In terms of network usage fees, network means Internet network. Companies such as SK and KT are also installing servers and lines so that subscribers can use the Internet. These facilities are called 'Internet networks' or 'networks' for short. Companies that install this infrastructure, such as SKT, KT, and LG, are called Internet Service Providers (ISP). They are asking companies that provide content such as Google and Netflix to pay for using the network. Content companies such as Netflix, Twitch, and YouTube are called Content Provider (CP). In other words, the network usage fee refers to the amount that the CP has to pay to the ISPs. Google and Netflix users access these sites over the Internet, which is called traffic. Recently, traffic has increased rapidly as the number of users of Google or Netflix has increased. Therefore, CPs are asking them to pay for the additional cost of increasing the network capacity.
Considering Korean CPs who are already paying network usage fees and Korean ISPs who need to expand their Internet networks, it is right for international CPs to pay network usage fees? On the other hand, considering that international CPs will eventually receive the money from Korean users, it is right not to receive it?
What do you think about the network usage fees law?
Keep the Net Neutrality
Currently, global CPs claim that if the Korean government asks global CPs to pay for the network usage fees, they will receive the money from Korean users and pay for it. Then, it is the same as people who subscribe to SK and KT pay ISPs twice because they use Google and Netflix. Therefore, it is necessary to oppose paying network usage fees and to maintain net neutrality. Net neutrality means that traffic generated on the Internet network should be treated the same regardless of its nature. If network neutrality is not accepted, foreign companies such as Netflix will pay network usage fees, and they will raise the amount of use. Then, it will be difficult to produce and export movie contents such as Squid Game. Of course, YouTube's individual producers will also decline. Also, it will be difficult to develop applications such as Facebook and free applications. In addition, the burden on individual users will increase as the amount of use increases wherever the network is used. Therefore, not only will companies pay, but also the amount of money that individuals have to pay right away will increase. For these reasons, I oppose the payment of network usage fees because it can be a structure in which only telecommunications companies benefit from individuals or businesses.
Violates the fairness of the network and discrimination in information can occur
As it is impossible to charge network usage fees to billions of games, video calls, and database sites that Korean users can access, unfair network usage fees may be imposed on a small number of U.S. companies such as Netflix and Google. It also deviates from the principle of net neutrality. The principle of network neutrality is that companies that service the Internet should treat all content the same without discrimination, and the Internet is treated with the same concept as public services such as electricity and water in that all use is treated the same. No matter what content, no matter how much data it takes to read it, Internet companies cannot block the Internet or limit speed. Such legislation could not only undermine the neutrality of the network, but also create a gap in information. Forcing foreign content providers to pay more fees could lead to retaliatory measures against Korean content exports, causing damage to Korean content providers. The network usage fee system is a system that harms the people.
OTT providers are just doing what they need to do
There is a controversy whether foreign contents providers should pay extra payment to Korean internet service providers due to the increased traffic. To understand the situation easily, I will give an example of this arguments. As more and more Koreans are using foreign OTT (over-the-top) services such as Netflix, the usage of internet service to provide Netflix to users is increasing (the usage is called traffic). Thus, Korean internet service providers have to build larger infrastructure to accommodate the increase usage. Korean internet service providers such as KT or SKT are arguing that Netflix should pay money to KT to build such infrastructure because they are the cause for the increased traffic. In my opinion, foreign contents providers should not be obliged to pay money for the cost. If Netflix is obliged to pay for the cost to Korea, other countries will also begin to argue that Netflix should also pay to their country’s internet service providers. It is just a natural phenomenon that the traffic increases when the demand increases since the purpose of Netflix is to provide attractive services to consumers and it is internet service provider’s duty to provide smooth internet service to the consumers.
It is a double payment to pay the network usage fee
I oppose the bill to force content providers such as Google and Netflix to pay network usage fees. Currently, Korean people are paying the network connection fee, and if they pay such a network usage fee, they will have to pay to many places, but I expect this to be impossible. It is also the job of a ISP to manage the Internet network, and the cost of using the network is included in the fees paid by consumers. If they also have to pay network usage fees, consumers will have to pay twice. In addition, traffic generated on the Internet network should be treated the same regardless of its nature. If the Internet usage fee bill is passed, it will not only be applicable to companies, but it will also have a lot of influence on users. This seems to be merely to justify raising Internet fees.