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
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs


2:30 P.M. ‑ 4:00 P.M.


This text is being provided in a rough draft format.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

     This workshop today is aimed at highlighting several of the facets of the network neutrality debate. As the title suggests, network neutrality is from ‑‑ the Internet architecture ‑‑ links the network neutrality architecture to normative concepts. And today to explore the various facets of the network neutrality debate, we have a group of distinguished panelists. So I will start from my left we have Jeremy Malcolm from Consumers International, Frederic Donck from the Internet society, Michele Bellavite from Telecom Italia and ETNO, then Ellen Broad from the International Federation of Library Associations, Roxana Radu from the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Borami Kim from Net Neutrality User Forum of Korea, and then Parminder Jeet Singh from ICT for Change.

     We will start with a brief keynote by Borami Kim and then we will continue with an interactive, hopefully, discussion with our panelists and with the audience. So if at any moment you want to provide your inputs, your standpoint, please raise your hand and you will be able to participate in the discussion. Then when we ‑‑ the final stage of this workshop will be an open discussion when you will be able to post questions directly to the panelists.

     So please, Borami Kim, you can start.

     First, I would like to introduce myself and my Net Neutrality Forum. I have been a lawyer for nine years in the field of ICT. One of my expertise is consumer collective action. I also advise many civil societies regarding consumer rights.

     When we Koreans first face issues of blocking and VoIP, mobile VoIP, we just thought it could be solved very easily because we have very strong regulations about telecommunication. We have collectification about common carriers. So we ‑‑ authorities to take appropriate measures, require the mobile IFP to comply with their duties of their common carriers. But we couldn't get impacted on it. We couldn't get replies from the authorities. So, moreover, the author denied our request to have access to the information regarding the neutrality polices and this is a making process. They claimed that it is in the scope of their discretion. So users don't have any right to have access to the information and decision‑making process.

     In this situation, we have to respond collectively to accomplish our goal for coalition and net neutrality. It had become clear that net neutrality problem should only by our own hand users action. Last year, for at least one year, we had made through educational public lectures and ten times open vendors, and four times legal actions against governments and telecommunication companies. 12 times ‑‑ religious to educate, promote and ensure the end users right in public.

And finally, in this October, the government released the draft management guidelines that we have argued and insisted upon. We think this is a civil victory along the way.

     However, we forum just think that the interesting telecommunication laws cannot completely guarantee the net neutrality principle. There might be already another possibility for relating violations by applying the existing law arbitrarily. So we have to focus that our daily experience in the Internet all over the world and, first ‑‑ and find out the common principles that facilitate it. Every day we can experience free and other ways of communications and users can choose the ways of communications. We can point out the enabling ‑‑ appeal us to enabling this experience, the Internet protocol or Internet architecture.

     But who knows, Internet architecture or protocol may change or evolve in quite different ways from current forms. However, if we have to see the future Internet development in a more Democratic way, we should ensure end users right as a fundamental right. Net neutrality can be relevant to some of the human rights, such as right to privacy, freedom of speech, access to information, access to the Internet. But we thought ‑‑ we don't think it is sufficient.

     Last year, the current human rights coalition public society said the net neutrality issue part of access to the Internet. Net neutrality can be a civil right as fundamental ways, but we have to develop a little more detailed concept of end user right. Actually, we prefer that concept of human right relating net neutrality. So in Korea, the forum of net neutrality working for this ‑‑ together with congress people and we could make some framework regarding modern law for net neutrality by end of this year. Thank you.

How long do I have to do that?

     Thank you. So the origin of the debate, so we sure we talking about the same stuff, that is increasing demands for Internet connection with greater bandwidth. We have growing data showing the annual growth rate for global Internet bandwidth is 40 percent to 50 percent. So that means more pressure on network capacity and agree to the implement and use of congestion management tools and that was at the core of the debate. It struck at management a threat to the open architecture of the Internet.

