The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> LUKA BELLI: I think we can start the
For those who are thinking that Net Neutrality was a well settled debate, almost some (?) topic, well they have been proven wrong over the past weeks. Especially over the past two months, a series of decisions, although the U.S. SSCI has been the most advertised and discussed, it was not the only major evolution for Net Neutrality. We will see also India, the Indian regulators TRI has issued a report recommending the adoption of strong Net Neutrality safeguards, basically the opposite of what has been done by the FCC that essentially removed all regulatory oversight of the regulator on access services, and business -- it will be very interesting to analyze the evolution in U.S. ecosystem, it will be the only (?) Country without sector regulation and also without unbanding obligations which are essential for competition, so it will be very interesting to check how it will evolve. It is obviously very soon now to make predictions be but for sure we will have more material for next year. We will not only discuss FCC's decision here, actually that will not be at all the topic. I am sorry to disappoint you. We are going to discuss Net Neutrality and Zero Rating framework, so existing frameworks. So, what is going -- what
is going to be discussed here is what exists, not what has been removed. So, we will start with an excellent keynote from Sébastien Soriano, who is not only the President of ARCEP, the French regular tore but the chairman much BEREC, electronics communication, then we will have myself, I am Luka Belli, senior research and head of governance Center for Technology and Society at FGV, and I will start introducing our main outcome of this year, the Zero Rating map, where we map existing zero rate go and Net Neutrality frameworks around the world. We have mapped almost 80 countries, and we have here amongst the panelist some of the contributors, some of the contributors, sorry, to this Crowdsourced exercise. So, we have (?) who is technology fellly, Maria pause can who is executive director of director digital list, Marianne Fernandez who is Senior Policy Advisor, and last, but not least, Alfredo Velazco who is executive director of (?) and unfortunately Dhanaraj Thakur was not able to join us, but that means that we will have more time for debate. As you have seen the MAG white short sided decision to slash the meeting of the time of meeting for (?) from 90 minutes to 60 Minutes, so give us this decision gives us a lot less time to discuss.
So, to not to lose any farther precious minutes, I will ask
Sébastien Soriano to start with his keynote remarks.
>> SEBASTIEN SORIANO: Thank you, Luka, and thank you very much for inviting me. Usually when I am speaking about Net Neutrality, when I'm talking about this, there are many telecom operators in the room, and today it's good to have also the Civil Society in the room.
Basically, the European model for telecon regulation that exists
from 20 years is based on one idea. If we want to have good
telecon infrastructure, better to rely on the market. But, we
need a regulation, we need the framework that make sure that the
market is going in the right direction. Because, networks
whatever their property, must develop, must be developed like a
common good. This is basically all the understatement of the
regulator reframe work in Europe from 20 years.
So, when we deal with Net Neutrality, when it deals with
Net Neutrality, the European institution have decided to have
low pass on Net Neutralities. This is a very important
difference when you compare Europe to the United States, for
In the United States, the Net Neutrality that have been adopted by the FCC and then withdrawn by the FCC is a document that is in the responsibility in the hand of the regulator. Not the legislator. In Europe, the institution set up is different. So, it means that when we pass a law about Net Neutrality, we have the council of the 28 member state that are committing on this, we have the cure pee an commission with all the technicians that are committed on the text, we have the parliaments with all the countries represented with all the parties of Europe that are committed. So, today we have the framework, and we have it from hopefully a long time.
I just was talking with commissioner Maria Gabril, who is in charge ever digital commission in the mission, was in a room close to here, and she confirmed me that she was very, very much committed in maintaining in Europe our framework on Net Neutrality, whatever telecon operator could say about this.
And we had also a clear statement from the Vice-President of
the European Commission who is exactly on the same line.
So, now, several words about what is in our European framework. So, the idea is to have regulation, so a Europe law that put principles, and then to have the regulators, the 28 regulators that are putting these principles into practice. And, what we strongly believe in Europe, that there is no contradiction between Net Neutrality and innovation. So, the whole idea of the framework is to have flexibility when implementing it. Sometimes I hear about the loopholes in Europe. I think the loopholes in
Europe are about the medias that are talking about Net Neutrality in Europe, because actually for the moment, as I will explain, it is too soon to judge about which we are doing, and this will be my main message today.
So, what we did is that in order to have a consistent implementation of all the Net Neutrality rules of this regulation, this law in Europe, we adopted at bear I can level, Barek is the body of UN regulator that I'm sharing this year. We adopted guidelines. The idea of these guidelines is to balance two problems. First problem is, as I mentioned shall we need flexibility. You cannot write down on a text everything about Net Neutrality today, because things are moving. You need flexibility. But, on the other side, it would be a pity if in Europe we have 20 different ways to apply Net Neutrality. So, that is why we adopted the guidelines in 2016, to have a com machine approach.
