SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — After the enforcement ordinance for the revision of the Telecommunication Business Act, the so-called ‘Netflix Free Ride Prevention Act,’ was unveiled, South Korea’s homegrown Internet companies voiced strong concerns about key provisions such as service maintenance and application standards.
The enforcement ordinance of the Telecommunication Business Act, announced on Tuesday by the Ministry of Science and ICT, focuses on requiring value-added carriers to take responsible measures to secure service stability.
Under the revised Telecommunication Business Act, value-added carriers are obliged to take technical measures to provide stable services, as well as securing stability for server capacity and smoothness of customers’ Internet connections.
The Internet companies insisted that the enforcement ordinance placed excessive obligations on value-added carriers and the provisions were unilaterally advantageous only to telecom operators.
“It’s natural that telecom operators are not asked to take responsibility for service stability. However, when it comes to network stability, they should be asked to take responsibility,” an official from a content provider said.
Some market watchers predicted that with the enforcement ordinance, Internet content providers would have no option but to sign network usage contracts with telecom operators, which would lead to an increase in the fees paid by consumers.
The Internet companies also raised questions about the reason why the government set the standard for the application of the enforcement ordinance for value-added carriers as those which have a daily average user number of 1 million and account for more than 1 percent of the nation’s total Internet traffic.
If this standard is applied, only five companies are included – Google (YouTube), Netflix, Facebook, Naver and Kakao.
“If such obligations are passed only to value-added carriers, the competition among telecom operators could instead weaken,” an official in the portal industry said.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)