     Interestingly, network neutrality didn't mean the same thing for different persons in the room at the very beginning. We heard people talking about price, discrimination traffic management, expression, freedom of expression, users ‑‑ so that would be interesting to focus on, I guess, traffic management is what we would be talking about. And more usefully, to try to define what it is you're trying to achieve. And that would be what our user expectation, and that is an Internet where traffic is conveyed in a matter that is ‑‑ to source, content and destination. So that means access shows and transparency.

     We might need to pay attention to some terminology here. We see that there are a great move for many services to IP converge platform; video, VoIP, data, et cetera. So we might need to pay attention how we label this. That would not be the Internet, voice over broadband or IPTV, those are not Internet. So we might also need to come back to definition what Internet is and what it's not.

     So key challenge, traffic management asset. Traffic management is a normal part of an everyday network operation or management. So it's not bad in itself, it's needed because congestion is a feature of the Internet itself.

     Now, of course, it's the way traffic management is done, in which environment, whether it's transparent or not. IETF you mentioned developed standards and protocols which are flexible and transparent. Also for my tele‑conference, traffic management is not a panacea. I mean, adding capacity to the network is the best way to alleviate congestion issues. So let's keep that in mind.

     So, from there I can expand if you want me to do so.

     Yes, it's interesting in deed. As you know, the commission released a draft regulation, regulation on these issues, many issues but those include network neutrality. So to say it in a nutshell, there weren't very good principles in there, especially when you see the user's rights are being recognized and that would be free to access and distribute information and content, et cetera. So it's close to our heart.

     Yes, there are exceptions, and one of those is traffic management. So again, that is closing the loop.

     You mentioned specialized services. Nothing to impede telecom operators to engage Internet services in Europe so far, no one is being recognized formally in the draft regulation. And, yes, there are tensions, or I would say concerns in Europe, especially about how would specialized services co‑exist with the global Internet as we know it provided both are being delivered on the same physical network.

     So my personal concern is that we all ‑‑ we'll always see the Internet deliver in the best effort mode, we should pay attention that it doesn't become least effort Internet. So it's just about how we will see specialized services co‑exist with the best for Internet. So that's certainly the key issue that we would like to discuss today.

     On the other hand, we have a good number of obligations designed at ‑‑ level and member states level for ISPs. So we need to be transparent in contract terms, in terms of communication to customers. So I think the two sides of the market, ISP and consumers, have a good policy framework in the U. There is not much to do about that. There is not much more to do about that.

     The third point I would like to raise is that we do have a competitive marketplace in the European Union, which is also something not directly related to the net neutrality debate, but once you have a competitive marketplace, if you have a problem with any ISP, you're free to terminate your contract and go to another one, which is a further level of ‑‑ which is a further level of protection in terms of consumers ‑‑ in terms of consumer's rights not by low market development, which is also good.

     Now, if we come to the commission's proposal, we're happy. We're happy with it. The problem we have now is that, as you know, when the commission tables a proposal, that it needs to go through the legislature in the European Union. So we have no idea how we can come out at the end of the process. We will work on it and we will try to get as best an outcome as possible. What we like, specifically, is that the new proposal put forward by the commission tries to really move the net neutrality debate from a speculative and idealogical level to a more complete one where consumers are totally protected, their rights are recognized and enforced, obligations and ISPs are even clearer than they were in the previous framework. But we have further ‑‑ basically the provision says providers of content applications and services, and provider of communication services. So the two supply sides of the market should be free to enter into agreements to deliver specialized services with a defined quality of service or dedicated capacity.

     That's basically what the new proposal says. We like it because for the first time we see it recognized by the institutions that we can further ‑‑ that develop a relationship on the supply side, taking into account that within this framework there is no place for blocking, slowing down, berating, discriminating, and all those practices that we're not allowed to do. So that's basically my contribution. We can get deeper into any point.

     So I'll go on my right, Parminder, could you explain to us what could be the benefits of net neutrality policies.

     Secondly, you can always pass off a cheaper Internet. You know if somebody is getting free or very cheap, what's your problem, because they don't have money. So if companies are subsidizing money, there's connection, so what's the problem?

