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Net neutrality public consultation
Who pays for the Internet? Most users, individuals or companies, pay their Internet Service Provider to have access to the Internet. This access should be neutral, the cost of using the Internet to access to a resource A or B should be the same. This principle is named “net neutrality”.
There’s a project, initiated by the European Telecommunications Network Operator’s Association (ETNO), to change this, and to add traffic-flow based contributions… to the sole profit of Telecom Operators.
Internet Society Belgium’s answer
Internet Society Belgium answered to the open public consultation CONSULT-2023-B7 “Draft communication regarding the request to impose mandatory contributions by internet platforms to telecom operators for the use of their networks in Belgium”, initiated by the BIPT.
BIPT asked for feedback on their statement after deep analysis: “The BIPT feels that the necessity for the Belgian market to implement a compensation based on the volume of the Internet traffic is not established.”
In our answer to BIPT, Internet Society Belgium supported this statement and even went a step further: not only the necessity is not established, but if we do implement “sender-party-pays” obligations, this would pose a real threat to the Internet as we know it today. It would also violate net neutrality provisions and fragment the Internet, hurting Belgian and European consumers and economies, we would put the Internet itself at risk.
Learn from others’ failures
We should learn from the case of South Korea, where Internet Society’s assessment concluded that the “sender-party-pays” model not only harms users, but also poses a direct threat to the networking model itself. The Internet is, and should remain, neutral, that’s for what people and companies are paying their Internet Service Providers (ISP).
More reading in Internet Society’s article “In One Corner, Large Telecom Operators. In the Other, Everybody Else.”:
“Sender Pays: What Lessons European Policy Makers Should Take From The Case of South Korea”:
We are really happy to see all the good work of BIPT already done and public consultation, and would like to fully support BIPT in the direction to not impose mandatory contributions by internet platforms to telecom operators for the use of their networks in Belgium. Net neutrality should be preserved.