Dear ITU, please don’t bill Internet use like phone calls

Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock “Operating agencies shall negotiate commercial agreements to achieve a sustainable system of fair compensation for telecommunications services and, where appropriate, respecting the principle of sending party network pays.” That’s the input that a number of former monopoly, European telecoms sent to the member states of the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Why? Because, for the first time since 1998, the ITU will be negotiating new international telecom regulations from December 3 to 14 in Dubai. And that meeting will mark the first opportunity for the ITU to bring Internet issues under its umbrella. Don’t be fooled by the opaque wording above. If that request was put into practice, service providers get to prioritize certain types of Internet traffic and “the sending party”—a network generating content, like Netflix, Youtube, and maybe even Google or Ars—has to pay for the privilege of reaching consumers. Although opinions differ on whether free, unregulated markets are the universal solution to all problems, it’s hard to argue against the success of this model in the case of the Internet.

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Dear ITU, please don’t bill Internet use like phone calls

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Saturday, December 1st, 2012 Net News

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