It depends on how see what Internet was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a great vehicle to democratize power and egalitarian new technostructure, new complicated sphere. If you guys remember, this is declaration of principle which talks about an Information Society where everyone can access, create, share information.

     Then to ask, do poor people even create content that they should be very worried about uploaded and given same kind of preference, then you have lost it somewhere idealogically. Again, back to the idealogical level.

     I think we need to go beyond end user right and consumer choices. There are social choices involved here. If you just talk about end‑user and consumer choices, those guys really don't have the time. They need inexpensive network. Let's face it, the point is we want Internet which is inclusive of those people, then we need to make a social choice, a social choice which is captured in public policy. For ‑‑ whether it means economic efficiency or not. That debate has never shifted towards those directions. We need to stop talking about end users and end consumers and the collective requirements of inclusive society. And for that, net neutrality is very important.

     Do I have a minute more?

     So I would like to also know by Ellen, what is important in the context ‑‑ why net neutrality is important in the context of public access to the Internet.

     So libraries have always been interested to access to information and intellectual freedom. So the net neutrality debate is very essential to the perspective of libraries and educators that access to information should be equal regardless of who is delivering the information and who is receiving the information.

     So, the concern for libraries and for educators when we refer to specialized services is that the access of our users, or the access of the public information could be prioritized according to what is of greatest economic benefit to our telecom operators. And I understand that it's a competitive market and that specialized services are something that's under discussion. But when I think about it in terms of, for example, education, libraries, academic libraries, community colleges are increasingly looking at online delivery of courses, either recording, streaming, solely online courses. In the online courses environment, particularly when we are seeing mixed massive open online courses, we're seeing the emergence of both for profit and non‑profit education options. So both Udacity and Corsera are for profit companies, and Google has just partnered with EDEX who are a nonprofit but are going to be able to increase their outreach. Whether our students, for example, it would of preference to them to go for full profit, like Corsera or Udacity because the type of service or access they get through the local university or through a nonprofit option may be ‑‑ they may not be able to afford the specialized services that we refer to.

     So that's kind of in a nutshell in relation to the online environment. I'm happy to refer to it in other senses, but I thought that might be enough.

     So I would like to pass to Jeremy to have some input, some ‑‑ his perspective on how neutral access, free access to third‑party platforms over mobile Internet can affect consumers' experience and consumers' rights. So as you are at the consumers international, maybe you could be extremely helpful with this.

     But the consumer movement is not for low cost at any cost. If it's going to result in a less‑equal network, then we have to look very carefully at it. For example, what I'm talking about is you have free access to Twitter, or free access Facebook, but maybe not free access to Google Plus. That's just an example. So there are various providers who sort of compete against each other based on what free offering they have with their mobiles. By free, I mean there's no data charge, whereas normally you would have data charges for accessing other content on the Internet. Likewise, with chat applications, one of them offers What's That for free, another one offers Line and Talk for free. A lot of times this is the only experience of the Internet on a mobile that many consumers have. They won't go outside of that little free sandbox. It's not to say they're prevented from loading other websites. They can load other websites, it's just that then they will then start to use up their data quota.

     So I think that it's a difficult question. It's not uniformly good or bad. It is certainly a infringement of net neutrality. I think it matters whether it's achieved in anticompetitive way or not. But I'd like your feedback on this.

     So, is the provider ‑‑ is the network provider simply zero rating the traffic? And a very well-known example of that ‑‑ perhaps not well enough known, is Wikipedia Zero. Wikipedia Zero is an arrangement that they have with network providers to give zero rated access to the Wikipedia website. We all love Wikipedia, but what if you were the ‑‑ if you had a website that also offered information similar to Wikipedia and consumers were staying away from your we been site because it wasn't free. Everybody knows there's no commercial arrangement. Wikipedia is not paying for preferential access. It's still prioritizing them over the competitors. So I think where I personally would draw the line is on the basis that there's no payment. Because if money is being shifted from the content provider to the network operator, then clearly that's too far. That's a step too far. But where there is no money flowing and it's just a zero rating of traffic, well, it's questionable. Is that a ‑‑ it's a strict breach of net neutrality, but does it harm consumers more than having them pay for the traffic?

