Network Neutrality

In the past, Internet providers have resisted regulation, worried it would raise costs and limit network upgrades and infrastructure investments to deal with increasing traffic. Content providers have pushed for government standards to keep the Internet open. (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/10/business/la-fi-google-verizon-20100810)

Let’s make some comparisons between US and Korea. Since 1980 in South Korea, there were lots of efforts to make modern telephone network, which is under the similar principle as network neutrality. Korea set up the goal of equal and universal service for all citizens under the motto, “information welfare society”. Services and the bills charged should be the same for the residents in Seoul or in the other small areas.

After Al Gore mentioned “information superhighways” in 1994 at UCLA, Korean government started the project of information infrastructure in 1995. This gave an advantage of enjoying the advanced fixed broadband networks. But, surprisingly, The mobile data usage in Korea is really low until late 2009. After iPhone launching in Korea, it made a little concerns about congestion. However, Korea had lots of excess capacity relative to US cases, AT&T network could not manage the traffic of iPhone at that time.

Not only uniform prices for similar services anywhere but also the highest standard of services in the world are available in Korea under the “Network Neutrality.” All the services like installing broadband internet, telephone and other communication services can be done right away and the system of AS(After-Service) is really efficient.

In sum, this is one more thing to learn from Korea. Before debating the point of network neutrality, US also need to make a long run commitment of information and communication infrastructure. By doing so, in the long run the technology makes lots of cost saving like Moore’s law.

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