Repeal of Net Neutrality: What Consequences for Emerging Countries?
With a vote on December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US telecommunications regulator, repealed the principle of net neutrality. This dangerous vote transforms the Internet into a private good at the disposal of telecommunications operators. Internet Without Borders fears the impact of this vote on emerging countries, which are inspired by the American model to ensure their cyber development.
According to the principle of net neutrality, telecommunications operators treat all data that they carry without discrimination: they must not block content, reduce the speed of the bandwidth for these contents, or charge service providers or end users for faster Internet. This equality of treatment allows access for all to all the information contained on the global network.
” The FCC vote is a step backwards for the free and accessible Internet for all without discrimination. This contrasts with many countries, including the member states of the European Union, or India, which have chosen to protect this fundamental principle. “ says Julie Owono, executive director of Internet Without Borders. ” We urge emerging countries, for whom the Internet is a major stake of economic development, to be inspired rather by these models. The history of the global network has shown that only a free and open Internet inspires innovators, promotes research, the creation of goods and services, and thus creates wealth. “ she continues.
The debate and the vote on net neutrality in the US already has international consequences: in Senegal, the government has just presented its draft law on electronic communications: it provides that the regulator may authorize operators to take management measures traffic that they deem useful.