     So let's ‑‑ maybe we can discuss that.

     So we need, we do need to have some research and transparency around these practices and find out what are the terms on which this is happening.

     Are we ready with the remote intervention?

Okay. So a couple of replies and maybe also in the room if someone wants to add something.

     Michele, do you want to add something?

     Again, the point that I raised before is when you do have a competitive marketplace, free to get another provider, you're not happy with one, go and get another one.

     We, after the commercial we can have the remote intervention.

     Could we have his contribution?

     Please, Alejandro, could you provide us your contribution?

     Pardon? You need a microphone?

     Okay. We don't have ‑‑ we have some type of problem, so he will provide us his contribution in some minutes if we manage to solve this technical problem.

     Yeah, it has been throttled.

     So yeah, Alejandro is having some problem. So I suggest to pass directly to Roxana's intervention. So we know that in order to build some efficient, scalable net neutrality policy, regulation, legislation, whatever, we need to respect some basic principles from transparency and accountability in order to define the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders, end users, ISPs. So can you tell us something about the roles that the stakeholders should have and what about ‑‑ how could be implemented this principle transparency and accountability?

     For the design implementation part, I think here the obscurity comes from the marketplace experimentation with imposing limitations. That either not communicated at all to the users or are communicated in non‑comprehensive ways, or partially communicated. Transparency refers to public disclosure which we understand quite broadly which should be applied in the negotiation of the policies and in the implementation itself, thus enabling the users and over side bodies if we consider those necessary, to monetize the practices based on a set of indicators that allow for minimum standards to be achieved, this would include some social standards as well.

     When taking into account differentiated usages of information packages and differentiated needs. So maybe what we're missing right now is exactly this fine grain approach to net neutrality regulation.

     Accountability, on the other hand, is the expectation that providers and decision makers can be called upon to justify their actions. However, with net neutrality we are always talking about very different reference frames and different understandings of which traffic management techniques are acceptable and which ones are not. So in thinking about an international framework or internationalizing this debate, I think we need to find a way to balance this out somehow and maybe the discussion should also touch upon that.

     If I can ‑‑ if you allow me a second moment of commercial, during the last three months, we did a ‑‑ net neutrality we tried to transpose the IETF process of standard elaboration into policy making to build a model framework on net neutrality that will be discussed on Friday morning at 9, after the dynamic coalition meeting. So you're all invited to participate if you are interested.

     And at this stage I think it could be ‑‑ do we have the remote intervention of Alejandro or Narine?

(Off microphone.)

     No. Okay.

(Off microphone.)

     Okay. So I would like to take some questions in the room. I'm sure there are some questions. Please, could you raise your hand?

     I think ‑‑ okay. Thank you. The gentleman there.

     I'm kidding. (Laughter).

     It's a technical question. Assuming that we agree on the net neutrality as the sound principle, assuming that we agree that some traffic management is necessary, and assuming that there are a lot of issues related to public interest and social choices in this area, when we translate all of that to a complete implementation it happens that it could ‑‑ that we need somebody to control. We just talk about accountability and transparency, at least somebody, could be the market or could be the State. I'm not sure if the market will work on controlling a traffic management that is not abused and discriminating. So let's say that we need some sort of governmental office that will control that. But for me, or in my experience, controlling traffic management under some specific standards is something real complicated. I'm not sure if all the offices in development countries are able to do that in a serious way.

     So my question, which is technical, is what are the best model that you think it's possible to implement the neutrality, the signed principle by regulations and to have a good control of this principle if we don't have good or ‑‑ yes, capacity in governmental offices to do so?

     I don't ‑‑ I don't think we really need, as we already have in the telecom sector for market regulation on hosting input, any sort of assigned control on traffic management, that would be a nightmare. And I don't even know how technically you could do it.

(Off microphone.)

