon Valley, Facebook actually supported 50 journalists to fly to the U.S. in business class, put them up, the journalists wrote objective stories.  That was not the issue.  But, you should have seen the media coverage on the daily basis of this initiative,  connected with the fact that our Prime Minister was there, that he met Facebook as well, et cetera,  et cetera.  You get bumped with a massive information that all says the same thing.  And that comes back to my earlier point.

  If we just look ‑‑ and this is also why I personally am concerned also by the Wikipedia initiative.  If you look at it only in the very narrow short‑term way, then yes, obviously, for people to get access to information is great.  But there is a larger structural issue going on.  And the Zero-Rating debate fits into that.  And I think we should not close our eyes to that because 10 years down the line, we will regret. 

Mike, on your question on the FCC thing, I wasn't fully sure whether you meant to ask whether the fact that Zero-Rating was left somewhat open in the FCC ruling was something that people in the Developing Countries paid attention to?

>> PANEL MEMBER: I wasn't asking whether people paid attention to it because my belief is that I don't think many people pay attention to FCC detailed rulings anyway.  But, my specific question was, we know that the FCC broadly adopted a pro‑Net Neutrality framework.  Net Neutrality activists around the world agreed about that.  I actually agree with Josh about the fact that yes, the FCC also left open the possibility of regulating Zero-Rating service that acts anti‑connectivity and anti-consumer way.  And I think that is important to recognize that FCC did not choose categorically to ban Zero-Rating but chose actually indicated, and I think it's proper to say it this way.  The FCC said these are the things that we will be looking at in Zero-Rated services.  But we are not categorically banning that.  I wanted to ask if you had a response to that because it was not a categorical judgment about Zero-Rating.

>> ANJA KOVACS: I think in terms of the FCC judgment, the main thing that people in India talked about is the fact that some of the big intermediaries seem to take a different stance in the context of American discussions than Indian discussions.  So, but overall, the basics of the judgment were inspiring and I think that was important. 

Just one final comment.  So, I'm clearly concerned about Zero-Rating as such.  I do think there is still a debate to be had about what the response should be.  There is a possibility of regulatory restrictions but perhaps to the better to put incentives elsewhere, and that is also apparent to recognize.  Not because people are concerned about Zero-Rating that we necessarily only see one response. 

But again, coming back to the point that depends on what form Zero-Rating takes, where the harms lie, et cetera.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.  Bruno, do you have anything?

>> BRUNO MAGRANI: Thank you, Claudio.  So, I wanted to make some comments.  So, first it was mentioned that Zero-Rating could potentially remove incentives for governments or companies to continue to invest on the Internet or infrastructure.  I think that is wrong because once we get more and more people online and if you think about Zero-Rating programs as a strategy to actually get more people to use the Internet, then more people you have, the more subscribers and more economic incentives you have for Telecos or operators to invest in infrastructure.

So, about the FCC rules.  I totally agree with your remark in terms of that ‑‑ and with the rule itself and that is one of the things we have been saying in Brazil as well.  You shouldn't ban that.  You should analyze case‑by‑case and see whether it makes sense for that particular-type arrangement or business to continue to be offered or not.  So, I think the risk there is that if we ban Zero-Rating, just because like we think it is bad, so we could potentially exclude like very interesting ways of expanding connectivity to people.

So the other thing I want to clarify was someone mentioned that Facebook and YouTube or Google probably pay to have its services Zero-Rated and going back to that point.  There are various ways that these programs are offered zero Free Basics, specifically, Facebook does not pay anything for operators to offer their services.  And more than that, it is actually not ‑‑ it is different from offering Facebook-Zero.  It's an open platform.  So, Free Basics, anyone who meets the technical criteria that is there can offer their services through Free Basics to anyone.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: I think we will have another round, quick round of questions after your remarks.

