The Korean government will check the direction of legislation regarding net neutrality in South Korea after studying the ongoing revision of rules in the United States.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said on November 29 that it would check the direction of legislation regarding net neutrality in South Korea after studying the ongoing revision of rules in the United States, where a bill to abolish net neutrality policy is scheduled to be put to a vote on December 14.
Net neutrality can be defined as a principle for equal treatment of online data traffic. The U.S. has maintained net neutrality policy blocking telecom operators from collecting additional fees to facilitate the growth of content and platform providers using telecom networks, such as Google, Facebook and YouTube.
In the meantime, some exceptions have been allowed in the South Korean ministry’s net neutrality policy. For example, telecom operators can collect network charges for transmission quality guarantee if this does not affect the quality of services for general users. At present, the South Korean government’s net neutrality policy is in the form of guidelines that are not legally binding. However, some experts point out that rules for economical traffic management should be prepared now in view of mobile and video traffic surge and investment in 5G networks. The ministry’s remark on November 29 can be regarded as a response to the request.
The government also explained that a very careful review and discussions with relevant companies, civic organizations and so on are required with regard to the economic side of traffic management by telecom operators such as zero rating. It said that economic discrimination in terms of network use has yet to reach a consensus although a social consensus is already formed on technical traffic management like disconnection or slower connection regarding particular users, content and platforms.