So, what about Zero Rating, which is the main topic of this discussion? So, regarding Zero Rating, the principle of the European framework is that we have to look at Zero Rating offers on a case-by-case basis. So, this is where it's kind of complicated. To be more positive, I would say our framework is sophisticated. So, basically it means that every offer from a European operator has to be analyzed by the competent authorities. So, sometimes we will say this offer is an infringement to Net Neutrality. Sometimes we will say, this offer is okay. And, this judgment will depend of the actual effect of the offer on the fundamental right that consumers have to benefit from an (?) tenant and a non-biased Internet. So, it will be a really case-by-case basis. It will depend really much on the offer we will analyze, it will depend on the market player. It's not the same thing to look at a big operator making an offer or a small one, lit depend on the kind of partnership that we will see. So, my main message is there is a big gray zone with 50 shades of Zero Rating. This is basically how it will work in Europe. And, it will take time. But, as I mentioned in the beginning, we have time, because in Europe we are not changing our mind every three years. When we have a net neutrality law, we will have it for a long time. So, it's sophisticated because of this case by case analysis, but we have the time to build juris prudence, to build doctrine about what is -- what are the Zero Rating offer that raises problem and what are those that don't raise problem and we have to have flexibility for telecom operator to innovate and to make some marketing and nice offers to their customers.
So, this is basically, I know it's sophisticated. It so be so much simpler for us to have a clear ban on any Zero Rating offer, but politicians at EU level said, it's not proportionate. I mean, several Zero Rating offer may not be so problematic, so why to ban them?
It's a little bit like competition law. You know? In competition law it's not because you have a dominant position that you are necessarily abusing of it. You have to analyze behavior by behavior, what is an abuse of the position, what is not. It's a little bit the same spirit here.
So, what we have been doing is that we have adopted these guidelines that give a common creed of analysis. We are following all the same grade of analysis when we look at Zero Rating offer. And, we have published our first implementation report last week. You can find it on the website of Barek. You will see how we have been managing from one year and a half this question of Zero Rating. So, the name figures, main statistics that I can share with you. Over 28 national regulators. Only four of us did not identify in any Zero Rating offer. One or more regulator of our 28 -- sorry, one or more Zero Rating services were reported by all other NRAs. So, Zero Rating of music streaming and social media services were the most often identified, but we also have Cloud services, like (?) for instance.
Several regulators have taken decision. Last week the German regulator, Bafin, has taken decision over an offer from Dutch telecom, which you know is the main operator in Europe and Bafin has put efforts to the offer by (?) to stream on because this offer was not free in line with the regulation. So, in the one hand, Bafin has not banned totally the offer, but it has put it into a frame, especially in terms of the format of the video that was managed by the operator, and that this behavior was not compliant with the regulation.
Maybe you have seen on the social media this offer from Meo import tica. This offer is under scrutiny by my colleague from Anacom, the Portuguese regulator. So, don't look at this offer and say there are loopholes in Europe. This offer may not comply with the regulation. This offer may be banned by my colleague from Portugal. You cannot say if it is legal or not for the moment. We are working on it. It will take time.
This was my main message. I will be happy to answer to your question. We are fully at work on it. It's a complex issue. I don't think that simplistic answers will be the good answers. We keep work on it, we want these Net Neutrality rules to be here for a long time, and you can count on telecom regulators in Europe to be watch dogs on this question of Net Neutrality.
Thank you for your attention.
>> LUCA BELLI: As Sébastien will have to leach a little bit before the end of the meeting, if there are any questions on Net Neutrality on Europe, we can take two now and then keep on going with the presentation.
So, are there any questions on these specific remarks now, or otherwise we can wait till the end of the session?
>> Audience: Hello, good morning. My name is Marta Capella. I work for the European Telecom Operator’s Association network owners.
One comment, one question. The comment is I want to reassure Mr. Soriano and all of you that we're not asking for the repeal of the regulation in Europe. We might have other ideas before the regulation was approved, but we are totally behind with non-discrimination principles, and our members will comply with the regulation and as with regulators to do that in the best way that they can.
My question is, and also relating to a remark that you made in the end, in the beginning about the de-developers in the India and I know Sébastien Soriano has exchanges with the regulator. When we're talking about these offers, Mr. Soriano also said it is important to look at the specific situation and to market to actually assess whether these offers are compliant or not. When you look at the Indian market and within the several markets in Europe where there is more or less choice, do you think there are differences of the impact of the offers? So, doe whoa I think that we can fully export our rules from one Country to the others, or in markets where the choice of services where there is more than one operator and you have a wider choice could actually impact the judgment that you make on a specific offer?