     But this is not just the regulators' market has a role and users have a role and we want them to be better informed. And that would make users asking questions through the ISP saying what it is that you're doing with my bits and my Internet connection. Are you using TPI? What is it that you're doing with this? Much more transparency is needed for consumers to be truly well‑informed and then if they're not happy, competition should tell them to change providers. This is why choice and competition is need.

     Then let's expand a little bit to your question, not only the who, but how we would do that. I would like to refer to some FCC very recent work that you might maybe have heard of. There is an open Internet advisory committee to the FCC who just released in July an excellent paper on managed services and quality of services and what it is that we should do. Obviously, we all reluctant at this stage in the technical community to see rules being applied of us to measuring quality of services with parameters because it might freeze a bit what it is that we hear by quality of services and innovation in the future. So we advise that we start with a perceived quality of service by consumers to see how things might evolve in the future. So that's another story. This is also the reason why I'm personally reluctant to see a legislation at national level that will freeze the definition of net neutrality and how to implement it. I know you didn't ask, but I felt it was part of the broader question. Thank you.

Sorry, is there someone else? Okay, sorry, who is the first one?

     So I don't think we've had that kind of situation yet in Europe. So I think we definitely have to look. It's super interesting to see how bargaining powers on the supply side can really have an effect on the downside side of the market.

Yes, an interesting point to look at. I'm sorry I'm not in a position to answer to you now.

     It is fine and that the happens even in national regulation systems. But then if the telecom regulators are not doing it, then who does it? And I think that becomes an issue. I think some regulator authority is needed, without that net neutrality doesn't mean anything.

   >> AUDIENCE: I just the gentleman said we've seen that same phenomenon in Australia. Sorry, Norelle Clark, I'm President of the Internet Society in Australia and I also work for the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. But I'm an engineer, so I'm standing. We've also seen that situation where you have a large content service provider come to large tel‑code, ISP inside of them, host our box for free or else copy our traffic come across your transit links. And that's not a great thing, because the situation ‑‑ it costs money to host stuff. You know, it costs money to pay for those links. And that cost is going to be borne by the consumer ultimately. So there needs to be some way of bringing that through.

     The original point I wanted to ‑‑ question I wanted to pose was that years ago we thought services on the Internet clearly define themselves by TCP port numbers. And as an engineer, it was easy for me to identify what was e‑mail, what was a service on some big fat computer somewhere, and what was DNS and all the rest of it. Then it all moved across into port 80 and masqueraded at web traffic. And so the only one way we could figure out one type of traffic from another was truly to do DPI, and that was the only way you could do it.

     Now, things have moved across to this little app world where everything comes as a little app and sits on people's devices and the consumer hasn't got a hope in hell of seeing what it is. The operators haven't got much of a hope of knowing what it is, unless they deliver the thing completely from within their networks. So unless we all go back to a nice time in the past where things clearly identified themselves as particular things that we could then properly categorize and prioritize across the traffic in a fair way, this is going to keep on going.

     The gentleman there and the gentleman there, and then Chris, I think you want ‑‑ there.


   >> FREDERIC DONCK: Yeah, I do. I do agree with you. I mean Internet is a disruptive technology indeed. So, yes, there were crazy years where operators in Europe paid billions for 3G licenses. This is disruptable also in a favorable way for operators who continue, or at certain moments move Voice to IP without specifically telling users that would continue to pay a low price of ‑‑ so you know he what, IP is a wonderful technology. There is a move to ‑‑ so many services to IP and sometimes it's profitable, sometimes it's not. So, but that's the rule of the game.

     In Korea we have Korea Telecommunications Division who has great deal of technological expertise over seeing telco companies, but have very little trade law, fair trade competition expertise. We have fair trade commission who has very little technological expertise. So which alternative, in your view, would be preferable?

   >> LUCA BELLI: Sort of allowing Internet authorities, it is a mandate to analyze the market from a competition perspective or from a technical perspective, it could be not efficient and something more heterogenous is needed. But I think you have a lot of replies, so, please.