>> NANJIRA SAMBULI: Since there wasn't one specific one‑handed to me, I know (Indiscernible) is wanting to say her peace.  So let her indeed.  Claudio's per mission.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Sorry.  There was some logistics.  Maybe we will have another round of questions?  So maybe afterwards?  Do you agree with that?  Okay.  Nanjira.

>> NANJIRA SAMBULI: She wants to say something around the contribution.  So, I wanted to pass to her.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Will you agree to do it afterwards?

>> NANJIRA SAMBULI: I go back to how do we still uphold the principles of the spirit of the Internet?  And I think we are starting to have to hypothesize around situations where these services can be co‑opted in political context that may not be conducive to the idea of democracy in that sense.  I don't think we are starting to see that yet and I think there is an honest ‑‑ and especially the Facebook to be open and transparent to the analytics and data as we were talking about earlier, the real risks in terms of partners who meet technical-specific indications, whose content is quite problematic.  So, if that space is not interactive for self‑regulation to be a mechanism, especially by those who are consuming, and if they are consuming and we are on this other version of the Internet and we are not aware to have a healthy exchange, the whole aspect of tiers could get politically dangerous; because if say there is a radical group that is built this platform for a wonderful and meets all the specifications on Free Basics, and it is pushing their content.

  Do the consumers who are on the receiving end of that content, able to push back on it?  And if these people are not operating on the open Internet that we are ‑‑ or the other version of the Internet we are consuming but creating this space where they can push their Agenda, who gets to regulate that?  So, can the users, who are using these platforms, have the same ability to regulate and engage in self‑regulation mechanisms?  Or does that then put us back on Facebook to regulate who puts content beyond the text specifications?  These are some of the considerations we need to map out before we find ourselves in them and you know, we have a whole other situation to deal with. 

So, I think if ‑‑ I don't think Facebook, stop, go home, bad child.  Go home.  It is really to say that if you're stepping into this role, there is going to be a need to change tack because this is taking on a public interest element in this role.  And what has been problematic for me so far is just when the issue of public interest comes up with some of your colleagues, they dance back to, but we area a private organization just trying to make the world a better place.  But, if you're starting to act in public interest, you have to be held to higher standards and I beseech you to be able to be available when called upon to be accountable.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: So, super good questions.  Last comment Jorge?

>> JORGE VARGAS: Please stop me if I go over time.  But, I have a lot of questions.  I'm going to try to address a couple of questions I received mainly into directing people to Wikimedia‑

Wikimedia‑ has our operating principles.  If you have doubts who is our partner, there is a list of partners there.  When are we starting the partnership? 

And if you want to learn about developments, if you're confused of whether we are working with another Zero-Rating platform, that clarification is there.  So, talking about the operating principles, I think that I can address two of the questions that were raised. 

   First your question sir, about what would happen or why is the other communicated they wants to do something different, what is our stance about it?  Operating Principle Number 10 says we are open to collaborate with any other public interest site.  Our interests and our mission is just to serve access to knowledge and information.  If we can be a voice for it, awesome.  Ping us.  Let us know what we can do.

   India is a place where we have a powerful community.  Our local community is very empowered.  They hear they want to do things.  I'm very curious and would love to learn a little bit more why they concern their local languages cannot be represented for what Wikipedia is doing for instance.  Maybe have a chat or start it.  If that dresses your question, I hope it does, although I'm not sure.

About payment, one of the operating principles states we do not exchange payments of any kind.  We do not give any kind of payment.  We do not give any payment.  We do not receive any payments.  So, I hope that that addresses your question.

Someone brought up the pack inspection.  I believe it was Carlos.  On our end, we care a lot about privacy.  We have a very strong privacy policy.  Our privacy policy was built with the community.  We started a draft in the community ed, started consultation in which comments started to be received.  We created a privacy policy that cares for the user at the end.  Helps, when we do Zero-Rating and when we do Wikimedia‑Zero, our carriers are not doing any deep pack inspection.  The way in which we are doing Zero-Rating, we were not collecting any data at all.  We are giving our IP ranges and if I'm getting too technical, Carlos, we can talk later.