>> LUCA BELLI: We can take also another question. Okay.
>> Audience: I am just a silly local journalist freelance. In the common language, neutrality has a very different meaning of what we use concerning with the Internet. Still, the usual sense meaning would make a lot of sense to in the Internet. You know, if you discuss, for instance, in the old paper world the neutrality of library catalog, it makes a lot of sense. We very well know what a bias catalog or bias key words to access would mean, but in the world of interest net the catalog is search engines, and we never discuss that. We never discuss neutrality in that sense. I do not mean neutrality of consent. I do not want state committee to declare what is good and bad opinions on the net. I just want to discuss about neutrality of access tools and we never discuss that.
>> LUCA BELLI: That's very good remarks. I will let Sébastien answer to the remarks and then we will go on with the session and more questions at the end.
>> SEBASTIEN SORIANO: Yeah, thanks a lot. Maybe if somebody can pass my slide back about the North face.
So, once again, the choice of India regarding Zero Rating is quite simple. It's a clear ban. The choice in Europe is more sophisticated and it's more complicated, and we are obviously taking the North face on it.
I'm not advocating for this model to be exported. I mean, situation in India and Europe are different. The development of the data market, especially mobile is very different. So, different con text can lead to different situation.
What is important is that we cooperate with each other, and we have a very good relationship between triand telecom regulator in BEREC and foster this cooperation about sharing Net Neutrality, this is something on track between BEREC and TRI.
Regarding the question on neutrality of search engine. I mean, how to say that? I mean, when it deals with an a little rhythm, it is difficult to talk about net new -- about neutrality, because an algorithm is making a choice. If it doesn't make a choice it is useless. So, neutrality of my algorithm is something quite complicated, actually. But, but, where I share your view is that if you stay in the technical chain, in the access to the Internet, if you want to access to the Internet, you need an Internet service provider. So, if you want him to be neutral, you have the Net Neutrality rules. But, if you want to access to the Internet, you have to connect to a device. To a device. A device. You cannot connect to the Internet without a device. You can't go to the Internet without a search engine, but you cannot connect to the Internet without a device. And, today devices are of tremendous importance in your experience of the Internet. Look at the difference of experiencing the Internet of a PC or a laptop and with a smart phone. And, tomorrow the difference will be even greater with vocal assistance, because the artificial intelligence in the vocal assistance will make many choices for you, because the more sophisticated is the device. The device is influencing your choice of the Internet. And, so, today I would success to have reflection on that. What kind of openness of the devices do we have in hands. And, so, I'm happy to say to you as chairman of ARCEP and BEREC and the French regulator that we have initiated dialogue and work on that and we have a publication on track about the openness of devices. I invite you to contribute to our public consultation, and we will issue a report to the 15th of February, and I just would like to finish by saying hello to Louie (?) who is one of the father of the Internet. I'm really happy to see him.
>> LUCA BELLI: And, if you are speaking about Internet today, it is also thank you to Mr. Posain. So, thank you very much.
I would like to make a little bit of advertisement saying if you are interested in platform regulations, we just presented a book in the session I was before, you find it on Twitter on platform regulation, you can download it freely, but that is another story. Let's come back to Net Neutrality. Let's come back to the main outcome of this coalition, the
Zero Rating map.
So, if you type on your browsers ZeroRating.info, you will arrive on the map. Can we have the map here, just put on the screen. Zero Rating.info is the Beta version of the map. So, it's not the final one.
As you know, we with coalitions with the IGF we frequently have work in progress. We have a multistakeholder participatory approach, so you will all invited to contribute to it, not only to provide more data on more countries, we have analyzed almost 80 countries, but also to maybe double check and complete data because there are many countries that are not completed yet, so both -- all stakeholders are invited to this, private sectors, regulators stakeholders. We have a lot of contribution from academics and Civil Society Zero Rating.info.
So, you find there are -- it is maybe too soon to have final findings, but there are already some interesting findings, and one of them is regarding Brazil. Another Country that has taken a decision on Zero Rating on the first of September, which has not been advertised that much, but basically the competition authority declared that Zero Rating offering in Brazil are compatible with Net Neutrality and with competition. Their reasoning is quite peculiar, and I will take a couple of minutes to explain it, and maybe to criticize it. But, let's come back to the Zero Rating map.