   >> PARMINDER SINGH: I think the difference, apart from the learning levels and possibilities is also the nature of the action these two regulator authorities do. The trade regulators are more reactive and ‑‑ regulation. And telecom one are more moving and interpretation, if you say intrusive ones. I think Internet net neutrality needs a little more interpretive keeping pace with proactive regulation but, otherwise they are not comfortable with putting it to the telecom regulatory people and you have to find some other place.

     But I think competition is useful but that's not enough for regulation because the media aspect, the human rights aspect something bigger is needed.

     I think we have the remote moderator ‑‑ the remote participation intervention right now. Can we broadcast it?

     Alejandro, can you hear us?

   >> LUCA BELLI: Yes, not really well.

   >> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: I can hear you very well. Can you hear me?

     So I think we can ‑‑

(Off microphone.)

   >> LUCA BELLI: Don't worry. I think we can keep on having an amusing, open debate. So, please, if you have any other ‑‑ I think there are other questions. So, please, Chris, you have a question?

     Actually, maybe ‑‑ Rojan, are you in here?

Yeah? So why don't you ask the question about the advocates?

     Chris's response was that the European regulators had done the job so well that the net neutrality advocates decided to go to sleep. But there were a few of us on the war front and we actually won that one. I'm not a unqualified advocate of net neutrality, but I think we did do some good.

     Can we shut down the remote participation, otherwise this will be chaos.

     How about now? Is it better?

So I'm wondering if we're making life very complicated in the same way it was made complicated last December in that it leads to strange alliances that might be very unfortunate in the median term.

     I think we have a question from a remote moderator.

     And then technical powers tell me that actually it might work for Alejandro to speak now. So if you want to try? As you want.

   >> Alejandro, if you can hear us, please talk.

(Audio difficulties.)

     Coming back to the question from the remote participation, remote participants. Self‑regulation could be a mean to ‑‑ an efficient means to safeguard net neutrality. Does anyone in the panel want to provide an answer?

     Jeremy, you wanted to provide an answer, no.

     Parminder, sorry.

     So, to you, sir?

     So I would tend to say that rather than self‑regulation, maybe more cooperation during the legislative processes, or during control processes, or doing enforcement processes, better cooperation can probably produce better outcomes than either strict enforcement or just self‑regulation, which probably certain cases probably doesn't mean anything.

     Other questions?

     Nabil, I think you were first, and then the gentleman there.

   >> NABIL BENAMAR: Thank you. Nabil Benamar from Morocco. I'm an ISOC Ambassador here. Thank you very much for your excellent panel. Just one question. I think that as far as I know, two fathers of Internet have no ‑‑ are not the same points of view about net neutrality. ‑‑ for and the other is against. I think that is related to the quality of service. So quality of service is needed in the Internet and all networks, and this is kind of no network neutrality. So how can we create this balance between net neutrality and what is needed as doing some priority on package, which is quality of service and quality of experience. Thank you.

     So the Internet still functions, and quite well. Take Skype or others Over the Top, OTT services, that function based on best efforts. If you're using Skype every day, you've got videos and song and voice and it works. So injecting quality of services within the global Internet as we know it doesn't work technically. It creates so much tension and that might resemble a telecom network, which is not what we want. So quality of service at local level might work, but then we come ‑‑ we fall into the special services of what you start talking about ‑‑ and this kind of stuff. So I believe we need to make this distinction.

     I think there was a question there, the gentleman there.

   >> LUCA BELLI: If it's very short, yes.

   >> ARNOLD: Well, I'll read it out, that saves time. Our legislation was proposed when our three major mobile ISPs with a combined market share of about 90 percent has already blocked or expressed their intent to block applications such as Skype. The mobilized piece argument for blocking Voice over IP application was that their use came at the expense ‑‑ for services, and has had a negative impact on their business model. Because of the negative impact on that business model, mobile ISPs, only one or two, allow services to Skype in a more expensive subscription.

     So the Dutch policy had focused thus far on transparency and confidence in market forces came under pressure, especially as the Dutch consumers would end up in a situation of having hardly any choice in selecting a less expensive subscription with a mobile ISP that would not block applications such as Skype. So given this situation, the large public interest and the possible incentives for ISPs to further hinder competitive services in the future, now Skype Voice over IP or IPVTV, the choice was made to  draw a line between what an ISP is allowed to block or delay and what it's not.