  But, we are giving our IP ranges to the carrier for them to be able to identify what are the Wikipedia sites that should be Zero-Rated and white listed but beyond that we are not collecting data.  We don't have any cookies.  We are just trying to serve a mission that is providing access.

It's important look at the market, yes, of course.  One of the things that we have to care for is the market that we're serving actually in need of this.  It is affordability issue there.  It is something that we have to address in the short‑term.  In the long term, maybe going towards Anja's comments.  We have to look at the large affect for sure.  But at the end of the day, we believe that our mission is to serve access to knowledge and information.

This is a free repository of information there.  People have the need to it, why not destroying the barrier and give that access right?  I like want to share a short story that usually where there is a Keynote or speaker about NetZero, we share like 2012, a high school in South Africa, got together and wrote a letter to every carrier in the country asking for Wikimedia‑Zero.  They saw how they could be helped by providing free access to Wikipedia on their mobile phones. 

They wrote an open letter to all the carriers in the country requesting access to Wikipedia.  Fortunately, one of our carriers responded and we started a partnership with us.  That's just to show that there is a need.  There is people out there that have a problem accessing information because affordability.  If this can solve the problem, yes.  Is this going to be a long term issue, we hope not.  We hope the Internet is free at some point.  We hope the Internet gets affordable in every country in the world as soon as possible.  But, in the meantime, if we can provide and serve our mission with Wikimedia‑Zero, we believe we can do that responsibly.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you Jorge and all the panelists.  We have nine minutes left so I will pass the mic to the floor again and I'm afraid we will not have time to answer that for obvious reasons but still, I encourage people to just speak out.  So one, two ‑‑ I'm afraid we cannot do it.  So we will then pass the mic there.  Very brief.  We have eight minutes.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Chadra (sp), and I'm a student in India conducting studies and interest on rated platforms.  The idea the discussion in India is shaped around the Telecom Service Regulators discussion paper alone. 

Having conducted media content analysis of network neutrality and Zero-Rating and media regulatory, it turns out it's not true.  In fact it started when service specific packs in December not in March when there was a biased idea that it was being floated around.

  But the second point I wanted to make is that given the spectrum licensing conditions in India necessarily specify that there is a subscriber link update to how much newer and newer subscribers like you can get and there is a relation to how much more spectrum allocation you can have.  We need to ask ourselves if we do want to have more and more spectrum allocated do these mobile providers, can we have more and more subscribers added via Zero-Rating which is something that data seems to suggest all throw I'm interested to know the methodology you used to conduct that study in terms of what access to the open Internet is.

>> ANJA KOVACS: I want to clarify.  I wasn't talking about media coverage.  I was talking about public debates.  It is crucial to shift policy.

>> PANEL MEMBER: Depends on what you mean by public debate, ma'am.

>> PAZ PENA:  There is always a problem with this.  Just a few quick points.  I'm sorry I was not here earlier.  We keep getting bogged down on neutrality of the net.  It is a indefinite term.  I do believe in equality and integrity.  Neutrality gives ‑‑ it's like motherhood and American Pie.  Everybody is favor of it but their own versions of whichever recipe they like.  So to limit that discussion to one version doesn't make any sense.  The other thing is, we are not putting our resources to fight one company or one particular thing.  It is just that it represents something so that we can have a discussion.  Now, rightly named by Facebook and not at, it has many other efforts and we are all very, very eager and keen to work for private players to come and work on access issues.  But shear a bad idea.  You have ten ideas, why not drop the bad idea and let's work on the other nine issues so we don't waste our time talking about all this stuff.

The other thing I really, really have been in many rooms now and I have been doing this for some time.  I get really peeved and I'm not peeved.  I'm very surprised that when I go to an idea where everyone is from the privileged world, privacy is so important and free speech and expression is so important and everything else, oh, my God, the Internet has to respect all of these.  These issues, are they only relevant if I am in the European Code of Justice's Jurisdiction or waive an American passport.  Do these vaporize in thin air when I'm from ‑‑ and I have the skin color I have and come from the country I do come?  Why do they disappear?  Why are these frameworks only about one day in fair competition, the other day about access and the third day perhaps about something else?