So, below there is a bar there. It's not easy to see in this moment because there is not a translation, but that tells you how many of those countries have been mapped have Net Neutrality regulation. So, those are the countries where we can find Zero Rating offerings so far that we have mapped, and below you see how many of them have Net Neutrality regulations. You see less than 20% have Net Neutrality regulation. Initial finding that we can be quite sure about is that Net Neutrality is much more widespread in countries that do not have Net Neutrality regulation.
Another finding that it is maybe too soon to declare what are the zero rated applications, the most zero rated application, but in almost every Country you have the zero rated applications of the Facebook group. So, Facebook applications are zero rated in almost every Country, speaking not only about Facebook but also messenger, but frequency also what's app, and intra gram, but Facebook are the most zero rated in the world. Probably because in most countries, like in Africa it is due to the free program run by Facebook.
Then we come back to Brazil which is the example I would like to briefly examine. If you click on it, we have all the information we collected. (?) regulation, decision of regulators or Net Neutrality. What are the services that are Zero Rating? What are the operators that are doing Zero Rating? And, then, some other questions that are not really easy to find, such as if the zero rated -- is the open (?) or blocked after the data caps is expired, and is the zero rated services trotted or blocked, and what kind of content in the application agreement exists with operator in order to have Zero Rating. So, these agreements are frequently secrets, so it is very hard to put your hands on that. So, there are not many information on this.
To come back to the Brazilian example, let's sort of
collaborate what I was speaking last year Net Neutrality in
Mexico, what I call the (?) of the Internet, which is a strategy
to transform the Internet from a general purpose network where
the users are the producers of innovation into a pretty fine
purpose network. And, actually, if you look at Brazil, that is
quite evident because the combination of very reduced data caps
and some sponsored services actually turns the Internet into a
pre-defined service when you have a little bit of an Internet
but then you will have only free access to the partners of the
operator. And, what is particularly interesting about the
Brazilian example is that this is actually prohibited by the
law, and that is the reason why I'm saying that the rationale of
the competition authority is very peculiar because at first it
starts by arguing that having free access to Twitter, Facebook,
and what's app equals to having free access to the Internet,
which is very peculiar statement knowing that the first thing is
free services and the rest is whatever you want and whatever you
want you can produce and share with the world.
And, secondly, it states that Net Neutrality is compatible with -- sorry, that the Zero Rating offerings are compatible with the magma tied framework which is a second very peculiar statement, because besides being in article 9 of the fields which mandates the non-(?) treatment of all applications content and services, also Zero Rating is also dealt with by the Net Neutrality regulation create (?) 71 in 2016. In article (?) specifically for bids to favor the partners of the operator. So, one of these operators even as a commercial you can have this limited amount of data plus this amount of our partners, which is plainly in contradiction with what the regulation states. So, this is very peculiar. The justification that is actually shared and almost I think all examples is what I call the scramble for data, meaning that all major operators and all major companies are trying to develop whatever strategy to mine all the data they can about users and new users on which data do not exist, for instance African users in Latin America Country users, and what better strategy than having a free service that collects your data when you use it. So, that is what I humbly define as scramble for data and I think will be one of the key issues and controversy of the next decade, but not to steal too much time in the discussion, I would like now to pass the floor to Ambar that will speak about India which has been taking a very interesting decision, so please, Amber, go ahead.
>> Panelist: Thanks, Luka. So, as background, in 2016, after I think what is arguably the most successful public campaign on Internet policy, that at least India had ever seen, and with the fate of Facebook 3 basic sort of the in the balance, the telecom regulator in India decided to ban all forms of Zero Rating, what India au was discriminatory process. I'm going to make ma kale raise his hand. If you want to know a little bit more about the campaign, it's less of a story, more of a saga. He's the right person to ask about how exactly Civil Society worked to create account analysis to Facebook's mission statement that they were merely bringing connectedness to the next billion.
But, the long story short is while the rest of the world is still figuring out when differentiation is discrimination, in India all differentiation of pricing is discrimination policy.
We also have, and this is less talked about. There is also a prohibition in the regulation that states that no service provider can enter into any agreement by whatever name call, which has the discriminatory effect. Which means what can be done directly can also be done indirectly. For all these reasons the debate in in due e au has moved to the more fringe in use. For example, there is an exception for internet or what we call the closed electronic communication network. How is that defined? Are there ways to use the spirit of the regulation itself especially in light of the service providers and content companies we're seeing that that exception is becoming more controversial.
