The Ministry of Science and ICT said on December 14 that South Korea’s telecommunications policy is unlikely to change although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the U.S. repealed net neutrality rules.
According to the ministry, Internet service providers in the United States are not common carriers but information providers and, as such, the legal ground of net neutrality rules was vague. Under the circumstances, the Barack Obama administration tried to strengthen the ground of the rules in February 2015, but President Donald Trump initiated a process to repeal the rules, saying that the rules hinder network investment by ISPs.
In South Korea, in contrast, ISP are common carriers as stipulated in the law and President Moon Jae-in proposed the establishment of net neutrality rules as one of his election pledges. The European Union has implemented net neutrality guidelines applied to each member country since 2015.
The decision was made at the plenary meeting of the FCC held on December 14 (local time). Earlier, it was predicted that the rules would be repealed as three out of the five committee members are Republicans. “The decision is unlikely to affect the other countries’ telecommunication policy as it is to increase investment by means of deregulation,” said Inca Research & Consulting representative consultant Jo Dae-keun.