     So now in regulation we have the firm rule that the Dutch ISP may not block or delay any services or application, except in a limited number of cases. And there are four exemptions. The first one is when we have the situation of congestion. The second one, when to preserve the integrity and security of the network and services of the provider in question or the terminal of the end user. The third exemption is to restrict the transmission to an end user communication, spam. And the fourth one is to give effect to legislative profession or court order.

     So in this way it is guaranteed that consumer can use any service they want and that service providers can innovate and no one has to fear that their services are blocked or hindered when they compete with those of the ISPs.

     Meanwhile, ISPs maintain the freedom to offer different subscriptions which the charge can be based on, for example, the amount of data use or the offered speed. Well, this is in short what the reasons are and the content of our legislation. If you would like more information, you could come to me and I'll be happy to provide you with this additional information.

You can also find some more information on paper at the booth of ‑‑

     Thank you so much.

(Off microphone.)

   >> LUCA BELLI: Yeah, Parminder ‑‑ sorry, sir. Parminder wanted to know who regulates, who put in place, who applies regulation in the Netherlands?

   >> LUCA BELLI: It's a telecom regulator, isn't it?

     No questions?

     So we are ‑‑ I think it's maybe the time for final remarks because we just have three minutes. So I would like to ask the panelists to provide some final thoughts and maybe some suggestion for some principles or some elements that are ‑‑ that could be needed for a good regulation, not just for regulation. We have understood that a regulation could be needed, but we feel a good regulation is needed. So if that regulation should be upgraded, how could we upgrade it and what could be the content of some elements?

     Parminder, do you want to start?

     Secondly, I just want people to take this issue in a wider human rights and social choices framework and not just in competition framework. I think this important now, Jeremy was saying it doesn't matter so much if somebody has free Facebook. Think of it, some people are caught in a free social media which is very extensive and you have most the time political conversations takes place on such a media and huge number of people have controlled access to certain political information. And close to an election, you could certainly find so much influence being put through that and that is not a time you can pull it back. You have to think in advance that the social media remains diverse enough. And for it to remain diverse, it has to be imposed as a social choice. The consumer at this time would not be able to think days ahead and say, one day there will be election and I wouldn't want to be subject to certain kind of homogenized political information. So I think we need to be looking at human rights, media rights, cultural rights, educational rights, collective economic rights kind of framework and that's why it needs to come out both from the trade rules and force trade rules enforcement and competition enforcement authorities and all sort of telecom technical thinking into some kind of human rights or net neutrality thinking, and a special regulator for that purpose. Thank you.

   >> LUCA BELLI: I'll just hand this to you.

     Three, I would say there are some concerns right now in Europe but it remains highly speculative. We still don't know how it will work. And in the U.S. we are the same level. We still don't know all the conditions of special services and the global Internet as we know it will happen. And this come from my fourth point, that would be we need a strong cooperation between whoever will monitor quality and perception of consumers and telcos, because it's an extremely complex issue. We haven't addressed it. But it's extremely complex. So telcos will have to cooperate anyways.

     And then my last point, users have rights and they should be mobilized and better informed, and users should be able to continue to ask their ISPs, what is it that you're doing with my connection? Thank you.

   >> JEREMY MALCOLM: I agree with many of the points the other panelists have made, such as the transparency and choice, very important values for consumers. But I also want to reiterate that not all net neutrality issues can be treated homogenously. We have to do a bit more research into which cause the most consumer harm and which the most anticompetitive and to direct enforcement resources appropriately.

     And I think another good sign of progress in this debate is the formation of the dynamic coalition on net neutrality and the work that it's been doing towards the development of principles which we can all agree on. The more that coalition can become, the better, because then we can work towards a multi‑stakeholder consensus rather than just a single policy position.

     Thanks a lot for this excellent debate and I hope I will see you on Friday morning at 9:00 for the record.


(Session ended at 4:00 p.m.)

This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.