But, I think if you want to know more about the kinds of plans that were there, plead regulation, we can talk about off line. I thought maybe what I would do for the next few minutes is just speak about where I think that the Indian experience either provides guidance and at the very least provides a moment of enter speck shun on the merits of having a bright line rule as Americans would call it or a complete prohibition versus a case-by-case approval. Because, when I look at this map and I'm reading through BEREC's new report and developments in the U.S., it is reminding why, at least foreign de-au, I think our regulator came to the right decision. And, that's not because I think that innovation, Zero Rating is not possible. Quite far from it. But, it's for a couple of reasons. So, the first is it's very clear, even when you look across Europe that there are regions of stronger er enforcement, and regions of less strong enforcement with the same guiding principle. And, strength I mean both in terms of the speed with which you react and also the quality of your analysis.
Similarly, in the U.S. we saw that soon after the change in
Government the big fear was that the recommendations, even the recommendations demanding action on certain Zero Rating plans, the response would be to take no action or just sort of ignore it. And, obviously we saw much, much worse happen eventually. But I think the point being that it is important to keep in mind
that a case by case analysis needs to be seen in light of both
the regulator at the helm and changing political tides.
And the second is, again, I urge all of you to read BEREC's new excellent report because it's in English and providing you investigations of Zero Rating that has happened across Europe and regulators. When I read through that I noticed one of the issues and to me this is one of the critical issues when it comes to Zero Rating, how easy or difficult is it for them to get themselves zero rated. And, sometimes I found that, you know, it's not just not enough for the ISP to say it is open for any gap of content provider to be zero rate evidence. So, questions like do content providers have to sign a contract with the ISB? Are the terms of this contract unilateral? Do contract providers have to sign an (?). Are there technical requirements that you have to sign on to to be (?). And, just more broadly, the (?) manipulations with consumer choice, what implications do those have?
So, I think some of these are more detailed and nuance issues might be getting lost in some of the broad-brush analysis, and finally, to your point, I think from Et note on the point of transparency, sorry on competition more generally, I think that is another important. So, in the UK they did studies where they said it is not enough to just keep looking at your HHI index and these various economic parameters of competition, so why don't we survey users and ask them what is your actual willingness and your ability to switch providers.
And, more importantly, in rural areas where, in fact, in reality you might just have one provider. So, the HHI may not capture that.
So, I think in summary I would say that economic (?) is important when dealing with Zero Rating, but as important is the political economy of regulators and of regulator reprocesses.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you very much. I think it would be maybe interesting to follow with Maria pause can and then come back to Alfredo and wrap-up with Maria.
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: Okay. Thank you for the invitation to join the panel.
I think that the point that Ama just concluded give me the perfect kicking off for my part of the conversation. A lot of what Luka already say about the reality in Brazil it is also true for other countries in Latin America. This year, apart from the work that we did for contributing for the index, we contribute also for a report by enter posas, a Brazilian organization. The State of performance of Net Neutrality rules are in place in Latin America. So, already talk a little bit about the Brazilian experience, and this report also have experience of Columbia, Chile, and Mexico. And, what we have seen as the result of this research about how these rules have been enforced is that precisely what Amber was saying is totally true. If you don't have a silver clear line forbidding Zero Rating and you leave it open to interpretation that the telecom authorities can do about the compatibility with the Zero Rating with Net Neutrality rules, what happened at the end is the authorities, they don't have the ability tore capacity, technical or the resource toes assess the Zero Rating that are having place in either region. So, that's precisely what happened with the Chile legislation about neutrality doesn't have a clear provision forbidding Zero Rating. Even we have one of the first countries in the world to enforce a clear Net Neutrality rules.
What happened in 2014 that we were also one of the first countries in which the national authority in some way, in an administrative decision make a statement of Zero Rating and initially was celebrated widely in the world as the first time that some authority state that Zero Rating were incompatible with Net Neutrality, but the reality is not so good like that, because what we have seen is that the interpretation of the Chile authority give to this bang of the Zero Rating was more related with the issue that at that time the problems were advertising in childly as a full connection to the Internet. So, the authority just banned the part of the offering of the program that was related with this mislead offer. But, what the operators quickly adjust to this recommendation and start to offer the things progress, but specifying where the applications that were zero rated.
And, with that, the assessment of the authority changes. It doesn't look any more about if this kind of offering were compatible or not with the Net Neutrality, but they decided this was more a commercial issue there probably should be assess of other kind of authority but not by the telecom authority on the floor of Net Neutrality rules.