There are various frameworks.  There is distortion of market, which the paper makes sense it does talk about the many things.

And the problem in these various designs, they are defective by designs because they are proxies.  They are defective by design.  You can do, you can fix one technical glitch.  You can never ever say that the financial service I'm working on, that certificate I'm getting, I can't confirm it.  I can confirm for the middle man, yes, that part is done.  But we all know in any common sense or expert will tell you, Internet is as strong as the weakest link.  So let's have ‑‑ these are discussions and why you have them right now is because the problem is, things get entrenched once.  Everybody forgets and next year, another issue comes up and we all move on.  And the problems just remain.  It's everywhere.  It's not a slippery slope.  And we are all here to work on access.  We like it.  We like a lot of your efforts.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello I'm Daniel from the University of Washington.  And my question is mostly to Bruno from Facebook.

  Just from your statement, where you discussed that on the one hand Facebook is committed to sharing data about Facebook or invites researchers to look at the end at the same time that Facebook‑Zero or I guess Free Basics is mostly what you were talking about, doesn't have ads. 

So, it doesn't have a value.  But at the same time you're gathering all the data and the data is the value.  And at the same time, Facebook is very difficult to get data from Facebook actually to do research. 

So, I wanted to know if you had any specific plan to share data about Free Basics?  Or whether this would be released to the public in some way?  Or whether there was a framework in mind to talk about this in an open way?  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Maybe should you answer that.

>> BRUNO MAGRANI: Of course.  It's a great question.  So, one of the things I mentioned at the beginning is that Facebook does not collect or use ‑‑ there is very limited data collection and usage whenever people use Free Basics.  I will tell you exactly what that is. 

So, we use aggregated data just to see what are the services that people are using the most.  So that is it.  So we are not using that data.  Unless you're using the Facebook App, which is a different thing.  But, when you're using the Free Basics experience, that is it.  That is aggregated data to see like whether like someone is using more of one service or another.  So, the thing about the data from Facebook – so, we are trying to do that.  We just shared like some recent data that we gathered that 50% of people are on the broader Internet in the first 30 days.  And we are looking forward to share more data in the near future.  And we actually welcome data from other sources and other cities to analyze this thing.

So, I think what we actually need in this debate is actually really more data.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: We are one minute and 45 seconds left.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: George Sadowsky, ICANN.  The term, Zero-Rating is a fairly new term but the concept is old and it's called subsidization.  And one of the reasons that I'm very much in sympathy with the man who said, this is a heterogenous environment, is Zero-Rating isn't all the same.  Government subsidized and non‑for‑profit subsidized, profit‑making organizations subsidized.  They do it for different reasons.  They expect different results.  And I'd like to suggest that maybe one lens which hasn't been mentioned here through which one might look at these issues, is the issues of market organization and economics, antitrust competition legislation in various countries. 

We are dealing with problems that have been extensively discussed before and could probably benefit the discussion could probably benefit from looking through that lens.  In particular, I think Anja's comment is relevant here.  The reason that we have antitrust legislation and competition authorities is that when structures, economic structures deviate from competitive structures, it is important to nip them in the bud and not let them get established to the point where they dominate an industry.  I suggest that for consideration.  Thank you.

>> CLAUDIO RUIZ: Thank you.  So, we are 25 seconds left.  I'm afraid we cannot do it but so sorry.  We need to let the room to another session.  So sorry.  I totally encourage the conversation afterwards.  You know the panelist and ‑‑ so sorry.  I wanted to close the conversation saying again, that we totally invited Governments to this table but they didn't come.  So, because it is so very important to have them onboard but they are not.  So, having said that, thank you to all my panelists.  It was a great discussion.  I really appreciate and encouraged to have this conversation out there.  So, thank you, everyone.