So, what we have seen from this experience, and I think it is common with the experience in Brazil, but Net Neutrality rules, of course they have this complication that they need to look to both sides, economical impact of both these rules but telecom more regulatory issues that are relate owed with the benefit of the consumer. But, at some point the fact that the Net Neutrality don't directly take charge of the issue of Zero Rating made that this is an issue that it is nowhere lands because no one wants to take care of the problem and really make a strong statement about what is the real impact. And, I totally agree with what amber said before about this is something that we should look from the more competition and market functioning side, and we have to be aware that at least in Latin America the realities in every Country, we don't have more than two or three operators offering services the same that in India and areas you only have the choice to have one operator, and also that we haven't crossed the State of having a really great penetration of the Internet and the main form of connection that people still have, it's more mobile than fix connection. So, this all give you, like, a landscape of limitation in which there is an urgent action, and more importantly, action from the body of Governments that are in charge of different kind of policy, and I think that this is a call that is urgent to take this more complex view, at least in my region, I think that is some commonality that we can see in other places of the world.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you very much, Maria. Just to have a quick comment on connectivity issues.
This afternoon we are also presenting another book on community networks. Actually, a very good strategy crowd source bottom up strategy to bridge digital divides, so I urge you all to au tend this session at 5:20 on community networks. It's the dynamic issue on community connectivity is the book we have produced, and so, just I would ask to the last speakers to speak for four or five minutes, because as I was saying, the MAG has decided to reduce from 90 minutes to 60 Minutes in the time that we have. I urge you also complain because it's not possible if you work and you have all these people to do things in 60 Minutes, so it's [email protected], write them and tell them please to have 90 minutes back.
So, please, go ahead.
>> ALFREDO VELAZCO: Luka, thanks for the space. Please the presentation.
Well, I am from Ecuador. I will explain about the specific case about the point of view of the users. We are talk about points, the case, yes. The first case is about the law. At Ecuador we have a net neutrality information in our telecommunication law, but the meaning of the Net Neutrality isn't specified at the law. This is a real problem and the Net Neutrality is maybe it is protecting our law, but the providers banded Net Neutrality and offer about Zero Rating offers.
The second case is about the service about Zero Rating. They offer -- okay. Please.
This is the or offer of our providers. They offer unlimited and free what's app, Facebook, Twitter, and some others social networks. But, the reality is that it may be offers french fries and offer potatoes, offer oil, and offer soil and something like that. This is a comparative about that offer. For example, what's up, only for a chat, no for calling, for Facebook, animate a gift, or do a calling and (?) downstream go. This is a very short comparison.
This is the real impact of a net neutrality ban. This is the context two years ago. We work about the change of our contusion. In the same day at Twitter we don't see the images. We try to (?) to the image services at Twitter, and this is a response about Twitter. There is no responsibility for (?) and, maybe it's a responsibility of Ecuador and providers. Ecuador government and providers. The question is what is the transparency about the agreement beyond society. They have an agreement between government and providers. Let them know, we don't have answers until today. This is about change about our constitution. This is about our campaign for Net Neutrality.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you. Okay. Thanks. We can finalize with Maria and then open for discussion.
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: Thanks so much. So, in Europe we bought (?) for Net Neutrality. It was not easy. It was not something that happened in one year. It actually took a lot of years. And, back then, defenders of Net Neutrality were called tally ban like people, high level individuals. So, we launched this Internet campaign and we did some policy work, some (?) work, and eventually we have Net Neutrality regulation.
And, the legislators left some issues with not much clarification. In this sense, you heard it from Soriano, BEREC has done a fantastic job in clarifying the E regulation. When it comes to Zero Rating, we're having let's say Pinterest scenario. They said that they could not reach reasonable compromise, and then it was said then that countries like the Netherlands that had a ban on Zero Rating, in full I will not be affected by the regulation. Unfortunately, as you have seen now, this is being challenged in countries like Netherlands.
Views that as amber explained very well, a ban on Zero Rating will have been more productive, but to the decision that this should be assessed in a case-by-case basis.
So, we see that currently the function of the Internet as an innovation system is being undermined by the collective effects of Zero Rating offers. We are seeing that in a number of cases, for example in the Netherlands or Germany, several telecom regulators have approved offers from Internet access providers, which do some form of veer oh rating.
There are some maker systems of these types of offers, including some form of throppling and inspection to identify zero rated services, offer exam peel (?) Euro. Third Zero Rating of class of operations, and fourth limiting the use of classification above the EU roaming allowance.
It is important that regulatory authorities do not neglect the community effect of (?) and important that the combination of each of these offers and services collectively effects the functioning of the Internet ecosystem of an (?) innovation. Which was said before and was stated as a core aim on the the EU regulation on Net Neutrality.
So, we need a consistent framework. We also need long-term rules in net neutralize go. We are very happy that after the decision in the U.S., EU policy makers have made very clear statements in favor of Net Neutrality. We're very happy about that, because as I said before in the beginning the origins of the discussion were not that favorable for Net Neutrality, and now the environment has changed, so we're very pleased about that.
And, so, what we need is more consistency in terms of Zero Rating. There are some members of (?) that are going to take court action. That is the case for example bits of freedom in the Netherlands. Since it works in (?) also looking at that and there are other members and observers that are trying to take some action.
But, at the same time, I wanted to finalize my introductory remarks. I think if implementation of Net Neutrality rules are not only cover a Zero Rating, we need to also look at the independence of regulators, would also need to see whether there is no block in throttling happening, also need to see how the traffic management are being implemented, how the transparency tree choir meant imposed are being implemented and the list goes on.
So, we have developed a website called respectmynet.EU. Respectmynet.EU, where any user can report Net Neutrality violations. It is a work in progress, so if you want to help improve it or collaborate with us, please get in touch.
Also, we also understand that this is just the beginning of the conversation. As Soriano said, and we well cull that some NRAs are looking into these more deeply, but we urge them to make sure that Net Neutrality is not violated. So, this is a lesson that basically if you have Net Neutrality rules, that doesn't mean that Net Neutrality is productive. So, you need to basically stay tuned, because soon in the next year BEREC will launch a public consultation on the Net Neutrality limitation and also the European Commission is supposed to have an implementation report in 2019, so it will be very interesting to see how these develop.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you very much, Maria. Now we can open the floor for comments and questions.
I will not take more than these five. Sorry. We have ten
minutes. Again, comply with the IGF secretariat and the MAG.
>> Audience: (Inaudible)
>> LUCA BELLI: I cannot do it, but I think you can do it by pressing on the butt ton.
So, I think Gonzal was the first one, and then Nico, and a couple of very quick replies and then the three gentlemen there.
>> Audience: Just a few comments. I wanted to highlight the report on Zero Rating practices commissioned by the European Commission by the digi comp. Basically their reports states that they have not seen any competitive concerns regarding Zero Rating in the European markets, and they also add that Zero Rating provides benefits to users because they, by taking out the usage of data from the app that is the customers use the most, they have a lot more of access to the rest of the in net, their data caps, and also that by limiting Zero Rating to the end of the data cap is negative, because by doing so, basically to force your customers to be aware that they are ending up data (?) and maybe not finish it in order to keep the Zero Rating.
Also, I would like to comment on the issue that Zero Rating, in
its innovation, will have several examples in Latin America where we have been providing sponsor data, which is a kind of Zero Rating where customers do not pay for data but the application providers that pay for the data. That this has been having a great impact into adoption of apps of app developers that are very small, and we would say startups and they have had great increases in the use of apps, so that is way in which innovation is fostered. So, Zero Rating does not with innovation.
And as last comment, I was having a discussion the other day with university professor which was explaining Zero Rating in the telecommunications, engineering students. So, basically, they fully understand what Net Neutrality is, and they were fully agree with the Net Neutrality principles but when dealing with Zero Rating, they say no, no, no, we want to keep our Zero Rating, that provides good service for us and we are going to keep the Zero Rating for ourselves.
>> LUCA BELLI: Thank you. I would urge to have shorter comments and questions, if you can. And, I think, yeah.
>> Audience: Hello. I think I will give the exact opposite perspective. I'm Nicholas from (?) we work with community networks.
One thing that we usually discuss in community networks is how we can move the discussion forward, not being defending ourselves all the time. So, we just -- we don't just need to have good access, we need to also defend the right to co-create the Internet. And, the right to co-create the Internet needs more than just Net Neutrality for access. And, one very important point in this is the asymmetry of bands width. This is never usually addressed in Net Neutrality and it is the basic discrimination.
The basic discrimination in the Internet, which is conceived of a network of peers, is to have a symmetric bandwidth to the end user.
>> LUCA BELLI: Yes. Thank you. Again, if you want to know more about this and about community networks, this afternoon at 5:20, the three gentlemen with your questions there, or remarks.
>> Audience: So, my name is Nicol Pavi. I'm from the save the Internet campaign from India. Just wanted to address a few points.
One of the things that Zero Rating does is essentially negatively impacts the nature of the interest as a global comment. The point about co-creation is right, we are users, not just consumers of the Internet. And, one thing that we got through in the Indian regulation was that a regulator pointed out that ISPs and telecom operators should not have the right to shape the user experience, whether it is by pricing differentiation or discrimination, or it is through discriminating in terms of speed. And, that is important for a Country like ours, which has about 700 odd million people who haven't yet come online, and we want them to have the same Internet that the rest of the world has.
Zero rating effectively pushes for the bulk and addition of the Internet, and that hurts us all. This in terms of data. In the last one year after Net Neutrality regulations came out, we varied about 18 million mobile Internet connections, a majority of the user base has shifted from 2G to 3G and 4G. We've had massive investment in infrastructure. Data consumption in terms of bandwidth has gone up about 7 to 10 times, especially in terms of video, and data prices are about one-tenth what they used to be before Net Neutrality regulation came in. That has been done because there has been fresh competition in the market. Because mobile operators are now competing for users and the quality of service, and the cost of service, instead of trying to compete in terms of whether they're providing video or not. So, we printed vertical integration.
I would urge everyone to push for strong Net Neutrality regulations and bang of Zero Rating across the world.
>> LUCA BELLI: Yes, the other two comments.
>> Audience: Yeah.
>> LUCA BELLI: Gentleman. This one. And, you.
>> Audience: Yeah. Okay. I am Bender from India. From
the Internet service provider association, from the executive
consul of the Internet. These comments are in their best.
When the regulator came out with the consultation paper in India, wide ranging discussions took place. Please remember, you know, it's always better to look at both sides before you take a decision. So, it is right to the extent that the telecom service providers who own the networks, they are losing money, or they are saying they're losing money. The reason is that the bandwidth prices are falling. It's a paradox. How, as the demand is increasing for bandwidth the prices are falling. In the world, in business, otherwise whenever demand of something increases, the prices increase. So, this is an opposite which is happening.
They feel that it is the content providers who are actually making the money and they should share the money with them, so they can make better networks. Well, that is one point. So, let's keep that in view, also.
However, in both countries, whether it is in Brazil or now in in due e au, the decisions have been taken by Governments who are interested to take on decisions for benefit of the public. Right? So, when Governments state or regulators take decisions for benefit of the public, without sentences being added like case by case bases or, you know, this region is different than that region, they are less developed, more developed, these are always and means to find excuses. So, I would agree that if across the world if we have to do, then we must have a free Internet, Zero Rating has to be banned.
>> LUCA BELLI: Very nice to hear this from a telecom representative. (Laughter). And, actually, the Zero Rating map is precisely to collect data on this and have -- and take evidence-based policies and decisions.
So, again, you're all invited to contribute to this. And the last comment or question from the gentleman.
>> Audience: My name is Tasha consultant for German government, and for me this discussion is a little bit strange, because my point of view is that data caps are disappearing on the market, so my perspective is we want to have an Internet without any data caps, so Zero Rating from my perspective is a historic discussion.
And a much more interesting thing is what about the interconnection between the service providers and the content providers? And, this is something which is really hard to control and to regulate, because this is a question of peering or getting money from transits. And, this is much more interesting for the future than this, sorry, historic Zero Rating bullshit. Sorry.
>> LUCA BELLI: Sorry. I would disagree that maybe they are disappearing from the German market. I would suggest to have a tour in the South of the world.
>> Audience: If you look at the map, you see that from the
North and Scandinavian countries they all have unrated --
>> LUCA BELLI: So, unless 7 billion people move to Scandinavia, we should keep on discussing this.
So, okay. Gentlemen, I think we will have some really final remarks, ten seconds per person, less than a tweet, because now tweet is 220, 280. You have one former tweet former of last statements. One in 40 characters to sigh what you want and then we close up. We can start with Maria. if you have anything to add.
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: The shortest way to say that in a tweet is plus (?) to that for a ban of Zero Rating. This is not historic eventually event in Europe.
I said a plus one to those that said that Zero Rating should be banned in full, and I also said that I would disagree with respectfully to say Zero Rating in Europe is a historical thing, unfortunately, for some countries.
>> Panelist: I would say first the harm that Zero Rating can do to the free Internet, it's very contingent of the context, so we cannot, like, make general statement as the gentleman did about the Zero Rating doesn't hurt innovation. It could be very limited cases in which the content and competition and the type of application that are zero rated and the position of the market of the operator that offer it can have limited effect for providing more space for innovation, but you cannot make an assumption as general as that as in any case Zero Rating will preserve innovation or help innovation the same way that you cannot say in a general term that cops are leaving the map because in many places there are still a lot of limitations in the use of data and we should keep looking for sensitive solution for everyone in the world.
>> Panelist: Okay. Very quickly. I think Zero Rating and Net Neutrality say oh, that context is so different, but I think we need to start interrogating what makes these countries so different and doing sort of healthy and informative comparative work.
>> ALFREDO VELAZCO: For those in Ecuador, the Net Neutrality is transparency. Transparency between the actors, transparency in agreements, transparency in a law. The Net Neutrality isn't a law. It's a transparency between the actors.
>> LUCA BELLI: Well, thank you very much for the final
Again, I invite you to contribute to maps. We have more data to what is going on and I invite you again to come to the release of this book on community network, so you know what is a very sustainable alternative to Zero Rating to provide now data and to empower people.